Dear Devotees and Supporters,
It has been over year since the opening of our Mandir. We are happy to share with you that positive messages are still pouring in from many of you who had visited the Mandir on or after the opening, about the beauty and vibrations of Shanti that was felt in the Mandir! So much so, our daily Puja, which we have been conducting without any break, is being very well attended on Facebook and is being highly appreciated. This has been a very motivating and encouraging factor for all of us.
During the last one year, we have received a few valid queries and concerns from all of you,
we would like to take this opportunity and clarify valid queries received over the year.
Bhartiya Sanskritik Society (BSS) & Interest-free loan to BSS
The real name of the organisation was Bhartiya Sanskritik Kendra Trust (BSKT) that was abbreviated by the bank for convenience to BSS. BSKT, as a precursor to HCCI, was formed in 1991 with objectives similar to HCCI (and VHCCI). Thus, BSKT is the mother of HCCI and VHCCI. BSKT always remained an unincorporated organisation with a draft constitution. It wasn’t activated being unviable at the time due to the community being small.
Money was transferred from HCCI, on professional advice from solicitor and accountant, to BSS to safeguard it against a potential threat. It was a safer option to deal with an organisation that has common management. Three directors from BSKT had joined HCCI and continue with VHCCI.
The year-on-year variation in amount is because HCCI was still in full operation, and had also acquired the Mandir on lease in 2012 in Lucan. So, HCCI needed occasionally to withdraw the funds for its ongoing activities.
Ultimately, the BSS returned HCCI's funds in 2015 but also transferred its funds of €27,252.
As a result, VHCCI NOW HAS the MANDIR.
HCCI & VHCCI Constitution
VHCCI is following the CRA Model Constitution. CRA wasn’t around when HCCI was formed in 2007. However, the HCCI constitution was based on a standard template from the Company Registration Office (CRO) and had a CHY number issued by the Revenue Commissioners. HCCI has subsequently transformed into VHCCI since 2015; HCCI has been defunct since 2015 and is now legally closed. Neither of the two authorities (CRO and CRA) has ever complained about the constitution(s).
VHCCI, as a registered charity, has obligations to meet legal requirements by the Charity Regulator. One cannot become a charity one day and the next day a private organisation. Please visit http://www.charityregulator.ie/ for more guidance on this topic.
VHCCI directors in 2015 are the same persons who were directors of HCCI at that time. HCCI was transformed into VHCCI, in every detail.
The Article about the selection of Directors was inserted by the founding members as a guideline for the Board. The intention has been to avoid election as it sometimes leaves a bitter aftertaste. HCCI has always been practising making decisions by consensus, and so does the VHCCI.
HCCI had 10 founding members (Directors) in 2007. VHCCI had 10 founding members (Directors) in 2015 that included three new, selected directors.
The ‘selection’ process has served VHCCI and HCCI well. The Board has operated smoothly and efficiently. As a result, we do have a Mandir as part of the Cultural Centre. The proof of the pudding is in the eating it!
HCCI and VHCCI income and expenses between 2007 and 2020:
HCCI and VHCCI board of directors have published a summary of all financial information on our website www.hindu.ie/reports.
Two summary documents provide financial activity based on HCCI and VHCCI yearly activities.
First document: The very first page is the summary of HCCI income and expenses from its inception in 2007 to closure in 2015 and at the end of 2015, Euro 156,729 was transferred to VHCCI a/c to buy Temple property and
Second document: The very first page is the summary of VHCCI income and expenses from its inception in 20015 to 2020.
These documents also contain supplementary information for financial statements.
It has always been VHCCI policy to ensure compliance with statutory regulations for public buildings. Lately, due to extensive delays, our priority has been to do everything possible to publicly open the Mandir ASAP even if that meant some elements of the project had to have temporarily differed. We are grateful for your kind support and understanding, over this difficult time. We have achieved our primary goal.
All this has impacted the processing of the Life Membership issue, a promise made in good faith in 2018 when the First Time a matter of membership was considered. VHCCI subsequently decided to consider all the Donors for Life Membership who have had made generous financial contributions over the lifetime of HCCI and VHCCI. And this caused further administrative delays. We do hope you understand the circumstances.
VHCCI, as a registered charity, has obligations to meet legal requirements by the Charity Regulator; meaning thereby, any other obligations, real or perceived, are secondary. However, we shall do our best to balance both with your support.
