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HINDU TEMPLE OF FLORIDA: 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday; 5509 Lynn Road, Tampa, FL 33624; (813) 962-6890.

SHIV MANDIR: 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday; officiating priests are Pandit Balraj Maharaj and Ram Maharaj; 2001 N. Howard Ave., Tampa, FL 33607; (813) 907-6311.

DADA BHAGWAN’S GROUP OF TAMPA BAY: Satsang every Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m.; everyone is invited; call Ramesh Patel at (813) 926-1143 or Mukesh Patel at (813) 969-1740.

JAIN SOCIETY OF TAMPA BAY: Monthly bhavna from 3 to 5 p.m. every fourth Sunday; also, non-Jains can take Dev Darshan of statues made of marbles by sculpture-artist from Rajasthan; 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 5 to 7 p.m.; both events at Days Inn hotel at Fletcher Avenue and Interstate 75; call Kini Shah at (813) 503-0715 or Pradeep Bavishi at (727) 525-5400.

VISHNU MANDIR: 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday only, discourse by Pandit Vishnu Sharma; 5303 Lynn Road, Tampa, FL 33624; (813) 654-2551.

SANATAN MANDIR: 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sunday; 311 East Palm Ave., Tampa, FL 33602; (813) 221-4482.

SHRI SARASWATI DEVI MANDIR: 9:30 a.m. to noon Sunday only; officiating priest is Pandit Purnanan Sharma; 16220 Livingston Avenue, Lutz, FL 33559; (813) 264-1539.

SHRI RADHA-KRISHNA MANDIR: daily morning arotik at 7 followed by Srimad-Bhavatavam class; 6 p.m. Sunday and 7 p.m. Wednesday Bhagavad-Gita class followed by prasadam; 14610 N. 17th St., Tampa; (813) 971-6474 or click on

BAPS SHRI SWAMINARAYAN MANDIR: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily; darshan is closed between noon and 4 p.m. but reopens at 4 p.m.; 9226 E. Fowler Ave. (between Interstate 75 and U.S. 301); (813) 986-5473.

MANAV DHARMA ASHRAM: sumiran is from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. first Thursday of every month; satsang is 5 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, followed by dinner; yoga classes begin at 7:30 a.m. Saturday; bhajans are 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. every third Sunday; 7520 Caron Road, Tampa, FL 33615; call the ashram at (813) 889-7155, Himatlal Parekh at (813) 969-1661 or Ashok Modh at (813) 935-3439.

SHREE YAMUNA PREETI SEVA SAMAJ: Pushtimargiya Satsang Mandal invites Vaishnavs of Tampa Bay area to weekend Satsang sabhas and kirtans; 1340 Robin Road S., St. Petersburg, FL 33707; call Smitabein Patel at (813) 961-3816 or Himatlal Parekh at (813) 969-1661.

ISLAMIC SOCIETY OF TAMPA BAY AREA MOSQUE: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily; 7326 E. Sligh Ave., Tampa, FL 33601; Tel: (813) 628-0007.

GURDWARA: 8 a.m. till 8 p.m. daily; 15302 Morris Bridge Road, Thonotosassa, FL 33592; (813) 986-6205.


HINDU SOCIETY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA: 8:30 a.m. to noon and 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; 1994 Lake Drive, Casselberry, FL 32707; (407) 699-5277.

GURDWARA, SIKH SOCIETY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA: 11:30 A.M. to 1 p.m. Sunday; 2527 W. Aloma Ave. (west State Road 426), Oviedo; (407) 805-0404.

MASJID AL-RAHIM, ISLAMIC SOCIETY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA, WEST ORLANDO: five times daily prayers and pray on Friday; 4962 Old Winter Garden Road, Orlando, FL 32811; (407) 523-7882.

