Bodhinatha in Texas

Bodhinatha sends this report on events yesterday as he and Senthilnathaswami are wrapping up on on their way home.

“Saturday we flew from Midland back to Houston . In the afternoon we had darshan sessions for three families, including Gaurav and Ripla Malhotra who flew down from Chicago.

Evening was the Krishna Janmashtami event in one of the large rooms of the downtown convention center. It started with 6 Pm parade from the entrance up on the stage to a small altar followed by Agamic Vishnu puja conducted by a priest from Meenakshi Temple. Then started the children’s and youth events. During the presentation by the older youth, I was interviewed privatlye by a local newspaper. Back at the gathering a famous Hindi singer performed. After his presentation I gave a short talk and we helped give out some awards. Then there was a Jai Jagadisha Hare style arati.

Cultural activities continued on into the night. We had a booth there with our literature. The young men volunteers manning the booth said there was a lot of interest. We met many devotees throughout the event who had been to Kauai.

Attendance estimates are 6,000 minimum.”

Houston Arati

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8EcW-Gp090&fmt=18

Houston Bhajans

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6HC4YDQ3Zs

New Natchintanai Book

After our mention yesterday, we received a lot of queries about the new Natchintanai book. We are not taking any pre-orders. You will just need to stay tuned for the announcement when we have it stocked at our Minimela shop site. If we sell out immediately (which appears likely) don’t worry, we will reprint right away.

From the back cover:

“The profound tradition of Saivism migrated to Sri Lanka centuries ago. It was transmitted in recent times through a lineage of siddhars of the highest order. The late 19th and early 20th century master, Siva Yogaswami of Colombuthurai, left a rich heritage of songs known as Natchintanai (“Good Thoughts”) that contain the essence of Siva worship and Saiva philosophy. This selection of 73 of those songs is meant to serve as an introduction and learning tool for those who would integrate this veritable fountain of divine wisdom into the hearts and lives.”

Welcome Gunamaya to Our Hindu Family!

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August 26th was an auspicious and historic day. Rosa Jaramillo Osuna had her namakarana Samskara, formally converting to Hinduism and receiving her new name: Gunamaya Sivananda.

This is the culmination of many years of study of Gurudeva’s teachings for Gunamaya, who is a resident of Playas De Tijuana, Mexico. She and her brother have been regularly attending this temple in San Diego. Her first attempt to get one priest to perform the ceremony was rebuffed “No, we only do that for babies.” But Lord Ganesha had His own plans. When she went back to the temple there was a different priest, Pundit Rajagopalan. He was very impressed with the Namakarana Certificate and was inspired that such a ceremony could be performed to formally endow converts to Hinduism with their new name.

Here he is in the middle of the ceremony. Gunamaya writes:

Aum Shivaya,

The Namakarana Samskara ceremony was wonderful. The priest was very kind and took the time to explain the different parts of the ceremony. I feel very blessed by the fact that I was able to talk with a very nice Catholic priest when severing from the Catholic faith and then to be formally received in Hinduism by an Hindu priest who was also very nice and made me feel very welcomed.”

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Pundit Rajagopalan reads from the certificate as Gunamaya writes her name in the tray of rice.

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She sings the certificate.

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Pundit also signs the certificate as the officiating clergyman, documenting the event.

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Gunamaya writes:

“My brother; Shakti Mahadevan; Ravi and Sheela Rahavendran and their kids were with me in this special moment and that was another blessing.”

I’m not that good with words so I really can’t describe how well I felt sitting in front of Lord Ganesha and listening to the priest words. But I can say it was a very special day that I will remember forever.

I have attached the signed certificate and some pictures.

Aum shanti
Gunamaya

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the certificate begins:

Namakarana Samskara

Hindu Name-Giving Sacrament
I, Gunamaya Sivananda, formerly known as Rosa Jaramillo Osuna, having declared of my own volition acceptance of the principles of the Sanatana Dharma, including a firm belief in all-pervasive Divinity and the Vedic revelations of karma, dharma and purvarjanma, and having severed all previous non-Hindu religious affiliations, attachments and commitments, hereby humbly petition entrance into the Saivite sect of the Hindu religion through the traditional namakarana samskara. I plead for recognition and acceptance of this irrevocable conversion to Saivite Hinduism by the community of devotees witnessing this sacred rite.”

The new Hindu pledges to live by the five-pancha nitya karmas and read aloud the nine beliefs of Hinduism.

For more, read Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami’s book “How To Become (a better) Hindu”

Innersearch is on the horizon

The monks are working on the application for next year's Innersearch Kauai, a ten-day inner and outer adventure from June 12 to 21, 2010. Reminded us of the 2001 European Innersearch aboard the garguantuan MS Amsterdam. Here Gurudeva asks the captain to step aside for a moment while he takes the helm of the 69,000-ton vessel.

During dinner that night some pirates boarded and tried to steal Gurudeva's peach ice cream, but the crew thwarted the theft. Clearly, Gurudeva was not to be intimidated. Those interested in next year's Innersearch Travel-Study Program can stayed tuned to TAKA, where in the weeks ahead a formal announcement will be made.

The parents and brother of Sadhaka Nandinatha continue their discoveries of Kauai. Here they are visiting the bird park in Kilauea.

And the famed lighthouse.

Rishi Thondunathan asked for a poster of the monks to take back to Kopay, Sri Lanka next month, and the Ganapati Kulam designed this one, which in its real size is three by four feet.

Our gifted artisans from India take a day off and visit the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

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

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