We have rolled out the Life Membership and send forms to all donors and we will send membership numbers to all donor who have sent the correct form and those will meet the criteria defined in our membership condition.
Hello VHCCI. I am not sure if we have a Hindu temple or Hindu Church. What made you think you can pollute a temple premises by putting a Xmas tree, please. Also where in Hindu scriptures written to Switch of Xmas lights 🤔 can you educate me please 🙏.
At the outset VHCCI thanks its devotees and supporters for making it possible to achieve the long-held dream of a Hindu Cultural Centre that includes a Serv Sampradaya Hindu Mandir, exemplifying inclusiveness.
In direct response to the comment, VHCCI would like to inform you that we are a founder member of the Dublin City Interfaith Forum (DCIF), since 2012, in which Seven faiths are partners working together towards harmony and social inclusion in society. These Seven faiths are, in alphabetical order: Bahai, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism. DCIF strongly believe that in multicultural and diverse Dublin, the Faith communities have an important role to play in creating an environment for peace, harmony, mutual respect and inclusion. Thus a symbolic celebration of Christmas by erecting a Christmas Tree in the Mandir premises is our contribution towards that.
Hinduism is the oldest and the third largest religion in the world. Sanatan Dharma or Hinduism believe in Vasundhara Kutambakkam, the World is One Family. Hinduism preaches the unity of the Godhead, or ultimate Reality, and accepts every faith as a valid means for its followers to realise the Truth.
The Christmas Tree is a very modern tradition that one will not find its reference in Bible never mind in Hindu scriptures, they predate Christianity.
As a general note, respecting trees & nature is an integral part of Hindu Dharma since time immemorial, long before any religion came into existence. Different religions may have different interpretations & explanations. Spiritually we learn many facts of life from trees. Some of these are:
1-Trees select only good minerals from the ground despite a lot of dirt around.
2-Most trees teach us how to live in adversities.
3-Trees give us selflessly Oxygen & food.
4-Pine Tree changes the shape of leaves to remain green in winters - which means little adaptations during adverse times help to survive.
Lights have a very special meaning in Hindu Dharma. We have even Festival of Lights (Diwali) - spiritual meaning is “ always be in search of light”. (knowledge) to reduce the darkness ( Ignorance) in our thoughts & lives. Happiness & sadness is a creation of our thoughts. Vedic Sanatan Dharma is Eternal & its perspectives always create peace & happiness in our minds.
Heating work fully completed
Website is upgraded
Planning for running of the Culture Centre and Mandir when it fully opens.
Full annual financial statements, from 2007 onwards, are being published on the VHCCI website (https://www.hindu.ie/reports).
Reporting to regulatory authorities, CRO and CRA, is well looked after.
Quarterly visit and compliance of Health & Safety and Fire.
Daily opening of the temple by volunteers
Last, but not least, through this News Board (www.hindu.ie/FAQ), we will regularly keep you updated and informed on any further developments/progress that takes place.
Please stay well & safe and let's all keep virtually attending our daily Puja online at www.facebook.com/hindu.ie
Monday – Saturday: 6pm to 7pm.
Sunday: 4pm to 5pm.
AGM 2021 Queries and Answer
Q1 Availability of hall for events and occasions – Guidelines with a fee?
Q2 At least we need to give it for bigger occasions like marriages, community events etc., to generate money (with proper guidelines).
Answer to Q 1 & 2: These are good and important questions. After the AGM, we will be formulating detailed Guidelines for events & occasions which will be overseen by a sub-committee.
The Board will be very happy to consider letting space in the Centre once it is satisfied that we have resources, like staff, security and equipment. In the meantime, the Board will be proactive in receiving detailed proposals and the scope of the activity for which the space is required. So, please submit a detailed proposal.
We shall soon have a subcommittee looking after utilisation of space in the Centre, with a policy at hand.
Q3 Future improvement Plan and updates (example Kitchen and library, improvement of current floor and any other improvements.
• Kitchen is our top priority and we hope to have it finished as soon as we possibly can, subject to availability of funds.
• The ground floor needs to be levelled and improved.
• The upstairs section has to be re-enforced and upgraded.
• The roof has to be upgraded. It’s a major job.
• Library: A consignment of suitable books has recently been received from India. A section will be allocated to set up a library.
Q4. Need to provide forms online and at the entrance of shine Area for Direct Debits € 11,21,51 or more, as it not only helps getting funds for temple maintenance but also increases footfall in the temple.
