Sharad and Smita Parikh visited our monastery for the first time from St. Louis, Missouri. They have actually visited Kauai before but didn't know we were here. Sharad heads the board of trustees for Hindu Temple of St. Louis, which Bodhinatha visited years ago. Today they specifically wanted to get Bodhinatha's knowledge and advice on temple project fundraising and how to get older youth more involved in their temple, as they are raising funds to build a cultural/educational wing.
Our Russian brahmachari, Dinanatha, emails us from the largest gathering of humans on the planet. He is traveling with 15 pilgrims from Russia. Despite all of the challenges, he sends photos of their last few days on the banks of the Ganges with tens of millions of Hindus.
After years of study and preparation, Saiva Siddhanta Church vratasishyas Tina Desai and Sahadevi Param received their samaya(mantra) diksha this morning, which means receiving spiritiual initiation from the Satguru to chant Aum Namah Sivaya 108 times daily on rudraksha japa mala. Prior to this, they were chanting Aum Saravanabhava Aum, and before that, mantras to Ganesha. Tina is from Ontario, Canada, and Sahanadevi is from California, USA.
This week's tour day brought a huge crowed of visitors.
Mr. and Mrs. P. Nathan made their first visit from new Jersey. From Sri Lanka originally, Nathan met Satguru Yogaswami as a young boy.
In the second photo is Rama and Jeeva Kolinjivadi on their first visit from Florida, celebrating their 37th wedding anniversary. They really enjoyed the monastery grounds.
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