Fundraising in India for foreign projects?


Few days back I came to know that there has been a padhuka yatra conducted in Chennai to drive funds for a Periyava project that is happening outside of India!!!! There are folks who donated money thinking that this drive is for Orikkai manimantapam – later they realized that this is for a project abroad! It was both hilarious and upsetting to know this. I have a very strong opinion about this and I thought I should write about this.

We need lots and lots of funds to do so many charity work in India. So many cows are dying due to lack of funds to rescue, temples are not functioning due to lack of funds to pay Sivacharyars – talk to Smt Mahalakshmi mami to know how hard she is finding sponsors to continue nithya puja in those temples. Our matam needs our support. Orikkai needs funds, Tiruvanaikka patasala needs funds. Talk to Sai – he can tell you how many cows we could save if we have funds. When we have so many noble causes right in our backyard to support – why on the earth someone should send money to US?!

It is appalling to see that these ideas arise in our people’s mind. This is not the first time – few years back someone appealed to all ghanapadigals in an atirudram to support the same project and many vaideekas in that crowd got upset. I personally know the NJ Manimandapam team, who have been an outstanding job in mobilizing funds by doing many padhuka yatra in US. Besides, they are backed by some big donors. I often appreciate their team work and commitment. I would be very happy to see a place for Mahaperiyava here but not at any cost. I wish them all the best.  There is absolutely no reason for them to do this in India. This is a very poor strategy. When we do Mahaperiyava project, our actions should also comply with His teachings. If not, there is no meaning for the project.

I would rather suggest these devotees to do the same padhuka yatra for fundraising for projects in India – let them sponsor few temples, patasalas, ghosalas or some major vedic  event that is close to Sri (Bala) Periyava’s priorities – that would be highly commendable.

Devotees in India – do not support any projects that are happening abroad – ever! Folks sitting in US are much much richer than you imagine! There are so many noble causes that need your support in India. Let us stick with that.

I know I just rocked the boat but that’s ok. Worst case scenario, some are going to trash-talk about me. That’s fine – I am used to that.

Periyava Sharanam.



Categories: Announcements

27 replies

  1. On reading carefully, the root of the issue only seems to be one thing – whether the folks donating funds knew which country they will be used in – India vs. US. If they were told “India”, and the funds went to US, then thats not correct. If they donated funds knowing it will be sent to US – then that’s their individual choice. Either way, I don’t see need to trade any harsh words. May Lord forgive me if I said something inappropriate or wrong.

  2. Good point. Infact, I always feel, why we are spending so much in US on opening new temples while there are so many temples in India that are lying in isolation.

  3. As a person not associated with either the NJ project or with Mahesh Sir or his projects, the message of the blog is very clear.. let’s prioritise for what we collect funds from and from where. Given the fact that the people and amount available for donations is very finite, the essential and good to have need to be prioritised.

    As a person without any connections (emotional or personal ) to the topics under discussion, I find that the words “You come across as a petty person” or self appointed guardian etc are severe and not called for.

    People are free to express their opinion without calling names or judging others.

  4. Agree one hundred percent with Mr Mahesh

  5. With Rs72/$1 exchange rate it is really atrocious to send any money abroad!! As an example – we can feed lunch to two veda pathasala students with $1/Rs72… You can’t even perform Archana in a temple in the US with that kind of money… Having lived in the UK fro five years I made a conscious decision to exclusively use my funding capabilities for projects in India as it is more NEEDED there!! Also small amounts in foreign currency become HUGE amounts in India…

  6. i think,given the state of our mahaperiyava related project finances,including gho samrakshanam-we need to prioritise and mobilise funds for the causes that are coming up or already in operation,or not attended to due to paucity of funds and close to mahaperiyava’s heart-there are so many temples which hardly have money to light a lamp;there are temples which do not have the resources to even light a lamp;while individual or a group preferences are fine,there is merit in Mahesh’s view point.maha periyava charanam.may be a good idea to put at rest these exchanges.

