Mrunal, Padmaja and Pooja Patel visited with Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami in the Guru Pitham this morning. They currently live in Midland in West Texas, and have been studying the Master Course, working toward becoming members of Saiva Siddhanta Church, since 2007. Recently they bought a home on Kauai very close to the monastery. They spent their week on pilgrimage in their new Kauai home for the first time, and today they brought a Ganesha murti for Bodhinatha to bless to establish their shrine in their new home.
For the first time, not staying in a hotel and being able to simply walk to the temple each day, they felt truly relaxed and part of the community.
Originally from the State of Gujarat in India, Mrunal and Padmaja have lived in the US for a couple decades and are currently both practicing physicians in Midland. They have brought Bodhinatha to their town several times in the past few years to speak at the local temple that they are closely involved with. Bodhinatha will again be visiting there the second weekend in April, just a few weeks away.
Mrunal always has a couple of really good questions for Bodhinatha, every time they meet.
One of the events during Bodhinatha's upcoming visit to Midland is an interfaith gathering put together by Padmaja Patel. Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, Monsignor James Bridges of St. Stephens, Rabbi Sidney Zimelman of Temple Beth El, Reverend James E. Liggett, Jr. of St. Nicholas Episcopal Church and Pastor Jay Mayo of Stonegate Baptist Fellowship will speak on topics addressing contemporary issues and answer questions from the audience.
Mrunal thought that it would be a great idea to gift each speaker a copy of "What Is Hinduism?" He brought them so Bodhinatha could sign each one.
The Patel family plans to move permanently to Kauai in a few years when their daughter, Pooja, begins college. Until then, we look forward to their frequent pilgrimages to our beautiful neighborhood!
Aum Namah Sivaya.
Prostrations To Lord Ganesa!
Great news and sincere congratulations to a beautiful dedicated and hardworking family. We are inspired by your perseverance and following your heart to the feet of the Guru. Oh What a feeling!!!!I can only imagine.Aum Shanti.
"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