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.”
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