Answer: Good idea. We will have blank Standing Order forms, from various financial institutions, available in the next two weeks.
Q5. Any plans for permanent Poojari at least for weekends (where we can use for sending house warmings or poojas in home and temple which will generate some money too)
Answer: Having a full-time Pujari is our top priority which we want to fulfil ASAP.
Q6. Previously we had a VHCCI group which was easy to reach the community or get Volunteers, but that group has been deleted now, we need more volunteers now than before, for Many reasons (Covid-19, daily maintenance, controlling Devotees, bhajans, managing events, etc.) – but I feel there will be over usage of a small group of volunteers, definitely need many more.
Answer: We communicate and interact with our friends and devotees mainly through the VHCCI Facebook page. VHCCI website is also updated regularly. We also send messages to our LM through WhatsApp Broadcast. Please save VHCCI WhatsApp number 089 458 4949 on your phone. From time to time, we also send important messages through email (Info@hindu.ie). We will be improving this as we go along.
We will be structuring the management and operations of VHCCI and we will be looking for more volunteers. This is under active consideration.
Q7. Cleaning and maintenance (Including Bins) – Plan.
Inventory in Temple: who is maintaining Inventory in the temple, if we need plates, water, cups, other daily usage items who will bring them (who’s responsibility)? Ideas or suggestions: I always feel –if anyone mentions something that person will be pushed or ended up taking that action or responsibility (talking of members other than directors)- this need to change, if not members will stop mentioning anything just stay calm or sit in the home.
Answer: These are operational and activities that will be part of a WC’s role.
Q8. What’s the plan or action to stop the Anti messages regarding Temple, as it’s not good for anyone and it’s not only damaging VHCCI, its damage to the Hindu community.
Not sure what’s the Motive of the Anti-group and who’s running this – they are spending a hell of a lot of Hours; I am losing my energy every time I saw a negative report.
Answer: We welcome healthy criticism as it helps to improve matters, provided its objective is not malicious. We encourage discussion rather than confrontation. We request that all suggestions and criticisms should be accompanied by pragmatic solutions. Where needed, without getting into an argument, we try to give explanations through different channels.
Q9. Any changes in Management? As a new team may have fresh ideas (usually every organization do some changes every couple of years for fresh Ideas or a revamp) ...
Answer: You will see many changes and improvements are already taking place. There are many new faces on the Board - young blood and also ladies have been included in the Board. A new Working Committee will soon be in place. All these changes will have a big impact on the overall working of VHCCI.
Q10. What’s the Role of Associate directors, it’s been more than 2 years now –need to refresh the AD’s (interested can remain, replace not interested members) and need to assign roles for AD’s if this goes to continue.
Answer: Some of the ADs will be amalgamated with the new WC. Anyone sincerely wanting to do Sewa will be given a chance.
Q11. From my side I will contribute and do the work / Sewa wherever possible to my capacity (I don’t have any hidden agenda or personal conflicts with anyone in VHCCI, I only want to see everyone who visits Temple feel Happy and gets peace & happiness.
Answer: your ideals of doing selfless Sewa are highly appreciated. If others in the community have similar Bhawana then there will be no looking back for the community.
Q12. please let us know when these Gurus can start teaching about the Santana civilization and its rich heritage to the community in the VHCCI Hindu Temple?
Answer: This is a matter that the Board of Members will be favourably taking up after the AGM. There are certain issues the Board will have to resolve first - matters like health & safety, heating, refurbishment of the flooring, insurance - especially where children under the age of 18 are concerned. So, once these issues are sorted out, VHCCI will be more than happy to offer its premises for use in the community. Various organizations have approached us. But, in practical terms, it could take up one to one and a half years before all the works are completed.
We have also received several requests from different organisations to conduct religious classes, Gita Classes, regional languages classes, Indian Classical dance classes, Bollywood dance classes, Yoga and sports classes etc. These classes will help future generations to learn new activities, learn more about our religion, culture, languages and values.
However, conducting classes in the main hall especially where small and young children are involved can only take place when all the outstanding work is completed. The Shrine area is reserved only for Puja. We are more than willing to accommodate as it will be an excellent service and a good source of revenue for VHCCI.
Q13. Would appreciate it if you please let me know my lifetime Life Membership number and from effective date etc. Thanks
Q14. Hi VHCCI, I am the donor, which was meant to have a Life membership. I can see my names on the Donor list board in the temple. But I haven't received my Life membership yet.
