Early in 1983, the Sri Rajarajeshwari Peetham was shocked at notification from Pennsylvania state that they had to provide a huge drainage field for their Hindu Heritage Summer Camp bathroom facilities - a project costing over $100,000. Strong medicine for an up-and-coming spiritual organization, a similar requirement adversely affected the Integral Yoga Institute's Yogaville West several Years ago, stimulating a move to Connecticut. But with a determination that goes on and on, a major fundraising campaign was begun under the leadership of Her Holiness Mahamandaleshwari Sri Swami Saraswati Devyashram.
Quite early in the game, the India Foundation of Michigan primed the flow of donations with a grant of $10,000. With that and substantial loans, work was begun on the capital improvements needed to keep the camp open. Now, $75,000 still needs to be raised to repay the loans.
Meanwhile, the Peetham is looking more stable than ever and is strengthening ties with the Sringiri Peetham of the Shankarachariya Order in South India - ties first established in 1978 when His Holiness 1008 Jagadguru Abhinava Vidya Tirtha Maharaj "gave his Blessings for the establishment of the Sakti Peetham in the West." In November the head of Rajeswari Peetham visited the Sringiri Peetham. "Meeting with their Holinesses for the purpose of advancing Sanatana Dharma in the United States," she wrote from India in an appeal for funds and news update to devotees. A copy of a telegram enclosed with the note reads: Nov. 8 Jagadguru extended to S.R. Peetham protection of Sringiri Paramparai/He said, 'I am there'/He decreed Peetham will also have own Paramparai and flourish with his blessings/Jagadguru presented Swami Saraswati Sphatika (crystal) Mala and gave mantra upadesha Nov. 10.
The youthful, American-born spiritual leader is relentless in her missionary zeal. "When these loans are satisfied, Sri Rajarajeshwari Peetham will be free to develop further programs and facilities to teach your youngsters about their heritage, and to provide for your family to practice the religious and spiritual traditions of our Vedic faith," she writes. "In addition, there is a tremendous need within the Hindu community in America for our dynamic programs in healing, meditation and the release of life's unnecessary tensions...Please do not hesitate to send us your generous contribution today..." Those wishing to help the Peetham may write to: Sri Rajarajeshwari Peetham, R.D. 3 Box 3430, Stroudsburg, PA 18360.