Mrunal, Padmaja and Pooja Patel visited with Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami in the Guru Pitham this morning. They currently live in Midland in West Texas, and have been studying the Master Course, working toward becoming members of Saiva Siddhanta Church, since 2007. Recently they bought a home on Kauai very close to the monastery. They spent their week on pilgrimage in their new Kauai home for the first time, and today they brought a Ganesha murti for Bodhinatha to bless to establish their shrine in their new home.
For the first time, not staying in a hotel and being able to simply walk to the temple each day, they felt truly relaxed and part of the community.
Originally from the State of Gujarat in India, Mrunal and Padmaja have lived in the US for a couple decades and are currently both practicing physicians in Midland. They have brought Bodhinatha to their town several times in the past few years to speak at the local temple that they are closely involved with. Bodhinatha will again be visiting there the second weekend in April, just a few weeks away.
Mrunal always has a couple of really good questions for Bodhinatha, every time they meet.
One of the events during Bodhinatha's upcoming visit to Midland is an interfaith gathering put together by Padmaja Patel. Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, Monsignor James Bridges of St. Stephens, Rabbi Sidney Zimelman of Temple Beth El, Reverend James E. Liggett, Jr. of St. Nicholas Episcopal Church and Pastor Jay Mayo of Stonegate Baptist Fellowship will speak on topics addressing contemporary issues and answer questions from the audience.
Mrunal thought that it would be a great idea to gift each speaker a copy of "What Is Hinduism?" He brought them so Bodhinatha could sign each one.
The Patel family plans to move permanently to Kauai in a few years when their daughter, Pooja, begins college. Until then, we look forward to their frequent pilgrimages to our beautiful neighborhood!
Aum Namah Sivaya.
Prostrations To Lord Ganesa!
Great news and sincere congratulations to a beautiful dedicated and hardworking family. We are inspired by your perseverance and following your heart to the feet of the Guru. Oh What a feeling!!!!I can only imagine.Aum Shanti.
Treat the guest as God; the guest's heart is more sensitive than the most sensitive flower. If we generously give to others, we will attract more wealth in this and future lives. Siva's followers serve holy men, honor elders, help each others families and grow together in Godliness. Giving to a temple builds punyam; you are helping the temple help humanity. "Charities merit cannot be measured by gifts given, it is measured by measuring the receiver's merit."
We need to perfect Ishvarapujana, personal worship, before we can expect to do really well in meditation. "The idea of Ishvarapujana, worship, is to always be living with God, living in Siva in God's house..." Learn the spirit of the puja, learn the spirit of devotion, get deeply into worship in the home. During puja, we're giving prana and devotional energy to the Deity; we receive blessings in return. God isn't living in your house, it's God's house and you are living in it.
The three stripes of vibhuti across the forehead signify trying to purify ourselves from the influence of anava, karma and maya. There are two ways we're attached to the world, that which gives us pleasure and pain. We're slowly changing our karma over a period of many lifetimes through wise action in the present. With humble action we work on lessening the ego-sense rather than enhancing it.