Answer Q 13 & Q 14: For Membership, your name is your ID. (For the time being VHCCI isn’t further processing Life Membership applications. So, in the meantime your name is your id.)
Q15. Request for Members details.
Answer: Please look up the VHCCI website where all Members names are given. The new Members names will also be published there shortly.
Q16. can we get regular finance updates for a better transparency purpose?
Answer: Yearly accounts are posted on the website. From here onwards we will try to post half-yearly or quarterly accounts.
Q17. There are a lot of individuals working but I see everyone has a different approach. We need a process-oriented approach, which everyone agrees to follow. If we learn new things, we add them into the process as we go along - so the process will evolve with time. A process-oriented approach is less prone to errors.
Answer: We have worked out detailed systems and processes which will be implemented by the new Board and the WC.
Q18. I would suggest inviting local councillors, TDs, Garda etc for special occasions. These could be Janmashtami, Ganesh Chaturthi etc. This will show VHCCI presence and community work to the authorities.
Answer: We have been doing that in the past and even during the pandemic. With the lifting of the Covid restrictions, it will be easier to invite dignitaries and other authorities like the Garda with whom we regularly interact.
Q19. We need more volunteers, who genuinely and selflessly want to work. More volunteers mean more people can do the Mandir rota. Also, we need a dedicated backup for each day.
Answer: Agree with you. We will be seeking to expand our volunteer network. Selflessly working Volunteers are the backbone of an organization especially a religious, cultural and spiritual one like VHCCI.
Q20. It is a good thing that VHCCI is inviting different Indian communities.
Answer: Ours is a Sarv Sampradaya Mandir, a place of worship where all Dharmic and cultural activities are encouraged. Where all diverse sections of the Hindu society are welcome to participate.
Q21. We need to select Community champions and let them submit proposals for what they would like to do in the Mandir from the Seva perspective. If approved, they should be able to run the show. VHCCI volunteers may facilitate and monitor the use of space but nothing beyond that.
Answer: You are correct. That would be very helpful. Thanks.
Q22. We need a dedicated Bhajan team, they should also work on a rota basis. So different people on different days - this will help to encourage more people from different communities across India.
Answer: again, we couldn’t agree more.
Q23. We need to do an inventory of items required for the Mandir regularly such as cleaning items, prasad, flowers, napkins, ghee, agarbatti etc. It should not be done on an ad hoc basis or by someone voluntarily. We should have a dedicated team looking after it.
Answer: this work will duly be delegated to a Sub-committee to look after.
Q24. We would need guidance around cooked bhog. At the moment some families are doing it. Do we plan to extend it to more families?
Answer: Our current model of Mandir operation is temporary due to the pandemic. However, once the operating environment improves and becomes normal, more people will be involved to share certain responsibilities.
Q25. We need dedicated people for communication on social media to create a positive and strong image in the community. Negative publicity happening in social media should be nipped in the bud.
Answer: We will have a special media spokesperson to look after publicity.
Regarding negative publicity being spread by a few mislead persons from within the community is very unfortunate indeed. Whatever their intentions are, they are damaging the Hindu community. This menace has to be collectively countered by all well-meaning community members. As stated earlier, we welcome constructive and objective criticism, but there is no room for intentionally damaging dissent. In any case, negativity harms more the person indulging in it, as his or her mental psyche gets polluted by it. It adversely affects their own family and working life - it further tarnishes their name and standing in society. Such people need to seriously reflect on their deeds, repent and reform - for their own sake.
Q26. All the BODs should be more visible in the Mandir. It should not feel that only 2-3 people are running the show.
Answer: You will be pleased to know that the criteria of selection of new members are from active, visible persons who have been doing Sewa in the Temple. The Chairperson has already spoken at length on this subject.
Q27. We need guidance inside the Mandir. Kids playing football, throwing wet food on the floor, under the carpet etc - all these behaviours should be discouraged
Answer: Notices of does and don’ts, and other rules & regulations will be put up on the premises. Parents will be reminded of their responsibility to restrain their children.
Q28. Many thanks for your support and for giving us a lovely Mandir.
Answer: It’s very kind of you to say that. It was all a collective effort by dedicated people who with the full support of the community succeeding in making this longstanding dream of the Hindu community come true.
Thank you all.