Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/content/35/8776335/html/index.php:2) in /home/content/35/8776335/html/wp-content/plugins/simple-membership/classes/class.swpm-init-time-tasks.php on line 20
Temple polices – Hindu Temple of Bloomington

Temple polices

Temple Policy

Temple Guidelines

  • All activities shall be in keeping with the dignity and respect for the sanctity of a holy place and according to Hindu Traditions. Behaviors in and around the temple facility not conforming to the sanctity of temple, the Hindu traditions and disturbing to the community at large will not be tolerated.
  • Before entering the worship area, please remove all footwear / winter coats and place them in the designated area.
  • No one is allowed in the sanctum area except the priest conducting the worship and volunteers helping the priest
  • Please maintain silence in the temple (including hallways) especially when pooja services are in progress.
  • Please contact temple front desk staff (or priest if no staff is available) for any information about puja services.
  • Please do not leave the children unsupervised in the temple.
  • Please help us maintaining the temple clean by properly disposing of all waste at appropriate waste baskets.
  • Please keep the cell phones and pagers in silent or vibrate mode.
  • All special pooja services, religious services (in the temple or outside the temple) should be confirmed through the HTBN management.
  • Do not change heating and cooling system of the facility.
  • Only trained persons should use the PA system and other equipment.
  • No smoking, no alcoholic beverages or chewing gum in the temple premises.
  • All non-monetary items or donations require approval by the temple management.
  • No items shall be taken or removed from temple premises by any individual.
  • Prasad could be served in the prayer hall but all other food must be served in dining area.
  • Only vegetarian food without onion and garlic will be served in the temple area.
  • No outside food allowed unless permitted by HTBN management.
  • No pets allowed in the temple premises unless medical necessity.
  • No soliciting in the temple premises.
  • All devotees must assume the legal liability and responsibility. The board of trustees will not be responsible for any injury or lost or damaged personal items.
  • Anyone not conforming to HTBN guideline will be escorted out of the temple premises.

Constitution & By-Laws

Hindu Temple of Bloomington-Normal (HTBN)

1815 Tullamore Avenue,

Bloomington/Normal, Illinois 61704

Website: www. HTBN.org

Federal Identification Number 20-8070287

State Incorporated in Illinois

Incorporation File # 6528-1279

Date Amended: September 21, 2021

I. Name

The name of the Organization is the Hindu Temple of Bloomington-Normal, hereafter referred to as the “Temple”.

II. Nature and Status

1. The Temple is a not-for-profit organization under the laws of Illinois State and the United States Federal Governments.

2. All State of Illinois and United States Federal Government laws shall preempt provisions mentioned herein this document.

III. Mission

The Mission of the Hindu Temple of Bloomington-Normal is to meet the religious, spiritual, and cultural needs of the Hindu community, preserve the Hindu way of life, and promote Hindu Vedic philosophy. The Temple will be open to all followers of the Vedic religion. Recognizing the diversity of faith and spiritual practices that exist within the Hindu community, the temple intends to embrace all denominations of the Hindu Dharma and the teachings of all great saints of India.

Objectives of the Temple are as follows:

1. To build and maintain a traditional Hindu temple adaptable to the needs of the local community.

2. To provide the facility to fulfill its mission and identity for the local Hindu community.

3. To promote understanding and preservation of Hindu religion, values, culture, and languages.

4. To promote the study of Hindu scriptures such as Vedas, Upanishads, Gita, and other activities of religious and spiritual learning.

5. To enhance pride in Hindu Religion and philosophy.

6. To unite the Hindu community and helps serve as a link to our future generations.

7. To promote participation in volunteer and charitable activities in the local community.

IV. Activities

1. The activities of the Temple are open to individuals subscribing to the Vision, Mission, and Objectives of the Temple. The Temple will conduct and facilitate Hindu worship in various forms such as Satsangs, Poojas, Bhajans, Prayers, and related religious activities for all Hindu denominations.

2. The temple will provide and facilitate the education of Vedic literature and Hindu religious practices through classes, workshops, discourses, and study groups.

3. All participants shall observe dignity and respect for the sanctity of the holy place consistent with Hindu philosophy and way of life.

V. Temple Members

1. Any person who subscribes to the Mission and Objectives of the Temple may become a member of the temple.

2. To become a ‘General member’ of the Temple, a person may do so by registering on the Temple’s website or by submitting a written request to the Temple Secretary.

