Since 1967 our Innersearch Travel-Study Programs have been among the most joyous of our sharings together. Travel does that: opens mind and heart, sprouts new friendships, lifts the spirit so we can soar within without the usual obstructions, excuses and distractions.
Thus it gives us joy to invite you to join Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami and his monks for an Innersearch Travel-Study Program, July 2-14, 2014, on the resplendent island of Mauritius, near the southern tip of Africa in the Indian Ocean. How beautiful is this island? After he visited the remote island nation in 1896, about half again the size of Kauai, Mark Twain quoted an islander as saying: "Mauritius was made first and then heaven; and heaven was copied after Mauritius."
This will be our first Innersearch program to Mauritius, one of precious few in the world that has a majority Hindu population, home to hundreds of Saiva Siddhanta Church members and Himalayan Academy students, as well as our Saiva Dharmashala and Spiritual Park, the only Saiva Siddhanta Church center outside of Kauai.
Innersearches happen only every few years. So it is a rare opportunity to spend time (not just a few hours but days and weeks) with the monks of Kauai Aadheenam while attending classes with Satguru Bodhinatha. You can look forward to life-long friendships with others on the path.
Gurudeva understood the importance of getting away from our day to day routines and that going on Innersearch is a transformative experience and a chance for spiritual change in our lives:
"What is your goal in this life? Is your goal to sit and wallow in the emotions? Is it to memorize a lot of things that different people have said so you can quote from them? Or is your goal in life to find first your Infinite Being within yourself? If you could only once gain just a glimmer of your true Being--the spiritual Being flowing through the mind which you always thought was you. Instead, you have things that you have to do that you haven't done, things that you will do, and things that you will not do, things that you haven't made up your mind to do as yet and things you thought you would like to do but decided you wouldn't do. All of this is going on as a process within yourself, and it keeps you nicely confused.
"Life in the technological age is a life of constant work, constant activity, all of the time. So, we tend to set religion aside just when we need it the most. We have to rely on our religion to keep a balance in our life. It is a proven fact that religious people can cope with stress and strain better than nonreligious people. The answer to stress is not to take a pill to be able to relax. The answer is not to give up the temple, not to give up the culture, not to give up the scriptures which put everything into perspective, not to give up the art of meditation and the practices of yoga. Spiritual things you must understand with your heart, with your feeling. Feeling and thinking, working together, give you that deep understanding that you need to cognize the wisdom of the spirit.
"In our religious life, one of the most fulfilling aspects is pilgrimage. We have a joy in looking forward to a spiritual journey, and we experience a contentment while on our pilgrimage and later bask in the glowing aftermath.
"The Hindu does not have the feeling of having to take a vacation to 'get away from it all.' We don't lead a life of mental confusions, religious contradictions and the frustrations that result from modern hurried living. We lead a moderate life, a religious life. In living a moderate life, we then look at our pilgrimage as a special moment, a cherished time of setting ordinary concerns aside and giving full stage to our religious longings. It is a time to take problems and prayers to our personal God."
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Religion is the working together of the beings in the three worlds. The first way we actually experience something of a divine nature, the power and energy in a temple, is our sensitized feeling nature. The Saivite beings in the inner world, Deities, saints, sages, devas, guide and govern, help and protect, shower forth blessings and inspirations to the members of our religious family. All worship Siva.