Photos: Recently, the Kottam school in Jaffna celebrated the Teachers’ Day. The children garlanded the teachers and thanked them for their service. Also, the children gave speeches honoring their teachers, and read poems.
This year our Sri Subramuniya Kottam celebrated its 30th anniversary. As you know, the Kottam School offers an After-School program with tuition-free classes for underprivileged children. We teach traditional school subjects as well as music, pannisai and computer classes.
Children who attend the Kottam School also learn about religion and celebrate the holy days. Currently the school has four teachers, not including my mother, who — for many years — has single-handedly ran the School.
Also, the Kottam offers scholarships to the most needy children. Currently we are providing monthly financial aid to ten students effected by the war. Starting in January, we are planning to add eight more students to that scholarship program.
Personally, I always believed that this kind of school in every single village, educating the needy children, will make a difference. I am happy to tell you that recently a retired elder from Toronto, Canada, returned to Jaffna; right now he is renovating the war-torn home in his village in Jaffna. He told me he want to create a free school modelled after our Kottam School, and he is going to offer tuition-free classes to the needy children.
I hope and pray more and more elders will return to Sri Lanka and provide these grass-route services in their own villages. By educating the younger generations, we can build a brighter future for our community.
As you might imagine, creating and sharing an articulate and graphically elegant repository of Hinduism is neither easy nor without costs. Yet there has never been a greater need, with youth learning their spiritual ABCs online and millions discovering Hinduism digitally. That’s what our annual fundraising campaign is all about. It’s a chance for you to help us to help Hinduism globally.
Those of us who create it know the challenges. And one of the challenges is funding. A few astute donors to our new Digital Dharma Drive have brought to our attention that it may appear to many who see fund-raising reports throughout the year for our other projects that we are bringing in plenty of money and that we could just as well spend some of it on our websites and online initiatives rather than having a separate fund-raising drive. We can’t simply reallocate funds given to us for a different project to this one without taking away from those projects, and from our promise to the donors who gave for them.
Activities at Kauai’s Hindu Monastery operate on a donation basis, and when we need money for a project, we raise funds for it. We are strict in the usage of those funds; contributions are only used for the projects they are given for. Some projects, such as Hinduism Today magazine and our various books, are self-funding, and because volume is low (we are in a niche market!), there is little (or nothing!) left over when all of the costs of producing those projects are taken care of.
For many years, we have operated under the guiding principle that our many Hindu resources will all be available digitally for free. Yes, we could charge for them, but many who might find them inspiring or needed would simply not pay. But free to them is not free to us. We have significant costs in running some of Hinduism’s leading websites. Plus we want to grow a little, provide Gurudeva’s teachings in the ever-growing list of new formats, maintain and upgrade the websites, engage some professional help, support the computer systems we use to produce and provide all of these vast resources. These goals all come with a price tag. It’s a small one, but it is there.
We are committed to providing it all without charging for downloads, without showing advertisements on our sites, without commercializing our mission. Without these revenue sources, we turn to you to help.
This year’s drive ends on December 31. Many have given but our goal is still not quite in sight. We hope you will join in helping us meet our $50,000 goal. It’s not a lot of money, but in the right hands it will have a profound impact on the future of Hinduism around the world. Please make a donation today to keep our sites strong today and well into 2011.
Warm greetings this holiday season,
Kauai’s Hindu Monastery
Himalayan Academy Publications
Focus on being a soul, not the body, mind and emotions. When we think of ourselves as a soul we're able to move forward and get closer and closer to Siva. That's the whole idea of Saiva Siddhanta. A negative self-concept is an obstacle. We can change our self-concept through applying Gurudeva's teachings, affirming every day that we are a divine being. Vasana daha tantra: Going back and understanding experiences; clearing up the reactions to the past.