Kazakh couple now wedded to a new faith

via TNN published on February 13, 2012

KOCHI: Vitaly, an engineer from Kazakhstan and his partner Alfiya will tie the knot on Monday in a simple ceremony at ‘Dhayananda Bhavanam’ in Chengannur, to embrace a culture and religion that was alien to them a couple of years ago.

Their quest for an ideal religion had brought them to Satguru Bodhinatha Veylan Swami, 163rd Jagadacharya of the Nandinatha Sampradaya’s Kailasa Parampara at Kauai Aadheenam ashram in Hawaii in the US.

Satguru Bodhinatha Veylan Swami is the present spiritual leader of Kauai Aadheenam, known as Kauai’s Hindu Monastery. He has been the monastery’s head since the founder Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami passed away in 2001. It was through the internet that Vitaly and Alfiya came to know about guru Saiva Sidhanta, and the 458-acre sanctuary on this tropical isle of Kauai. And they were moved by the organization’s philosophy which brings God closer to man and follows a lifestyle of religious worship and service. “Though we have already been married, we want a Hindu religious marriage to begin our new life,” says Vitaly. According to the couple, what attracted them to this movement is the way it teaches to love all, including nature. And they decided on Kerala as the venue of their dream marriage especially because the guru is in the state to attend the Cherukolpuzha Hindu religious convention on Saturday.

After the wedding, the couple will depart to Kanyakumari. They are planning to visit temples in Tamil Nadu and interact with sanyasins.

Alfiya, a psychologist, has now left her job to devote more time for religious service. During their Kerala tour, they visited Shiva temples in Ernakulam, Ettumanoor, Changanassery and Thiruvalla before leaving for Cherukolpuzha to meet their guru. This will be the beginning of a three-year course that will make them familiar with all aspects of Hinduism and the organization.

“The course will help them convince others why they chose this religion, and they would need to get an NOC from their religious heads before they embrace Hinduism,” says G K Nair, a disciple of the guru who hosted the couple in Kerala.

And Vitaly and Alfiya will change their names after the course to be a part of the organization which has 21 monks from five nations at its ashram in Hawaii. And the ashram will soon have another Iraivan temple for which stones are being carved in Bangalore. The highlight of this Chola-style temple will be a crystal Shivalingam, 39 inches tall and weighing 700-plus pounds.


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