Bodhinatha, Yoginathaswami and Sadhaka Satyanatha are in California, where Bodhinatha is leading a retreat for church members and students. We are nestled among giant redwood trees, in a Buddhist monastery which rents its facilities for events. A few Buddhist monks and nuns walk around quietly, greeting the Hindu monks and celebrating our common heritage with kind words. Daily, without fail, they perform an hour-long puja in Tibetan, a relative of Sanskrit. Read more about the Land of Medicine Buddha here.
Being with the guru is always a moment when we, in devotion, meet our own divine potential.
Blessings come first, classes later. Bhakti, or devotion, mellows the sharp edges of the intellect and allows us to reach for superconsciousness.
The day is flowing smoothly with blessings we invoked with a strong Siva puja this morning. Yoginathaswami performed a full abhishekam to a sphatika Sivalingam and included special mudras and mantras specific to Saivite worship.
All is going wonderfully well. A remarkably intelligent and devoted group of students are delighted with Bodhinatha's brilliant analogies, which allow them to easily grasp lofty spiritual concepts; his well-honed teaching skills keep them engaged for the long classes suffused with profound topics and intriguing mysticism.
The manager of the retreat center said a few interesting words to us this morning. She expressed, "I came earlier to talk to you, but there was so much laughter and joy coming from the room that I did not want to come and interrupt. And now that I am finally here to tell you the guidelines of this place, I feel that I don't even need to say them. Your group will honor this place as much as we do. Thank you for coming and bringing blessings."
Students and monks alike are happy to be here at Bodhinatha's feet, listening to his wisdom and Gurudeva's insights.
The challenge, of course, is to put them into practice. As Bodhinatha said today, "Understanding someone else's wisdom does not make one wise."
Stay tuned for more reports in the next few days.
Aum Namah Sivaya.
One Response to “Bodhinatha's Classes in California, Day 1”
"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