Education Program

The focus of education programs at SSVT are the following:

  • Educate children of Hindu roots about their rich culture & religion.
  • Increase the learning for parents and adults so that they can better teach their children and better represent the Hindu community in interfaith settings.
  • Provide an opportunity for those from non-Indian background to learn about Hindu culture.

We started a focused experiment with the Seminar Series called “Learning the Tradition of Hinduism” starting from September 14, 2002. This has evolved in 2003 into separate adult and children’s program, in addition to a Frequently Asked Questions of Hinduism on a separate web page, and a Reading Room with a library of books at the temple.

1. Adult Educational Programs

  • Regular Weekend Classes on subjects like Astrology, Vedas, Yoga, Sanskrit and other subjects related to Hindu culture.
  • Periodic Intensive Courses on Hinduism, Hindu Philosophy and World Religions.
  • Seminar, Discourse and Discussion Series on subjects related to Hinduism. Discussion series are geared towards the more philosophically or religiously inclined people with such series as Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads, the various Sahasranamas and Sooktas from the Vedas, and Puranas and Itihaasas like Bhagavatam and Ramayanam. Besides these activities noted above, occasionally we participate in various Interfaith events as well in disseminating Hindu ideas to others, while learning about other religions as well. These are noted in the Upcoming Programs page.

2. Children’s Educational Programs

The Children’s Educational Program are conducted under the youth wing called Aakaar and covers the following:

  • Recitation of Prayer Verses (Shlokas) and Storytelling from the Puranas (held every Sunday).
  • Periodical events like Pujas performed by children, dance dramas, etc. that bring home the daily living elements of Hindu culture.

Aakaar is much more than the Hindu oriented education programs. There is much focus on community service.

3. Hinduism Web page
A web page has been established with the frequently asked questions of Hinduism as an easy and accessible reference. Please send in your questions and our editorial team will try to answer them.

4. Reading Room
The Aakaar room in the lower level of SSVT becomes a reading room on set hours during weekends.

5. Past Program Archives
Archives of past presentations may be available for your reference.

All these programs are conducted by volunteers in our community with occasional visitor speakers from outside the Washington area. Professors of Religion from the local universities are special volunteers whose scholarly contributions have been significant. And volunteers also have the role of organizing the events and arranging the facilities and preparing the necessary publicity material. To provide general feedback, send an email to

7:30 AM – 10:30 AMYoga
10:00 AM – 11:30 AMLearn Spoken Sanskrit — Intermediate Level 2
10:30 AM – 12:00 PMHomeless Seva – Sandwich Program (2″ Saturday)
9:15 AM – 10:30 AMBhagavad Gita Classes for Adults with Guided Meditation
Balavidyalayam Children’s Educational Program will resume in September
10:30 AM – 12:00 PMSpoken Samskritham
12:00 PM – 1:30 PMUpanishad Series by Dr. Pradeep S. Kamath (2™ Sunday)
2:00 PMTripura Rahasya by Shri. Kavi Rao Vajjhala
3:30 PM – 5:00 PMBhagavatam, Ramayanam by Thaila Ramanathan
3:00 PM – 5:00 PMSAT Classes (1 & 3″ Sundays)
6:30 PM – 8:00 PMMidweek Yoga
11:00 AM —-1:00 PMSenior Citizens Meetup (2° & 4′” Wednesdays)
7:00 PM – 8:00 PMSri Shiridi Sai Baba Bhajans (1* Thursdays)


Aakaar :  

(Sanskrit for “taking shape”) is the committee at the Sri Siva Vishnu Temple in the Washington, DC, area that offers programs that serve the younger generation and builds bridges between the Temple and the community at large.

Sign up for our e-mail list to stay informed and get involved with SSVT’s community service, education and children’s programs at

Community Services : 

Service to the Temple by assisting during functions, and philanthropic service to our greater Washington area community through a conscious commitment of time and energy. Aakaar volunteers have helped at the Capital Area Food Bank, participated in the Homeless Walkathon, and led a monthly project to benefit Martha’s Table.

Youth & Education : 

Events and ongoing classes that examine religious rites and their meaning; slokas, music and storytelling classes; and cultural workshops with visiting scholars and performing artists.

Sandwiches for the Homeless : 

On the second Saturday of every month, SSVT/Aakaar volunteers make sandwiches for the homeless. Since its beginning, this program has contributed to over 15,000 meals for the needy of the Washington area. School children will get recognition for community service hours.
People interested in feeding the poor (annadanam) may sponsor the program. Please contact Kamala at (301) 770-2406 or Ramani at 301-646- 1232 or donate to SSVT “Food for Homeless”.

