Happy New Year and Happy Sankranthi to all!
March 29th, 2010 was a special day for Hanuman devotees of Atlanta as the Hanuman Temple, Alpharetta came into existence with the grace of God amidst customary deity installation rituals of Sri Bhaktanjaneyaswami Pratishta Mahotsavam. The Hanuman Prana Pratistha was performed on this day by Sri Satyanarayanacharyulu Dittakavi and Srimannarayana Puranam.
Since its inception 5 years ago, there have been many blessings and miracles in every penny, devotee and puja performed. I was the CEO/CFO and Secretary of the temple when it opened doors. I made an announcement during the inception of the temple that any devotee who makes a donation of $1000 and above will be made a trustee of the temple. The response was overwhelming. Over 20 people came forward, including some priests from other temples who helped financially. With the grace of God, we were able to repay all loans in a timely fashion. With the financial support of the trustees, we were quickly able to surpass the break-even point.
Sadika Mataji was named first President of the Board of Trustees, Rakesh Garg was the Treasurer and Ram Arunachalam was the Secretary.
The next big event at the Temple was the consecration of the Ram Parivar and Puri Jagannath. Ram Parivar was donated by Sundar Garg. Puri Jagannath was donated by Kew Ray and family.
The following year, Rakesh Garg and Sachi Pati were nominated President and Ram Arunachalam, the Secretary. The team nominated its own board members who have discharged their duties very well. It was during the tenure of this team that we bought the land where the temple is currently located. When we decided to purchase the land, a miracle happened. The owner who had insisted on a particular price, agreed to reduce the price by half!
There is another interesting story related to this. Before the land was acquired, a Pavamanasuktam Havan was performed, during which, a 7-foot long black snake visited through the back door which was left open. The snake went all around the temple and touched the feet of Lord Hanuman before it left. (Search ‘Snake in Hanuman Mandir Atlanta’ on Youtube for video clipping.)
During my absence of 1 year, when my father took ill and eventually passed away, the Board of Trustees managed the temple very well. During my troubled times, all I did was meditate and pray to Hanuman Ji. That was when another miracle arrived in the form of a sadhu fromGermanycalled Prabhu Paramathma. The sadhu was extremely pleased with the way the temple was run and requested us to send him our bank details immediately. On his return toGermany, he transferred half a million plus $1000 at once with which we completely paid off the loan for the land. During the purchase of the land, 20 more people donated and joined as trustees.
My son Sriman Puranam was a priest at the SV Temple inNorth Carolina. At my request, he joined theHanumanTempleas priest and has been here since Day 1. He has devoted himself completely to Lord Hanuman and the temple- he performs all the pujas and looks after the temple. His childhood friend, the intelligent and knowledgeable Sriman Laxman Swamy has joined us as a priest. Both priests have been trained by Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji’s ashram. Swamiji has visited the Hanuman Mandir twice. We had also hired Gangadhar Pandey, a Hindi priest, but he had to leave because of health reasons.
Looking forward, there is so much we have planned for the temple. We will be adding a temple kitchen, an office, a room for the priest and a rest room. In the next phase, we will extend the parking lot, and work on the landscaping. All these are Hanuman Ji’s goals. We wait to see what other miracles are in store for us.
Our new board was unanimously nominated recently with the following members:
Chairman: Ram Arunachalam
President: Raghupathy Rama @ Kishore
Treasurer: Gopi Kanchibhatla
Joint Treasurer: Sudhakar Boddu
Secretary: Sai Prakash Gudladona