On November 7, 2008 Shanmuganathaswami and Yogi Jivanandanatha attended the Hindu American Foundation annual fund raising dinner in Santa Clara, California. The Foundation (HAF) has created two endowments with Hindu Heritage Endowment and the two mathavasis went to California to meet some of the directors including Dr. Mihir Meghani, Sheetal Shah and Swaminathan Venkataraman. In this photo they are conversing with California Lt. Governor John Garamendi who is very supportive of the Hindu community. To his left is K. Suryakumar, an ardent supporter of Iraivan Temple and of HAF.
Shanmuganathaswami and Yogi Jivanandanatha chanted some Sanskrit prayers to open the event.
Several of the Golden Gate Mission members were at the dinner to show their support.
The local mayor presents Dr. Meghani with an award. Our planned giving specialist, Phil Murphy, attended the event (seated on the left). He is writing a story in Hinduism Today about the two HAF endowments.
Suryakumar was one of the main presenters on HAF’s accomplishments.
The banquet room was packed. Over 50% of the attendees came for the first time.
The fund raiser was a grand success in spite of the tough economic times.
Religion needs to be of the present. Mankind is evolving spiritually; mass consciousness is rising. When we go to the temple, in the right spirit, contributing devotion and prana, being open to the blessings of the Deity; it purifies the mind. The Hindu religion focuses on the mind; purifies it; controls it, subdues the ego, makes us more humble.