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Navya Shastra to inaugurate Krishna temple at Idamani, Tamil Nadu

Organization leader Dr. Jaishree Gopal to promote Navya Shastra's message of spiritual equality

Troy, Michigan--July 8, 2006--When the 2005 tsunami thrashed India and other parts of Asia, Dr. Jaishree Gopal, Navya Shastra Chairman, knew that the organization she led had to get involved in the relief efforts in some way. "The images were horrifying, and I felt guilty living in my comfortable home while the tsunami left millions destitute and homeless," she said.

She and Co-Chairman Vikram Masson compiled and publicized a list of charities doing substantive work in India, and exhorted the Navya Shastra membership -and anyone they knew - to make generous donations. But for an organization dedicated to fostering the spiritual equality of all Hindus, Dr. Gopal still looked for a more tangible way of leaving an impression, so when an opportunity arose to reconstruct a destroyed Perumal Koyil (Krishna) temple in Idamani, a hamlet near scenic Lake Pulicat in Tamil Nadu, she jumped at the chance. "We felt that this project would not only help a group of people affected by the tsunami, it would also give us a chance to promote our message of spiritual equality. We believe that Hindus are not constrained by any hierarchy, that anyone with the inclination and discipline can serve as a priest, and that all Vedic samskaras (sacraments) should be made available to men and women of any community," she said.

With the help of Jaishankar, currently head of charitable projects for Aim for Seva (which handled the construction work), Dr. Gopal raised the funds for the temple project with the assistance of the Navya Shastra community.

Navya Shastra member Mukunda Raghavan, a lawyer and fundraiser, said it was not difficult at all :"There is great interest among NRIs in preserving of Hindu culture in rural India. The vast majority of donors also agreed that Navya Shastra's message of spiritual equality would be warmly received in Idamani."

After a year of construction, Dr. Gopal will inaugurate the temple on July 13, at 9:00 AM. Joining her will be members of Navya Shastra from India and her daughter Ramya. In addition to the kumbabhishekham (inauguration ceremony), Dr. Gopal will speak to the villagers about the importance of spiritual equality.

All are welcomed to attend. The villages proximity to Lake Pulicat and Chennai will make for an enjoyable day trip. For further information or directions to Idamani from Chennai, please send an email to