Our bi-monthly Natchintanai/Bhajan Satsang was nearly a full house with our Kauai members present and Sadhaka Tejadevanatha (behind the camera) Brahmachari Mayuran and task forcer, Woody.
Kulapati Vel Alahan brought his Pakwaj. It is huge! And though he’s just learning, having a drum adds a lot to the music.
Sivakatirswami took the group through the five areas we are working on: a little vocal practice, memorizing Natchintanai (we have been working on Thondar Nangale, to memorize and visualize without needing a song book), singing one gitam, a song to Lord Muruga from Tirupugal as rendered by Murugadas, our two Vedic slokas and then Swami asked each one to lead the whole group in a bhajan. We have a lot of fun together, singing to God, Gods and Guru!
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We don’t know the pitch of the drum. We sing in whatever pitch that is set by whoever is leading. We don’t have a sruti box with us. I need to remember to bring my iPhone and use iTampura. Our main problem is: we don’t always know what is the starting note in relation to the sruti/Katai for any given song. Be we don’t worry about it too much. These sessions are not about music, it’s about bhakti and learning the songs well enough so that each one can sing on his or her own both in public and in private.
"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