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Sri Lakshmi Temple Presents Musical Evening For Fundraising

Nochur Kumar

Sri Lakshmi Temple of Ashland, MA is presenting Prasad, a program of light music by the acclaimed local group Aaroh, on 19th November to raise funds for the final phase of the Temple’s $ 3 million expansion project.  Started in rented premises during Deepavali 1978 and consecrated in 1990 as the first temple in the Boston area, Sri Lakshmi Temple caters to the religious needs of thousands of Hindus in the New England region.  The temple is renowned for the authentic manner in which worship services and festivals are conducted, and also for hosting cultural activities and religious discourses.  Even visitors from India comment on the spiritual power that is so palpable in the temple’s sanctums, and the peace and solace they feel after worshipping there. 


The expansion project was started two years ago to cater to the growing needs of the temple community for more space for religious, educational and cultural activities, as also for family events and celebrations.  The first phase ended with the construction of a two level annex building, with over 16,000 square feet of space.  The site work around the annex is in full swing now, as part of the second phase which began six weeks ago.  The interior work will also begin soon and the annex is expected to be ready in January.  It will provide the temple community a long overdue multipurpose hall (seating about 300) for cultural and social programs, a bigger kitchen and full cafeteria, handicap access, and new space for religious events, classes and private functions such as weddings and arangetrams.  

The expected cost of this phase is $ 3 million.  The trustees have funded the expansion project so far with donations from devotees, and with reserves built over the years.  The generous support of the devotee community has always been the backbone of Sri Lakshmi Temple, which has maintained a policy of not borrowing money for capital projects.  In keeping with that, the management requests devotees and friends of the temple to donate generously so that the annex can be completed on time with their kind financial support.  Srimati Ranjini Ramaswamy, one of the original founding members of the temple and currently a trustee and Chairperson of the Fundraising Committee, said the Prasad musical event is to bring the temple community together, update them on the progress of the annex, and request devotees and friends of the temple to help raise the $ 3 million needed to complete the project. 

Regarding the temple’s history and her thoughts on what’s next with the addition of the annex, Srimati Ramaswamy says: “We have come a long way, thanks to the exuberance and support of devotees in New England from day one.  This was the first temple in the area to serve their religious and spiritual needs.  Sri Lakshmi Temple’s divinity attracts devotees from near and far, who repeatedly tell me, often with tears in their eyes, that they feel the grace and blessings of Sri Lakshmi and other deities in our sanctums.”

“Along with the growth of the devotee community, so did the need for this expansion.  With the new space we can serve the community with more educational programs, cultural activities, and facilities for religious and social events.  Those who contribute to the project at this critical stage will be helping us reach a major milestone in the temple’s historyWe invite all friends and devotees to grace this event and help make it a grand success.”

The musical ensemble Aaroh, co-founded by singer Sri Vasanth Murthy, has kindly volunteered the talents of seven vocalists and six instrumentalists to help Sri Lakshmi Temple’s fundraising efforts. Their program PRASAD – A Musical Offering will be an evening of enchanting Bollywood and regional language songs spanning over half a century, followed by free dinner.  The venue is St. John’s High School, Shrewsbury, on Saturday, November 19th from 4 to 7:30 PM.  Individual tickets for the program are $ 50 and $ 100, with a group-of-four seating for $ 150.  For more information about Sri Lakshmi Temple or to purchase tickets, please visit www.srilakshmi.org, or call the office at 1-508-881-5775. 


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