Newsletter Archives

"If You Break Ground, They Will Give"

October - November - December 2007 Newsletter

Jai Seecharran

Jai Seecharran is willing to take reasonable risks.

After a brief career as a high school science teacher, he took his chances as a motel owner, landlord, Baskin Robbins and Karmelkorn franchisee, and with a few other businesses.

He feels that the same entrepreneurial spirit that starts new businesses funds new temples. "You have to break ground if you hope to raise money," he says. "Unless people see something happening, they will not be inspired to give."

He moved to the United States from coastal Guyana when he was eighteen to further his education. Both in Iowa, where he spent most of his adult life, and in Arizona, where he retired a few years ago to be with family, he saw Hindu immigrants find each other so they could express their faith together.

"The group usually starts in a home and then moves to an apartment basement," he said of the temporary Hindu temples that have sprung up throughout the country over the years. "In Ames, Iowa, we started with five or six families in a home and then moved to an apartment basement as our group grew. Our temple on Sunday morning might have been a party room on Saturday night."

The Iowa devotees talked about building a permanent temple for years, he said. But substantial contributions began to flow only after the groundbreaking.

When visiting his daughter in Scottsdale in the late 1990s, he heard local Hindus talking about building their own temple. "They asked me how we raised the money for the Iowa temple, how much we needed initially, what our strategy was," he recalled. "I told them to have members of the temple board make loans, to borrow from the bank, and to start work. Others would contribute once the project was under way."

Bharatiya Ekta Mandir, Arizona

He said that Bharatiya Ekta Mandir of Arizona, a Hindu and Jain Temple in Phoenix, started construction in September 2006. Phase 1 will be finished in August 2007, at a cost of $5 million. Indianization of the 12,000-square-foot temple will follow later, he added.

Moving forward at that pace entails risk, but Jai feels the risk is worth taking. A permanent temple, he says, both expresses and creates community. "The presence of the temple attracts other Hindus," he said. He recollected hearing from a Hindu doctor from Canada asking what Iowa was like and where the local temple was. "For people relocating to a new community, this is critical. A permanent temple may be the determining reason they choose a community. But to get it built, someone has to stick his neck out."

Jai applied that same principle in December of 2006 to the long-range future of the Bharatiya Ekta Mandir of Arizona by creating a permanent fund (#68) at the Hindu Heritage Endowment with a gift of appreciated stock. His gift bypassed the capital gain on the stock and generated an income tax deduction based on the stock's full market value. Having broken the ice with an established gift, he hopes others will give to the fund, either during their life or through a bequest. The fund is meant as a long-term source of reliable income for the temple. As with creating a temple, someone had to take the first step. Please visit the temple at and make a donation to the fund at

