From devotees in Toronto:
"On Sunday, October 19, 2014, we observed Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami's Mahasamadhi Gurupuja at the Sankkamam Prayer Hall. It was attended by large gathering of swami's devotees."
Tales from our traveling Swamis. It's a little hard to get full-sized photos from where they are, but these will still give you a good idea of their adventures.
"The long journey brought us today to Rajasthan. We left Delhi and flew to Ahmedabad, then took a 4.5 hour drive through the arid lands of India's Western shore. When we arrived a raucous group of youth greeted us at the gate, twenty or so teens, with ear-piercing shouts and chants they garlanded us and then we followed them to our quarters in the dark. They were all standing in the back of a truck, jumping up and down, happy to have the swamis from Hawaii finally arrive.
"Then into a massive yagasala to be greeted by dozens and dozens of swamis of every sampradaya imaginable. The thatched yagasala was large, perhaps 150 feet on a side, and within it there were 61 beautifully decorated indian cows, all pure breeds, lying and standing with utter calm as hundreds of people worshipped them with arati, flowers and such. We joined in the joyous mood as the swamis all gathered around, asking when did you arrive, are you rested, did you eat? All affectionately wanting to welcome the Swamis from afar.
"Then they took us on a three-round walking pradakshina of the cows, passing each one as we walked, placing a hand on her blanket or hip for blessings. Two among them were what they call Nandis, fully-functioning and massive Brahma bulls, giants by any measure, but also calm and unflustered by all the attention. Still, the wise took a wide circle to avoid them, knowing how powerful they are.
"Then we sat with the sants, as devotees came for blessings of the 43-year-old founder of this amazing place, Swami Dattasharanananda, a tall, fit swami with a red turban and deep, compassionate eyes (which we cannot show as photos of him are never permitted.)
"I sat next to a delightful swami who is on more or less permanent mounam, but so expressive, using a little tablet to write on. We had a great conversation, me talking, swami writing and a disciple behind him shining a light on the little iPad sized writing tablet he used. Great handwriting, too. He told me he reads every issue of Hinduism Today, every word of every edition. He helped me with the Hindi that was flying about us, writing down the words when he sensed I could not understand.
"Off to meet the most respected swami here, Swami Ranganatha, said to know fully all the sacred texts nearly by heart, plus a musician and master kathak performer, the best in the world they tell us. We meet more swamis, then more, several who have dedicated their life to cow protection, one who has bullet wounds from his efforts to remove cows from smugglers."
Our October 2014 news video covers events in August and September 2014, including: Iraivan Temple construction progress, Bodhinatha's webinars, swamis' travels and publications
For those dedicated shishya who couldn't be at Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami's 72nd Jayanti on October 15th, here is a full recording of the guru padapuja in it's entirety.