On Tuesday and Wednesday, Sadasivanathaswami and Senthilnathaswami visited Houston, Texas, to have a book signing at Keshav Smruti, a venue of the umbrella group called Hindus of Greater Houston. It turned out to be combined with a general meeting of HGH, so the heads of sixteen of the major Hindu organizations in Houston's enormous Hindu community were present. The book we presented is The Guru Chronicles. Paramacharya Sadasivanathaswami gave a delightful presentation to the gathering of 75 people. They asked some excellent questions. Many books were sold and signed. It was a grand success. TV Asia and HUM magazine were both present to interview Paramacharya Sadasivanathaswami.
On Wednesday evening, we visited the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Stafford, the same temple Bodhinatha and Senthilnathaswami attended the inauguration for in 2004. Pujya Chaitanyamurti Swami, who is in charge of current temple-building projects in North America, flew in to meet with us. After arati and a tour of the mandir, we spoke for a couple of hours together about the temple they are building in Southern California, the Akshardham America project in New Jersey, where Swami is based, and a lot of sharing about various points of protocol of our monastic orders. It is always interesting for us to further research the nuances of protocols followed by other sannyasin orders. Did you know that the BAPS sadhus never leave their ashram without at least one other monk? They appear to be the only order other than ours who follows this wise, ancient protocol.
Of course, on a walk through the Houston Arboretum, we spotted a couple of mushrooms!
Bodhinatha's Latest Upadeshas: "The Difference in Practice of Theism and Monism" (September 3, 2014)
During a puja we're in Theism, to receive the blessings of the Deity. After a puja we can go within our self in meditation, giving up the idea of an external Deity, Monism. Monistic Theism: Advaita Ishvaravada. Advaita means the Monism; Ishvara means the Theism.
In Shum we use two words that relate to that: shumif and dimfi. First, perfect your Theism. Then become a monist. That's called Saiva Siddhanta; one leads to the other.