Bodhinatha and Shanmuganathaswami had a successful few days in Bali. They have flown back to Malaysia and the retreat for members and students has begun.
In Bali they met with one of our old contacts there one of the local Hindu leaders. Bodhinatha writes:
“Tuesday morning we had an interesting meeting with Dr. Sara Sastra. He helped us a number of years ago with an HT article and is a teacher of philosophy at the university here. A few years ago he took the training for him and his wife to qualify as a priest called a Gria. He was dressed in traditional Balinese clothing with his hair tied up. He gave an interesting explanation of the nature of Hinduism in Bali which is a mixture of Saivism and Vaishnavism. While we were there at his home, his wife was doing the morning puja in the home shrine. In Bali the home shrine is outdoors. It was good to reconnect with Dr.Sara Sastra.”
"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