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A personal appeal from the President

Dear Devotees and all visitors to Guruvayurappan Temple of Brampton,

May the LORD bless us all.

Needless to say that most of us were leading a cautious, apprehensive and slow pace life during the recent pandemic years. Just like every one else in the world, we have had our share of sufferings and irreparable losses. With the help of each other and being extremely careful most of us have survived and come out of the grips of Covid. Our temple managed to remain open and carry out all the essential poojas and meet the service needs of our community. We did all that functioning within the public health guidelines and observing all the recommended precautions. This was all possible only with the full understanding and cooperation from our devotees and valuable volunteers! We have no words to thank them enough. It was all God’s grace, to say the least.

After an inevitable period of relative inactivity, last year we were able to celebrate the Prathishta Dinam and Sapthaham once again! Our temple is back to full scale activities with normal vigour and enthusiasm. I was away and out of the country for almost three months for personal reasons and returned to Canada only on the 22nd April 2024. It was while preparing my report and other documents for the AGM of 27th April 2024, that I came to note the latest temple attendance statistics. It was indeed a matter of pleasure to observe that our New Devotee registrations had increased by 1300 in 2021, by 1800 in 2022 and by 2500 in 2023. In the first 3 months of 2024 another 600 new devotees were added. These numbers were recorded in connection with various temple related activities. Can you believe that for Vishu we had more than 4200 devotees visiting the temple and collecting Kainettam! This is an all time record for our temple. I am ecstatic, optimistic, and very humbled at the same time!

Om Namo Narayanaya!

Myself and all other office bearers have told you several times over the years how a penniless community like ours, started this big dream in mid 1990s. In the year 1999 five of us boldly formed a “Guruvayur Corporation” for this purpose and bought a parcel of agricultural land for the asking price. This land was zoned for “future development including a place of worship”. Twenty four others joined us agreeing to donate upto two acres of land free of cost for temple construction!

We made plans for construction of our Dream Temple under guidance of our Tantri Kariannur Mana Divakaran Namboothiri and his respected friend and confidant Vezhaparambu Brahmadattan Namboothiri a Vasthu Expert from Kerala.

It was not possible to get a regular mortgage or Bank loan for the temple construction. Before we could invite quotations, we had to get a loan for $2.4 million from a private lender and $2.75 million from a total of 95 devotees like you and me! Construction of the temple’s main building and the internal temple structures costed us $5.7 million. The cost of developing the land including the parking facility costed us another $1.2 million. The Registered Charity of Guruvayurappan Temple of Brampton now owns the two acre land and the temple which has an estimated asset value of $9.2 million. As part of the area development plans we had to give almost one acre of the land free to the City of Brampton for road widening etc.

The Prathishta Maholsavam was acclaimed as “the only one of its kind in recent times”. We do have debts to pay. We took a mortgage for $3.265 Million from BMO Bank of Montreal and paid back the Private lender completely. The temple has paid back some of the Patron/Devotee loans. At the end of December 2023, our liability for Patron loans was $2.0 millions. The balance owing to BMO is about $2.75 million. Total liability is $4.75 million. As a condition by BMO the Board of Directors had to individually sign a Personal Guarantee for the total mortgage value and maintain a loan of $920,000.00 as security through out the term of the mortgage. The current Board of Directors continues to meet these two conditions every year.

How has the temple managed so far?

We have had individual cash donations from sponsors of all the Sreekovils (Main Deity $250,000.00 and the three Sub-deities $125,000.00 each). In addition, we have had individual donors and sponsors for various parts of the temple, including the three Thazhikakkutams on the roof and floor tiles during construction, as well as for specific poojas and celebrations. We have sold about 500 medallions and conducted many Udayasthamana Poojas, Divasa poojas, Nakshathra Poojas, Choroons, Weddings and Thulabharams, all bringing in money. We have conducted fund raising events including Gana Melas and Thara Nisas.

As we do not have a regular roster or “CONGREGATION” like Churches or other religious institutions, we developed a roster for “MONTHLY PLEDGES”. Most people pay using credit cards. They receive a charitable donation receipt at year end for every dollar donated. Using Credit Cards will require the minimum monthly pledge to be ten dollars or more. In the beginning, we thought about something that is affordable (Yadha Sakthi) for every devotee coming to the temple. One Pushpanjali was considered to be one such.

At present our monthly pledges are only around 22,000.00 per month. This has to be increased substantially to 50,000.00 per month to cover the monthly running expenses of the temple. I know that there are many young professionals have come to the country recently in different capacities. We request all such individuals to support this Monthly Pledge Program and contribute $50 to $100 per month. There are also some students and new immigrants whose personal income could be low. The monthly pledge scheme is flexible, and every family can subscribe to it based on their capacity (Yadasakthi). Even 1$ a day (30$ a month) would be such a big help and it connects your family to the temple on a permanent basis as a Nithya Supporter (daily supporter). It is like bonding your family to the mother temple.

We need your help to identify other affluent individuals in our community whom we can approach personally for support.

TEMPLES OPERATING COSTS and other RECURRING EXPENSES for your information.

  • Loan and mortgage payment $ 24,256.00 per month.
  • Patron loan interest $ 7,000.00 per month
  • Facility and utility costs $ 10,000.00 per month
  • Staff Salary and Pooja expenses $ 47,000.00 per month
  • Other Administration costs $ 7,000.00 per month
  • TOTAL PER MONTH (approximately) $ 100,000.00 per month

My suggestion is to promote a sustainable firm but affordable affiliation to the temple. It is like bonding your family to the Mother Temple. The amount of monthly contribution can be adjusted or modified according to changes in individual financial situations.

In addition to financial support, we also need volunteer support to maintain the temple. There are many areas that would benefit from your technical, IT and professional expertise. We also welcome your suggestions to plan other useful activities that will benefit the temple and the community at large.

Our temple is open to all and aims to promote universal brotherhood, harmony and world peace.
All the Board Members and other office bearers would like to meet and greet all the devotees, particularly the Newcomers in person in the coming months.

Please plan to participate in all temple activities and utilize the facilities to celebrate all your life events. Encourage your family and friends to visit the temple on a regular basis.

Please visit the temple website at www.guruvayur.ca for all information.

May LORD GURUVAYURAPPAN BLESS US ALL.

Your President,

Dr.P .Karunakaran Kutty
10th May, 2024

Posted in News, Temple News
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