NEW YORK (TIP): The Saibaba temple on Robinson Street in Flushing, Queens is organizing a program on the Bhagavad-Gita on September 22, according to information given out by the temple management.
The discourse will be given by Swami Bodhananda Saraswati, the spiritual founder-director of the Sambodh Society, which is incorporated in the US.
The swami is popular both in the US and India, and has written commentaries and delivered spiritual talks focusing on the Gita and other holy texts. He was born in Mattatur, Kerala, about 50 kilometers from Kalady village, the birthplace of Adi Sankaracharya-the great Indian philosopher of the Eighth Century and the best-known exponent of the Advaita philosophy. The swami has been spiritually inclined since his childhood and decided to lead a life of sanyasi in later years. He earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Christ College, Irinjalkuda, Kerala. It was during the time when he was studying for his master’s that the swami decided to take the spiritual plunge.
The swami began his spiritual journey to the US in 1997. New York was one of his first stops, along with Michigan, Illinois and California. After that visit the swami and his disciples incorporated The Sambodh Society, a non-profit and religious, charitable organization to teach meditation and vedanta to Indian-Americans and Americans at large.
Since that first visit to the US, the swami has visited the country every year. Aside from his teachings to the public, the swami taught himself about the culture and traditions of different peoples of the New World through reading and observing.
The year 2000 was a turning point when the swami made his most extensive tour of the US and Canada visiting devotees in more than 25 cities. In November a 32-acre parcel of land near Kalamazoo, Michigan, was bought on which the swami’s first center and headquarters in the US was set up.
The swami gave discourses not only in Hindu temples, but also in Christian churches. Libraries, homes, workplaces and educational institutions have also played host to his spiritual talks, which generally focus on the Gita and the Upanishads.
At the Saibaba temple in Flushing, the swami will speak on the Gita and answer queries of devotees with his engaging conversation laced with lively humor. He will also talk about applying the age-old tenets in the holy book to the modern-day context. The program is scheduled for Saturday, September 22 in the afternoon/evening.
The two-session program begins at 4:30PM with a half-hour break at 6:30PM, according to the temple.