On the night of December 4th at “the largest Hindu Temple in the Southern Hemisphere” eight swamis from India, Europe and a little-known tropical island spoke on the Parliament of the World’s Religions
The swamis told stories, chanted slokas and blessed some 400 devotees who had come for the event. Palaniswami took these photos from the podium before he spoke. Hence the blurriness.
Bodhinatha abandoned his written notes when the organizers asked the speakers to adjust the ten minutes they were originally alloted to four or five. His spontaneous talk proved full of humor coupled with relevant tales from his own experiences, all illustrating the themes of the parliament, including environmental stewardship.
Palaniswami shared how the 1893 Parliament was indirectly responsible for our presence, all because Swami Vivekananda stopped in Sri Lanka in 1897 on his way back from the USA. A 19-year-old Yogaswami attended three talks Vivekananda gave in Jaffna and was inspired by the Indian monk and his unflinching message.
Perhaps this pushed the teenage seeker toward the path of renunciation and realization. If so, then Gurudeva’s initiation derived from that decision and that made Bodhinatha’s initiation possible, and that led to our presence at the Siva Vishnu Temple on this night. Whew, life is certainly an amazing web!
Palaniswami challenged the Melbourne Hindu community to get together and develop a Hindu advocacy group, a Public Relations and think tank facility, seva initiatives and such. In all, it proved a night of great messages and sweet satsang and darshan.
What is Sivatri and the Nature of Nirvikalpa Samadhi
Mahasivaratri: A time of striving to realize Parasiva. In our teachings yoga is the restraint of mental activity (chitta vritti). Nivritti marga-the path of renunciation. Pravritti marga-the path of action or life in worldly society. Ashrama dharma, a mental resting place within the 4 ashramas in life. The day before the new moon, as in monthly Sivaratri, nivritti energy is strong, an excellent time for austerity and meditation. Six Shum words defined related to meditation-withdrawal: kashum, nikashum, shumnikashum, bishumnikashum, abibishumnikashum, haiiaiibishumnikashum. Drawing energy up in to the transcendental Source of energy. Imkaif: Absence of awareness aware of itself. Nonexperience.
Master Course Trilogy, Dancing with Siva, Sloka 97.
Twelve Shum Meditations-Gurudeva's Introduction to the Advaitin.