The general purpose of this fund is to provide funds for the maintenance, repair, improvement and upkeep of the temple and associated facilities of the Hindu Association of West Texas. However, use of the grant income is to be unrestricted as this would give more latitude for the trustees in case of an emergency in the future.
West Texas Hindus Create an HHE Endowment
We asked Nick Nipan Shroff, MD, a founding member of the Hindu Association of West Texas, to talk about the Hindu community his temple serves. Here are excerpts.
We performed the ceremonial groundbreaking in 2005 and celebrated the formal Prana Pratishtha in a traditional Vedic ceremony in July 2007. Our Hindu community uses our mandir as a place of worship, and our in-house priest conducts puja at least twice a day. This Radha-Krishna Temple's a landmark achievement is the hub of our community. It links the younger generation to their Hindu heritage and helps integrate the Hindu community with American society. We invite our West Texas friends and students from neighboring schools to visit and become familiar with our philosophy and culture. We serve about 250 Hindu families, primarily from Midland (population 110,000) and Odessa. Other families come to the mandir from other neighboring towns.
Our families identify with different Deities, so we have several in our mandir: Radha-Krishna, Rama-Sita, Shiva-Parvati, Ganesh, Venkatesh Balaji, Aiyappa, Durga Mata, Lakshmi and Saraswati. However, we revere these Deities as different aspects of the same Divinity. Our mandir has been blessed by visits of many spiritual leaders, including HDH Pramukh Swami, Swami Jyotirmayananda, Swami Tejomayananda, Swami Dayananda Saraswati, Swami Purushotthamananda, Acharya Nanavaty and others.
Why did you establish a fund at Hindu Heritage Endowment (HHE)?
We recognized that we must plan for long-term maintenance of the temple and ongoing support of its activities. Our council of trustees and board of directors wanted to bring the Hindu community in our area together. We want our young people to experience our culture and heritage, not just read about it. We also hope to expand the Bal Vihar youth and yoga programs. It is challenging to develop such long-term initiatives without an endowment fund.
Why did you select HHE to manage your fund? What are the goals?
It made sense to us to establish an endowment with a respected organization that would provide for the temple long term. We felt very comfortable when we spoke to Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami about this, and he encouraged us to look at the HHE website.
The fund provides for the maintenance, repair and improvement of the temple and its associated facilities. Grants may begin when the endowment reaches fifty thousand dollars, or ten years from the establishment of the fund, whichever comes first. Until then, all fund earnings will build principal. When the fund reaches $100,000, grants may be used to cover any line-item in our budget.
Several members of HAWT, including me, subscribe to Hinduism Today and through it learned about HHE and the importance of an endowment for a religious organization. Two of our members, Mrunal and Padmaja Patel, have visited Kauai's Hindu Monastery several times. Upon their invitation, Bodhinatha graciously visited Midland twice, and we learned more about his teachings, the monastery and HHE.
Fund #80Hindu Association of West Texas; Midland, TX Estate Planning Tool Kit