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What Ails Our Hindu and Jain Temple of Las Vegas

It has been over twenty years since the inception of the Hindu and Jain Temple of Las Vegas. The two decades have been a lost opportunity to make the Temple a sacred, harmonious, and revered place of worship. The Temple has been managed and run by trustees who have run the Temple for many years (Old-timers) and some who are recent (Rebels.)  Old-timers were probably imperfect, inadequately dedicated, and lacked meaningful rapport with the Las Vegas Hindu community. Still, they had a vision and invested their resources to educate the future Hindu generations. The Rebels have been irresponsible at best and amoral at worst, as evidenced by the report of “Blatant Disregard” of the temple by-laws and recent actions.

Since the December 2023 selection of the Executive and Advisory Committees, there has been a considerable disagreement and quarrel between the Old-Timers and the Rebels. The dispute may result in lawsuits and worse. Meanwhile, the situation is worsening because of the Rebels’ various actions.

The Rebels are using a temple counsel to defend their misuse and abuse, presumably at the Temple’s expense. The community must be assured that no temple funds will be utilized to defend personal abuses and actions by any trustees. Unless a lawsuit is a liability of the Temple, it is an individual problem.

Why unseated trustees, a trustee who resigned, and committee members are still running the Temple makes no sense. The illegitimate trustees who have blatantly ignored by-laws are still running the temple website and ordering pujaris to follow their directions. They have kept control of all the social media instruments. It’s time the Rebels hand over the Temple property, including media sites, to the new administration.

The disqualified trustees organized the recently held Ram Mandir inauguration event without consultation and approval by the legitimate trustees and the incoming Executive team. More importantly, the event was co-sponsored by Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, an overseas arm of the RSS, which is part and parcel of the BJP, the ruling party of India. The donations were directed not to our Temple but to an outside account.  Both of these facts make the actions of the organizers of the event unethical and illegal. Celebrations and ceremonies regarding the Ram Temple are grand, but to keep religious harmony, the Temple should not involve non-religious organizations, especially controversial ones. The Hindu Society of Nevada, the parent organization of the Temple, is tax-exempt, so the Temple is supposed to be solely religious.

The Rebels have spent a lot of money without cost-benefit analyses and input from other trustees or the community and held a sham Town Hall Meeting. In general, they have been more autocratic than the Old-timers.

Some of the Rebel trustees have been supporting the ex-pundit of the Temple because they do not like current pujaris. They have been active behind the scenes to malign Shashtriji and Vishnuji. 

It is time to tell the Rebels you are illegitimate, devious, and destructive. Please go away, at least for a while.The Rebels should retreat and give the new administration, with years of combined business, spiritual activism, and community involvement experience, a chance to prove themselves again for the good of the Temple and our community. Give them a couple of years to see if they can achieve the following within the next two years.:

  • Institute general membership and hold an election of Executive and Advisory Committees by the general body. Hold a general body meeting once a year and report on the State of the Temple.
  • Engage an experienced, professional, and independent entity to rewrite the By-Laws and Standard Operating Procedures as soon as possible. Implement the new by-laws after approved by the trustees within one year. Make sure the by-laws are not amendable easily.
  • Get revenues, expenses, and accounting for 2024 audited by an outside (non-Indian) professional auditing company. Publish yearly profit and loss and financial statements within six months of the year-end.
  • Assign one executive committee member to supervise and handle the day-to-day affairs of the pujaris. Assign one trustee to manage Pujaris and work with the supervisor.
  • Prepare a line-item operating, maintenance, and capital budget before September 30 for the following calendar year. Write a process and follow how temple funds are approved and spent for significant maintenance and capital improvement for the temple premises.

It is vital to make the Las Vegas Hindu community feel welcome to the Temple and give them a sense of belonging. Let us have a temple we desire and deserve that makes us proud.

The article above is provided to by a well-respected long-term resident and an active community member who was there when the Hindu Temple was conceptualized and built.  The author prefers to stay anonymous on such controversial issues.

