Bodhinatha and Palaniswami were able to connect again to the internet today. They continue their stay at Golok Dham in Delhi.
Here are some brief notes from them on activities there. Bodhinatha includes some news from earlier days:
Wednesday Nov 17th
Morning visit to Artha worksite. Selvanathan was there for most of the visit. Lots of pieces of Nandi Mandapam being carved. It was our first look at a section of the perimeter wall. It is wider and taller than imagined. A few refinements were made in the ornamentation. A calculation was done on how long it will take to carve.
After lunch and a short rest we flew to Delhi and were met by by our Hinduism Today correspondent Rajiv Malik and Brahmachari Vrajvihari Sharan from the Golok Dham Ashram. Drive to Ashram and group dinner shortly after arrival.
Thursday Nov 18th
Morning at Golok Dham. A bit before seven AM we went to the Siva shrine where they have a Narmada lingam, three -- four feet tall and arrived in time to participate in the last part of the Siva puja which Gopal Sharan was conducting himself with priestly assistance for chanting. Next the morning subrahbatam for the Radha Krishna shrine, a break for breakfast and an abhishekam for Acharya Nimbarka. Lunch, rest then the afternoon talks began at 1 PM. The crowd was small, being a weekday afternoon.
However the main crowd was the one reached as a live broadcast on Asta television of the 2 -- 3 PM portion. This part included a short talk by Palaniswami and then the presentation of the Hindu of the Year Award to Sri Gopal Sharan. The head of the Nimbarka Sampradaya gave one of the talks. He is elderly and has the look of a man who has done serious sadhana his whole life. A few misc. meetings finished up the day.
Great session today, including meeting the Nimbarkaacharya, 93 years old, plus my time on Ashta TV (a mere 20 million we are told). Some photos on this later.
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"Temples with multiple deities can be confusing, especially for today's Hindu youth. For clarity, we need to bring forward a more precise understanding of the different Hindu denominations and how the different Gods are viewed from within each denomination. For spiritual advancement it is best to focus on one deity and get to the vibration that deity. When we hear teachings from various Hindus, it is important to understand and identify which denomination they are speaking from. This will avert confusion when that teaching gets contradicted in a different context where someone is talking about the same subject but from a different philosophical background."
Bodhinatha reviews the main characteristic of Saivite philosophy and practice with an indepth focus on the four stages of religions evolution, chariya, kriya, yoga and jnana. He highlights how this shows that Saiva Siddhanta is unique and quite from the modern practice of Hinduism as Vedanta