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Saibaba Temple attracts handsome donations

As the long-awaited Temple for Shirdi Saibaba incorporating a number of other Deities opens in Auckland, it will herald a record of achievements, unique to the resident Hindu community.

As well as being the largest Temple in New Zealand (with built-in area of 3500 Sq Meters), it will accommodate the largest Temple Hall (990 Sq meters, of which the main Prayer Hall accounts for 845 Sq meters); and at an expected final bill of about $6 million, it would also be the most expensive Hindu place of worship in our country.

None of these would however match the spirit of donors and their generosity. Many have remained anonymous, despite contributing substantial sums of money.

Shirdi Saibaba Sansthan New Zealand Inc is one of a kind, with diversity of language, cultural background and even religion.

Baba’s Power

The Power of Baba, His devotees say, transcends all human barriers, inspiring them to contribute- either money or physical efforts, often both.

Records speak more than what we can write; regular weekly contributions, committed through direct bank credits and those made at Thursday prayers and on special occasions, have added hundreds of millions of dollars over the years, while larger contributions have accrued at other landmark events.

Said Sansthan Secretary Hameed Mohammed, “Baba guides us and fellow devotees all the time. We were able to collect more than $1.08 million through 108 donations of $10,001 each for our ‘Major Donor Scheme,’ while ‘Kalpatharu Donors’ brought in $540,108 (through 108 donations of $5001 each). The names of major donors will be displayed along with 108 names of Baba, while Kalpatharu donors will have their names displayed at the Temple,” he said.

Other activities that helped to raise funds were ‘Sai Punya Vachan’ (11 sayings of Baba amounting to $21,000 from 11 donors), ‘Sai Sahasranama Donors’ (more than $1 million through 1008 donors of $1001 each).


Community Service

Sansthan Vice-President Shivani Arora said that an expressed purpose of the Temple Project is to serve the community in meaningful ways.

“Our aim is to add value to individuals as well as the society. All of us give our time and effort on voluntary basis, keep our accounts in order and obtain necessary approvals from our members through General Body Meetings. The Temple is a dream project in which we have incurred expenditure judiciously, making it one of the finest in the world,” she said.

Challenging process

President Hari Gangisetty said that an existing warehouse, purchased on March 21, 2011 for $2.7 million, was converted into a purpose-built Temple with a number of other facilities (Indian Newslink, September 15, 2013) at an estimated cost of $3.3 million. Several facilities will be hired to the community, the income from which will help pay off the loans, he said.

“The total cost of making the statues of Deities is about $120,000, befitting the size and stature of a Temple of this magnitude. The Presiding Deity of the Temple is a 5½ feet, life- size statue of Baba in spotless white makarana marble. Other idols of Ganesh, Hanuman, Radhakrishna, Rama, Durga and Dattatreya are 42” high. The Temple will also be adorned by 42” Balaji, Padmavathi and Shiva Linga set in black granite,” Mr Mohammed said.

The main Prayer Hall will house 18” Navagrahas in black granite.

Supporting people

Mrs Arora said that Suresh Sathavalli and Tejas Joshi, respectively from South and North India will be the Priests at the Temple.

The Temple Project is managed by the Executive Committee of the Sansthan. Among the other members are Treasurer Ramanathan Murugesu and Members Laxman Sunkari, Sainath Nethula, Rajiv Keth, Rajesh Ramanujam, Rajesh Kumar, Raj Duptala, Dr Renuka Garineni, Madhukant Jogia, Dr S Pragna Allum, Kunal Mootwani and Shivpaul Gupta.

Photo :

1. The Main Dome of the Saibaba Temple

2. The massive Prayer Hall

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