Like other social institutions, religion also arose from the intellectual power of man in response to certain felt needs of men. There are various ways to find the solace in god, Meditation and bhajans are one of the most efficient ways to elevate one’s soul and offer to the almighty. Shri Veerendra Heggade also believes that a strong contribution in serving the sustenance of religion and faith in god shall help the humanity for generations to come.
Determined to salvage and restore monuments to their pristine glory and bring them into the mainstream of life, Shri Veerendra Heggade established the SHRI DHARMASTHALA MANJUNATHESHWARA DHARMOTHANA TRUST. This trust with the active participation of the Government of Karnataka, has local populace to help restore the relics and monuments. With the help of the Archeological Survey of India, a dedicated team of professionals well versed in the geometry and architecture of ancient temple, searches, locates, cleans, preserves the pieces mostly made of stone and ornately crafted. These are then placed in the way it was done hundreds for daily worship and rituals.
Once the ravaged temple is identified, the task of restoration is handed over to an expert committee who inspects the site and assesses the cost of renovating the temple. Once this is done, the task force of engineers, retired archeological professionals, historians, architects especially who possess knowledge of agama shastra and sculptors take over the site and begin restoration. To help retain the original structure, extensive search is carried out in and around the ruined site to try and salvage pieces of the stone structure that might have got strewn around. Once the task of reconstruction begins, every effort is made to retain the original structure by following the period details and architectural styles. Artisans trained in stone cutting and engraving are employed to re-create pieces that match the missing ones. Though these projects are mainly funded by the Trust, active involvement of the local community and government agencies is sought so that the restored temple becomes a part of life of those living around it. All donations made to the Trust by donors from around the country, are channeled to the local fund to help ease their financial strain. In recognition of the spirit and commitment of the Trust, the Government of Karnataka shares 40% of the total renovation cost. The Dharmothana Trust pools in 40% and the remaining 20% is collected from the local populace or institutions to ensure their active participation in the project. Dr. Heggade is a connoisseur of ancient temple, Architecture, historical monuments and antiques, he has promoted Dharmothana Trust for renovation of historical buildings in the state of Karnataka. Since inception, the Dharmothana Trust has taken up 240 monuments and jain mandirs, and have been renovated to their old glory.
The Trust has so far undertaken the restoration works of 240 ancient monuments covering 25 districts in Karnataka at the cost of Rs.2611.55 Lakhs.
- Number of Temples restored : 240
- Number of Districts covered : 25
- Amount Spent from Dharmothana Trust : Rs. 2611.55 Lakhs
Bhajans are a part of Indian culture and literally every village has Bhajan groups. Shri Heggade decided that it would benefit them to receive formal training in the art of bhajan singing and in 1999 organized a workshop. Here, invited bhajan groups were taught the correct methods and the discipline of invoking deities through songs. Through these residential workshops participants learnt different types of bhajans like:
- Narthan Bhajan where mythology, poetry, music and spiritual content unite in a dance form.
- Nagar Bhajan where trained groups go from house to house performing bhajans and pujas around the sacred Tulsi.
- These groups are also trained in Yoga, Omkar Dhyan, Surya Namaskara etc. Today over 4500 trained groups are spending the goodness of Nama Sankirtana in Dakshina kannada.