SARASWATI DEVI MANDIR/INDO CARIBBEAN CENTER: Sunday service is from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.; all special days observed with worship; 1453 N. Pine Hills Road, Orlando, FL 32808; for information, call (407) 522-1988 or click on

SHRI SHIVDHAM HINDU TEMPLE AND BRAHMRISHI YOGASHRAM: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. daily; 460 O’Berry Hoover Road, Orlando, FL 32825; (407) 380-2661 or e-mail

SANTOSHI MA TEMPLE: bhajan and aarti first Friday of every month; 10900 Park Ridge Gotha Road, Windermere, FL 34786; (407) 996-2830.

SHRI LAXMINARAYAN MANDIR: 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Sunday; 269 N. Klondike Ave., Pine Hills, FL 32811; (407) 877-7916.

SHRI SWAMINARAYAN MANDIR (BAPS): 1325 W. Oak Ridge Road, Orlando, FL 32809; (407) 857-0091.

POINCIANA HINDU MANDIR INC.: 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. each Sunday and on special festivals; 3999 Monterey Road, Kissimmee, FL 34758; (407) 873-2679.


ISKCON OF ALACHUA (International Society for Krishna Consciousness): founder is A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, P.O. Box 819, Alachua, FL 32616; (386) 462-2017.


SHIRDI SAI CENTER: 4707 Pleasant Grove Road, Inverness, FL 34452; for timings of the center and any other information, call (352) 860-2181 or e-mail


SOUTH FLORIDA HINDU TEMPLE: 13010 W. Griffin Road, Southwest Ranches, FL 33330; for timings and classes at the temple, call (954) 438-3675 or e-mail

Send information on upcoming events to Nitish S. Rele, Khaas Baat, 18313 Cypress Stand Circle, Tampa, FL 33647
or e-mail
Deadline for submissions is the 18th of each month to be included in the next issue.


Swami Suryadevananda
SECOND SECTION: inner vigilance

Vasistha says that any composition or work is acceptable if it withstands the scrutiny of ‘good sense,’ even if this be spoken by boys. Any work or teaching that refuses the scrutiny of this ‘sharp intellect’ should be renounced, even if be by those of pronounced wisdom. We have many blanket approvals from sources that are on the ‘approval list’ so to say and take all that is fed to us from these sources without scrutiny. The intellect is rendered dull and will not be able to serve in the capacity that will be needed in the quest of the truth. This sharpened or keen intellect, however inadequate for the task on hand, is the means we have at present to take the first steps toward clarity and understanding. We are not talking of mere base argumentation but of an approach of logical reason without the burden of concepts that is needed initially.

The lessons that we learn from the well of reason is that it satisfies the doubting mind and gains its cooperation for the task of the attainment of direct experience of what has been acceptable in the realm of discriminative reason. Until one is completely convinced about the goal and its attainability, it is difficult to muster all of one’s being as an integrated whole toward the attainment of the goal. Whether the lessons are heard from a Master or studied by one ’s self, they must be mulled over deeply so that logically it stands to good reason of the keen intellect. Gradually, these will form impressions on the mind by constant reflection and become the basis of conscious thinking till a ‘direct encounter’ gives us an unshakeable conviction and burns all errors as of a direct encounter, there can be no question.

Till this direct encounter can happen, we have the discriminative intellect as our primary means of approach and this is to be gradually made thin by study, reflection and meditation where a whole-souled attempt is made to contact reality based on the understandings, even if they be in theory. In the stage of study, reflection and early meditation, earlier doubts are left behind as they do not stand up to careful scrutiny. The rise of wisdom begins when we stop giving a blanket approval to ‘approved vendors.’

When we wish to improve our physical health, we use a multifaceted approach. Firstly, we become careful about the food that we eat and start eating to live and not living to eat. Digestion takes most of our energy, and instinctively, we reduce the quantity and become careful about the quality of food also. We moderate our eating habits and regulate the times of eating as well to improve the efficiency of the overall system. Secondly, we find out through our physical tests if we are lacing or have an excess of any substance in our physical body and make adjustments to bring about a balance. If we have high cholesterol, for instance, we may start checking the foods that can worsen this state. Thirdly, we begin some sort of exercise program so that the body is strengthened and muscles begin to replace the fat as muscles also will burn more calories than fat and support the skeletal structure better for overall improved health. Fourthly, we may consider changes to our environment so those things that are not conducive to the restoration of good health, are not in our immediate vicinity initially at least till sufficient willpower is massed. All of these are done simultaneously and in stages so we do not go to any extreme since we know that the mental resentment that results from drastic changes will be like a raging fire that can reverse all the good efforts.

