On October 28th in California, at the Saiva Siddhanta Church Golden Gate Mission satsang at Kulapati Janaka and Kulamata Bhavani's home, a samskara was performed acknowledging Kulapati Deva and Kulamata Gayatri's entrance into the next ashrama of mission life. They will now be known as Rishipati Deva and Rishimata Gayatri.
Many gave moving testimonies of the Rajan's work and contributions to the Church over forty years, and expressed warm good wishes for the many years ahead. Rajkumar spoke from Denver through video chat, and Mrunal and Padmaja Patel spoke through video chat as they were driving through the Texas desert. Is this the new age of communication or what?
Here are a few excerpts:
"Deva and Gayatri are an inspiration and a mentor to me. Their steadfast devotion to the Paramparai and adherence to the Saiva Dharma have encouraged me (and many others) to dive deeper into the Self and toward the discovery of the innermost esoterics of our religion.We have been associated with Deva and Gayatri through many births and they are truly our Brother and Sister. The list of what they have contributed to our community would take me days to compile. I am delighted and honored to have been a part of it all with them and wish them well in this next stage of life."
~ Satya Palani
"We are so happy to learn that Kulapati Deva Rajan and Kulamata Gayatri are moving into the next stage of their life, we welcome them with warm hearts to our extended family. It is our honor that they chose to join us. We will benefit from their years of experience of serving the Guru parampara, their wisdom and knowledge from spending years in the company of our Gurus and monks is something for all of us to strive for. We sincerely thank them for their selfless service to the Parampara in so many different capacities. We look forward to learn lessons of life under their guidance.Welcome, Welcome, Welcome Rishimata and Rishipati! Aum Namah Sivaya
~ Mrunal, Padmaja and Pooja Patel
"On behalf of me, my wife, and my parents personally, and all of the volunteers and staff of the Hindu American foundation we congratulate Deva and Gayatri For all they have done in the past for the community, For their decision to enter the ashrama stage, And for all that they will be doing. As Rishipati and Rishimata, We will look to them for their continued guidance and wisdom."
~ Mihir Meghani
"Both of you are "hands-on" maestros, always with a 'midas touch' as a artist, writer, sculptor, green builder, fly ash promoter, creators of San Marga Sanctuary Development Fund, successful business person, sincere seekers and exemplary disciples of our lineage. You next ashrama will lead householder in the congregation again, on a path we can surely follow. Aunty Gayatri, you are always exercised loving care for people you meet with genuine words. The story of Santoshi Devi inspired many and will continue to bring forth Ganesha's 5th Shakti in devotees lives."
~ Rajkumar Manickam
"Uncle and Auntie, I have had theprivilege of calling you this my entire life. You both have been such an inspiration to me personally as well as to all of thosearoundyou. I have so many fond memories from my youth of spending time with you both, I am lucky to have them. I have learned so many great thingsfrom spending time with you and each time we meet, youalwaysradiate such selfless joy and cosmic love. You have spearheaded so manyprojects for Iraivan, the Monastery, our Golden Gate mission, your owncommunityand so much more, simply for the joy of spreading positiveenergy and this is how you inspire others. I have always felt very close toyou and am thrilled to know that you will be a part of our extendedfamily. Anbe Sivamayam Satyame Parasivam.
~ Kartikeya Katir
"One great memory: off to Peru and the Yucatan joining you, at Gurudevas request,to fulfill his gift to Ganapati Sthapati. Sthapatis lifelong dream had
always been to visit the Inca and the Maya and verify the Vaastuscriptures stated relationships with these ancient cultures in theAmericas. Interesting discovery, too, that Lord Ganesha came toAmerica long ago! Enjoy the inner and outer becoming one."
Focus on being a soul, not the body, mind and emotions. When we think of ourselves as a soul we're able to move forward and get closer and closer to Siva. That's the whole idea of Saiva Siddhanta. A negative self-concept is an obstacle. We can change our self-concept through applying Gurudeva's teachings, affirming every day that we are a divine being. Vasana daha tantra: Going back and understanding experiences; clearing up the reactions to the past.