Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami's third stop in Texas was the greater Austin area. Our first activity here was meeting with Sushma Khadepaun-Parmar of Cutting Chai Productions, who made the monastery's introductory video for this website. She shot an interview with Bodhinatha for a future introductory video on the Hindu Heritage Endowment.
Next, Bodhinatha spoke at the Sri Shirdi Sai Baba Temple of Austin in the suburb of Cedar Park, delivering his three-part Keynote presentation on character, the four yogas and the four progressive stages of life to an audience of about 50. The temple has a beautiful new auditorium facility, and Bodhinatha was the first swami to give a discourse there.
The main activity during our visit to Austin was the Hindu Students Association's Senior Leadership Spiritual Weekend. We have conducted this retreat with the organization's national officers and members of their board of directors twice before. It is a much-needed time of personal knowledge development in Hinduism for these young leaders and an opportunity for them to get their many questions answered by Bodhinatha and his accompanying swami. Some still in college and some in the first years of their professional lives, they come from diverse backgrounds, a few with a lot but many with very little knowledge of their faith imparted by their parents when they were growing up. The organization itself is only three years old, and Bodhinatha and the monastery have been supporting it with guidance and leadership retreats like this, support that the leaders genuinely need and sincerely appreciate.
The last activity on the way out of town was a talk at the Hindu Temple of Central Texas in a town called Temple. People throughout the state affectionately refer to this beautiful, powerful Ganapati temple simply as "Temple Texas." The families that started this temple are predominantly from Tamil Nadu, Sri Lanka, Andhra Pradesha and Kerala.
After observing Sadhu Paksha for several weeks, the monks return to their usual schedule, conducting this morning\'s homa, beginning the new phase. Satguru Bodhinatha is traveling in Texas so Paramacharya Sadasivanathaswami helped to burn prayers and gave an insightful talk about responsiveness which was critically important to Gurudeva. He read a related answer given by Gurudeva to a question from a devotee:
A cyberspace devotee in White Plains, New York wondered, "What is the greatest thing a sishya, or devotee of a guru, can do for the guru?" Gurudeva answered: "At this day and age, in our technological age, the best quality in working with the guru is intelligent cooperation. There are many, many things to do that we could not do even 10, 20 years ago. Intelligent cooperation, responsiveness to the guru, and the sishya all working together in harmony. Settling their differences before bedtime, so that they don't pile up and become a mountain of problems to be solved, deterring each one involved from his particular path. So, intelligent cooperation is the best way to serve your guru."