2013 Board Chairman Report


Dear Friends and Devotees of HTCI,

I’m sure that you all are enjoying great summer weather. It is time for me to give you a brief update of our Temple construction project. As I mentioned in our last news letter, we have been trying hard through various avenues to obtain visas for Shilpies (Temple Artisans) to Indianize the Temple both inside and out. At last ten of them will be getting visas at the Chennai Consulate on August 26th and will be here by September 10, 2013. The Shilpies will immediately start working outside until the weather changes. Meanwhile, we are hoping to obtain visas for twelve more Shilpies in a month or two. These Shilpies may join us by the end of this year. All the Shilpies together are expected to complete the work both inside and outside of three major Shrines by June 2014 for us to celebrate partial Kumbhabhisekum in July of 2014. The team of 22 Shilpies will stay with us to finish the work on the remaining Shrines and Rajagopuram in the year 2015 for final Kumbhabhisekum. Afterwards we all can enjoy the full potential of our Temple.

The cost of the final phase of the Temple Project including materials and labor is estimated to be two million dollars. This means that we must raise the amount over the next 20 months but immediately we need one-half million dollars to get started. On behalf of the Temple, I wholeheartedly thank you all for having helped the Temple project so far. We have invested so much money and energy on this project that we cannot go back or take a pause, this is a very crucial time so please come forward and help us out. We request all of our community members to donate liberally. If you redeem past pledges immediately that will take care of our immediate needs. You all are very busy people with various life demands, so before you forget while this topic is fresh on your minds, please write a check for our Temple so that we may continue making progress with our project.

Lastly, I have a clarification for everyone’s information. Our Temple’s mission is to strive to meet all religious, cultural, educational, and social needs of our community members in Central Indiana as much as possible. With this in mind, our Temple also has some policies in which we must adhere to. At this time our Temple cannot afford to let any community member or a group of members to organize any fund raising activity in the Temple for an outside organization since our Temple is in the middle of a construction phase and is in need of monetary support. On special situations we will still consider negotiating mutually beneficial and acceptable agreements. I sincerely request and hope that you all understand the Temple’s position on this matter.

God Bless You All,
Satyanarayana R. Marri, MD
Chairman, Board of Trustees
Hindu Temple of Central Indiana



I mentioned recently that I’m forever in the middle of reading 27 books. I finish one, have six others I’m still in the middle of, and feel compelled to buy 21 others. I easily spend more, yearly, on books than I do on clothing, music & entertainment, and adding to my collection of Ganeshas… combined.



I think this year might be different. (I’m fibbing through my teeth, but humor me, will you?) I think this year might be one wherein I do my best to become a Completer. My boss uses this term to describe his own work ethic. I don’t know the exact definition of this term in that context, but I think it applies to me, too -in the work place. Outside of work, though? Far less so. This year, I want to up my sense of commitment to the things that make me happy; namely language exploration and spirituality. So early into 2013, and I’m sure some of you reading this will say, “AHA! A New Year’s resolution!” It’s not really.

Here’s my game plan. You ready?

  1. I’m hoping to devote more time to adding to my working knowledge of Hindi and Sanskrit. If I feel the itch, perhaps Spanish, too. It would be nice to be able to use at work for when I get calls asking for a Spanish-speaking rep, but it’s gonna have to be a pretty strong itch.
  2. I’m considering enrolling in the Himalayan Academy‘s Supervised Master Course Study. I already have the books (although I’ll likely be purchasing a new, matching set because I’m OCD like that), and I recently paid the $11 to receive the workbook and worksheets. The basic flow here is that there are three, rather large, books that the Course is studied from. In addition to that, sadhaks receive the workbook/worksheets and in an organized and scheduled manner sadhaks work their way through the 15-month curriculum. You study the material. You do the homework. You send it to a monk at the Kaui monastery and get feedback. The whole journey is more than just doing homework assigned by monks. As I understand it, it’s essential Saivite catechism, plus sadhana instruction… leading up to and including formal conversion. After completing this, there are another 1-2 “courses” spiritual aspirants can progress through. Support for students/sadhaks is provided by the monks directly, as well as other resources including a super-top-secret-members-only Facebook group.

Once upon a time, when for about 13 seconds, I offered Dr. Phil (the largest asshole ever) my full attention, I heard him say that part of what plagues America these days is that we never complete anything. We’re apparently excellent starters, but no so excellent completers. I don’t know that this is where my manager got the term, but it IS likely the one thing Dr. Phil and I agree on. To be a completer you need commitment. Thus this post.


These aren’t resolutions, and here’s why I think that: While I am starting these with a distant and vague goal of completing them, it’s vastly more about the journey. I love learning-learning-learning. Nonstop learning. And I’m probably not going to stop buying (too many) books. I have hundreds of books; not a single one is fiction. That’s also not likely to change. But I don’t want to be in the middle of so many. What’s the matter with exercising a little bhakti for the sake of furthering myself along the path to Jnana-yogi-ness?

Meh, we’ll see.

Om Shanti

New Year Jnanam



One of my Facebook friends, a few days ago, posted something asking that others comment on it. She basically asked for people to share what their most potent lesson of 2012 had been. You’d laugh to know how many times I started to type something and stopped myself. I struggled for a few minutes to discern what THE lesson of 2012 could have been for me. Even now, I’m not sure what I think the most valuable lesson might have been.

