Thursday, March 20, 2014
Write-Up on the book 'Hindu Temple Management'
Write-Up on the Book: "Hindu Temple Management"
The book is a first-ever systematic presentation on the art of managing Hindu Temples, Maths and Ashrams. Temple Management calls for a unique approach, completely different as compared to what may be required to manage a commercial business, a property or even a charitable institution. A temple manager’s work is more complex than that of any other managers. It is not easy if he wants to run it in a way it should.
A temple manager is expected to be a superman; after all he is the manager of God’s house. He is visualized as a person who is as kind as a kind mother, friendly as a loving brother, strict as a tough father and knowledgeable as a brilliant teacher. He is further required to be a ruthless administrator and a strategist like a Chanakya. All of the above rolled in one! A tall order? Certainly yes. For the temple manager to fit the bill, this book helps provide ideas, milestones, flag posts, warnings and tools. It is expected to enable those temple managers who want to make a success of their temples for the good of the community along with the good of their own self.
Does a temple have any social responsibility? Spiritual responsibility? Any dharmic responsibility? Should it be accountable? What are pitfalls? How are a temple manager and staff to be remunerated? How to use technology and how to still be independent of it? What about the laws of the country? How can a temple engage a community and so also, how can community, in turn, engage with temple? These and many other issues are addressed in this book.
Hinduism by its very nature adapts to the needs of time. Therefore if we find that temples are lacking in some of their ideals today, it is not an insurmountable problem. It can be overcome with some thoughtful corrections. It should be ensured that these corrections be 100% dharma-compliant and yet reflect modern day realities.
The first chapter gives ideas on how the management of a temple is not similar to managing a business, a property or even a charitable institute; it is much more than those.
The second chapter familiarizes a reader with ideas behind building temples, how are they financed since time immemorial and details of its structure. Also it lists what is expected and what is not expected from a temple. Thus it sets the agenda of what is to come in the next chapters
The third chapter is the longest. It gives overview of temple functions such as administration, maintenance, engagement with community-volunteering, managing pooja rituals etc. and then goes headlong in detailing all the administrative aspects that a temple manager should pay attention to.
Three important subjects are discussed in the fourth chapter; efficient maintenance of the premises, ways of engaging with community and interfaith protocols.
The fifth chapter deals with setting benchmarks for ideal pooja rituals, choosing appropriate stotras, inspirational songs, various pooja requisites and innovative ideas to achieve them.
The sixth chapter draws attention of temple managers towards laws and bylaws governing aspects of running a temple and emphasizes that they need to know local laws governing temples and the community the temples intend to serve. It provides a few legal definitions, allowed and disallowed temple-practices etc.
As end-notes, the book asks 55 teaser questions and provides their short answers that also serve as a quick revision of the book.
What this book does not provide is equally important to understand for the readers. This book does not aim to teach Religious Rituals, Sanskrit Language, Hinduism, Yoga, Meditation or Astrology. These subjects are avoided so as not to dilute message of this book which focuses on the management aspect of temples.
It is hoped that this book will go a long way in improving management of temples. It is recommended that every temple retain a copy. If the temple owners/managers/trustees were to program a reading of this book at least once for the benefit of their staff, it would prepare ground for setting a minimum common denominator for the temples in the art of good-temple-management.The book is hard-bound and has 164 pages (155+ix). It is published by Global Vision Publishing House, New Delhi.
Your local book-store can get it for you or can be purchased by contacting publisher:
Global Vision Publishing House,
F-4, Ist Floor, 'Hari Sadan', 20, Ansari Road, Daryaganj (Near Delhi Book Store), Delhi : 110002 India.
Phone 011-23261581, 23276291, 64694271, 43575199, 43037885