The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the above letter belong to the author and are not an opinion of or endorsement by The editor is pleased to provide with an open forum for the community members to engage in issues impacting the small but prosperous local Hindu community. The above article and other information from the original submission have been edited for brevity and relevance.


16 Comments to What Ails Our Hindu and Jain Temple of Las Vegas

  1. Volunteer1 says:

    Thanks for Bring This UP VEGAS DESI. OUR community Has the Right to know what Happening Behind the Scene on the Hindu Temple. As I mentioned Before If its YOUR PERSONAL ISSUE SOLVE it with YOUR own Money DO NOT USE TEMPLE FUNDS.
    The term “Service of mankind is service to God” means that selfless service for the cause of humanity is as important as worshiping to God.
    Sounds Like the REBEL Trustees Keeps coming back to Create issues and than Solve with Temple FUNDS.
    We all should Tell the Rebel Hey YOUR TERM is UP and YOU NEED TO PACKUP and Leave. NOW time for the NEW COMMITTEE to Take Over and DO THERE BEST what is Good for the Community. THE REBELS have a LOT OF EGO.
    HOPE the REBELS get the Message and Leave without Creating Scene.

    • Ashish Kumar says:

      Do you know who uses the Temple Funds? That day in the event how many money got to the Pandit Ji?
      more than $1500 got in the Aarati. Where this money went? check the mandir recording and then write.

  2. Anonymous Devotee says:

    Absolutely correct. The REBELS should leave and let the Temple new committee work and open temple for more and more programs. A humble request to the OLD TIMERS please do not take such egotistic and dumb people in the team again who doesn’t understand the meaning of resignation.

  3. Anonumous says:

    The Ram Mandir event was a resounding success, and every devotee thoroughly enjoyed the meticulously organized celebration by the dedicated volunteers. As a volunteer, we were under the impression that discussions took place with the new committee president, and members of the new committee actively participated in the festivities. However, the current conflict between the old and new committees has escalated, with everyone vying for credit and pointing fingers at the volunteers.

    Primarily, the temple committee should have proactively taken the lead in organizing the event or refrained from questioning devotees’ initiatives to promote our culture. As devotees, we wish to distance our sacred space from internal politics, desiring a sanctuary where our devotion to the Gods and our spiritual beliefs remain untainted by such disputes.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I was a regular visitor of the temple since its inception and remember grand festivities for the first 10+ years. The community acted in unity irrespective of individual differences. But since Brijesh ji started working, it has become a political mess and has been loosing its lustre. Now a days even though the Indian population was increasing in Clark county, temple attendance has gone south, and barely a few attend compared to its first 10 years. Barely a few feel the belongingness of community.

    I hope the new committee take some action to unify the community rather than calling others “REBELS” and such.

  5. Lost devotee says:

    I think a Town Hall meeting should be conducted and based on the consensus during the meeting, a decision needs to be made. Please keep politics out of the temple. It should not be a breeding ground to pamper egos. The trustees/committee are answerable to the general public on why the Nov 30th 2023 deadline was extended to December 6th abruptly without any justification.

  6. Kundan Lal says:

    HSS should not be dragged into this internal fight of temple politics and has nothing to do with their politics. The ram Mandir inauguration event on last Sunday was most successful event happen in last 20 year. No one should play the emotion and devotion of any individual Hindus coming to temple, we all have to distance our sacred space from temple internal politics. Connecting the name of HHS to BJP is absolutely wrong, this will spark debate among non-Hindus community. We are all Hindus we need to stand strong together.

  7. Hindu United says:

    Jai Shree Ram
    Please refrain from defaming HSS to shine your internal politics. This event was well coordinated and brought everyone together. Mandir had not seen such a huge and successful event in a while. Everyone was involved in Ram. HSS outside of India brings Hindus together and unite them with their culture, a task which ideally should be done by temple. But temple and management is so busy in dirty politics that they do not appreciate such a huge Ram event.
    At the time when western media is already attacking Hindu community, India and Ram mandir with false narrative. This kind of article further weakens Hindu community. Not expected from a temple group.

