Mrunal, Padmaja, and their daughter, Pooja Patel, are studying daily Master course lessons from Gurudeva's Trilogy: Dancing with Siva, Living with Siva and Merging with Siva. The family explains that in the last two years of learning something new everyday through the lessons has changed their lives.
"It has given us clarity on our goal in life and the tools we need to live a more balanced, joyous and fulfilling life," Mrunal Patel said. "We were introduced to Gurudeva's teachings and Kauai Aadheenam when we came across a copy of Hinduism Today at a friend's home."
The Patels have named the Kauai Aadheenam Monastic Endowment, the Hinduism Today Production Fund and the Hindu Orphanage Endowment fund as beneficiaries of a charitable life insurance policy. The Hindu Heritage Endowment manages all three funds.
"I read about the use of insurance to support a charity in the Monastery newsletter." Mrunal Patel said. "We looked at a lot of different options, and because of our age, it made sense to fund our bequest with life insurance."
At the death of the surviving spouse, 60% of the policy's proceeds will go to support the Kauai Aadheenam Monastic Endowment, which offsets expenses directly incurred by the monks and supports their travel, study, training and major medical expenses.
"We have tremendous respect for what monks do everyday, and the sacrifices they have made in their lives for the upliftment of humanity," Mrunal explained. "Donating to the temples comes naturally to most of us, but we must remember the monks and priests who maintain the strong vibrations at the temple by their daily pujas and rituals. We have to take care of them so they can continue preserving and passing down our religion to the next generation."
The Hinduism Today Production fund will receive 20% of the proceeds. The Patel's admire the magazine's broad interest in Hinduism worldwide and how it is the only Hindu magazine that does not propagate any one denomination.
The remaining 20% will support HHE's Hindu Orphanage Endowment Fund, allowing the Patels to help orphaned Hindu children around the world.
The Patels are members of a growing Hindu community that began arriving in West Texas almost 30 years ago. The new arrivals formed the Hindu Association of West Texas in 1983. They bought a home and converted it to a temple. The home now serves as a quarter for a Hindu priest who performs daily puja in the 8,000 square foot temple built two years ago.
"Most of the people who have come here were like me, raised in India," Mrunal explained. "But our kids need to have their culture passed on to them in order for Hinduism to survive into the next generation. The role of the Monastery has been vital in preparing religious educational materials and books for children."
Of his family's use of life insurance to support Hindu causes in the future, he added: "We can all do something through our estates to support the charities of our choice. The sooner we start, the better the return, just like any other investment."
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