Bodhinatha on Mission in Mauritius
Mauritius activities continue with a major event at the Swami Vivekananda International Conference Centre where the Himalayan Academy has organised a spiritual seminar. Hundreds of participants have signed up to hear the teachings of Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami.
The huge metal structure of the Conference Centre is captivating at first sight. This modern and sophisticated conference center was used by the Secretary General of the United Nations for a regional meeting recently and last year the famous Bollywood Filmfare awards were held there…
Lord Ganesha welcomes all visitors inside.
On the eve Himalayan Academy students have been there to hang traditional tombais and set up the Conference amphitheater for Bodhinatha’s seminar.
The Himalayan Academy major task in Mauritius is to focus on teachings through organising classes, seminars and reaching the general Hindu public though selling and distributing our HA publications.
It is 9.30 AM… participants are filling up the amphitheater.
The seminar starts at 10.00 AM, Satguru Bodhinatha addresses with a wonderful keynote presentation.
Everyone is attentive…
A view of the inside…
Sadhaka Haranandinatha on the right….
Participants in the front rows…
At a certain point the main MBC TV reporters are there for recording… The event will be one of the items on evening TV news.
The teachings of Bodhinatha kept everyone attentive….
Satguru talked about the Hindu denominations and their central beliefs and practices.
Another topic was on the Nine Keys to parenting.
The whole amphitheater is quiet and focussed on what Satguru Bodhinatha is saying.
A view of the stage… A Ganesha shrine is on the left.
All participants have been given a Himalayan Academy folder containing writing materials and some of our Church literature.
Many participants are having their first contact with Bodhinatha’s teachings through this seminar.
Time for a coffee break…
Participants queue up…
They have their break in the large lobby area….and estimated 350 people came to the event.
More photos of the seminar follow in next TAKA till then….
What Happened Today at the Monastery?
Sadhu Paksha ended with Tamil New Year on the 13th and today begins the Nartana Ritau. We bring you the usual excerpts from the Saiva Dharma Shastras to remind us of the focus of our work and worship during this season.
Beginning with Hindu New Year in mid-April, three seasons of the year divide our activities into three great needs of humankind–the learning of scripture in the first season, Nartana Ritau; the living of culture in the second season, Jivana Ritau; and the meditating on Siva in the third season, Moksha Ritau. Thus we are constantly reminded that our life is Siva’s life and our path to Him is through study, sadhana and realization. In ritau one, we teach the philosophy; in ritau two, we teach the culture; and in ritau three, we teach meditation.
Kulapati Deva Seyon with his mother here to observe.
114 The First Season: Nartana Ritau
Nartana Ritau, the season of Dancing with Siva, begins on Hindu New Year. This is the period of creation, the warm season, from mid-April through mid-August. The teaching is Dancing with Siva: Hinduism’s Contemporary Catechism, Sivena Saha Nartanam. This foundational text is featured in all mission satsangas. The key word of this season is planning. The colors are orange, yellow-gold and all shades of green–orange for renunciation, yellow-gold for action, and green for regeneration.
“High above, the main Hindu flag flies the color orange, heralding the Nartana Ritau throughout this season, symbolizing sadhana and self-control. The other colors adorn smaller flags. This is the season of giving special attention to those in the grihastha ashrama. It is a time of awakening, renewal, review. The emphasis is on seeing ahead, planning for future years. It is a time of planning retreats and other activities for youths and adults for the entire year. During this time of looking forward, the Church’s six-year plan is updated by the Guru Mahasannidhanam and stewards and another year added. The Saiva Dharma Shastras are studied; and any needed additions in supplementary manuals, representing new growth, are made.
The practical focus is completion of unfinished projects. Secular holidays to observe among the families include Mother’s Day in May, Father’s Day in June and Grandparent’s Day in August. In the monastery the monks begin their annual 31-day ayurvedic herbal cleansing. Intensive cleaning of monastery buildings and grounds takes place. The special dietary adjustments for the season come into effect and new menus are established. New clothing is issued and old garments mended. This season of harvest and new growth is also the time to review and reestablish picking and planting routines for the gardens. It is a time for ordering seeds and plants for the year, of planting trees, fragrant vines and the annual crop. Review is made for scheduling the care of all nine realms of the Aadheenam’s 51 acres. Kadavul temple and the Guru Temple are cleaned and renewed during this season, and the adjacent grounds receive special, abundant attention. Karma yogis are invited to help in this and other areas with planting and weeding, digging, fertilizing, fence repair and more.
The daily sadhana is the Sivachaitanya Panchatantra: experiencing nada, jyoti, prana, shakti and darshana. In Sanskrit, it is a time of learning new shlokas and mantras. In the family community, prashnottara satsanga is held for one and all to attend. Families plan for their annual pilgrimage. Shrine rooms are renewed and redecorated for the year, and the clothing of all is renewed in the Hindu style of the current fashion. It is a time of doing things for others, religious outreach. In the missions, Nartana Ritau is the time of bringing in new students and Church members. It is a time of hatha yoga and philosophical teaching.
The main festival of Nartana Ritau, and of the entire year, is Guru Purnima. The mathavasis hold special conclave on Vaikasi Vishakham, the full moon day of May. The three Aadheenam realms of the season are: 1) Rishi Valley–with its secluded Guru Hut and parampara shrines on the banks of Rishi Valley’s Saravanabhava Lake; 2) Wailua Farm, with its pastures, orchards and gardens; and 3) Kadavul Koyil, with its Guru Temple, entry gardens, Banyan Pavilion, Tiruneri path, sacred tank and its Puakenikeni and Mango Mandapams.
Nartana Satsanga is held from mid-April through mid-August. Whenever a satsanga gathers, a chakravala is created. Nartana Ritau is the time of year when those in the grihastha ashrama are honored, and we can optionally bring garlands to express our love and support of kulapatis and kulamatas in this ashrama of life. All pay close attention to their testimony on raising children, dealing with family problems, keeping harmony in the home and fulfilling the duties of grihastha dharma. Informal meetings and discussion groups are encouraged to find ways to strengthen the many families in the community and to plan the schooling of children in the 64 kalas and the first seven books of The Master Course for the coming year.
Paramcharya Palaniswami gives gifts to the silpis on the New Year day.