Gurudeva sends his best wishes and blessings to all to mark the beginning of the New Year. In his New Year talk he speaks out to temple trustees around the world encouraging them to take the leadership responsibility seriously.
We want to wish everyone a very happy New Year. This is a very important year for Hindus around the world. It is the year of aggressiveness, the year of accomplishment, the year of will power. This year we except a lot of accomplishment worldwide, in all the temples that have been established outside of India.
Hindus worldwide have demonstrated enough of togetherness and generosity, in working to build temples and have them dedicated in the proper and authentic way. Many ask now, "Why did we build the temple?" and answer, "Well, so we can get together in community, hold the community together and stop conversion."
True. Very, very true. That was the first goal and that has been accomplished in several hundred temples worldwide, in many countries. Now, the trustees of the temple are becoming looked at more and more, as the spiritual leaders of the community. If a government representative wants to talk to the spiritual leader of the temple, who does he ask for? He asks for the president and the president comes forward in that capacity. Maybe momentarily, but he does come forward in that capacity.
I want to see the stewardship of each temple to take the leadership responsibilities seriously. The temples are built, the temples are dedicated, the Deities are there, the priests are there, the congregation is there. It is up to the core elected leadership, the trustees of the temple to actually become full-time spiritual leaders and make a difference in the lives of the parents, in the lives of the children and change the community to being a model community. If members of the community who attend the temple drink alcohol and because of that become angry and because of that, are a problem within their family and neighborhood, they should go to Alcoholics Anonymous. It is the duty of the trustees of the temple to visit their homes, talk with them and see that that happens. If wives within the community are beaten, slapped, verbally abused, it is the duty of the wives of the trustees of the temple to see that they are put into a safe place and the situation is corrected within the community.