Manikeshwari Mata Ashram, Yanagundi

#1 Mar 19th, 2010, 00:04
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  • tulsi is offline
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For those IMers who are heading down south I recommend a visit to Manikgiri Ashram in Yanagundi, about 150 km. from Hyderabad. I had visited the ashram in the 1990s and Manikeshwari matha or AMMA as she is called radiated the most powerful spiritual presence that I have come across in modern day Indian saints. The biggest hurdle for outsiders is that she does not speak English or Hindi, only Telugu. However, her devotees can act as interpreters if you should be lucky enough to have her private darshan.

Manikeshwari mata does not offer a formal teaching, hers is the path of bhakti, seva and ahimsa. She has been living without food and water for the past 75 years or so. Seems incredible but it is true! Her entire life and the struggles she experienced and overcame are a shining example of the victory of spirit over matter. Yoga instructors have been appointed to offer instruction in yoga and meditation to interested visitors. Devotees must wear only white clothes during their ashram visit. Having a darshan of amma and a private audience is a profound experience. At least it was for me. The inner peace and blessings I experienced during my visit to Manikgiri ashram cannot be expressed in words.

The ashram is not a commercial set up and very few westerners know about it or even visit it. Amma is a true saint and though she has limited herself to Andhra Pradesh she has uplifted the lives of her devotees and visitors. Her devotees have put up a website:www.manikeshwarimatha.com providing details of how to reach Manikgiri ashram. Amma has 20 more ashrams in Andhra Pradesh. She has provided a refuge in her ashrams to the destitute and downtrodden, to widows, orphans, disabled and mentally disturbed people. Is this not a great social service in itself? Society's rejects find solace and also make some spiritual progress in amma's ashrams. Visitors and devotees are welcome to sponsor any of the projects of the ashram but there is no pressure to do so.

What touched me the most were the local farmers. They came to offer their respects to amma early in the morning, went to toil in their fields during the day and then came for evening arati. They were a happy, grateful lot and were producing good crops in their fields for the benefit of all. I went mango plucking (tough job) and was also treated to fresh sugarcane by the farmers.

You can call up their administrative office at (08506)280028 to book a room for yourself in advance if you want to visit. Amma's darshan is a little dicey and a week's stay is recommended at the very least. Do take a mosquito net with you because they can make your life miserable in the evenings. All in all Manikgiri ashram provides a peaceful, laid back experience, which you will treasure when you return to your urban world and worklife. Tulsi
In spring hundreds of flowers; in autumn a harvest moon; In summer a refreshing breeze; in winter snow will accompany you.If useless things do not hang in your mind, any season is a good season for you.
Mumon, 13th century Zen master.
Last edited by tulsi; Mar 19th, 2010 at 00:11.. Reason: spelling
#2 Mar 20th, 2010, 01:07
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  • Tobias_P is offline
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ds

Thank you tulsi. Sounds like a serene place and wonderful experience.

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