3. While ‘General members’ are encouraged to contribute to the Temple through their time and talent as well as financially, no ‘General member’ shall be required to make any contribution of any kind to the Temple. However, to enjoy additional benefits, ‘General members’ are encouraged to become ‘Basic’ or ‘Preferred’ members by paying the annual dues set for such membership by the Board.

4. Members shall not have voting rights in ‘Trustee’ or ‘Board’ meetings unless they are Temple Trustees or Board members as defined in Article VI and Article VII respectively.

VI. Temple Trustees Qualifications, Privileges, and Duties

1. A Temple Trustee must be a member of the Temple.

2. All Temple Trustees who helped found the organization by donating $10,000 in the years 2006 and 2007 are designated as ‘Founding Temple Trustees’ and will have all the rights and privileges of the Temple Trustees. The ‘Founding Temple Trustees’ are also deemed to have met the requirements to become a Director or an Officer in the Executive Committee as enumerated in the Article VII Board of Directors item number 8 titled “Eligibility”.

3. Additional trustees may be considered for induction from the existing temple members on the recommendation of an existing Trustee, if they complete the application process and are vested in the organization through accumulated donations of $15000, with the minimum initial amount of $3000, specifically targeted towards trusteeship. Applicants who meet these requirements will be recommended by the EC to the Temple Trustees for approval. Upon approval by a simple majority of the Temple Trustees, the new applicant will be hereafter referred to as a Trustee-To-Be.

4. Total donation of $15,000 targeted towards Trusteeship may be donated in 3 to 5 years, as per the schedule set by the EC. Event sponsorships or other types of donations are not counted towards trusteeship.

5. Upon receipt of the required donation in full amount and completion of all formalities, a Temple Trustee-To-Be will be inducted as a full-fledged Trustee.

6. A full-fledged Trustee will be hereafter referred to as a ‘Temple Trustee’ or simply a ‘Trustee’.

7. All trustees and Trustees-to-be must sign the ‘HTBN Conflict of Interest’ policy.

8. All Trustees should update the secretary as soon as possible of any changes in their contact information (email, phone number, and address). Email is used as the primary means of all important communications by HTBN.

9. Temple Trustee designation shall belong to the trustee and the spouse with a single vote to be cast by either of the two.

10. Regular Trustee meetings shall be held quarterly and dates of the future meeting will be informed by the secretary at the start of the year. The Quorum requirement for a meeting of Temple Trustees is that at least one-third of the total number of Temple Trustees are in attendance at the meeting physically or virtually. For any resolution to be adopted, it has to be approved by at least one-half of the total number of Temple Trustees except for sections VI.14 and IX which will require two-third of Trustees votes. The quorum and the majority vote will be decided after taking into consideration the number of ‘Non-voting Trustees’ as defined in sections VI.11 and VI.12. The vote can be taken in person, in writing, or electronically.

11. A Trustee is entitled to the following privileges:

 Receive quarterly Trustee meeting notification and meeting minutes.  Receive monthly Board meeting notifications and meeting minutes.  Eligible to serve on the Executive Committee and Bylaws Standing Committee, as defined in section VII, after being on the HTBN Board for 1 year.  Can suggest Bylaws changes to the Bylaws Standing Committee.  Can recommend another temple member for Trusteeship.  Participation, in-person or virtually, in all trustee meetings, held quarterly with voting rights as defined in section VI.9.  Trustees can voluntarily request the secretary in writing for an excuse of absence before any Trustee meeting or for any number of future Trustee meetings.  Trustees can voluntarily request the secretary in writing to temporarily suspend their voting rights before any Trustee meeting or for any number of future Trustee meetings. They will be considered as ‘Non-voting Trustees’ for the requested duration. The ‘Non-voting Trustees’ will not be counted in deciding the quorum or the majority vote. The voting rights can be reinstated at any time on a written request to the secretary. The list of ‘Non-voting Trustees’ will be shared with all Trustees before each Trustee meeting and before any resolution for Trustee voting.

12. In addition to upholding the Temple mission, all Trustees are required to fulfill the following duties:

 Attend, in-person or virtually, at least 2 of the 4 trustee meetings held quarterly unless excused by the secretary of the absence.  Vote (Yes or No or Abstain) on all the resolutions in person or by email to the secretary within the specified period unless a written request is sent to the secretary to temporarily suspend voting rights and to be excluded from the quorum.