First-time volunteers of all ages are always welcome. If you are interested in volunteering, or in sponsoring one of our monthly sessions, please e-mail us at

Sloka Classes & Children’s Storytelling:  

Every week, children are taught slokas at the temple. Once a month, children also listen to storytelling. New students are welcome. For more information please e-mail us at,

Children’s Library : 

SSVT/Aakaar is preparing a children’s library. We need donations of books, and volunteers who can supervise and help maintain the library. For more information please e-mail us at,

The SSVT Reading Room is Now Open : 

Located at Stage II, it is open from 11:30AM to 2 PM every Sunday. We are looking for volunteers who can spare a couple of hours on Sundays. Please contact Jaya Sundaram at 301-982-5003 for details.

Events & Programs : 

Saturdays: 11 am to 12 noon – Children’s shloka & purana class


  • 10 am to 2:30 pm – Aakaar Reading Room Open
  • 10:30 am to 11 am – Young (< 6 age) children’s shloka & purana class
  • 11 am to 12 noon – Older Children’s shloka & purana class

Special Upcoming Event

Hindusim FAQ

SSVT presents a handful of questions related to Hinduism in the inauguration of this web page. We expect to update the material each month. We expect to add more questions and answers over the next several months, and build on the current questions as we hear from you. Please take the time to send any other questions you may have or to comment on anything you see on this web page by clicking on the appropriate link above. And if you would like monthly updates emailed to you, please register yourself by sending an email to with your name and email address.

Click Here To See All Frequently Asked Questions

Senior Citizens Group

This group was established in Oct. 2004 by a few senior citizens with the intention of attending to the needs of persons of advanced ages living in Washington DC, Virginia and Maryland.


The mission of this group has been to enhance the quality of life of its members so that they can live a happy, healthy, active and independent life with dignity as well as serve and enrich the community. The group strives to enhance physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual well-being of its members through education, training, entertainment together with other assistance to attain successful aging.

Meetings and Events

Current events include talks by members and invited guests, musical performances, devotional songs etc. At present meetings of the group are held on every second and fourth Wednesdays either in the education room or in the auditorium of the temple from 11:00 am to 02:00 pm.

Meetings conclude with a collective luncheon that includes a variety items of food prepared and brought in the temple by members. There is no fee to enroll as a member and there is no specific age limit to be a member. Proceedings of the meetings are conducted in English.

A one-day picnic is arranged in the summer as an out-door activity. One-day tour(s) in bus is/are likely to be planned in future. Members work as volunteers during a health fair which is usually scheduled in summer.


Whenever required, members also work as volunteers at various events in temple. One member acts as a coordinator to arrange all activities of the group. Current coordinator is Sri Ramesh Godbole and he can reached at (i) (301) 459-5942 and (ii)

Sri Narayanachar Lakshminarasimha Digalakote

Sri Narayanachar is a vaishnava pancharatra aagama priest at SSVT. He hails from Digalakote, Karnataka. He is the disciple of Shri Savyasachi Swamigal, Vaishnava Acharya of SSVT. He has been trained in Pancharatra Aagama and has training in satras including Poorva Pryogas, Srardha Pryogas, and Aparaprayogas. He joined SSVT in May 1992. He performs all the aagamic activities at SSVT and always involves devotees in when he performs either archanas or kalyanotsavams. He has been awarded Vaishnava Dharma Bhushana, Paancharatragama Vithunmani. He was the first priest representing SSVT during White House Deepavali celebration initiated by President Obama.He is fluent in Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Hindi, Sanskrit and English


Easwaran Nampoothiri

Sri. Easwaran Nampoothiri hails from Allapuzha, Kerala. He is Tantrik priest trained in Kerala Tantrik pujas through a family hereditary system under his grandfather and father. He has performed Thanthrik pujas and prtishtapanams in many states in India. Melsanthi at Sabarimalai Temple in 1996-1997 and at Sabarimalai-Mallikapuram temple in 1985-86 are something he cherishes. He joined SSVT in September 2000 as Tantrik priest. He performs all the pujas at the Ayyappan sannidhi and serves other deities as well. He leads the congregations during the Ayyapa Mandala time. He will do personal services in Kerala Tantrik tradition. He is fluent in Malayalam, Tamil, Hindi and English.

