Hindu Temple of Atlanta Raises 250K for Siva Temple Projects
The Hindu Temple of Atlanta organized an impressive 3rd fundraiser dinner on Saturday, March 17. The event was arranged by Vice President Hymavathi Mikkilineni and Chair of the fundraising Committee, P. B. Rao, to raise funds for the completion of the Siva Temple and other projects. The dinner attended by over 300 members of helped raise $150,000, plus $100,000 in pledges.
After the Temple's resident priests recited prayers, Jayanthi Srinivasiah, emceed the cultural program, which had a devotional component to the rich mix of dances and songs. The program began with Adithi Srinivasiah reciting an invocatory prayer to Lord Ganesha. This was followed by two scintillating dance pieces, including a Shiva Dance by the talented students of Padmaja Kelam. The students were given appreciatory gifts by the President of the Temple, P.Ravi Sarma. Sudhamayi Vempaty rendered three uplifting songs including Lata Mangeshkar's Hindi song, Jyoti kalaash chhalke. Srini Kishore, Kartik Shreyas and Lakhmi Vedala followed this with bhagyada Laxmi in Kannada and Siva Ashtakam in Sanskrit.
While the guests were enjoying their sumptuous dinner, Hymavati Mikkilineni, spoke briefly about some of the milestones in the Temple's historic journey, especially the consecration of the Siva Temple in May 2004. "Siva Temple in Atlanta is reputed to be the biggest temple in the nation", she asserted. She appealed to the guests to donate generously to enable the temple to accomplish more projects and offer still better services.
Mikkilineni thanked Ravi Sarma, P.B.Rao, Jagan Mohan Rao, Indira Menon, Krishna Mohan, Kusuma Dronavalli,and Jayanthi Srinivasiah for their help. She went on to thank Srilakshmi Donnepudi, Temple cook Sri Ramakrishna and his team of volunteers for preparing the evening's dinner.
With the help of a slide-presentation, Ravi Sarma spoke about the mission and the vision of the Temple. The motto of the Temple is ‘dharmo rakshati rakshita' -dharma protects us when we uphold dharma, which he reiterated to the gathered.
Sarma informed the guests about the Temple's planned projects such as the completion of the Siva Temple and yagsala, extension of the office complex, setting up a gift-shop, a building where religious rites for family-member's departed souls can be performed and landscaping of the Temple grounds.
Sarma recognized Aruna Prasad Kancherla, B. K. Mohan, Sujatha Reddy, Jagan Mohan Rao, Raju Vanapalli, Sarveswar Naidu, and G.V. Raghu. He announced that monthly visits from April would be made by Sadhvi Vrinda Chaitanya, a Vedic monk and a disciple of Swami Dayanand Saraswati, who would give spiritual discourses, teach Sanskrit and join in satsang with devotees as a resident acharya.
Sarma concluded with a fervent appeal for funds by saying, "Please remember that by donating funds for this worthy cause, you are investing in your children's and grand-children's future. The Temple will help them with a sense of identity, a sense of belonging and growth in their Hindu faith and awareness of rich Indian culture".
B. K. Mohan concluded the program by summarizing the Temple's progress thus far.
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