Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami and Sannyasin Senthilnathaswami are in West Texas. The first event was a satsang at the home of Mrunal and Padmaja Patel in Midland, attended by around 50 devotees from the tight-knit Hindu community here. Mrunal and Kulapati Easan Katir performed a beautiful pada puja to Bodhinatha, followed by a beautiful rendering of Yogaswami's Natchintanai, "Engal Gurunathan." An upadesha followed, including a rich question-and-answer session.
As attendees were enjoying prasadam, the swamis, the Patel family and Easan Katir, who is visiting from Davis, California, for this event, retired to the family's beautiful shrine room for a special ceremony. Following a powerful Mahaganapati puja by Senthilnathaswami, Mrunal, Padmaja and Mrunal's mother, Hansa, read and signed the four vows--Ahimsa, Shakahara, Kailasa Parampara and Dashama Bhaga. These vows bring them into a status of probationary membership in Saiva Siddhanta Church called arulsishya, literally "disciples by grace." They are joining the extended family of Kulapati Easan and Kulamata Sundari Katir; thus Easan was here to sign as witness to their vows. It was a special and auspicious moment for the family, who has been studying the Master Course and preparing for about five years.
In the evening, Bodhinatha was hosted at the home of Dr. Chittur and Mala Ramanathan in Odessa. The Ramanathans are originally from the village of Vaitheeswarankoyil in Tamil Nadu, in Kumbakonam district. The Vaitheeswarar Temple is a famous, powerful temple where Siva resides as the Healer, and many miracles are associated with the temple, including modern-day. The family knew Gurudeva in San Francisco in the early 1980s; their son Karthik's head was personally shaven by Gurudeva in a chudakarana samskara at our temple there. Fond memories of Gurudeva, stories about Vaitheeswarankoyil and another rich (two-hour!) discussion ensued before prasadam was offered in their shrine room and served.
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