Dinanatha Bodhiswami is a travel agent in Moscow who conducts tours to India. He is a brahmachari and very devoted to Gurudeva's teachings. He studies Sanskrit and has a wonderful chanting voice and conducts tours of people interest in yoga and Hinduism to India, where he has been many times. This is his third visit to Kauai Aadheenam. This year he came with friends who are also students of yoga and Hinduism.
Dinanatha brought a special gift for the monastery: the 11-volume set of the recently published Encyclopedia of Hinduism—thirty-five kilos of books which he carried from India, to Moscow to Kauai. He also gave Bodhinatha a bottle of Ganges water for Bodhinatha to use for his personal Siva Abhishekam.
Several years ago Dinanatha found that the original Russian language edition of Dancing with Siva had gone out of print. Also some portions of the translation needed revision, so he sponsored a new translation of those parts by Andrey Kostenko who translated the original first half and a new edition will be going to press any day now. He requested Bodhinatha to send an introduction for the book to the people of Russia.
At lunch together, we had a fascinating discussion about Hinduism in Russia. Dinanatha hopes one day that there can be an officially recognized Saivite Hindu institution in Russia. Without official status, you cannot build a temple. In Russia, only Christianity, Buddhism and Islam have official status. Paramacharya told the group about his trips to Russia years ago with Gurudeva. Yana, who was translating for the group, says everything has changed and that today there are many, many more Russians interested in yoga and Hinduism.
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.