Here we have the President of the National Council of Indian Culture (NCIC) Mr. Deokienanan Sharam (left), his son Dr. Pravin Sharma, his grand sons Arvinda(back) and Akshay(front), sister Shanti(in saree) and daughter in law Rachael(extreme right). Mr. Sharma is responsible every year for choosing the theme for the Diwali Nagar. Diwali Nagar started in 1986 and since then has grown into a national event.
The festival is now over and Ashwinee shares this report with us. “In the final analysis, this was our most successful year at the Diwali Nagar. We shared knowledge of Hinduism through Himalayan Academy publications, we showed many what is available from the monastery’s website, we introduced people to Gurudeva and Bodhinatha, showed them the making of Iraivan temple, and distributed a lot of free literature. Visitors numbered between 200 -- 500 each night and at least 1000 on the last night.” Here we have a family that isn’t Hindu, but was so impressed with the literature that they bought Dancing with Siva, What is Hinduism? Mystic Mouse, and were given various booklets. They were so enthusiastic, we are sure they will be back.
Here, dedicated volunteers Keith and his son, Dharma (in their Hinduism Today t-shirts), explain the contents of Himalayan Academy’s Mystic Mouse to some youth. “Our staff learned more than the visitors. It was a most successful project,” concluded Ashwinee.
The letter "Ya" in the Panchakshara Mantra, Namasivaya, stands for the soul. Bodhinatha uses the Panchakshara Mantra to show how the soul is initially drawn by Siva's veiling grace, which leads the soul to maturity through experience in the world. Then comes Siva's revealing grace. When we've had enough of the world, Siva's grace pulls us toward God. The mantra also has the simple, two-syllable form. Si- Reflecting on God the Transcendent Absolute, Va-God as the All Pervading Consciousness