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Proposed General body Resolution:

Houston Ayyappas, dedicated Ayyappa devotees wishing the very best not only for their families but also for the community as a whole! There is a large number of Ayyappa devotee base in and around Houston, who are part of Sri Meenakshi Temple Society that have a desire to construct The Holy 18 steps for Lord Sri Ayyappa. There is also a keen interest among children to participate in Ayyappa Mandala Pooja that preserves our rich cultural heritage. At the completion of the Mandala Vridham, climbing the Holy 18 steps is a point of culmination for austerity. It is assumed that after climbing up these eighteen steps reverently, one symbolically detaches oneself from all the worldly ties that bind one physically and mentally to the world. It is only then that a person will be in a receptive condition to be `one' in consonance with the concept of 'The Ultimate Creator.

The pilgrimage to Sabarimala is one of the rituals in the mandala Vridham however, being away from our home country the desire to climb the 18 steps is not being fulfilled due to several other constraints such as job requirements, financial strains etc. On the other hand there are few Hindu temples in North America that have already consecrated Ayyappa shrine with the holy 18 steps as an adjunct to their main shrine and have succeeded fulfilling the needs of the Ayyappa devotees and enjoying the benefits.

On behalf of Ayyappa devotees, we are requesting Sri Meenakshi Temple Board to construct the holy 18 steps. This will fulfill the needs of southern part of the United States Ayyappa devotees in addition to bringing substantial revenue to our temple. MTS was the first temple to build a sanctum for Lord Ayyappa in US, and has a set milestone in performing the Mandala Pooja year after year for the past 28 years. Each year the number of devotees participating in this Mandala Pooja and sponsoring abishegams has considerably increased. MTS will also be setting another milestone in the year 2012 by conducting the 30th Annual Mandala Pooja, and we the Ayyappa devotees very much desire that our long term dream of the Ayyappa Sannidhanam with Holy 18 steps be fulfilled by then.

Resolution:

So be it resolved that Sri Meenakshi Temple Society, approve the construction of holy 18 steps in the MTS premises for the estimated project cost of US$300,000 (US. $ Three hundred thousand dollars) with overhead contingency of US$30,000 (US. $ Thirty thousand dollars). The estimate for this construction of the Ayyappa Sannidhanam with Holy 18steps is based on the construction estimate of The Hindu Temple of St. Louis.

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Valarie CooleyBy:
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MTS Devotees

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