    What are you guys doing to unite, fight, educate, celebrate for Hindu community? You have made this temple a fighting place of bad politics.

    What were your plans for Ram Mandir celebrations?? Nothing, right? Someone else did it and you have a problem with that?
    What wrong did HSS do by organizing Ram mandir event in temple? I think Hindus should refrain from going to a place which is tied in bad politics all the time and doesn’t provide any support to community..
    Shame on your temple politics.

  8. Ashish Kumar says:

    What a great event and the celebration. Well-planned and well-organized celebration. Very positive vibrations, the way they executed it, I don’t have a word for it. Only WOW.When both the mandir committees were fighting with each other with their internal politics and no one was ready to do this event, HSS stepped in to do it. You guys keep fighting and don’t come together for a Hindu cause. This has been a curse for our Hindu communities for a long time and that’s why Babar and Aurangzeb destroyed the Temple and built the mosque. Western media and the non-Hindu community going to use the same article to pass propaganda against Ram Mandir and you will be doing your politics. Why you guys are sitting internally and solving it? why do you want to bring it to a larger audience? It will not help you to solve the problem rather it will cause the issue for Hindu Mandir and community. Manage your internal politics internally. If you are not ready to do work for the Hindu Society and if HSS is doing it then you are just pulling the legs of it. It’s dangerous for Hindu society. Let God give the intellect to think and help each other

  9. Devotee says:

    As the Hindu devotee let me clarify some of the facts which were misrepresented in above writeups. The members of HSS put lot of efforts in implementing this event they work all day night to make this event a successful event, apart from that all members of HSS contributed their own money to prepare the decorations, food setups they didn’t ask any outsider for contribution. we must appreciate their hard work and efforts instead of criticizing.

    There was no donation directed to any account whatever they spend contribution was done by members. There is nothing unethical and illegal. I appreciate that you write Celebrations and ceremonies regarding the Ram Temple are grand, but again if Temple is not coming forward than someone has to come forward to celebrate this auspicious day. The whole world was in celebration why not Las Vegas. I would have been happier if this fighting committee could have joined hands together and would have done that celebration by themselves.

  10. HOW I FEEL says:

    The fact is that the HINDU and JAIN temple has indeed seen the number of devotees dwindling over the years and by saying that I don’t mean to point fingers at anyone.
    The Jan 22nd event was a bit like a fresh air where the temple was once again filled with devotees, over +500 approx., a lot of whom conceded that they had not seen such a successful event in last 3-4 years without doubt. So, a SHOUT OUT to the organizers, the 40+ volunteers(approx.) of the event who put in a lot of effort in giving many of us real fond memories. I expect much more such events in the future, would love to be a part of it.
    The temple is a sacred place and lets leave politics and individual biases out of it. Each and everyone has always been welcome in the temple and lets keep it that way.
    Thank You !

  11. Bharat Premi says:

    Jai Shri Ram!! Ram-Ram to everyone with folded hands.
    Ram Mandir Pran Pratishtha was a very successful and wonderful program. It was a matter of good fortune for all Ram devotees to get such an opportunity in their lifetime.

    Is this a temple or private property? It seems like it is a private limited company and only a few people owns of this private business.
    If we are saying that this temple is built for the Hindu community, then the author of this post has used very absurd language.
    We condemn this in the strongest terms.
    HSS has been dragged into politics without any concrete evidence.

    HHS is a completely non-governmental, voluntary, and fully cultural organization, it has no connection with any political house. Yes, most of the Sanatani in Bharat support a particular political party because they find that political party more inclined towards Sanatan Dharma.
    Mostly only these Sanatani and Bharat lovers go to the programs of HHS.
    If anyone has any objection to this then first know about HSS and then form your opinion.