13. Trustees who fail to fulfill the required duties, will be notified by the secretary to send a written request for absence from future meetings and/or to become a ‘Non-Voting Trustee’. If the Trustee fails to respond within the specified time to the secretary’s request, the secretary will recommend making them a ‘Non-voting Trustee’ by a majority vote of the EC.

14. A trustee may lose the designation and all trusteeship privileges by a two-third majority vote of the temple trustees for one or more of the following reasons:

 If the trustee ceases to subscribe to HTBN mission.  Violation of the Conflict-of-Interest policy.  Gross misconduct.

VII. Board of Directors and Committees

Procedure and Structure

1. The Temple Trustees will constitute the governing body of the Temple- the Board of Directors hereafter referred to as the ‘Board’.

2. The Board will be responsible for the overall management and day-to- day activities of the Temple.

3. The Temple Board will consist of four(4) Executive Committee members and eleven(11) Directors.

4. All Board members must sign the ‘HTBN Conflict of Interest’ policy and the “HTBN Confidentiality” agreement.

5. The members of the Board shall not serve more than four consecutive years on the board. They will be eligible to serve on the board after a break of one year. For this restriction, all members of a trustee family will be considered as a single unit.

Executive Committee

6. The President, President-Elect, Secretary, and Treasurer are collectively referred to as the Executive Committee or simply as EC.

7. Eligibility for EC members: For the position of President-Elect, Secretary, and Treasurer, they have to be a temple trustee with at least one year of prior service as a Board member.

8. Election and Term of EC members: The Temple Trustees will elect the President-Elect, Secretary, and Treasurer from the Board of Trustees. The President-Elect will assist the President for a year and in the following year will assume the duties of the President. The Secretary and Treasurer are elected to a one-year term.

Directors

9. The EC will nominate 11 Directors, which may include a maximum of 10 from the Temple members who are volunteers at the Temple, for approval by the majority of Trustees.

10. Eligibility of Directors: Trustees/Trustee-to-be and members who are regular volunteers, will be eligible to contest for the position of Director.

11. Term of Directors: All Directors will serve a one-year term. Each of the Directors will Chair one of the following Operating committees:

i. Technology and Security ii. Communication iii. Cultural iv. Education v. Event vi. Facilities vii. Fundraising viii. Pooja Chair ix. Prasad x. Public Relations xi. Youth Engagement

12. Each Chair of the committee will nominate a Co-chair for the majority approval of the Trustee. The Co-chairs will not have voting rights on Board decisions but Co-chair can vote on behalf of the Chair if the secretary has received a written authorization before the Board meeting.

13. The chair and Co-chair of each committee can appoint committee members and Subject Matter Experts(SME) as per their requirements. All committee members except SMEs are required to be Temple members. A list and contact information of all committee members should be shared with EC.

14. The President can fill a mid-term vacancy on the Board by appointment to serve out the balance of the term. The candidate chosen has to satisfy the Eligibility criteria outlined above and has to be confirmed by the Temple Trustees within 30 days of appointment. The process of confirmation can be handled by e-mail or by calling for a meeting of the Temple Trustees.

15. A Board member, irrespective of his or her tenure can be removed by a majority vote of the Temple Trustees.

16. Regular meetings of the Board of Directors shall be held monthly. Special meetings may be called by the President or by any three members of the Board of Directors with a Notice to be given to all Board Members.

17. Quorum: In the Fifteen (15) member Board meeting, ten (10) members’ presences will constitute the Quorum. The Quorum will be established before taking votes. Also, the Abstaining Voters are included in the Quorum count.

18. A simple majority vote of the Board, of those present physically or virtually only, will carry the motion provided the Quorum is met. When the Quorum requirement is satisfied by the minimum attendance of 10 or 11 Board members, the simple majority vote to carry the motion will be 6. If the attendance is 12 or 13 Board members, the simple majority vote to carry the motion will be 7. When a member(s) present in the meeting abstain from voting, the abstaining members are recorded in a separate category and not included in the numerical counting of ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ votes. A vote can be taken in person, or electronically.

19. The Board meetings can be held in one of the following modes: in person, telephonically, or virtually and the members present only can vote.