April to June Endowment Contributions

Kauai Aadheenam Monastic Endowment
Anonymous US$10.00
K. Lakshmi Kantha Reddy 482.00
Darmaguhan Satgunasingam 75.00
Chandrasekhar Venkatakrishnan 100.20
Other Donations 15,476.30
Total 16,143.50
Iraivan Temple Endowment
Anonymous 1,204.00
Roger & Rosemary Brown 120.00
Victoria Lynne Johnson 30.00
R. R. Kamath 100.00
Mohan Rao Korukonda 100.00
Bharat Rafpara 131.00
Chandrasekhar Venkatakrishnan 100.20
Raja Vishnu 80.00
Other Donations 26,634.80
Total 28,500.00
Kauai Aadheenam Annual Archana Fund
Gunavadee Caremben 7.18
Somasundaram Caremben 7.18
Sukanta Caremben 7.18
Tarakini Gunasegaran 10.70
Victoria Lynne Johnson 10.00
Amooda Koothan 4.77
Saravan Koothan 4.77
Jagrata Minardi 142.50
Subramaniam Pennathur 16.67
Kirtideva Peruman 9.57
Niroshnee Peruman 14.34
Pathmini Saravanapavan 300.00
Devaladevi Sivaceyon 8.69
Nutanaya Sivaceyon 8.69
Patudeva Sivaceyon 8.69
Hemavalli Sivalingam 2.62
Kantaruban Sivalingam 2.62
Rohini Sivalingam 2.62
Potriyan Sivanathan 5.76
Javanya Skanda 5.77
Shun K. Sunder 249.11
Samynaden Veerapen 19.02
Siven Veerasamy 28.64
Total 877.09
Hinduism Today Lifetime Subscription Fund
Yatrika Ajaya 80.34
Brian Breiling 80.00
Ravichandran Ceyon 41.00
Maruthu Pandian Darmalingam 724.00
Ravindra Doorgiat 64.51
Ramesh Gantyala 320.00
Anil D. Halappa 240.00
Isanah Kameni 17.50
T. Iswarah Kumar 35.50
Lakshman Maheswaran 800.00
Adi Sankara Perumal 25.81
Anjeeni Devi Perumal 9.68
Aruna Pundit 800.00
Mogan Ramasamy 298.00
Anonymous 101.00
Charles & Jan Roberts 30.00
Vijay N. Samant 800.00
Girish Skanda 114.76
Subasene Skanda 91.82
Rakesh Vaidyanathan 240.00
Mary Sophia Webster 50.00
Total 4,963.92
Hindu Businessmenís Association Trust
Easvan Param 409.95
Janaka Param 91.00
Total 500.95
Boys School for Iraivan Priesthood
Bala Sivaceyon 34.78
Chandrasekhar Venkatakrishnan 100.20
Total 134.98
Kauai Aadheenam Matavasi Medical Fund
Maruthu Pandian Darmalingam 41.25
Gowri Nadason 207.64
K. Lakshmi Kantha Reddy 101.00
Vayudeva Varadan 54.00
Other Donations 6,300.00
Total 6,703.89
Sri Subramuniya Kottam Fund
Anonymous 50.00
Total 50.00
Kumbhalavalai Ganesha Temple Endowment
Anonymous 50.00
Manoharan Navaratnarajah 75.00
Total 125.00
Hinduism Today Production Fund
Palani Annamalai 10.00
Kamal V. & Shonu K. Gandhi 1,001.00
Subramaniam Pennathur 16.66
Kamalakar Rambhatla 100.00
Anonymous 101.00
Narayana & Sarojini Rao 2,016.00
Total 3,244.66
Hindu Orphanage Endowment Fund
Praneel Chandra Gosai 250.00
Pankaj N. Lalji 500.00
Natraj Narayanswami 25.00
Alex Ruberto 75.00
Nikolai Safavi 125.00
Laurie & Mark Scurich 200.00
Raghavan Srinivasan 400.00
Rodney & Ilene Standen 30.00
Chandrasekhar Venkatakrishnan 100.20
Raja Vishnu 80.00
Total 1,785.20
Hindu Education Endowment
Bhagawandas P. Lathi 500.00
Naran D. Patel & Mani N. Patel Family 100.00
Total 600.00
Hindu Press International Endowment Fund
Hiranya & Saraswathi Gowda 63.00
Anonymous 101.00
Chandrasekhar Venkatakrishnan 100.20
Total 264.20
Loving Ganesha Distribution Fund
Manoharan Navaratnarajah 75.00
Gassa Patten 1,500.00
Total 1,575.00
Alaveddy Pasupatheeswarar Temple Fund
Anonymous 50.00
Total 50.00
Kauai Aadheenam Religious Art and Artifacts Fund
Rajadeva Alahan 153.00
Total 153.00
A. Saravanapavan Family Murugan Temple Pillaiyar Shrine Fund
Chitranjan Saravanapavan 50.00
Pathmini Saravanapavan 50.00
Total 100.00
Thank You Bodhinatha Fund
Hotranatha Ajaya 33.00
Amarnath & Latha Devarmanai 324.00
Manoharan Navaratnarajah 150.00
Alex Ruberto 45.00
Vayudeva Varadan 63.00
Raja Vishnu 80.00
Tsajon & Kamalia Von Lixfeld 1,000.00
Total 1,695.00
Saivite Hindu Scriptural Fund for the Visually Impaired
Alex Ruberto 45.00
Total 45.00
Sri Chandra Madhab Debnath Endowment
Shyamal Chandra Debnath 150.00
Total 150.00
Manitha Neyam Trust Fund
Bala Sivaceyon 34.76
Total 34.76
Taos Hanuman Fund
Kathleen A. Knight 200.00
Total 200.00
Kapaleeshwara Temple Orphanage
Auslin Mangal Lawrence 150.00
Total 150.00
Pazhassi Balamandiram Orphanage Fund
Natraj Narayanswami 58.34
Total 58.34
Karnataka Temple Development Fund
Hiranya & Saraswathi Gowda 303.00
Raghavan Srinivasan 400.00
Total 703.00
Swami Vipulananta Childrenís Home Endowment
Anonymous 50.00
Total 50.00
Hindu Literature Fund
K. Lakshmi Kantha Reddy 75.00
Nigel Subramaniam Siva 600.00
Total 675.00
Hinduism Today Complimentary Subscription Fund
Judy Berty 20.00
Hiranya & Saraswathi Gowda 153.00
Anonymous 101.00
Narendran Siddan 25.00
Martine Thom 100.00
Total 399.00
Himalayan Academy Book Distribution Fund
Anonymous 101.00
Total 101.00
Kauai Aadheenam Yagam Fund
Victoria Lynne Johnson 10.00
Mohan Rao Korukonda 100.00
Total 110.00
Yogaswami Hindu Girlsí Home of Sittandy Endowment
Maruthu Pandian Darmalingam 41.25
Lila Shakti Devi 50.00
Ripla & Gaurav Malhotra 125.50
Natraj Narayanswami 108.33
Subramaniam Pennathur 16.67
Jutikadevi Sivaraja 432.00
Silas H. Zirkle 500.00
Total 1,273.75
Yogaswami Hindu Boysí Home Fund
Maruthu Pandian Darmalingam 41.25
Ripla & Gaurav Malhotra 125.50
Natraj Narayanswami 58.33
Dharmalingam Siddhan 150.00
Total 375.08
India Hindu Tribals Endowment
Raghavan Srinivasan 400.00
Total 400.00
Murugan Temple of North America Puja Fund
Vayudeva Varadan 54.00
Total 54.00
Pooled Income Fund (PIF)
Savitri Palani 100.00
Total Contributions 72,345.32
Funds at Market Value, June 30, 2007
Total Endowment Funds 8,835,303.44
Total Pooled Income Funds 224,051.95
Grand Total US$9,059,355.39