I could say that I’ve learned that prayer/meditation/spiritual efforts do, absolutely, produce results. I could say that one should always approach a person/place/thing with the intention of leaving that person/place/thing better than when he found it. I could say that one should always strive to help, no matter what, regardless of the payoff – or lack thereof. I can’t say that these are all things I learned this year. In truth, thanks to my upbringing and making my own path in life, I knew them long before 2012 surfaced. Although I was aware of and practicing these lessons before this year came around, I should at least give them credit for helping to drive home a kind of realization that definitely was most valuable for me this year.

This is likely the first year that I’ve been able to taste Jnana Yoga as fully as I did. Beyond that statement, it’s tough to describe the form that realization took. Coming to mind is Arjuna’s experience in the Bhagavad Gita when the Vishwarupa was shown to him. A bit overwhelmed, a bit wiser, but very humbled and grateful for the (difficult) experience of seeing more of the picture of who I am -which is the same picture each of us sees when we glance deeper and deeper into our core. This same picture that we all see is the divine within each of us, God. That’s definitely been the most valuable experience for me in 2012.

On that note, and in connection with Jnana Yoga, I want to share a couple of posts from The Hindu Blog. I frequent this blog because it’s been a huge source of information for me and a couple very recent posts to it speak of Jnana Yoga and the role it plays in one’s growth, enlightenment, and moksha.

Spirituality Is Simply the Process of Not Identifying with What We Are Not -Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev -founder of the Isha Foundation

First we need to know that the basis of our misery is that we have established ourselves in untruth. We are deeply identified with that which we are not. Somewhere along the way we have gotten identified with things around us. We have got identified with our body and mind. That is the source of suffering. The whole experience of transcending your limitations must happen within you. If you want to transcend, only if you are truly willing, it can happen. Otherwise no power on earth or in heaven can move you. Spirituality is simply the process of not identifying with what we are not, to shed the layers of conditioning so that we know what we are NOT. When that is completed, we arrive at something that cannot be discounted. This discovery will be the recognition of divinity, and we will see that there is no reason for misery in the world.

Under Whatever Form One Worships That Which Has No Form, It Is Only A Means of Perceiving It -Ramana Maharishi

Surrender to Him and abide by His will whether He appears or disappears; await His pleasure. If you ask Him to do as you please, it is not surrender, but command. You cannot have Him obey you and yet think you have surrendered. He knows what is best, when and how. Leave everything entirely to Him. The burden is His. You no longer have any cares. All your cares are His. That is surrender. That is Devotion. Under whatever name and form one worships that which has no name and no form, it is only a means of perceiving It. To know the truth of one’s Self as the True reality, and merge and become One with It is the only true Perception/Realization/Liberation. Understand this! He whose pure mind turns inward and searches whence does this ‘I’ arise, knows the Self and merges in You, the Lord, As a river into the sea.

Happy New Year to you all. It’s my hope that 2012 brought you the same great things it brought me, and that 2013 brings us all increased realization.

Om Shanti




Every year, for probably the whole month of December folks look forward to the coming New Year. And rightly so, na? It’s our collective time of rebirth. The last year, with its good and bad, is put away. We’re starting January with the cleanest slate we can manage and high hopes, if not unreasonable goals.



Most people, by far, enter January with the absolutely best intentions for what they consider to be personal improvement. They join the crowds -entire masses of our populations- who are determined (resolute?) to make changes in the coming 365 days. Diets are started. Gym memberships are purchased. Self-help books are cracked open. In other circles japa bead are grabbed, vratas are commenced, pujas performed. And with a sad predictability, before Valentine’s Day much of this is out the window. All but abandoned.

I feel conflicted and certain about this phenomenon.

On one hand, misery loves company and I think everyone’s chances are bettered when others are attempting the same, samely. We get to commiserate and compare notes and encourage each other when we’re striving toward similar goals at the same time. This is what I’m certain of. Here’s an instance where going with the crowd can prove to be beneficial.

Unfortunately, while I often “go with the flow,” I usually prefer to make my own way in Life’s river’s currents and don’t usually need the additional comradery of pursuing a goal with others. With that in mind, imagine my delight when a number of years ago I had someone in my chair at the spa who told me she NEVER begins her resolutions in January. Her preference? Her appearance day.

Everyone has an Appearance Day. Sometimes you’ll hear of this when speaking of a guru or some revered person. Appearance Day basically refers to one’s birthday. And truth be told, your birthday/Appearance Day is your life’s naturally occurring New Year.

So every year in the weeks leading up to her birthday, this client of mine would develop her personal resolutions and start them on her personal New Year. In the years since my conversation with this gal I’ve adopted the practice, too.

Now, every year around the end of July I begin thinking about my year’s end and what I hope to accomplish in the next 365 days of life for me. For me personally a big benefit of this of that my goals are unannounced. I determine my goal. I determine my pace. And if/when I lack the motivation to continue with my resolution, and fall on my face, few know about it. 🙂

One of the best things about celebrating my New Year in August? I get to enjoy watching all of you hit the grind knowing I get to sit back for another eight months.

Happy 2013 to you all.