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Malaysia-Singapore Visit Report Part 4

Bodhinatha continues his report on his visit to Malaysia and Singapore (part 4). Bodhinatha enjoyed satsang in Klang, which experienced an overflow of devotees. Iraivan Day was a grand success, produced in very high quality, and thanks in no small part to the tireless efforts of our wonderful Malaysian youth, the event attracted some 1200 people who were introduced to Iraivan Temple.

Unedited Transcript:

We had a wonderful Satsang in Klang, the first one at Murugesu's house that I can recall. Usually, it is at Guhan Sivalingam's house. We filled up the front room and then we filled up the verandah and then we were out in the street! We had so many people there. Definitely, we don't quite fit into one house anymore for Satsang. There were so many people there that could not hear the talk. I gave the talk twice, so the group that was in the room went outside and the group that was outside came in. I tried the best I could, to say the same thing twice. Unfortunately, I think it was a little better the first time. But anyway I tried to give it with the same enthusiasm.

It had a very nice feeling. Jiva and Kanmani were there from India and they said, "Oh, it had such a nice international feeling to it. It felt like a real International family gathering." We had to go all the way there to see Chellappa and Banu Devi from Arizona, Jiva and Kanmani, of course from India, Vignesh, Murugesu's son, who is in Illinois. Champagne, Illinois I think, is where he works for Caterpillar Tractor, designing very big machines. So he was there too, had to come all the way to Malaysia to see him. Anyway it was a very nice gathering and had a nice spirit to it.

Otherwise, the Iraivan Day was worth commenting on. It was primarily organized by the youth and of course, there youth means anyone up the age of about 30, different concept of youth. The youth organized it. Gurudasnatha's father turns out has a lot of experience in events. So he was instrumental in the displays, all the displays were set up on collapsible pillars, four-sided pillars with photographs. They set it up, so they could collapse the pillars and store it all away and pull it out and it would be reusable. They could move it to another city or bring it out next year.

The cultural performance was of the highest standard, beautiful dancing. They had like nine dancers all at once I think. Nine of the girls were dancing, beautifully choreographed dance to Siva. As well as, Venilla Mardemootoo did the opening dance by herself. Beautiful singing of the highest caliber. It was really, really spectacular and I think everyone who attended was impressed with the quality. It definitely had a stamp of quality on it. This was not just thrown together, they had really practiced and come up to a really high standard and we are all very proud of them. Marvelous event and they felt some 1,200 people attended, counting the comings and goings. Some people didn't stay for the full cultural program, which I guess was about three hours long. So, some came and went. About 1,200 people altogether were introduced to Iraivan Temple and it was a grand success.

Also had Rajiv Malik there. He was running around, getting an article together which is focusing on youth activities. Of course, that was one of our themes during the Hindu Renaissance rally of the Malaysia Hindu Sangam, which had about a thousand people at it. It was Gurudeva's idea to involve the youth with responsibility, not just drag them along. But give them responsibility at the different festivals, make them leaders and make them feel that it is their temple and not just the adults temple. So that spirit was manifested at our own Iraivan event, more than at the Malaysia Hindu Sangam event and that was interesting. The Malaysia Sangam had a similar situation where a few people stayed up all night, till 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning getting ready and the same thing happened for the Iraivan event. The only difference was the age. Ours were in their late teens, twenties, early thirties primarily, whereas their's were elderly people taking care of the Malaysia Hindu Sangam.

So, we were practicing what we were preaching there. That our own youth in this one instance had taken a really nice lead. Of course it is really important for Hindu groups around the world to let the youth lead and in that way feel much more a part of the institution than their parents.

Again, it is wonderful to be back and look forward to having a full phase here without traveling anywhere, no planes!