The final stretch of Bodhinatha's and Senthilnathaswami's recent visit to Texas took place in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, a vast area with several major cities, dozens of suburbs and a large Hindu population spread throughout.
The first stop was the new temple that is currently under construction in the southwest corner of Fort Worth, the only temple in the DFW Metroplex east of Irving. This location will be crucial, offering a major place of worship that isn't an hour's drive for those who live in this area. The temple's murtis are about to be shipped from Chennai, and the mahakumbhabhishekam date has been set for early June. Bodhinatha will be back then to preside at the event.
An outing to the Dallas World Aquarium with the Param family was great fun, complete with crocodiles, toucans, sloths, exotic amphibians, sharks and a giant manatee, among other attractions.
In Irving, Bodhinatha was the honored guest at the home of Srinivas Bhamidhipaty, a key leader of the Sivam Group, which meets regularly to chant Sri Rudram and perform elaborate Linga puja. The family visited Kauai Aadheenam last year and extended the invitation, and the date happened to be their wedding anniversary. Blessings were flowing strong in Irving!
The last event was a lecture at the Sri Ganesha Temple in Plano. This is also a new temple, currently operating out of a modified house, with a double-wide trailer for classrooms. They broke ground for the building of the new temple structure recently, but currently struggle, as many projects are these days, with raising enough funds. In an area that already has a couple dozen temples, the challenge is understandable. Bodhinatha continued blessings are a boon for their success.
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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.