What Happened Today at the Monastery?
Bodhinatha departed for Singapore this afternoon with Sannyasin Yoginathaswami. He will be 19 hours in transit on a direct flight. He will be attending a conference held at the Hindu Center and then going to a big event at a temple in Johor, Malaysia, which is just across the channel between the two countries.
Here are some details on the conference:
Hinduism in a Changing World Challenges & Opportunities
Sat 23–Sun 24 August 2008
Hinduism is the oldest living religion today. Codified more than 2500 years ago, the sacred
Vedas and the Agamas, the seminal scriptures of Hinduism, provide a remarkable window into
life 2500 to 4000 years ago. Yet Hinduism remains a valid template for life even today. What
are the enduring features of the Hindu faith that have ensured its resilience 4000 years on?
Sanatana Dharma, or the Eternal Path, as it was originally called, did not originate from any
single founder or school, and its timeless and ageless tenets, philosophy and values remain
relevant and applicable to the realities of everyday life. How does Hinduism reconcile its
messages with the challenges of change facing it everyday?
To address these and other questions facing Hinduism today, the Hindu Centre, an independent
organization that is committed to the spiritual evolution of Hindus in Singapore, will bring
together several eminent scholars and teachers from abroad for a two-day Conference. The
Conference, entitled Hinduism in a Changing World: Challenges and Opportunities, will be held
on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 August 2008 at the PGP Kalyana Mandapam, 397 Serangoon
Road, Singapore 218123. The Guest of Honour will be Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam,
Minister for Finance. There will be seven plenary sessions and an open panel discussion
The conference is held in conjunction with the Hindu Centre’s 30th Anniversary Celebrations.
This conference should not be missed by anyone seeking a deeper understanding and
appreciation of Hinduism and how the religion addresses and deals with issues facing the modern
Hindu today. The conference will also be a wonderful forum for networking.
Plenary Session Themes
Session 1: Hinduism in a Globalized Society
Speaker: Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, Kauai, Hawaii Aadheenam
In a discourse on Hinduism and Modern Life, Satguru Bodhinatha asks how humanity’s most
enduring faith maintains its relevance amidst the challenges of 21st-century life. Drawing on his
illumined insights into life, consciousness, human nature and our highest purposes, Satguru
Bodhinatha will speak on issues confronting us today, like the increasing disbelief among youth,
skepticism over Hindu deity worship, lack of Hindu pride, difficulties of inter-religious
marriages, as well as how we can benefit from opportunities like the increasing acceptance of
Hinduism among Westerners.
Session 2: Hinduism and the Pursuit of Prosperity Speaker: Dr C L Ramakrishnan, Management Speaker, Chennai
Session 3: Hinduism and Consciousness Studies Speaker: Dr Sangeetha Menon, Fellow, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Indian
Session 4: Emotional and Spiritual Growth in Hindu Tradition Speaker: Sri Dhira Chaitanya, (Dr Sundar Ramaswamy), New York
Session 5: Mysticism in Hinduism and Modern Science Speaker: Sri Sraddhalu Ranade, Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry
Session 6: Is Devotion blind? Speaker: Sushri Gopeshwari Devi, Universal Society of Bhakti Meditation, Melbourne
Session 7: Challenges facing Hinduism in a Changing World Speaker: Swami Mitrananda, Chinmaya Mission, Chennai
Session 8: Panel Discussion Session
The final session will be an open panel discussion session where participants will be given the
opportunity to raise questions. All the speakers will be seated together. Questions may be
directed to any speaker.
Flag-Raising for Jivana Ritau
Brahmacharini Shama whose camera was running that day writes:
“On August 15th, following a most powerful homa and puja in the Kadavul Temple, with the sun’s rays were setting in the Western sky and in the quiescent atmosphere of the Monastery gardens, a small group of Swamis, monks and devotees moved quietly down a path toward the flag pole.
With the assistance of Sri Sri Sri Jayendra Puri Mahaswamiji (who was visiting from the Kailasa Ashram in Bangalore), Paramacharya Palaniswami brought down and folded the flag from the Nartana Ritau . . . .
. . . . and began to unfurl and raise the flag for the Jivana Ritau which heralds the coming of the Sat Yuga.
There is a feeling of joy to witness the flag being raised and flying high. It reminds us of the greatest Yuga to come, the Sat Yuga, when a great peace will prevail and souls will dwell in the Consciousness of God, seeing God all.
Today’s Pilgrims and Visitors
Another beautiful day brought Sivakamy Vanniasegaram (far left) from Essex, UK. A close friend told her that “if she really wanted to visit a truly powerful and beautiful Hindu Temple, she should visit Kauai.” She is “profoundly happy” that she did. Sivakamy is originally from Sri Lanka where her family were close devotees of St. Yogaswami. Her uncle used to drive St. Yogaswami around Jaffna Town especially in the his later years.
Above the Wailua River and with Mt. Waialeale in the background, Sivakamy poses with two of our other guests, A.J. Jeedigunta (originally from Andhra Pradesh and now Oahu) and Rajat Jetley also from Oahu.
Monday was tour day…
Some late images coming in from our tour day on the 18th…