visit to Ashramas in Andhra PradeshSri Swamiji's
Andhra tour - February 2001Sri Swamiji's
visit to Ashrama
...Sri Swamiji left Mysore on 26th January 2001 morning for the scheduled Andhra tour two days earlier.
As this was a sudden visit all Ashramas were informed only 24 hours before the arrival of Sri Swamiji
and there was a spurt of joy in each place, having the unique and singular honour of welcoming Sadguru Deva in the new millennium. Reaching Vijayawada on 26th by noon, Sri Swamiji
was informed of the massive earth quake that had struck the northern state of Gujarat.Sri Swamiji
prayed for the courage and grit for those who had survived the ordeal.In the evening, Sri Swamiji held a meeting of the Vijayawada Ashrama and formed a branch committee of Datta Peetham to oversee and manage the activities in Vijayawada Ashrama.Sri Swamiji
visited the houses of all the three priests caring the Ganapati and Dattatreya Temples.
On 27th Saturday, in the morning Sri Swamiji
visited the construction site of the Devi temple and admired the skills of the stone sculptors working on the temple.The temple is historic as it is being built with full details of Devi Nava Avarana as explained and sketched by Sri Swamiji
breezed through the Ashramas of Gandigunta, Manginapodi, Machilipatnam, Gudivada, Kaikaluru and Akividu.Brief reports from each Ashrama
inaugurated the newly built community hall in the Ashrama premises.This will be put to use for the spiritual, social and charitable activities conducted by the Gandigunta Ashrama for the benefit of surrounding villages.
MANGINAPODI:This is a peaceful Ashrama situated in idyllic surroundings on the beach of Bay of Bengal and offers stunning vistas all around.Here a Nagareswara Swamy temple existed before the place was offered to Swamiji
.There upon a Datta temple
was built with wells like in Rameswaram.A small Guru Nilayam dots in the back ground.Recently Gopurams (towers) were built above the Datta temple
announced that they should be ritually inaugurated in March this year.Sri Swamiji
then addressed the devotees and fisher men and woman folk of the small fishing villages around and advised them not to blindly follow the western habits and life style.Mentioning that the sudden visit of Swamiji
had brought much happiness to him and that it was a rare Blessing.The tragedy in Gujarat was a great shock to the nation and that all should pray for the unfortunate countrymen.
MACHILIPATNAM:More than thousand devotees gave a reverential welcome to Sri Swamiji
arrived in the Datta Ashrama in Buttaipet, Machilipatnam.One of the intellectual hotspots in the country, Machilipatnam is a quaint old time town of coastal Andhra Pradesh.It is also the district head quarters.Sri Swamiji
had Darshan of Atri Varada Datta, the presiding deity of the Ashrama
also visited the adjoining Padukas established by Sri Swamiji
in the mid- eighties.Then addressing the fully crowded prayer hall in the Ashrama
, Sri Swamiji
termed this unexpected visit to Machilipatnam as a bonus.Sri Swamiji
dealt about the recent visit to Mexico and the Sun temple in Chichen Itza.Later Sri Swamiji
met with the members of the Ashrama
committee and advised them on the various spiritual and charitable activities undertaken by them.The Ashrama
there runs a old age home for the poor and the needy. Sri Swamiji left for Gudivada at 3 PM.
visited this young Ashrama
where the priests performed ground breaking rituals for the proposed Datta temple.Sri Swamiji
gave a brief sketch of the activities of the proposed Ashrama in Gudivada
KAIKALURU:The next stop was Kaikaluru Ashrama
Situated in the lush green paddy fields of rural Andhra Pradesh, the Ashrama here is a joy to the eyes.Sri Swamiji
spoke and Blessed all those who had come for the visit there.
AKIVIDU:Arriving at 8 PM, Sri Swamiji
visited the temple in the Ashrama
here and spoke and blessed the massive crowd.The night was halted here.
NUZUVID:On the 28th January, 2001.Sri Swamiji
traveled another three hours and visited the Nuzividu Ashrama and Blessed the devotees there and went through the yearly activity report submitted by the members.Sri Swamiji
visited the new quarters where a priest training school is proposed.
