A Visit from Dinanatha

Dinanatha is currently visiting the island, on pilgrimage from Russia for this year's Mahasamadhi celebration. This time he brought us samples a monumental work: a full color edition of Dancing With Siva translated into Russian. The book is beautifully printed, and we're happy to say that Dinanatha is planning to continue his work to create future translations of our other publications.

Harvesting Burdock

The Siddhidata Kulam grows and is constantly harvesting many wonderful things from the vegetable garden. They've recently harvested this Burdock plant, part of our ongoing initiative of trying out new vegetables to add variety to our diet. The roots of these plants can be harvested and eaten and are common in east-asian cuisine. Its seeds and roots are also said to have medicinal properties, primarily being good for the blood.

An Unexpected Jayanti Gift

In the afternoon, following the Jayanti padapuja, the monks set up a surprise gift for Bodhinatha: a 45-minute helicopter ride. Without letting Bodhinatha know what was happening, Sadasivanathaswami led him to the Umbrella Ganesha were everyone held a surprise parade, leading him all the way down San Marga to the cow pasture by the rudraksha forest. There, a helicpter dropped from the sky to fly him away. With room for five others, Sivanathaswami, Brahmanathaswami, Mayuranatha, Dayanatha and Sivarathna all boarded the flight with Bodhinatha.

Happy Guru Jayanti!

Lord Siva said: How can My subtle perfection, which is one, omnipresent, attributeless, indifferent, undecaying, unattached like space, unbeginning and unending, be an object of worship for the dualistic mind? Hence it is that I, as the Supreme Guru, have entered into the bodies of human satgurus. Kularnava Tantra

On the 15th we celebrated Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami's 72nd Jatanti with an elaborate gurupuja. The monks and devotees packed into the guru peedam for the event. Bodhinatha entered, sat down and went deep within for the entirety of the puja. The moment he was still, the room filled with a powerful energy. In traditional style, milk, curd, vibhuti, honey and other substances were poured over the guru's feet by our two Natyam. Devotees brought offerings of gifts, cakes and more which were placed at Bodhinatha's feet.

From Living With Siva:
Hindu temples sustain Hinduism around the world. Scriptures keep us always reminded of the path we are on and the path we are supposed to be on, but only from the satguru can you get the spirit, the sakti, the sustaining spirit, to make it all come to life in you, to make the temple meaningful and to complement the scriptures with your own sight, your own third-eye sight. Otherwise, it's just words. Nathas are not on the path of words. The Rishi wandered down from the Himalayas to Bangalore. What did he say? Nobody knows. Whom did he talk to? Nobody knows. Did he influence crowds of people? Perhaps, but he only had to influence one individual, Kadaitswami, to speak out to the world. Kadaitswami caught the spirit of the Rishi, who had caught the spirit of the previous rishi, the previous rishi and all the ones that preceded him. It is that spirit of sampradaya that makes the traditional teachings meaningful, that gives you the power to discriminate between what is real within those teachings and what is superfluous or just plain nonsense, that gives you the power to blend Siddhanta with Vedanta, Vedas with Agamas. ¶The irreversible spirit of the guru carries through all of the sishyas. It is basically the only gift a guru can give--that sustaining spirit. He doesn't have to give knowledge, because that has already been written down. He doesn't have to build temples, because there are more than enough temples for everyone. The rare and precious gift that he can convey is the inner spirit of his religious heritage. That is his unique gift to the world. Nathas do not follow the way of words. Kadaitswami spoke to a lot of people. Who knows what he said? They didn't have tape recorders in those days, and doubtless he never wrote anything down, but the spirit carried through him to Chellappaguru, who didn't say an awful lot. He wasn't following the way of words either. He spoke only divine essences of the philosophy. He didn't write 3,000 verses like Rishi Tirumular did. Nor did he give lectures to crowds like Kadaitswami did. His spirit was passed on to Satguru Siva Yogaswami, who passed his spirit on to a lot of devotees. He passed his spirit on to lots of devotees, including me. If I had not journeyed to the northern part of Sri Lanka and gone to Siva temples, worshiped there and received initiation from Yogaswami, would I have returned to America and built a Siva temple or helped found over fifty other Hindu temples scattered around the world? No. Would we have a monastic community? No. Would we have an international Saiva Siddhanta Church? No. Would we have a Himalayan Academy? No. Would we have a Hindu Heritage Endowment? No. Would we have a HINDUISM TODAY magazine? No. Would we have family missions all over the world? No. Would we be sitting here right now? No. Only because of the existence of one satguru in this venerable line of gurus, I caught the spirit; and through this spirit the words manifest, the activities manifest, the devotees maintain that straight path, the disciplines bear fruit, the inner sight comes, and after it comes, it stays. Without satgurus, we would only have temples and scriptures. Without satgurus, we wouldn't have the spirit, and people would stop going to temples and stop reading the scriptures.

Jai Guru Parampara!
Jai Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami!
Aum Namah Sivaya!

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