Austin Visits

Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami and Sannyasin Senthilnathaswami visited the Austin Hindu Temple last Sunday, where Bodhinatha gave a talk to a small group in the complex's original Ganesha temple.

Monday presented the opportunity to drop in on the Chinmaya Mission's new facility under construction in Austin. Taking the moniker Chinmaya Sundaram, there will be a significant Siva temple on the premises, along with classrooms for grades 1-12 suitable for a total of 350 students. Brahmachari Girish Chaitanya, who was overjoyed at Bodhinatha's visit, explained that they will probably outgrow the facilities, which will be finished within the month, almost right away. Fortunately more land has already been set aside for expansion.

The next stop was the home of Ravi, Devi and Bhuma Ravindraj in Round Rock, where a handful of local well-wishers--along with Chandran and Sahana Param and their children who are following Bodhinatha throughout Texas--gathered for informal satsang and brunch.

Tuesday evening saw a dinner at the home of Chinna and Sivagami Natesan in Austin, and Wednesday Bodhinatha and Swami drove to Houston to prepare to fly to Trinidad & Tobago for the weekend. Stay tuned for a story on that.

Hindu Students Association Gateway Camp in Texas

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

A Chance Meeting While Traveling

On the way to the Hindu Students Association retreat in Texas Satguru Bodhinatha had a chance meeting with Rudy Tanzi in the San Francisco Airport. Rudy's been on two Innersearch programs with Bodhinatha. A neuroscientist and professor at Harvard Medical School, Rudy focuses primarily on the research of Alzheimer's disease.

Let the Journey Begin!

Today Satguru Bodhinatha and Senthilnathaswami headed for Lihue airport to begin their three weeks of travel. They will be in Texas through the 12th, where they will meet with the Hindu Students Association, make a presentation at a local temple and attend satsang with devotees. They will then fly to Trinidad for a few days. Bodhinatha has prepared a detailed workshop for university youth at the National Council of Indian Culture there. The two will then flying back to Texas, visit will the devotees and attend the 2014 Annual interfaith event. They will return to Kauai around the 25th of February. We wish them well in their travels. Aum Namah Sivaya.

Click here to see their full schedule.

Yogaswami’s World Tour Nearing Completion

On May 29, 1997, there was a grand celebration held at the Kauai Adheenam of Hawaii, USA to commemorate the 125th Birth Anniversary of Sri Lanka's Sage Yogaswami. Disciple of Yogaswami,  Gurudeva Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (founder of Kauai Adheenam), performed the culminating puja of the event to a small bronze statue of Yogaswami. It was a powerful puja to be witnessed.  After the ceremony, Gurudeva inaugurated and blessed a world tour for the Yogaswami Murthi (icon). Gurudeva sent the great sage on a mission tracing the diaspora of Sri Lankan Tamils throughout the world. 

Gurudeva instructed that no plans or schedules should be devised for the spiritual odyssey; everything should unfold according to the "in the moment" inspiration and devotion of devotees along the way, until Yogaswami finally returned to rest in Jaffna, Sri Lanka. 

So far, the tour has traversed half the globe. Moving from Hawaii, through Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver in Canada; then on to Maryland, New York and Los Angeles in the USA before crossing the Atlantic for Europe. Wonderful pujas and cultural events have greeted the sage at every port of call. For the past twelve years, Yogaswami was in Europe.

In December of 2013, Yogaswami left Europe for Sri Lanka. Perhaps, it's his wish to be in Jaffna for his 50th Maha Samadhi Guru Puja on April 10th of this year. We are eagerly waiting for his arrival here in Jaffna. Pilgrimage was an important component of Yogaswami's life. After his initiation from his Guru Chellappawami in Nallur, Yogaswami went on a Patha Yathrai (foot Pilgrimage) to all  the local holy places in Sri Lanka. On his Golden Jubilee Year, Yogaswami may continue his Yatra all through Sri Lanka. 

As Gurudeva had instructed, no plans or schedules have made for his travel within Sri Lanka. One thing we are sure: it is a great blessing to have Yogaswami ending his world tour in Sri Lanka on his Golden Jubilee Year.

Aum Shanthi,

Rishi Thondunathan

Archives are now available through 2001. Light colored days have no posts. 1998-2001 coming later.

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