  7. The attack is getting very personal, calling Mahesh. .. a petty person. First of all what is this spreading periava message claim when you all have not followed his one message that settling abroad to make money was commented as the most unwelcome practice by maha periava in “ devathin kural “ volume 2 ..

    Psydo and self righteous attitude.

    • Correction….Pseudo

      • Please read properly. I did not call him one, I said his stance is coming across that way. Who do you think the NJ team consists of? Robots? When Mahesh accuses a young team of volunteers of wrongdoing in such a public manner, without any reason, just because he has a different view point, we should just bow and accept? Have you thought how this would impact them?

        What is self-righteous about building Periyava projects in the US? This is not about you. This is about the next generation who are growing here in the US. Periyava himself blessed many projects in the US including the Malibu temple. You do not get to guilt trip the NRIs. We are all doing our part. Periyava Sharanam.

  8. Mahesh has stirred a Harnet’s Nest.
    Knowingly or unknowingly.. i have been an ardent admirer of Mahesh Blogs for past secerL years…
    I have appreciated his service..In helping several projects in India. My responses recorded. From time to tie will speak..
    In my opinion, he need not have hastened to spread some hearsay. , may be from known friends. Hr could have spoken with the Sponsors of NJ project, He could have brought to the notice of HH Sri Maha Periyava, as suggested by Lakshmanan
    Instead sowing seeds of doubts and aspersions, which causes bad name in the minds of several people, as seen from responses…
    One Bharat questions “will Shankaracharya ever cross the Seas ?….If he questions the idea of NJ project, Let Mahesh answer… He was the First to bring Maha Pariyava across the seas…I have read in these blogs, his wide coverage with photos.
    Let theire be co operation and co ordination.
    And not create false impressions..Humble request…Veda narayanan Andanallur

  9. I second your thoughts Mahesh. Sumathi

  10. I second your thoughts Mahesh. Sumathi

  11. As a long term reader, and a first time commenter, I strongly felt this post is short on facts. There are insinuations, but not facts. Someone can contribute to projects in India as well as in US. It’s the choice of an individual. It may not be your choice. In a passive aggressive manner, you have thrown the NJ team under the bus. Based on my interactions with them, NJ team is an inspiring group of volunteers who are committed to spreading Periyava’s message in all the 50 states of US. They have managed to do something that most Hindu organizations, here in US, fail to do, which is to build a community across states. I’m in awe of them of their commitment and inspired by their initiative to take the Periyava to the next generation as well. If this blog is sincere about contributing to the broader cause of spreading Periyava’s message, you would have handled this differently without sowing doubts about intentions and causing divisions. We all need to learn to keep our egos in check. Periyava Sharanam.

    • Pl read my posting properly. I commend for their unity, passion etc.

      You need fact – this incident that I reported happened in Chennai and attended by some of my friends – not hearsay So, this is the fact – I dont report something that is not a fact. I’ve been blogging for 10 years now. Trust me, I know what I am doing.

      Bottomline – With rupee at Rs 72/USD, it is atrocious to ask for funds to US with that exchange rate.We can’t afford to do that.

      Remember – what they have done is so wrong. Don’t justify that. It is not them – anyone who does this will be wrong.

      You seem to have missed the point.

      • Why don’t you communicate through the appropriate channels to Bala Periyava the “facts” you know so that He can decide what is appropriate and what is not and direct those people accordingly? That would be constructive. This posting does not seem constructive. May be your intention is to let everyone know what has riled you and not anything more.

        Perhaps the megaphone of the blog is too alluring to be the self appointed guardian of our Matham and Sanatana Dharma on what should be done and what should not be done.

        Isn’t it better to focus on one’s personal anushtanams (as you keep saying so many times in this blog as advice to others) and leave opining on these loukika matters to the Matham Adhipathi, Bala Periyava?

        I’m just pointing out that one cannot say Periyava Sharanam and in the same breath get worried about things in the circle of concern (on which one cannot have any influence). Then the Sharanam has no meaning.

        Please don’t construe this as a personal attack. Tone cannot be conveyed in writing and I am writing this not to offend you but humbly offering a suggestion for you to consider.