Sri. Janakiram Sarma Marthi

Sri. Janakiram Marthi hails from Andhra Pradesh, India. He is smartha vaidhika priest who had his veda paatam at “Gayathri Smaartha Vedapaatashaala” at Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh under his father Shri Venkatarama Sarma and later under Sri Sailam Nitya Agnihotri Satyanarayana Somayajulu. Prior to joining SSVT in October 2005 he was a vaidika priest in Narasaropet, Andhra. He has participated in Kotivarthi Sahit Lakshminarayana Deepotsavam, Varanasi and in Rudra Yagam & Subramanya Prathishta, Rameswaram. In addition to all the temple abhishekams and homams at SSVT, he also does personal vaidika karmas at both the temple and devotees houses. He is fluent in Telugu,Tamil, and English.

Sri. Ramesh Babu Potukuchi

Sri. Ramesh Babu Potukuchi hails from Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, India. He is smartha vaidhika priest trained in Krishna Yajurveda under his Guru Sri Mahalinga Ganapatigall from Sri Kanchi Kamakoti sankara Matam, Bengaluru, Karnataka. He served as a vedic teacher at Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Ashram in Delhi for 5 years and then in Netherlands for 3 years. For over 6 years he was a self- employed Vaidhika priest for another 6 years before joining SSVT in December 2005. He participates in all temple rituals, and does vaidika karmas at devotees’ requests. He is fluent in Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Hindi and English.

Sri Narayana Bhattar

Sri. Narayana Bhatter hails from Andhra Pradesh, India. He is trained in Pancharatra Agama and Krishna Yajurvedham from his gurus Srinivasa Bhattacharya and Ranganatha Bhattacharya at Sriman Maharaja Samskritha Maha Patashala, Mysore. Prior to joining SSVT in March, 2010 he served at Wilson Garden Ram Mandhir, Bengaluru, S. V. Temple, Pittsburgh, and Sri Lakshmi Temple, Boston. He performs Venkateshwara and Anantha padmanaabha Abhishekams among other rituals in SSVT. He also performs personal samskaras. He is fluent in Tamil, Kannada, and Telugu

Sri Sivasubramaniyan Ganesa Gurukkal

Sri Sivasubramanyan Ganesa Gurukkal hails from Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu. He is trained in Saivagama under his Guru Dr. Somasundara Sivachariyar from Sri Lokambika Vedha Sivaagama Vidyalaya, Tiruppalaivanam, Tamilnadu. He is trained in Poorva Prayoga and Shraddha Prayogas. He served the deities in Sri Shishta Gurunadhar Temple, Sri Arunachaleswar Temple in Tamilnadu for over 15 years. Before joining SSVT in July 2011 as Sivaagama Priest he was with Sri Lakshmi Temple in Boston. He was given Veda Sivagama Vidya Bhooshanam award by Sri Lokambika Veda Sivagama Vidyalaya and Veda SivagamaVichakshana by Indian Institute of Indology. He is fluent in Tamil, and English.

Sri Shankara Gurukkal

Sri Sankaran Gurukkal hails from Tiruveezhimizhalai, Tamilnadu. He is trained in Saivagama under his Guru Sivasri Visvanatha Sivachariyar from Sri Vedha Sivaagama Patasali, Allur, Tamilnadu. He is trained in Poorva Prayoga and Shraddha Prayogas. He has served the Deities for more than 17 years in Mangala Vinayagar Temple, Tambaram before serving Murugan Temple (MTNA) Lanham in 2008 - 2009. After a small break In India he joined SSVT as saivagama priest in March 2010. He was given Sivaagama Siromani award by Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam. Tamil Nadu and Saiva Siddhantam award by Indian Institute of Indology. He is fluent in Tamil, Hindi and Sanskrit.

Sree Venkatacharyulu Kumanduri

Sri Venkatacharyulu Kumanduri is a vaishnava pancharatra aagama priest at SSVT. He hails from Kesavaram Andhra Pradesh. He finished his veda aagama studies from Sri Pancharaatra Aagama kSalashaala, Jeeyar Educational Trust, Jaggayyapet, Andhra Pradesh under his Guru Srinivasacharya Samudrala. He also has a B.Com degree from Andhra University. He has served in different temples in Hyderabad for 10 years before joining SSVT in May 2011. He participated in Yagnas and Prathistas with His Holiness Sri Tridandi Chinna Jeeyar Swami. He does all the Vaishnava Aagama rituals, Kalyanotsavams etc at SSVT. He is fluent in Telugu, Tamil, Hindi and English

