The Priest of SVK Temple
The Sri VenkataKrishna Kshetra temple serves the community in Arizona. The temple is committed to providing religious services and strict adherence to sampradaya. Having undergone rigorous training at the Sri Puthige Vidhya Peeta in India under the guidance of Sri Sri Sugunendra Theertha Swamiji, all the priests are well versed in the shastras and in performing religious and social ceremonies. Their dedication and sincerity adds to the rich experience of the devotees who come to this temple.
Chief Priest Sri Kiran K. Rao
Chief priest Sri Kiran Kumar Rao, hails from Ujire, Karnataka and is a graduate of Sri Puthige Vidhya Peeta. He studied the Vedic curriculum at the Vidhya Peeta, and worked as an intern with Sri Sri Sugunendra Theertha Swamiji for two years. While doing his internship, Shri Kiran Kumar simultaneously did his Master’s degree in Sanskrit from Mysore University, Manasagangothri Campus and graduated in 2001. He came to Sri Venkata krishna Kshetra at Tempe, Arizona in 2002 and has been serving the community since then.
Kiranji as he is popularly called, played a huge role in locating, planning and re-modelling of the building that became the current site for the temple. For one so young, he has been instrumental in conducting several huge events attracting several thousands to the temple. His role in bringing the Indian community together, providing for their religious, cultural and social needs has not just been felt in and around metropolitan Phoenix but also in other cities within the USA as well. He is loved by all for being highly service oriented, dedicated, committed to the community, his pleasant unruffled personality. He leads his team of priests, some of whom he has trained to lead other branches. Additionally Kiranji speaks several languages Tulu, Kannada, Tamil, Hindi, and English. His talents include, doing Alamkaram (adorning) for the deities, drawing rangoli designs and he has a melodius singing voice. The Indian community in the USA, and Phoenix in particular, are blessed to have Kiranji as their priest.
Assistant Priest Shripathy Tantry
<To be updated>
Assistant Priest Rama Mohana Kodancha
Rama Mohanji as he is known, came to Phoenix in 2000. Ram Mohanji hails from Alevooru, Udupi and trained to be a priest in the Udupi Temple and has been with Puthige Matha and Swamiji all the time.
He is better known within the Indian community of greater Phoenix for the delicious Prasadam he prepares for the daily offering to the deities. He has more than 30 years of experience in preparing exotic prasadams. He is very hard working and extremely good in planning complex specialty menu for festival days. He is also well versed in conducting the religious functions and assists with the Temple deity pooja activities as needed. He is quiet, unassuming and at the same time very observant. He too speaks many languages, Kannada, Tulu, Tamil, Telugu and Hindi.
The Phoenix Community is truly blessed to have a dedicated band of Priests to serve the devotees and to serve the Lord SriVenkataKrishna.