For the past two years, Kulapati Vel Alahan has been the Hindu representative on the Interfaith Roundtable of Kauai of which Bodhinatha was a founding participant years ago. Gurudeva and Bodhinatha has always been supportive of Kauai's interfaith groups, which have come and gone through the years. The latest incarnation, the Interfaith Roundtable of Kauai, is a small group but has keep up the flag of tolerance and and communication for nearly a decade now. For the past two years Kulapati Vel Alahan was the Hindu representative.
It is a simple but important initiative to keep members of the various faith groups on our small island talking together and to keep sending the message of multi-religious harmony and co-existence out to the larger community.
In 1775 the first continental Congress called for a National Day of Prayer and this was signing into law in 1952 under President Harry S. Truman. Click here to read more about this event. This year, one of the activities initiated by the Interfaith Round Table of Kauai was hold a National Day of Prayer event at the County offices. Members of different faiths were invited. The Mayor himself, Bernard P. Carvalho. read the proclamation defining our Nation's Day of Prayer, sang two songs expressing his prayerful solicitations for peace and harmony.
Posters designed by Annaleah Atkinson and printed by the monks, decorated the pavillion with the Golden Rule expressed in different ways by different faiths. The Hindu poster says: "This is the sum of duty: do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you." -- Mahabharata
The Interfaith Roundtable had conducted an essay contest and awarded the winner $100. "What does the Day of Prayer mean to you". We read many essays from school children and all selected Kezya Rego as the winner. She read her essay. Joe McEvoy presented the award. Monroe Richman representing the Jewish Faith was the presenter.
Vel chanted explained the chant "Loka Samasta, Sukhino Bhavantu" "May all beings in all world be happy." And guided the whole group to chant along with him. Vel also introduced the representatives of the various faiths:
Rev Noriaki Fujimori, Waimea Hongwanji, Buddhist
Sistor Carol, St Raphael's Catholic Church
Monroe Richman, Jewish Community
Rev Jim Jennings, St Michaels and All Angels Episcopal Church and Kauai Hospice
Rev Jeannie Thompson, United Church of Christ, Kapaa
Rev Catherine Stovall, Sanctuary of the Children of the Rainbow
Gretel Shanley, Quakers
Patrick Parks and others Bahai and Eckancar
The greatest benefit of coming on Kauai's Hindu Monastery public tour is after the tour the opportunity to meet and have the personal darshan of Bodhinatha. As all Hindus know catching the Guru is like trying to catch the wind. Also anyone who follows Bodhinatha's personal travel schedule knows, He is many times 37,000 feet above the earth, literally! So for many reasons this opportunity is quite rare and many tour guests take full advantage of it.
Gurudeva started the pattern years ago. Gurudeva would sit under the Mango Mandapam and sign books for what was in those days a handful of guests. We couldn't fit under the Banyan Mandapam today! Bodhinatha has continued in perfect continuity this sadhana pattern and takes time from his countless duties to sit patiently, meeting with guests - signing their books, blessing sacred items, and answering a question or two.
Another benefit is that it gives our guests a chance to thank Bodhinatha personally for extending this invitation to the public on this special day to walk through the inner gates of the monastery and enter the private sanctuary of the monks.
Archives are now available through 2001. Light colored days have no posts. 1998-2001 coming later.