Vaishnav Parivar (NZ) Incorporated was registered with the Registrar of Incorporated Societies in Auckland on 21 May 2004. The registration followed about 6 months of informal satsang activities at the residence of several Vaishnavs while the number of participants steadily grew to a point of needing a formal organisation. At the first general meeting of Vaishnavs held on 1 May 2004 at New Windsor School Hall, Auckland a constitution was adopted, 5 members for the Board of Management were elected and the meeting resolved to seek registration. Office bearers for the Auckland branch were elected at the meeting on 29 May 2004.
Vaishnav Parivar (NZ) Inc. (“VPNZ”) has a written constitution. It is in a form to allow the Parivar to have branches in Auckland and every other city and town all over New Zealand. The Parivar is governed by a Board of Management (“National Committee”) and area branch committees. Presently there is only one branch committee, Auckland. Vaishnavs in Hamilton, Rotorua, Whangarei and elsewhere are members of the Auckland branch. When there are sufficient Vaishnavs in a locality to set up a formal branch a new branch will be established there.
Vaishnav Parivar is also registered under the Charities Act for its charitable objectives including advancement of religion and community projects for the benefit of the general public and holds wide ranging tax exemptions and benefits such as donee status enabling donors of cash to claim a tax rebate.
Less than a year after incorporation, Vaishnav Parivar was greatly honoured to host H. D. H. Goswami 108 Dwarkeshlalji Maharajshree of Kalyanraiji Mandir, Vadodrara in New Zealand from 10th to 22nd March 2005 to celebrate “Anand Utsav”. The Parivar was also blessed by the Maharajshree’s acceptance to guide the Parivar in the study, practice and teachings of Pushti Marg philosophy as expounded by Shri Vallabhacharya (Shri Mahaprabhuji).
In the nine years, Vaishnav Parivar has grown from strength to strength. It has hosted Goswami 108 Dwarkeshlalji Maharajshree several times and has also hosted Goswami 108 Kamlesh bawashree of Mumbai and Goswami 108 Yogesh bawashree of Mumbai. The Parivar holds regular bi monthly satsang; provides mahaprasad and celebrates all the important utvas throughout the year including Shri Mahaprabhuji pragatotsav; Vraj Vihar; Hindola; Janmasthami; Sharadpurnima; Annakoot Mahatsav; Tulsi Viva and Shri Gusaiji Pragatotsav. Vraj Vihar is a celebration of all the thakorjis of Vaishnavs coming together under one roof for a satsang.
In addition to these religious activities the Parivar pioneered the celebration of makar sakrant or uttaran in New Zealand. Since 2006 the Parivar has hosted Indian Kite Festival each year in Auckland as a community event and a fund raiser. Between 7,000 to 9,000 people of all races and cultures come along and partake in the day’s activities. Food stalls, cultural shows, children’s fun rides and sale of kites and strings specially imported from India are some of the highlights. The Parivar has also organized soft ball cricket tournament from time to time.
You are welcome see the photographs of all these celebrations and activities by going to Gallery.
Vaishnav Parivar hopes to build a Haveli in Auckland in the future.
The current year’s committee members are
Board of Management
Bhupendra C. Patel (Chairman)
Manhar Patel (President)
Sanjeev Shah (Secretary)
Viren Shah (Treasurer)
Rakesh Patel, Vinay Shah,
Bhavin Dhankee, Ketan Sheth, Rajeshbhai Rathod,
Mitul Shah, Bharatbhai Parikh and Dharmendrabhai Kajaria