Top to bottom: Bodhinatha and Shanmuganathaswami worship alongside Jayendrapuriswami at Kailash Ashrama in Bengaluru; Sadasivanathaswami and Senthilnathaswami with 20,000 BAPS devotees in New Jersey; part of the Nandi Mandapam is lifted into a container bound for Kauai; pouring molten metal at the Colorado foundry
Bodhinatha has been wanting to embrace online satsangs for quite some time as a way to be in touch with his far-flung community of devotees more frequently. He conducted his first webinar on September 27, using the Vidyo HD video conferencing platform. The subject was the microcosm, the inner part of man. This experiment was a grand success, with participants in Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and India. Bodhinatha spent many early morning hours developing future talks and webinars on Patanjali's Yoga Sutras.
Iraivan Temple Progress
The carving work on the perimeter wall of the temple continues in Bengaluru. Bodhinatha and Shanmuganathaswami visited the carving site in August to review the progress. Here on Kauai, work on the massive landscaping around the temple continued with a bit more site preparation, removing an earthen berm. The house where the stone carvers live while they are on Kauai is getting an upgrade. Beginning in mid September, Aditya Vinadhara and Bob Stokes, an associate from Salt Lake City, installed new drywall, painted the walls and ceilings and purchased new light fixtures, kitchen appliances and counters. In another month, an entirely new kitchen will be ready for the silpis when they return from India. The monastery experienced a rare heart-stopping event when the ship carrying two containers of stone from India to Kauai ran aground on a reef near the harbor entrance in Saipan, an island near Guam, midway through its voyage, on September 9th. The cost of bringing another ship from Hong Kong to carry the freight to Hawaii was borne by everyone who had a shipment on board. Our share, unfortunately, set back the project $47,000. But the good news is that this exceptionally precious cargo has reached Hawaii safely.
Arumuganathaswami and Sadhaka Jayanatha traveled to Boulder, Colorado, to participate in the Uberoi Foundation conference at Naropa University. The annual academic gathering is a time for experts from the four dharmic faiths—Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism—to come together and share ideas. The Foundation and its principals have been consistently supportive of our work in the field of Hindu education. In particular they provided a grant which made possible the making of the 23-minute video, "The History of Hindu India" and its sequel, which is currently in the scripting stage. The Uberoi experts gave presentations on the progress of various foundation-funded projects.
Sadasivanathaswami and Senthilnathaswami traveled twice from Hawaii to the mainland USA during August and September. The first journey was to participate in the grand opening of America's largest Hindu religious center, the 167-acre BAPS Swaminarayan campus in Robbinsville, New Jersey. They attended the mahayagna, participated in the prana pratishtha abhishekam of the Deities in the new temple and had darshan of Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the leader of this globally effective organization. While there, our swamis discussed trends in Hinduism, projects in which we can collaborate and interviewed some of the most senior BAPS swamis for an article in Hinduism Today. The swamis also traveled to Orlando, Florida, for the ninth annual Hindu Mandir Executives' Conference, a gathering of the managers, owners and priests of temples in North America and the Caribbean.
Publications and Other Activities
Our website is getting some attention. New Educational Insight pamphlets, valuable resources for parents and teachers, can now be downloaded. Sample titles are "Who Is a Hindu?," "Yoga," "Approaching God," "Aging Gracefully" and "Modern Matchmaking." See them by clicking here. Two vintage talks, true gems from Gurudeva, circa 1962, can now be heard: "Protect Your Mind by Turning Within" and "The Art of Giving; Doing Nothing; True Perception and Talking Things Over.".