Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami and Sannyasin Senthilnathaswami are traveling in Texas and Trinidad this month. The first stop was the Greene Family Camp, an expansive summer camp facility run by the Union for Reform Judaism in Bruceville, a small town about 100 miles north of Austin. Here the Hindu Students Association held their fifth annual camp called Gateway over the weekend of February 7-9.
Due to snow, students from the University of Arkansas branch were unable to drive in, and due to the near-and-sometimes-below-freezing temperatures that are blanketing most of Texas currently, others couldn't make it, so attendance was only about 60, around half of the usual number of students from universities mostly in Texas.
Senthilnathaswami was asked to open the camp with a Ganapati puja including explanation of the meaning and purpose behind each step. An acharya from the Arya Samaj in Houston conducted a homa and gave wonderful explanations about the meaning and purpose of traditional yajna according to the Vedas. Bodhinatha led three discussion sessions, one each day, on topics and questions submitted by the HSA members:
1: The Hindu View of the Universe: Creation and Purpose
2: What is Hinduism's view on heaven and hell?
3: What is the connection between science and Hinduism?
4: There has been a decline of Hindus in the recent years. Despite surviving for many years, what does the future of Hinduism look like?
5: What is the Hindu view of drugs, specifically cannabis, and alcohol?
6: What are the qualifications to be a Hindu religious leader?
7: What is Hinduism's view on homosexuality?
8: Marriage, Dating and Premarital Sex
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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.