Today the monastery began its new phase with an early morning homa. This phase is a short one, of only four days, and it's followed by Sadhu Paksha. Sadhu Paksha is a time when the monks take a several week retreat, without the normal morning temple routine and instead practice their personal sadhanas. The two weeks are followed by the Ratau change. Today there were some new guests at the homa, all on pilgrimage to the aadheenam.
Following the homa, Satguru Bodhinatha read from Living with Siva lesson 344:
"I believe that this oldest religion of the farthest past is also the religion of the future, the religion best suited to the technological age. I think we should present Hinduism as it is today, as a vibrant religion of the present. Then it will survive into glorious futures. We need inspired people to serve Saivism with a strong will and a positive mind. In this effort, all differences must be set aside so we can work together on powerful programs that will bring progress; and that progress will inspire others, make them enthusiastic, show them that Saivism can be brought into the technological age for the good of the next generation, the next and the next.
What happens when a religion is lost in yesterday and not brought forward to guide its followers today and on into the future? All kinds of problems arise. The youth begin to think religion is obsolete, abandon it and become immersed in worldliness, often in activities that are adharmic. They leave the Saivite path, the Saiva Neri. Families break up, friends argue, and people fight within themselves and with one another. Poor citizens are raised in the absence of ethics. Unrest and discontentment reign, and the entire nation suffers. So many problems arise when religion is lost, when people don't know the right things to do. They become unhappy, restless, unstable. They have nothing to lean on, no place to turn in difficult times. This leads to abuse, to divorce, to suicide, to disease, to murder and dozens of sad experiences and hellish states of mind."
Then, in a very positive and inspiring way, Bodhinatha elaborated on the power of the temple and the ways in which Saivism is relevant to our current age of technology. We'll have this inspired talk online soon, available on our "Guru's Talks" page.
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.