20. The Board will be responsible to develop and maintain the Operating Manual which will include: Roles and responsibilities of Members, Committees, and Committee Chairs; Policies, and other relevant information, with the approval of the Bylaws committee.

21. All important decisions of a committee should be presented at the monthly Board meeting for approval. Only in emergent situations, EC can be approached by the Committee Chair for an immediate decision.

Standing Committees and Ad Hoc Committees:

22. In addition to the Operating Committee of the Board of Directors, separate Standing and Ad-hoc committees can be formed with majority approval by Trustees.

23. Standing Committees: are formed by the Board of Trustees for tasks beyond the functions of the Board of Directors. These committees are assigned specific or dedicated tasks that are required for temple functioning year after year. The need, mission, and scope are defined and approved by the trustees. The Executive Committee has access to these standing committees to help accomplish specified functions.

24. Ad Hoc Committees are committees formed by the Board of Trustees or the Executive Committee for the execution of specific tasks. These committees are assigned specific tasks that require focused attention and are not required on an ongoing basis.

25. These committees will meet independent of the Board of Director meetings and Board of Trustee meetings and will report to Executive Committee and/or Board of Trustees for status updates at least once every two months. EC will share the relevant information with the Board as needed.

26. Only a Trustee can Chair these committees and the members of the committee will continue to work until they express the need to step down or if the committee chair requests the change.

27. These committees are not subject to a yearly election as is the case with the Board of directors.

28. Each committee will have a written document outlining the mission, scope, and procedures of the committee.

29. Bylaws Standing Committee will be responsible for all interpretations of the Bylaws and keeping HTBN compliant with the current Bylaws.

30. A list, mission, scope, and procedures of all Standing and Ad-hoc committees will be documented in an annexure and can be updated as needed with the approval of Trustees.

VIII. Responsibilities of the Executive Committee

Responsibilities of the President

1. The President, in addition to having overall responsibility for the smooth running of the Temple, shall also serve as the President of the Temple Trustees.

2. Maintaining activities, schedules, and accounts on the Temple website to ensure open sharing of information.

3. The President and the President-Elect jointly engage a qualified accountant to audit the Temple Accounts and present the same to the trustees at least once a year including the end of the year audit. Responsibilities of the President-Elect (PE)

1. The President-Elect (PE) shall, in absence of the President, perform all duties and assume all responsibilities of the President.

2. The PE and the President will be responsible for the audit as stated above.

3. The PE will guide all the committees listed in Article VII Board of Directors Procedure and Structure item (9) shown above.

Responsibilities of the Secretary

1. The Secretary shall be the custodian of all records pertaining to the Temple. The Secretary shall keep a written record of the proceedings of all meetings of the Temple Trustees, Board of Directors, and the Executive Committee. The Secretary shall be responsible for keeping records of Temple membership, processing new trustee applications, list of Non-voting Trustees, and any other duties that may be assigned by the President.

Responsibilities of the Treasurer

1. The Treasurer shall receive and take charge of all monies and other financial assets belonging to the Temple. As a fiduciary agent of the Temple, the treasurer shall be responsible for all financial transactions.

2. The Treasurer will be the Chair of the Finance Standing Committee.

VIII. Nominations and Elections

1. The Bylaws chair will seek nominations from the Temple Trustees in the fourth quarter for the positions of President-Elect, Treasurer, Secretary, and Directors and provide a slate to the Bylaws Committee.

2. A candidate for the position of President-Elect shall be nominated by at least two (2) Trustees with the express consent of the candidate.

3. Temple trustees with one year of Board experience are eligible for the position of President-Elect, Secretary, and Treasurer. Trustees-To-Be is eligible for the positions to the Board of Directors and any committee.

4. The Bylaws Committee will verify the validity of nominations and hold elections if needed. If no elections are needed, the Bylaws Committee will forward the slate of the nomination to the Temple Trustees for approval.

5. The Bylaws Committee will certify and communicate the final list of officers making up the next year’s Board of Directors to the Temple Trustees. This process should be completed by November 15th of the current year.

IX. Amendment of Bylaws

Proposed amendments to the bylaws submitted by a trustee in writing will be referred to the Bylaws Committee. The Bylaws Committee will send the Proposal to the Trustees by e-mail for a vote by the trustees by electronic transmission or by postal mail. The committee will offer meetings or open houses to answer questions relating to the proposal. A two-thirds vote of trustees is required to pass the amendment.