ELURU:The reason for the present tour.Sri Swamiji
arrived in Eluru town at 11 AM.First stopping at the Venkateswara temple in the town where a new tower has been constructed since the visit last year, Sri Swamiji
appreciated the efforts of the devotees in the developments.There after Sri Swamiji
arrived in Dondapadu, a superb of Eluru town where the Ashrama
is situated.Sri Swamiji was reverentially and traditionally welcomed by thousands of devotees led by Sri Brij Gopal Lunani.
At 11.40 AM, Sri Swamiji
entered the Ashrama gates and walked in a procession which was systematically and methodically arranged.Sri Swamiji
first inaugurated the Guru Nilayam in the Ashrama
The whole construction from the compound wall to the temple tower has been very methodically and professionally planned and executed.The traditional yet modern Ashrama was appreciated by Sri Swamiji
After the arrival, Sri Swamiji
inaugurated the Shiva Gopal Lunani and Bayya Devi Lunani prayer hall.
then addressed the strong crowd of about 10,000 people and conveyed admiration and appreciation to the members of the Ashrama
in particular to the stellar role played by the Lunani brothers.Sri Swamiji
announced that this was the first time in the history of Sri Swamiji
that such a full fledged, self sufficient Ashram was inaugurated in the very first visit without asking anytime from Sri Swamiji
for its developmental activities. In the evening Sri Swamiji
visited the newly built temple, which was to be inaugurated in two days.This was followed by a welcome function.
later performed Sri Chakra Puja and Ganapati Homa.
performed Sri Chakra Puja at 9 AM and then visited the Ashrama
in Bhimavaram which is about two hours drive away.
There Sri Swamiji
blessed the efforts of the devotees to build a prayer hall.Earlier Sri Swamiji
had made a brief stop over in Narayana Puram.
returned to Ashrama
in Eluru at 5 PM.
At 7.30 AM, Sri Swamiji
visited all the shrines and laid the Yantras in the stone seat on which the idols would stand.
Click here for the text of Sri Swamiji's
speech after Sri Chakra Puja.
At 11.45, Sri Swamiji
arrived in the Yaga Shala and offered the Purnahuti for all the temple inauguration rituals and carried the silver pot containing the sacred water for ablution.Sri Swamiji
climbed the immaculately laid scaffolding and reached the roof area of the temple and started the Kumbhabhishekam of the shrines in the order of Ganapati, Venugopala Swamy, Hanuman and finally the Dattatreya Swamy.This was witnessed by over twenty five thousand people.
From the roof, one could see people on all sides devotionally watching the sacred event and their lips chanting the Mantra "Jai Guru Datta Sri Guru Datta".After pouring the water on the brass Kalasham on the tower of Datta shrine, Sri Swamiji
put a garland on it, sprinkled some puffed rice and covered a small clothe around it and whispered some mantras close to the Kalashas.The final act was the Arati.Then Sri Swamiji
have a brief speech from the tower.Click here for the text of the speech.In the end, Sri Swamiji
bowed to the brass Kalasham and the head band of Sri Swamiji
slipped and fell across the Kalasham like a garland.This unique event was elevating.Descending down to the shrines, Sri Swamiji
performed Abhishekam to all the deities and retired for the day. Later thousands of people went to the temples for Darshan. In the evening were scintillating Bhajans and the first Kakadarati in the temple.
01.02.2001: Ratha Saptami Festival - Sri Swamiji
offered Arghyam (ablutions) to Sun God at 6 in the morning.Donning EKKA tree leaves on the shoulders and on the head and performed milk Abhishekam to the crystal Aditya.
Then Sri Swamiji
placed on the head the TAMBITTU DEEPA (A big mound of sweet savory with a lamp in the centre) and chanted Mantras.The people who had come to worship and numbering about two thousand chanted the Aditya Hridaya Stotram.Later Sri Swamiji
personally gave Tambittu sweet to everyone. Sri Swamiji
arrived in Nellore on 2nd February 2001 at 8 PM.
Earlier in the day Sri Swamiji
traveled from Eluru to Chirala, Vetapalem and Ongole.In all these places, which are small towns of the state Andhra Pradesh in South India, Sri Swamiji
addressed public meetings where more than twenty thousand people had assembled.Exhorting them to lead a virt