    HHS is playing an important role in preserving Sanatan Dharma outside Bharat, if anyone has doubts then he must attend one or two programs of HSS. There is no fee or donation to attend HSS events, but there are no elections or election discussions, so some people may not enjoy it. We talk here about external and internal intellectual abilities. We try to keep ourselves and our future generations connected to Sanatan and Bharat.

    It is free and voluntary for all and there are no restrictions, HSS volunteer do not care which community you belong to.
    All Sanatanis wholeheartedly respect all religions and worship methods.

    A temple is a temple, come here, chant the name of the Lord, take the prasad and go home happily.
    But some entertainment seekers are playing the election-election game for their own entertainment, and are tarnishing the name of religion.
    Don’t make the temple an arena for your personal wrestling.
    For this, watch WWE or go there and fight yourself.
    It will be more fun.

    Here Indians are already divided into many groups and people who come to the temple pretending to be Indians on any pretext, do you want to stop all that too?

    Some black British are implementing Lord Macaulay’s plan of divide and rule very well.

    Why not conduct a survey whether anyone had any objection to the Ram Mandir program organized by HSS or not?
    I request you not to harm the religion for your personal interest and greed for power.

    Whoever is so fond of elections should take part in the elections to be held in America after some time. Why are they wasting their time, energy and money here.

    Let the temple remain a temple, do not make it a shop. “Do good and put it in the river” has always been the message of Sanatan Dharma.

    Those who call themselves devotees of Ram have forgotten that Ram did not waste even a moment in giving up power and became Purushottam Ram.

    Whoever has contributed in the construction of this temple is already recorded in the stones here and anyone who wants can get his name written on the stone by paying money.
    But now friends, just stop all this nonsense and chant the name of Ram.

    Do not defame Bharat and Sanatan Dharma by posting such public posts.
    Whoever you want to serve, serve a lot, donate a lot and propagate Sanatan, tell everyone about Sanatan.
    If you throw mud at each other like this, people will laugh at us.
    Now just stop all this.
    Once again say loudly with me Jai Siya Ram.
    Jai Ram Ji.
    God bless everyone.

  12. Bharat Premi says:

    For those who have any misconception about HSS and are spreading hatred about HSS:

    “Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh is a non-profit, social, educational, and cultural organization of the Hindus living outside India. It was founded in 1940s in Kenya, it is currently active in 156 countries and estimates 3289 branches”

    HSS volunteers are working round the clock for humanity and Sanatan Dharma.

  13. Awadhi says:

    श्रीराम जयम् !!!

    “You can claim your right on the work but not on the results.”

    The Ram Mandir event and celebration were an absolute triumph; meticulously orchestrated and flawlessly executed. The atmosphere was charged with positive energy, leaving an indelible impression on all attendees. However, it’s disheartening that amidst internal politics, neither mandir committee took the initiative for this significant event, ultimately leaving it to HSS to step in and lead the way.

    The dedicated members of HSS poured their hearts and souls into making this event a triumph, tirelessly working day and night. Furthermore, every member of HSS generously contributed their own funds towards decorations and food setups, without seeking external assistance. Rather than unjustly criticizing their efforts, it’s imperative that we recognize and applaud their unwavering commitment and hard work.

    HSS must not be entangled in the internal strife of temple politics, as it has no association with such matters. Let us focus on the positive impact they’ve made and refrain from dragging them into unnecessary controversies.

  14. Ramesh Gokal says:

    Seems like a classic case of non-profit organizational/administration dysfunction. Nothing will change until that is addressed in a comprehensive fashion. I have facilitated Strategic Transformation of organizations and companies for 25 years and would be happy to help. Note I am a USA Citizen with Gujarati roots.

  15. Devotee says:

    Thank you to The HSS group for Organizing This Ram Mandir Program. I heard that the function was a Success from the circle of Devotees on Jan 22nd 2024.
    Being a devotee thats all we want to see.
    The Hindu and Jain Temple should have Organized the Program in the First Place. There are other Temple like Isckon Temple Too who did the Celebration.