Sri Rakesh Bhatt

Sri. Rakesh Bhatt hails from Bengaluru, Karnataka, India. He is Madhwa priest trained in Rig Veda and Tantrasaara (Maadhva) Agama, under his Guru Sri Pejavar Swamiji of Udupi Ashta Matha. In addition he has a Bachelors and Masters degree in three languages:Sanskrit, English and Kannada. He obtained his English and Kannada degrees from Osteen College, Bengaluru and the Sanskrit degree from Jaychamarajendra College. He was given the award “Satshastra Vidwan” from Mantralaya, Uttaradi Matha and Udupi Ashta Matha. After working in Udupi Ashta Matha for a few years he worked for a short period in Badrinath and Salem Raghavendra Swami Koil he joined SSVT in July 2013. He is fluent in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi, English, Tulu and Sanskrit

Sri Roopesh Acharya

Sri Roopesh Acharya hails from Mangalore, Karnataka. He studied shivagama tantram Pravara Praveena at Kunjibettu Sharada Temple situated at Udupi, a branch of Sri Shankaracharya Samsthana From 2006 studied Shastras and Vedas for 9 years at Pejawara Mutt, Udupi and Studied Sanskrit Literature along with Jothisya Shasthra as a part of Vedanga at Sri S.M S. P Sanskrit research Center. He has an MA in Sanskrit from Karnataka Sanskrit University and is awarded the title “Vidwan”. He has worked as a priest in Pejawar Matha performing Yaga and Poojas. He has participated in Kumbhabhisheka and other rituals in various temples in India as well as abroad for example Myanmar, Dubai and Malaysia. He is fluent in English, Sanskrit, Hindi, Kannada, Tamil and Tulu. He understands Telugu, Malayalam, Konkani and Marathi. He is working in SSVT since December 2014

Sri Ashwin Sivam

Sri Ashwin Sivam hails from Karamadai, Tamilnadu. He is trained in Saivagama under his Guru Dr. Sundaramurthy Sivam Sivachariyar from Sri Sri Ravishankar‘s Veda Agama Samskrutha Patashala. Tiruppalaivanam, Tamilnadu. He has completed six years of integrated traditional course of of Veda, Agama & Shastras in Veda Agama Samskrutha Maha Pathasala (Sri Sri Ravishankar’s Art of Living International Center) in Bengaluru, Karnataka and was awarded the title of “Sivagama Vidyanidhi”. He is trained in most of the Poorva Prayogas. In addition he has successfully completed Samaskrutha bharathi trust Praveesha, Parichaya, Shiksha, Kovida and Bhashapraveesha exams and Govt.of Karnataka shaivagama pravara public exam, Govt.of Tamil Nadu temple rituals& mahotsava exam. He is a Ganapathi Thalam Specialist. He worked in Arulmigu Nanjudeswaraswamy temple in Karamadai, Tamil Nadu for two years. He is fluent in Tamil, English, Sanskrit, and Kannada and understands Hindi. He joined SSVT in May 2015

Sri Sanjeev Mahajanam

Sri Sanjeev Mahajanam is from vayalapadu, near Tirupathi. He was trained as Naivedyam Acharya in Tirupathi Devasthanams. He worked for Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthaanam temples at Sri Kariyamaikya swami Temple and Sri Annapoorna sametha Sri Kashi Vishweshwara Swami temple, Chittoor District, Sri Kalyana Venkateshwara Swami temple and Sri Chandramouleswara Swamy temple at Rishikesh and Sri Venkateshwara swamy Temple at Panchakula, Haryana. He joined SSVT in September 2015

Sri Murali Shankar Shastri

Sri Muali Shastri comes to us from Chennai. He is a Rigveda Vaidika Priest. He has studied Rigveda Samhita for five years at the Sarvaignyatmendra Saraswathi Swamigal Rigveda padasalai in Brahmadesam; studied Kramantham for two years at Sankara Gurukula Veda Padasalai, Hyderabad; studied Ghanantham for two years at Shridevi Veda Vidyalaya Padasalai in Shriselam, Andra Pradesh; studied Veda Bhasyam for seven yearsat Bhramasri Maha Mahopadyaya Krishna Murthi Shastrigal at Brahma Vidya Gurukulam, Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Additionally, he has also studied Vaithikha Purva Apara Prayogam and has been performing Prayogam for 11 years. He is knowledgeable in Tamil, Sanskrit, English and knows Telugu. He joined SSVT in February 2016.