Toronto Trip Summary
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami , 2003-06-09
Bodhinatha had a wonderful trip to Toronto. Everyone was very devotional, especially at the pada pujas. One letter from a president of one of the societies spoke on Bodhinatha, Gurudeva and their teachings.
Good Morning, everyone. It is good to be back, wonderful to be back here after our time in Toronto and Chicago. You know as much about the trip as we do, if you have been watching TAKA. It is a wonderful technology of being able to send back all the photos as we go. Never far away if you can log onto the internet and have your digital camera. It worked out very well.
I think one of the aspects that may not be visible from the photos is the extent of the openness and devotion of the Sri Lankan Tamil community there in Toronto. It was pretty deep for our first meeting. One would not really expect that. We had a number of Guru Pujas, one Guru puja was so devotional, it felt like it was being done by our members. It was just the first time visit there, they managed to generate a lot of devotion and openness.
I thought I would read one letter which conveys that sense in a nice way. It is from one of the programs. It is like Mississippi but it is Mississuaga, a suburb of Toronto. So, this was a program in Mississuaga and the usual letters and messages. This one is from Dr. Shan A. Shanmuga Vadivel, President, World Saiva Council of Canada.
"Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami has done great work for Saivism and made a great impact on the lives of many people in this part of the world. Gurudeva's preachings and publications have made me to understand the greatness of our religion. It is in his writings, I saw the clarity of our ancient faith." That is quite an admission right there in the first sentence from that President of Councils, saying Gurudeva showed me the depth of our tradition.
"Gurudeva had a vision of Lord Siva in 1968, when he returned to Hawaiian islands on a quest, seeking a place for San Marga Iraivan Temple." Close!
"The sudden departure of this immortal soul from this world, at the time we need him most is very painful to many of his followers. He has put Saiva religion on the map of the world. We are very fortunate, a very qualified Satguru was chosen as Gurudeva's successor. Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, is deeply respected by his fellow monks for his sagely insights." Did he ask you? How did he say that, I wonder!
" ...and he has worked very closely with Gurudeva for more than 37 years. He is a gifted teacher and has worked with other monks to translate Tirukural from Tamil to American English. We will all give the new Satguru the same respect we gave to Gurudeva." That is nice.
"I have been a regular reader of both Satgurus' articles in 'Hinduism Today'. In the recent issues, Veylanswami has written about the importance of temple worship. He says, "Temples are needed to preserve the Hindu culture and Saint Auvaiyar's dictum - Do not live in a place that has no temple - still applies to us in modern times. Temples should function as a center for Tamil Saiva culture and offer classes and knowledge for kids, on our faith."
Satguru stresses the parents' role in passing on our traditions to the younger generation, teaching children that Gods are real Beings and temple-going helps to experience this. He also writes, "For a child, going to the temple is like visiting a home of a grandparent. We must teach our youth the greatness of our religion and we must indicate to them that they need not leave their ancestral faith to enter into science or any other intellectual pursuit. We must encourage our children to participate in temple activities, functions and cultural events. This will help them become happier, more successful and cultured adults."
We in Canada should introduce all our children to 'Hinduism Today' and other publications by Gurudeva." That is good.
"I firmly believe the Canadian organization should make arrangements to invite Satguru, at least on a yearly basis, for talks and workshops for the children." That is a nice idea, in a warm part of the year!
"As President of the World Saiva Council of Canada, I am very pleased to be associated with the visit of Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami to Toronto. The World Saiva Council has its headquarters in London, UK with branches in many parts of the world. We are very keen to work as a team with other Hindu Saiva organizations to preserve, foster and promote Saivism and Saiva Siddhanta.
With Best Wishes, Dr. Shan A. Shanmuga Vadivel"
That is nice! You get a nice feeling of the openness and support that these Sri Lankan Tamils are expressing toward our Parampara and toward our work, how we can work together in the future. It is very encouraging.