      • Thanks for the nice note. Certainly not taking this as a personal attack. If I am able to do sandhyavandhanam thrice a day – that itself is a big achievement for me. So that is my response to you on “self-appointed ….” comment. My intention is only to remind devotees of how we could better prioritize as opposed to getting distracted. Only the people who are on the ground know the real need of the hour for our kainkaryams. At times, we feel like screaming out loud on the pains of saying no to noble kainkaryam due to lack of funds. When these kind of bizarre things happen on wrong prioritization, these posts are more of an outburst due to frustration and a way to create awareness for public too. I am far far away from Sri Matam – I know no one there and taking this to Sri Periyava etc is beyond my reach.

        I have not matured enough to practice “Periyava Sharanam” – I am trying – I can tell you that. I still have more agnana! Hope they all will go away with His blessings.

        BTW – I never advice anyone. I am least qualified for that as stated before. I only tell the objective of the blog – that’s all. That’s not an advice. I have seen people quoting Mahaperiyava and Sivan Sar and not following one bit. I certainly don’t want to be one among them.

        Once again, thanks for the very fair feedback.

      • Please read my comment properly. I thought and meant every word, I wrote.

        You have missed the points of broader cause of unity and spreading Periyava’s message and continue to hold onto your viewpoint as the “only” way to contribute. You are coming across as a petty person.

        You are not the arbiter of how all the Periyava organizations in US should fundraise. You are wrong for continuing to imply wrongdoing, just because you don’t agree with something. It’s your viewpoint, not the issue, that’s causing the chaos.

        In spite of 10 years of blogging, have you failed to realize that writing public blog posts like these implying wrongdoing have broader implications, especially for a nascent organization like the NJ team or are you willingly doing this to jeopardize them?

        In a nutshell, you have a megaphone in the form of this blog and you have used it wrongly this time. By doing that, you lose your credibility. As one of my Gurus used to say, your point of view is not more important than the well being of the broader cause. Let view points not become prison points of mind. Periyava Sharanam.

      • You continue to show your ignorance constantly. I was the Vice President on the NJ Manimandapam trust for 2 years. I contributed significantly (to my heart’s content) for them during the tough times they had initially. I exited graciously at a point where it was just right for me. Having said that, I have no reason to jeopardize their plan. I would be the first person to feel happy to see a place for Mahaperiyava in US – that is why I asked you to read my post properly. Again, you lack lots of facts. Don’t come for a debate without gathering facts.

        Asking people in India to pay for a foreign project is flat-out wrong – no matter who does this. Stick to that point.

        Are you the shooter or just an arrow?

      • If you truly cared about this project, you would not have written this blog post. If we ever meet in person, you will get to know if I’m the shooter or the arrow, as your insinuations and assumptions about my ignorance are frankly juvenile and tiring. I have stated what I needed to convey. Good luck with your “my way or the highway” attitude. Periyava Sharanam.

    • Hello All, I did not read Mahesh post about ONE project. The discussion here is NOT about the project or any other future projects abroad. I got the below two points

      1. It is not about contributing to the causes in my land (if there is a project in UK, UK residents will contribute. Nothing wrong).
      2. Being outside of India, I want to channel my contributions to Sri Matham for its activities (for me).

      Periyava Saranam.

  12. Well said. This boat required rocking. Happy you did it. Money collected in the name of Maha Periyava should go to support projects and purposes in India that Maha Periyava advocated.

  13. Ram Ram Well said Mahesh Ji. I did not know that. But I heard from other devotees that we need all the funds to protect the root of the dharma which is in Bharatham. I agree with the list you provided in the summary.

  14. Well said, Mahesh.

  15. Will the shankaracharya ever cross the sea ???? This idea itself is so frightening to float and collect funds for that.

  16. Bravo Mahesh. I agree in toto with your sentiments. MAHA PERIAVAL always urged us to water the ROOT as then the branches will be cared for. The root and birth place of VEDAS is India and we need to first support that huge Banyan tree of our sacred SHANKARA Madams and associated VEDA PATASALAS.

  17. Happy that you rocked the boat.No need to worry about criticism’s

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