This is Jai Ganesha (Peter Eschwey) with his wife Emily and daughters Ambika and Gauri from Oregon. Peter has visited Chidambaram temple in India and befriended the dikshitar priests there who know us. He gave his younger daughter her first solid food in Bodhinatha’s presence today.
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