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IMPORTANT FUNDING INFORMATION

From: Krishna Kalale (kkalale_at_qualcomm.com)
Date: Fri Feb 13 1998 - 22:48:15 PST

Summary

Currently, Vedic studies, Temples and mutts back in India are in a awfully
bad state.  This is mainly due to  sporadic and insufficient funds.  We
need set up a system which supports religious heads who run those
institutions and also makes use of their rich learning to educate us and
our future generations here in this country.  For this purpose a funding
process which is similar to the ones used by other successful religious
organizations is proposed. This proposed system  basically uses bank
account deductions from donors to raise funds.  We are requesting the NAMA
board to support this cause and thus enrich our Srivaishnava Community
around the world.   

CURRENT GRAVE STATUS

The state of temples which were living monuments of our culture are now
left deserted with occasional visits from probably just a priest who has
several jobs to support him in addition to part time work at these temples. 
Parakalamutt, which was started from the first disciple of Sri Vedanta
Desika, is reduced to shambles today and hardly anyone is helping that
institution.

- Vedic learning has reached its all time record lows. The rich scriptural
texts which were being published by great scholars from time to time are
quickly becoming extinct.  

- About a decade ago, It was estimated by one of our Acharyas that there
were only 78 scholars existing in India who really know our tradition and
philosophy.  A handful of the next generation of these scholars actually
are keeping up with this tradition.  This will result loss of all our
traditional knowledge and identity in about 30-40 years.

CONTRIBUTING FACTORS

Srivaisnava Organizations like matams, ashramas, temples etc. operate by
donations and self-less service from devotees and well wishers.  The
activities of fund collection, distribution and expenditure is not WELL
organized in Srivaisnava Organizations thus contributing to the eroding of
our rich heritage, learning, tradition, philosophy, worship and maintenance
of several important temples including the divya-desams worshipped by our
Alvars and Acharyas. What are we doing about this? OTHER RELIGIOUS GROUPS
like Christians and Jews have a STREAM-LINED PROCESS AND system of fund
collection by means of regular monthly contributions and an orderly way to
spend the funds in activities designed to keep alive their tradition with
active involvement from the present and future generations including active
interest from people of other religions. A Madhva organization in Bangalore
HAS 225 kids funded to study only Sanskrit, Vedas and Madhva Philosophy.
Even if one wants to know regarding Srivaishnava tradition, it is hard to
find a Guru or an institution or college or even good books that teach
them.  On the other hand one can spend all his life in such activities if
one want so learn other traditions with sufficient financial support.  

POTENTIAL SOLUTION

n Support vedic studies back in India 

n Infuse life to the already dwindling priest population 

· ORGANIZE FOR priests and pundits well versed in Sri Ramanuja Siddhanta TO
VISIT USA and enlighten us. THIS IS VERY SIMILAR TO how many other systems
such as Chinmayananda Mission, Hare Krishna Mission, Vivekananda Society
etc. are operating.  
· Nurture these institutions AND CAUSES on a regular basis with financial
support.  They cannot survive with occasional donations, much as human
beings cannot survive with sporadic supply of food provided on an irregular
basis. We cannot wash our hands off stating that even if we fund these
organizations all the money will be misused.  We will have to make sure the
funds are utilized properly. 

We can do this if we can organize properly.  Being descendents of our
illustrious leader Sri Ramanuja, I know that all of us are very capable.
This is the time to show action.

We are not under the devastating influence of war or any dreadful external
force which is resulting in this chaos.  It is our own inactivity  which is
causing this state of affairs. All these suggest to us that may be we
should be doing something to make a change.  We have to act NOW or it will
be too late.  

What is this activity?

The plan is :

1)  To appeal to the people of our community to CONTRIBUTE every month a
fixed amount of money (whatever it may be : 10$, 25$, 50$,100$, $200, $250
or a percentage of their salary, and so on) making use of the non-profit
nature of an organization which has tax exemption. 
2)  Send them a list of organizations AND ACTIVITIES which need support.
This list will include all major Srivaisnava organizations without any
discrimination of kalai, language, geography or any such divisive criteria.
The donors can select whichever organization they want to choose from the
list and the percentage of their funds to be dedicated in support of such
organizations by stating : x% of my contribution will go to  organization
(Y) b% of my contribution will go to……organization  (Z) …etc. This wing of
NAMA will not do any decision on assessing how to allocate these funds.
The donors will make this decision.  This wing will be a purely collection
and funding agency without discriminating between any of these
organizations.  THE MANAGING COMMITTEE FOR THIS ENDEVOUR WILL IDENTIFY
RECOMMENDATIONS BASED ON URGENCY AND IMPORTANCE.
I request other members to come forward  and offer their valuable services
to this cause.

Inspiration and guidance for this endeavor

During  Krishna Kalale’s past 5 visits to India last year, he visited
several mutts and temples.  He found that these mutts and temples are
reduced to mere excuses for institutions with practically no support. 

Our Acharyas should be concentrating on serving God and offering us
philosophical / religious advice.  But they are now toiling hard to raise
funds in their ripe old age and are sincerely requesting us to help.  We
could not help appealing to our community to help these institutions which
belong to US. We are far away from India but let us not take our heritage
out of our minds altogether. The fate of these temples and mutts are in OUR
HANDS. We can let them PERISH or NURTURE them.  We probably have a better
chance at raising funds and supporting these instituations if we work
together from here than the people back in India.

Our kind Acharyas back home and several respectable members of our
community here in USA suggested to us to originate this activity. 

Just a 25$ a month from 500 families can supply enough money to fund many
activities to keep our system of Ramanuja Sampradaya well supported and
growing. This amount of money is not much for most of us.  Why can’t we
pool up our resources and see our system of thought thriving.   Let this
statement:

"Ramanujarya divya-ajna vardha-taam abhi-vardhatam"  (let the divine system
of Sri Ramanuja thrive prosperously for ever)

be not just a part of prayer uttered in a routine manner but let it happen
in reality.  All of us can do it.  Please let it happen. Let us do this for
ourselves and our kids and several generations to come. 

We have several volunteers who are already signing up to support this cause
by pledging a particular amount of money each month:

Murlidhar Rajagopalan
Keshav Rajagopalan
Nagu & B.G Satyan
Krishna Kalale & Krishna Priya
Nadadur Madhavan

WE REQUEST ALL OF YOU TO COME FORWARD AND SIGN UP FOR THIS NOBLE CAUSE.
LATER ON  WE WILL SEND YOU OTHER DETAILS.  PLEASE SEND THIS EMAIL TO OTHERS
WHO MAY BE INTERESTED TO SUPPORT THIS NOBLE CAUSE.

Thanks,

Krishna Kalale
Nagu & B.G Satyan
Nadadoor Madhavan
Murlidhan Rajagopalan
Keshav Rajagopalan