Hindu Heritage Endowment is a publicly supported, charitable organization recognized as tax exempt by the IRS on April 22, 1994. Employer ID 99-0308924. Founded by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, its philanthropic mission is to provide secure, professionally managed financial support for institutions and religious leaders of all lineages of Sanatana Dharma.


Halbert/Hargrove, Investment Counsel; Sonoda & Isara, LLP, CPA. HHE is a member of the Council on Foundations, an association of more than 2,000 foundations which interprets relevant law and management and investment principles, and of the National Committee on Planned Giving, the voice and professional resource for the gift planning community.

I want to participate. Where should I Send My Donation?

You may send your gift to an existing fund, create a new Endowment or request information through the address below.

Donations may be made online at or use the HHE tear-out card in the HINDUISM TODAY magazine to join our family of benefactors who are Strengthening Hinduism Worldwide. Thank you.

Girls Home

The Yogaswami Hindu Girls' Home of Sittandy Endowment

Provides funds for this Sri Lanka girls home


The Udayan Care Endowment

Helps to regenerate the lives of the disadvantaged, particularly children and women

Kautiliya Fund

The Kautiliya Endowment

Provides youth scholarships for monastic or priest training at Kauai Aadheenam

Global Human Rights

The Endowment for Global Hindu Rights

Helps support the Hindu American Foundation's Hindu human rights efforts

Bodhinatha Fund

The Thank You Bodhinatha Fund

Helps provide free murthis to temples and gifts of religious books

Planned Giving Guidance

Why Do You Need to Know About Revocable Living Trusts?

Use Giving Assistant to save money and support Hindu Heritage Endowment