A quick report from Bodhinatha:
Mon Aug 8th flight Trinidad to Guyana. Evening satsanga at a nearby Mandir with lecture (pravachan) by me. Some excellent singers performed as well.
Shanmuganathaswami report on events of the today, the 9th:
We are now driving back from the Krishna Mandir. We arrived there at about 16:30 and were met by Pundit Arjun.
The afternoon began with a small bhajan group along with a very talented one-man synthesizer. Everyone enjoyed the music while we waited for the bulk of the crowd to arrive.
We gave pundit our business cards so he could introduce us. He was so happy to have us coming from Hawaii and praised the Guyana Hindu Dharma Sabha for sending us to their mandir. Lord Krishna was on the altar with all of His Deity friends, and we felt right at home.
I gave a short introduction of who we were, and when asked if they knew where Hawaii was nobody knew. But they understood my accent. I told them “we are living proof of reincarnation” which received a few smiles, but some further explanation was required. Pundit said they rarely have swamis visit their part of Guyana, if at all, and he asked if Bodhinatha could speak about what a swami is.
Bodhinatha carefully crafted his response, like a bird would build his nest, one twig at a time. First was an explanation of the four goals of life, followed by a definition of grihasta dharma to finally compare the role of the sannyasin as a renunciate and teacher. We then handed out 48 of the “Trini” flyers with the four facts and nine beliefs to a group of about 80 people (20 of whom were men.)
While Bodhinatha was speaking I wrote down pundits name and the name and address of the temple so we could send them copies of Hinduism Today. When we showed the group a copy of Hinduism Today and asked them if they had seen a copy, not one hand went up. So I asked pundit perhaps we should send you more than one copy?
Punditji closed the session with more words of praise and was especially impressed with Bodhinatha’s analogy of the soul being like a bucket of water taken from the ocean of God; the soul was divinity, not a sinner. The closing was a well rehearsed series of prayers, songs and chanting. Then the crowd was invited to stay for prashadam; very thick roti, potato masala, giant vadais and sweet rice.
Punditji insisted that we return for another visit and bade us farewell. Of course we had to stop for “just one more photo.” As we departed the mandir with smiles and waves of goodbye we reflected on the humility and simplicity of this fine group of “down home folk” out here in “Western Guyana -- God’s Country.”