The purpose of Shivalya is to clarify and establish guidelines to the community regarding dakshina to the Pandit Ji and donations to the temple.
Donation / Dakshina are solely voluntary. One may want to give dakshina to the Pandit Ji and Temple. Shivalya management fully supports this tradition as per Hindu Dharma Shastras.
Shivalya management and Pandit Ji are obligated to provide a devotional and conducive environment to all temple visitors and devotees, irrespective of Dakshina..
Donations to the Priest:
Dakshina (donation) to Pandit Ji can be done in two possible ways:
Monetary Donations (cash / checks - all checks must be payable to Shivalya)
Non-monetary donations (goods, furniture, equipment – material nature)
Additional Guidelines providing Monetary Donations to the Priest
Puja Services performed At the Temple:
It is a volunteer decision to give Dakshina to Pandit Ji, any time a personal puja (not combined with any other devotee or family) is performed by the him (Examples: Havan, Satyanarayana katha, Abhishekam, Kalyanam, Birth day or Anniversary or Tarpan or vaahana puja). After receiving the donation from a devotee, Pandit Ji should put the dakshina away immediately by not displaying or holding it as it may be perceived as public display to hint the devotees.
Devotees are neither required nor should be obligated to give dakshina to the priest.
For special festivals and events, Shivalya management gives dakshina to the priest on the community’s behalf. Each time devotees visit the temple, they get Teerdha, Prasadam, Aarathi, and blessings (via Chathar), even for attending regular pujas that are performed as listed in the Temple Calendar, despite having to sponsor or not for any puja. (Few Examples are Daily Nitya pujas; Weekly Monday Shiva Abhishekams; Monthly pujas Satyanarayana vrat, Maasa Shivaratri, Sankastahara Chaturdhi; Annual festivals –Diwali, New Year etc.,), as these are considered as priest’s regular duty being a full-time employee of the organization.
At any time Pandit Ji should not seek or obligate any devotee or negotiate with any devotee for dakshina.
At any time, volunteer on duty or authorized management staff is authorized to collect any displayed donations left by the Aarti plate/chatari plate/teertha table, in any container, by the deities or mandap and put in Hundi (donation box).
Puja Services performed outside the Temple:
Devotees can give dakshina to the Pandit Ji any time a personal puja is performed at devotee’s residence / business (off-site). This puja must first be approved by the Shivalya management. (Examples: Havan, Satyanarayana katha, Abhishekam, Kalyanam, Gruha Pravesham, Sradha, etc.)
When Pandit Ji uses his car for travel to attend this puja, he shall be paid $20 for travel charges + parking if applicable. At any time priest shall NOT negotiate the rate with the devotee without management's knowledge.
Devotees can give dakshina directly to him by check or cash. (all checks must be payable to Shivalya)
At any time Pandit Ji shall NOT seek or obligate any devotee or negotiate with any devotee for dakshina.
As per Immigration rules and the employment contract, the priest is NOT allowed to perform any pujas to any devotees (at any location) without prior approval from the Shivalya management (Even after temple hours, during his vacation, time-off days).
For Income Tax filing, It is the responsibility of Pandit Ji to report any additional income that priest directly receives from the devotees.
Additional Non-Monetary Donations guidelines: (goods, and furniture, equipment, etc.,)
Any non-monetary donations that have significant dollar value shall be recorded in the temple’s inventory system. Please check in at the front desk and get appropriate receipt for your donation.
This policy is subject to change as deemed necessary and shall be approved by the management of Shivalya.