Well, regaining strength in the inner layers of our being as well as the working of the senses, mind and intellect also can be given a similar approach.

Firstly, there must be a check on all impulses that seek an auto-response because of reasons approved earlier, whether based on likes or dislikes of any kind. This is a security system that we install to prevent the daylight robbery taking place earlier by responses given based on accepted notions and ideas about things. Mostly, we do not look at things afresh; we usually respond to the every changing and fresh ‘now’ with earlier notions and concepts. So, we can say that the present of ours also is tainted by the past and this can make life burdensome as hope for anything better becomes slim. This cycle is to be broken by installing the intellect back onto its rightful throne of being the vigilant authority to allow us to see everything fresh as it unfolds and this itself will enliven our being a little.

Secondly, we begin to carefully scrutinize existing concepts that have already bloated the intellect. This is not difficult to do as the events of life help us by presenting situations that call for response, we are always called to action and thought precedes action. There are many subtle feelings and desires that remain in deeper layers and these will not manifest themselves if other impulses are in action; these must be dug out. For this, we need some time each day alone, as much comes to the surface when the mind is not distracted. When these hidden feelings surface, we must subject them to interrogation: “Can this really be so? How is this justified? Where from has this arisen? What is the basis of this?” This is not done by the mind as the mind is the realm of the errors, it is done by the intellect and the intellect is thus empowered. This is the adjustment to our new inner diet and some time alone is necessary to allow the hidden feelings, notions and concepts to be ‘thrown-up’ so to say.

Thirdly, we are to encourage good and noble ideas that have stood up to good reason. These will replace the ones that are being dislodged and once the effort is through, we will begin moving into the inner neighborhood where the unruly ones squatted earlier. Listening to teachings from competent teachers, the study of scriptures, reflection and contemplation on these to gain a ‘direct experience’ of what we are becoming familiar with and seeing logic in are the exercise program that we make part and parcel of the effort.

Fourthly, the atmosphere must be adjusted so our immediate surroundings are not conducive to bringing into action the impulses that will be thrown up as we examine within. Those things or persons who are not beneficial to our efforts of growth and ascent should be distanced as much as possible. This is not easy as a great pressure will be exerted by things and people who you entertained earlier but wish to distance yourself from today. There will be a war within, a constant tussle and this has to be worked out carefully as sudden changes are never welcomed. One has to simultaneously replace the non-beneficial with the beneficial as one act so one is not in a state of void where one is vulnerable. This again is where company of the wise, study of scriptures and adoration of God are of great help.

Let me caution you that though this all sounds like a happy process — it is not! Bringing about change is not a happy process as we are creatures of habit and the immediate. The process is always painful as we are asked to put forth effort and the results are never seen when changed effort is put forth. It is always in the healing that there are results. Just like physical exercise does not make you fitter, it is a rigorous process and it is the healing that results that actually makes you fitter; the same is the case here. Efforts are a struggle in every case and positive results do not come on our time schedule as everything is interconnected and we cannot know all that is actually in play.

Great patience is necessary and the effort must be without remission. It is a yajna or sacrifice of the lower for the higher that is continually taking place. The world may be what it may, that is not of concern to us. What is important is the content of our minds and our reactions. These are to be elevated and made more universal so all of the inner instrument joins the campaign in a united front in the greatest of all adventures we call spiritual aspiration.

I will be talking on this theme in depth in the upcoming series of seven talks between March 25-31 at the Hindu Temple of Florida in Tampa and all are invited. There is no cost.

Details can be had at the temple Web site at and I look forward to seeing you there.

Swami Suryadevananda, presently residing in St. Petersburg, is with the Divine Life Society founded by Sri Swami Sivananda in Rishikesh, India. He can be reached via e-mail at

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