Tapas, the fire of striving

When should we do those hard spiritual disciplines that we admire (and secretly fear), the hardships endured by yogis, saints and swamis of memory and legend? Are we ready for the fire of tapas, the tenth niyama? How to get the most of these extraordinary efforts? Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami explains, with his unsurpassed clarity, how and when to use tapas for your spiritual benefit.

Bodhinatha in Midland Texas, Day 2

On Sunday in Midland, Texas, Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami gave a talk accompanied by a Keynote presentation at the Shri Radha Krishna Temple of the Hindu Association of West Texas. Around 80-90 members of this tight-knit community attended the event, emceed by Kulapati Easan Katir, visiting from Davis, California. Afterward, the members performed arati at the beautiful white marble shrines for Radha and Krishna, Ram Pariwar, Venkateswara, Ayyappan, Siva Pariwar and others.

Later in the afternoon we took the two-hour drive north to Lubbock, where Texas Tech University is located. The small Hindu community in this town has a small building that they call the Lubbock Satsang Mandal, donated by a local hotel owner. Bodhinatha gave his presentation again, but tailored for this particular satsang, which contained a contingent from the local interfaith group that was inspired to hear Bodhinatha speak. Here again about 80 people attended, which is excellent as a turn-out for a lecture by a swami at a Hindu temple in the US. The question and answer session here was intense and informative, and the "Ten Questions People Ask About Hinduism" pamphlet was a big hit. It never fails to give Hindus much-needed answers to questions they are often asked (or accused), and non-Hindus the background they find useful to understand their Hindu friends. In places such as West Texas, which has a strong evangelical Christian majority, this knowledge is crucial.

Water, Water, Everywhere!

Tropical rains have been flooding the island all night, complete with rare lightening and thunder. The river is running high, but more interestingly the several waterfalls we built recently are now flush with water for the first time! It's exciting to see this. Off we went in the rains this morning, Nikon in hand, to capture the moment and create a slideshow for all our CyberCadets.

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