X. Finance and Remunerations

All services performed by the Trustees shall be done voluntarily. Any exceptions to this shall be only with prior approval of the majority of the Trustees.

The finance committee chairperson (Treasurer) will be responsible for keeping the Trustees informed about all financial matters through periodic reports posted on the website and via email.

XI. Interpretations

If a conflict arises in the interpretation of these by-laws, then the ambiguity shall be resolved in the best interest of Temple and not of any individual.

XII. Dissolution

In the event of dissolution of the Temple, the Temple Trustees shall after paying or making provisions for the payment of all the liabilities, dispose of all the assets of the Temple exclusively for the organization in such a manner or to other organizations operated exclusively for charitable, educational, religious or scientific purposes as shall at the time qualify as a tax-exempt organization under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code or the corresponding provision of any future IRS code. The Temple shall not be dissolved except by a two-thirds majority vote of the Temple Trustees who shall also determine the disposition of the assets.

TBD

Below are the responsibilities and eligibility established for the board positions

1-President

Eligibility: Full Trustee, At least one year HTBN Board position experience
Responsibilities:
• The President, in addition to having overall responsibility for the smooth running of the Temple, shall also serve as the President of the Temple Trustees. • Maintaining activities, schedules and accounts on the Temple website to ensure open sharing of information. • The President and the President Elect jointly engage a qualified accountant to audit the Temple Accounts and present the same to the trustees at least once a year including the end of the year audit.

2-President Elect

Eligibility: Full Trustee, At least one year HTBN Board position experience
Responsibilities:
• The President Elect (PE) shall, in absence of the President, perform all duties and assume all responsibilities of the President. • PE may be required to coordinate special projects/events as required and approved by the board. • Organize a few humanitarian events e.g. blood drive, health education, disaster relief fundraising. These events may be organized by HTBN or in cooperation with other organizations.

3-Secretary

Eligibility: Full Trustee, At least one year HTBN Board position experience
Responsibilities:
• The Secretary shall be the custodian of all records pertaining to the Temple. The Secretary shall keep a written record of the proceedings of all meetings of the Temple Trustees, Board of Directors and the Executive Council. • The Secretary shall be responsible for keeping records of Temple membership, processing new trustee applications and any other duties that may be assigned by the President. • The Secretary will also coordinate and conduct the board/trustee meetings and be responsible of all communication from the board to trustees.
• Secretary will be responsible for gathering the agenda items for board and trustee meeting from trustees, temple members and board members and then will work with EC to prioritize them.

4-Treasurer

Eligibility: Full Trustee, At least one year HTBN Board position experience
Responsibility
Enlist others and form a team to perform responsibilities listed below: • The Treasurer shall receive and take charge of all monies and other financial assets belonging to the Temple. • As a fiduciary agent of the Temple the treasurer shall be responsible for all financial transactions, budget, temple insurance, banking, priest payroll and government related activities. Work with President and PE for yearend audit. • Prepare and share with all trustees monthly & yearly financial reports.

5-Fundraising Chair

Eligibility: Trustee, Trustee to-be, Temple Volunteer
Responsibilities:
Enlist others and form a team to perform responsibilities listed below: • Work with the board and come up with fundraising ideas • Plan and coordinate all fundraising activities • Seek potential trustees and temple members • Work with the PR chair on house to house campaign when needed

6-Public Relations

Eligibility: Trustee, Trustee to-be, Temple Volunteer
Responsibilities:
Enlist others and form a team to perform responsibilities listed below: • Be HTBN’s Ambassador/spokesperson & build relationship with the local Indian community • Attend major Indian community events and share temple information at the event • Handle requests from local community to learn about Hindu religion/philosophy while working with the education committee

7-Communication Chair

Eligibility: Trustee, Trustee to-be, Temple Volunteer
Responsibilities:
Enlist others and form a team to perform responsibilities listed below: • Responsible for all temple communication to devotees • Update Facebook and website on a regular basis • Prepare flyers/posters for the events and place them at local business

