The following true events are captured in more detail in my inspirational booklet, 26 Steps to Spiritual and Financial Riches: How Spirituality Led to a $7 Million Gain. Enjoy!
It was on a Sunday, our holy day of festivity, that I attended the Gurdwara in
This scenario served as a backdrop in my mind and I felt as though I needed to turn to prayer. I pictured in my head taking a walk around my home and property. It did not take me long to realize that it is not right that my house is so big but God’s house, where our Sikh community goes to worship, celebrate, and socialize, is so small. There with the congregation of the temple, I made a commitment to myself that I would remain determined to find a suitable property for establishing a bigger temple. At this point, I promised that I would not work on my real estate ventures until I succeeded in finding an appropriate place for us to congregate and worship.
The very next day, fairly early in the morning, a real estate broker knocked on the front door of my home. He told me that he knew of a property that I might be interested in purchasing for investment purposes. We agree to view the property at
Taking the wonderful property and scenery into my mind, I was immediately reminded of my prayer and goal from the previous evening. I thought to myself ‘This cannot be for my business ventures; it must be for the community.’ After all, it is a property fit for the king of all kings. This thought simultaneously ignited in me a feeling of submission to God. I begged Him to give me the strength and positive attitude necessary to overcome any obstacle that may come my way in acquiring and claiming this great property as a location for our new temple.
As the broker could clearly see my excitement about the property, he told me that Uni Bank had lien of $8.2 million on the property which the bank intended to foreclose. I told him that I would take some time, think about the situation, and get back to him. When I went home, I rustled up statements from various banks to see what type of cash I had available to present an offer. These totals amounted to $1.2 million so that became the offer I extended to the bank. At first, I was laughed at, but I insisted that the bank official think about the offer; after all, the money I was offering was $1.2 million in money, but the prayers that came along with it carried much more weight.
In a few days, prayer, the most important and powerful ingredient in this transaction, proved to be beneficial to my cause. When the bank officials called to tell me that they would sign the contract for my special offer, I felt that my prayers had been answered and that I was blessed with the responsibility of serving God and the community. I thought to myself that this was not only a demonstration of God’s work but also of my belief, good intentions, and power of prayer. Since the appraisal of the property was over $8.2 million, with the value of the land alone over $3 million, I was very happy to know that I would be able to provide a new, large temple in a building that would cost no less than $5 million to build.
This story is of tremendous importance because obstacles were continuously presenting themselves. But I would not allow them to obstruct my path and goal of establishing the new temple. Soon after the conversation with the bank officials, I went to meet with officials of the City of
The staff of officials repeatedly told me to just “forget the project.’ Rather than letting this negativity deter me from pursuit of my goal, I relied on my positivity and faith in self to go forward, purchase the property, and face the challenges as they arise.
Inspired by the obstacles already described, I made an effort to contact the officials of the temple in
The bank officials were disillusioned by their decision to walk out and decided to sign the contract under my own name. Due to my familiarity with such business proceedings and the potential risk involved with having my name on the contract, I bore sole financial responsibility and signed the contract. Assuming the responsibility moved me to write them a check of $120,000. At this point, I knew there would be bigger challenges to overcome, so this particular obstruction further encouraged me to be more positive. The news and possibility of having a new, larger temple quickly spread to the congregation and community. As a result, the officials later began to cooperate with me and compensated me for my faithful monetary advance.
As originally anticipated after my initial discussion with them, the City of
Over the course of this process, I received offers from several prospective buyers who were willing to buy the premises from me for $4 million, thereby enabling me to make an easy profit of over $2 million. Meanwhile, the officials of the temple became so impatient with this process that they held an emergency meeting to discuss the selling of the property for only $1.6 million. It was at this time that I felt compelled to show the officials the letters I had received. I am truly thankful to God that He did not let me yield in my stride and succumb to the temptation of easy money over my selfless pursuit. I am confident that it was God who stood with me so I could maintain my integrity and the commitment I had made two years earlier.
After seeing the various letters from prospective buyers, my will to not give in gave the officials of the temple no choice but to leave me to continue my struggle with the City of
During this long, drawn-out process of getting the proper permissions for establishing the temple, the City of
Soon after I purchased the property, however, Staples Department Stores decided to build their new store very close to the
I thought about this situation a great deal. Since I could easily gain a profit of $2 million from someone other than Swezey’s, the obvious decision to make would be to sell for more money. Keeping my promise and sense of commitment in mind, I yielded to the desires of the City of
Ironically, this chain of department stores, which had been in business for over 100 years, went out of business a couple years following the establishment of their
In fact, the City of
At this point in time, the triumph of the temple was not yet complete. As I mentioned earlier, the property taxes were supposed to total around $200,000 a year. The reduction of these taxes to zero required the hiring of lawyers and many hours to achieve. As a result, the attorneys working on the tax situation demanded a fee of $57,000. Seeing that I had overcome so much in establishing the temple already, I turned to this situation with the same positive attitude and prayers. I called the attorneys and offered them a meager sum of $3,000 as compensation for their initial fee demands. Although not likely, I somehow felt it was possible because I was true in my intentions and remained strong in my commitment to my faith and the temple congregation. In response to my small offer, all I heard was the encouraging words, “Okay. Accepted.” This, of course, was very similar to the bank who sold us the property for peanuts.
In addition to these great feats, various real estate brokers and architects also waived major portions of their fees totaling roughly $50,000. Along with the Sikh temple there was to be a school set up on the premises. Remarkably, the school taxes of $115,000 were also waived.
Times in my life, such as the events of this story, have given me reassurance about the power of prayer and positive thinking. God’s plans and designs are above human comprehension. The above story may have amazed you. Perhaps, you may still be thinking about how the temple congregation became the proud owners of the sprawling 15.43 acre property, including a 32,000 square feet building, along with a five bedroom house used as a residence for the priests. Even more so, I was also able to gain, individually, the money that I initially thought I had lost. With monetary gain put aside, I also gained strength in the power of prayer and an ardent belief in the power of positive thinking.”
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