Today a large group from San Antonio, Texas, visited the monastery. After attending the Siva puja, visiting Iraivan Temple and having darshan with Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, they visited the Ganapati Kulam to spend some time with Paramacharya Sadasivanathaswami and Sannyasin Senthilnathaswami. This is such a lively and harmonious group of three generations. To Sadasivanathaswami's left in orange kurta is Dr. Ramakrishna Rao, and to his right in maroon shirt is Dr. Narasimha Pemmaraju Rao, two of the founding members of the Hindu Temple of San Antonio (several other of the founding members are pictured as well--too many to name!). Gurudeva advised them on numerous matters when they started their Venkateshvara temple on a hill in Helotes, just outside San Antonio, in 1984, and at their request provided a beautiful Ardhanarishvara murti 15 years later for which they built an entirely separate, small shrine building.
The blessings of Lord Murugan awaken wisdom which resides in his chakra. "Pray to Lord Murugan to unravel the great mysteries of the universe." When we get emotional we lose touch with our wisdom. Murugan inspires penance to soften karmas and purify the mind, chitta-shuddhi. If you do kavadi in the right spirit, to get the full blessing, have in mind specific misdeeds, apologize to the deity, learn from it, promise to do your best. Visions are still happening. Feeling the energy of the deity is stronger during festivals such as Skanda Shashti.