8-Event Chair

Eligibility: Trustee, Trustee to-be, Temple Volunteer
Responsibilities:
Enlist others and form a team to perform responsibilities listed below: • Create annual plan of events and other programs • For major events identify coordinators & MCs from various diverse local groups to increase temple engagement. • Plan and execute weekly, monthly and other major events • Collaborate with Facilities chair, Pooja Chair, Prasad Chair, Communications Chair, PR Chair, cultural chair, and others to coordinate the events • Ensure that the temple activities are inclusive and maximize participation of the local Hindu community. • Schedule volunteer to take pictures and video at temple events

9-Facilities Chair

Eligibility: Trustee, Trustee to-be, Temple Volunteer
Responsibilities:
Enlist others and form a team to perform responsibilities listed below:
• Manage facility efficiently and safely • Manage landscaping, snow removal and key access • Identify and work with a small group of volunteers for managing facility rental • Work with event chair and set-up facility for the events as needed • Maintain equipment & manage Security system • Form a group of volunteers to manage Sound System

10-Bylaws Chair

Eligibility: Trustee, Trustee to-be
Responsibilities:
Enlist others and form a team to perform responsibilities listed below: • Be the owner of the HTBN Bylaws document – ensure that the document is complete, answer questions about the document, and coordinate any updates as needed • Lead creation of other documents that align with the HTBN bylaws. • Work with the board to develop a clear scope of any ad-hoc committee formed by the board. This scope then should be approved by the board. • Coordinate the election process, if needed, for board or other positions • Will look in to all legal aspects of temple priest and advise the board. In some cases work with a lawyer if needed. • This team will also be responsible for all non-sanctum related priest administrative issues.

11-Education

Eligibility: Trustee, Trustee to-be, Temple Volunteer
Responsibilities:
Enlist others and form a team to perform responsibilities listed below: • Youth Education: Develop complete curriculum for different age groups on various topics covering all aspects of Hinduism. Work with volunteers to implement the youth educational activities. (More details in education committee scope that was approved by the board) • Adult Education: Identify topics, qualified teachers and conduct classes at the temple with the approval of the board. Some of the examples of such classes could be: vocal and instrumental music, yoga, meditation etc.

12- Youth Engagement Chair

Eligibility: Trustee, Trustee to-be, Temple Volunteer
Responsibilities:
Enlist others and form a team to perform responsibilities listed below: • Form a large group of youth and engage them in religious, humanitarian and volunteering activities organized by the temple.

13-Food Committee Chair

Eligibility: Trustee, Trustee to-be, Temple Volunteer
Responsibilities:
Enlist others and form a team to perform responsibilities listed below: • Work with a large group of volunteers to cook and serve food • Maintain safety and cleanliness in the kitchen area • Work with treasurer and procure supplies for the kitchen • Encourage engagement from various local groups

14-Pooja Chair

Eligibility: Trustee, Trustee to-be, Temple Volunteer
Responsibilities:
Enlist others and form a team to perform responsibilities listed below: • Work with the priest to identify religious rituals and activities at the sanctum for daily, weekly and special events. • Involve diverse local group to identify various pooja and rituals for daily, weekly and special events. • Work with temple priest and treasurer and procure pooja samagri. • Work with temple priest and take care of deity dressing and sanctum cleaning on a daily basis. • Work with priest & board and identify list of Priest services. Also establish standard charges for the priest services for various options e.g. at the temple, at home, weekend and weekdays.

15-Cultural Activity Chair

Eligibility: Trustee, Trustee to-be, Temple Volunteer
Responsibilities:
Enlist others and form a team to perform responsibilities listed below: • Work with event chair and identify event appropriate cultural activities for HTBN events when needed. Some examples of such cultural activities could be: reciting shlokas, singing religious songs, classical dances, classical music and event appropriate religious drama/skits etc. • Involve youth and adults from diverse community on a very regular basis for cultural activities. • Work with event chair to have such cultural programs as a part of HTBN religious functions. There are Co-Chair positions for all board positions except for than President, President elect, Treasurer, General Secretary. Chair or Co-Chair are required to attend board meetings.

Donations (dakshina) Policy:

Purpose: To clarify and establish guidelines to the community and the priest regarding dakshina to the Priest and donations to the temple.

Background

As per Hindu Dharma shastras, it is customary to do daanam (donation) or give dakshina to a Hindu Priest and Temple. HTBN management fully supports this tradition. Donation / Dakshina are solely voluntary.

HTBN management and priest are obligated to provide a devotional and conducive environment to all temple visitors and devotees.

