The Sanatan Shiv Shakti Mandir organization (S.S.S.M) was named so under the basic religion Sanatan Dharma (also called Hindu Dharma), Adi Dev Mahadev and Adya Shakti Maa Parvati. The SSSM was organized as non-profit entity under the guidance of founder-member Pandit Shri Virat K. Mehta and a board of trustees formed for this purpose. Tax-exempt status under section 501 (c) (3) was obtained from I.R.S. An executive committee was formed to look into the activities of the organization so as to ultimately construct a Temple for the vast Hindu community in greater Houston.
The mission of SSSM is:
- To provide the best central facility for worship by devotees and a resource center to perform various Hindu religious rites and ceremonies including 16 sacraments.
- To sustain and expand roots of Hindu heritage and Hindu culture along with the understanding of true Indian History and Hindu Philosophy.
The goals of SSSM are:
- Establish Sanskrit language pathshala to promote learning of Sanskrit
- Mathematics and regional language classes (e.g. Hindi, Gujarati).
- Senior citizen activities and their participation in goals 1 and 2.
- Start youth activities to mobilize their energy in religious direction and promote education and volunteerism among them.
- Indian History and Hindu Philosophy classes.
The SSSM was founded in 2002. Since its inception, it has acquired outstanding support from the devotees and the community. The Murties of Mahadevji ( in the Ling form), Umiaji, Ambaji, Maa Khodiar, Ganeshji, Hanumanji, Baliadev, Nandikeshwar and Kurma were bought from India and shipped to Houston in 2004. When the Murties arrived, we had no temple facility to store them so we approached Gujarati Samaj of Houston to see if they could accommodate them in the then Gandhi Center. Unfortunately Gandhi center was sold so the Murties were stored in a devotee's business warehouse. The Murties of Panchmukhi Hanuman and Shanidev arrived in 2013 and those of Varundev - Julelal-Dariyalal arrived in 2014.
In July 2005, a small place measuring 1700 sq. ft. was rented at 5645 Hillcroft avenue in a shopping center. On August 2005, we celebrated the Pran Pratishtha ceremony and installed the Murties that arrived in 2004 in this place. This is how the original Temple was started. In this small place, we were blessed with tremendous support from devotees and by 2008, we accumulated the temple funds worth $300,000. Since the space was small for some big devotional occasions, the trustees were in search for big location and with the grace of God and trustees' efforts, a new location measuring 1.65 acres with a big hall facility was availed by SSSM with the down payment of $300, 000. The required renovation, improvements and a new construction of 1,000 sq. ft. for Garbha Gruha to seat Deities were accomplished. In November 2013, we moved the Deities from the old place to the new location at 6640 Harwin Dr. Houston TX 77036.
The Pran Pratishtha of the Deities at this location is scheduled to be celebrated in the Hindu month of Shrawan 2014.
This short span of 11 years was indeed very challenging for all involved, marked by usual pains of growing and sometimes marked by skepticism of some not-so-faithful souls. The enthusiasm of the faithful and their spirit of devotion and unflinching volunteer effort to raise funds and accomplish other aspects of the entire project, the encouragement from the devotees and the Hindu community: all this combined to bring the Dream Temple to fruition and has brought SSSM to where you see it to-day when you visit the Temple.
The sacrifices have been made ( in terms of time, money, labor to name a few) by many young and not-so-young, rich and not-so-rich, healthy and not-so-healthy and they all deserve complements from the management of SSSM.
May Shiv and Shakti bless them!