First Saiva Siddhanta Mandram Forms in San Francisco
On Sunday, April 1st, members of Saiva Siddhanta Church living in the Francisco Bay Area of northern California, gathered in the presence of His Holiness, Gurudeva Sivaya Subramuniyaswami to officially form the Saiva Siddhanta Mandram of San Francisco at the Church's USA branch there. It was the first formal implementation of organizational patterns described in the 1984 edition of The Book of Discipline of Saiva Siddhanta Church, released from Kauai Aadheenam, the Church's international headquarters on the night of Maha Sivaratri this year.
The Book Of Discipline describes the comprehensive, flexible patterns by which Church members around the world may organize themselves for nurturing the religious life of their own community, while outreaching to other Hindus in the mission of protecting, preserving and promoting the Saivite Hindu religion. The Church members of San Francisco, come of whom have been active in Gurudeva's mission since as early as 1959, had made a written request in March to reform their community under the new Mandram pattern described in The Book of Discipline. Gurudeva brought with him his trip to California the Mandram Declaration, which Church members, men, women and youth, signed that evening. By unanimous vote the Chairpersons for the various Mandram bodies were elected: Jegan Iswaran, who has immigrated from Sri Lanka, for the United Saivite Men; Bhavani Param, recently moved from New York for the United Saivite Women; Muni Nalluran for the School Board; Sitara Nadesan for the United Saivite Youth Girl's division; Muruga Nalluran for the Youth, Boy's division; and Muni Nalluran was voted in by the above as Chairperson of the Council on Ministries, which is the administrative body of the Mandram, comprising all the Chairpersons of the different bodies. Gurudeva blessed the group and the swami who was with him offered suggestions for the community's mission work. It was an evening of great joy and inspiration as all devotees shared with Gurudeva a unanimous vision for an active, productive future of mission work for the Saiva Samayam.
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