The purpose of this policy is to clarify and establish guidelines to the community and the priest regarding dakshina to the Priest and donations to the Temple.

Policy Resolutions

Donations to the Priest:

In general, community is encouraged to give dakshina or donate to the priest in two possible ways:

Monetary Donations (cash / checks) – devotees are encouraged to give directly to the Priest

Non-monetary donations (goods, furniture, equipment – material nature) – devotees are encouraged to give directly to the Priest.

Donations to the Temple:

Monetary Donations (cash / checks) : Devotees are encouraged to PLACE the DONATIONS DIRECTLY IN HUNDI OR PAY AT THE FRONT DESK and get an official receipt.

Non-monetary (material) Donations: Deliver them at the front desk and get an official receipt as applicable.

Additional Guidelines providing Monetary Donations to the Priest

  1. Puja Services performed At the Temple:
  2. Devotees are encouraged to give dakshina to the priest: Any time a personal puja (not combined with any other devotee or family) is performed by the priest (Examples: Havan, Satyanarayana katha, Abhishekam, Kalyanam, Birth day or Anniversary or Tarpan or vaahana puja).

  Note: After the personalized puja is performed, devotees are encouraged to give dakshina directly to the priest (please do not leave in any plate). After receiving the donation from a devotee, priest shall put the dakshina away immediately by not displaying or holding it as it may be perceived as public display to hint the devotees. Any cash/coins/checks left in any plate belong to the temple.

  1. Devotees are neither required nor should be obligated to give dakshina to the priest
  2. Each time devotees visit the temple and getting Teerdha, Prasadam, Aarathi, and his blessings (via Chathar); or
  3. Attending regular pujas that are performed as listed in the Temple Calendar (despite a devotee has sponsored or not for any puja by paying donation to the temple). (Few Examples are Daily Nitya pujas; Weekly Monday Shiva Abhishekams; Monthly pujas Satyanarayana vratham, Maasa Shivaratri, Sankastahara Chaturdhi; Annual festivals –Diwali, New Year etc.,) these are considered as priest’s regular duty being a full-time employee of the organization. For special festivals and events, HTBN management gives dakshina to the priest on the community’s behalf.
  1. At any time Priest shall not seek or obligate any devotee or negotiate with any devotee for dakshina.
  1. Cash / Check Donations left by Aarti plate/chatari plate/teertha table or in any container or by deities or mandap belongs to the temple. Any time, volunteer on duty or authorized management staff is authorized to collect any displayed donations and put in Hundi.

 

  1. Puja Services performed outside the Temple:
  2. Devotees are encouraged to give dakshina to the priest any time a personal puja is performed by the priest at devotee’s residence / business (off-site). This puja must first be approved by the puja committee and appropriate donation shall be paid to HTBN. (Examples: Havan, Satyanarayana katha, Abhishekam, Kalyanam, Gruha Pravesham, Sradha, etc.)
  3. When priest uses his car for travel to attend this puja, Mileage reimbursement rate approved by HTBN management shall be directly paid to the priest and it belongs to the priest only. At any time priest shall NOT negotiate mileage reimbursement rate with the devotee without puja committee’s knowledge.
  4. Devotees shall give dakshina directly to him by check or cash.
  5. At any time Priest shall NOT seek or obligate any devotee or negotiate with any devotee for dakshina.
  6. As per Immigration rules and the employment contract, the priest is NOT allowed to perform any pujas to any devotees (at any location) without prior approval from the HTBN management (Even after temple hours, during his vacation, time-off days).
  7. Income Tax filing: It is the responsibility of the priest to report any additional income that priest directly receives from the devotees.
  8. Priest shall not seek any donations from the devotees or visitors by selling any Audio CDs, Books or any literature etc., without prior approval from the HTBN management.
  1. Non-Monetary Donations guidelines: (goods, and furniture, equipment, etc.,)

 

  1. Donations to the Priest:

At any time, devotees are welcome to donate any non-monetary items to the priest directly. This should purely be voluntary.

At any time the Priest shall NOT seek or obligate any devotee or negotiate with any devotee for non-monetary donations.

  1. Donations to the Temple:

Any non-monetary donations that have significant dollar value shall be recorded in the temple’s inventory system. Please check in at the front desk and get appropriate receipt for your donation.

  1. Amendments

This policy is subject to change as deemed necessary and shall be approved by the Executive committee.