SGS Ashrams popularly called as Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Ashram is situated on a sprawling 40-acre site at the foot of Chamundi Hill, in the Royal City of Mysore, State of Karnataka in Southern India. This is the head quarters of Pujya Swamiji's mission. Datta Peetham has grown over years to an impressive stature and encompasses many aspects of the spiritual life. Here one can study Yoga, the Vedas and Sanskrit, bhajans, music. There is a Universal Prayer Hall where traditional Pujas and Homas are performed. As Sri Swamiji propagates the teaching of Dattatreya Avadhoota, a Datta Temple has been constructed. Dattatreya the eternal teacher, is the Manifestation of the Triple Principle of Sat (Existence), Chit (Knowledge) and Ananda (Bliss).
Important edifices in Datta Peetham:
- Dattatreya Temple (Universal Prayer Hall) dedicated to Kalagni Samana Dattatreya. This is the first of 50 Datta Temples established in India and abroad.
- Sri Datta Venkateswara Ksheram, established and consecrated in the model of Tirumala Sri Venkateswara Temple
- Nada Mandapam a gigantic and magnificent auditorium dedicated to Nada, where music, dance and other culture programs by artists of international repute are held through out the year.
- Veda Pathasala, where young students undertake the study of Veda, Sastra, Aagama and Sanskrit
- SGS Charitable Hispital – (Ayurvedic and Allopathic hospital) – where dedicated medical personnel effectively treat patients afflicted with arthritis, migraine, obesity etc in the clean and tranquil environment. Outpatient department has specialist Allopathic Doctors. More than 1 Lakh poor people benefit annually.
- Dharma Dhwajam – A 45’ Monolith octagonal stone Pillar with each side depicting various symbols of Dharma (such as symbols of world religions, Yoga, Philosophy, Music etc.) A 40 min. sound and light show is extremely captivating, leading the audience to a highly intellectual plane of Self (Atman).
- Kishindha Moolika Bonsai Garden – an exquisite collection, said to be the largest in India.
- Horticultural Gardens – Various trees connected with Rasi, Nakshatra, Nava Graha, Saptarshi and rare herbs are grown in the picturesque environment.
- Viswam – A magnificent museum displaying various crystals, gems, objects of traditional ancient art forms, artifacts of rare kind presented to His Holiness.
Important Activities of SGS Ashrams
Traditional Education is imparted to students in the schools for Veda, Sastra, Samskruta, Aagama in Mysore and other branches. Priest Training Centre caters to needs of various sections of the society. In order to preserve and propagate the traditional knowledge in its pristine form, Examinations are conducted in Vedas annually on a national scale. Seminars and work shops; discourses on various subjects such as philosophy, mythology, epics, art, music are regularly held in Mysore and other branches regularly.
More than 3000 poor children study in the schools run by His Holiness in Mysore, Gunturu and other places. A special school for the communication impaired, disabled children, called Vagdevi is run in Bangalore.
Kriya Yoga is another important aspect of Pujya Swamiji’s Spiritual activities. Kriya Yoga helps aspirants to learn to activate and control their senses and to control their thought processes. Kriya Yoga involves learning breath control (Pranayama) to effectively channel the flow of prana (life force) which traverses the 72,000 nadis or astral nerves in the human body. By doing so the aspirant learns to direct mental power to open the three granthis, important knots in the nervous system, which obstruct the rhythmic flow of prana. By undoing these knots a kriya yogi opens the path for Kundalini energy to flow. According to Markandeya Purana, Kriya Yoga was revealed by Lord Dattatreya to great saints and yogis of ancient India. Sri Swamiji has made it a part of His mission to revive this ancient knowledge and bring it to the West.
The Concept of Music Therapy
Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji sees healing with music as a yogic practice. Yoga teaches that the astral body has 72000 nerve lets and 14 major nadis or nerves. Each nadi vibrates at its own frequency. Music soothes the nadis and helps them to vibrate at the proper rate. Music becomes a therapy, He says, when the healer, musicians and listeners all deeply concentrate on the sound. Sri Swamiji stresses on concentration or Ekagrata on the part of the healer musician and the listener. Listening is a special technique where sense control or Indriya Nigraha is required. "Physical health results from a healthy mind," Sri Swamiji says. "Music of the right type helps in achieving relaxation by soothing the nerves and through that, comes peace and stillness of the mind." Sri Swamiji claims that "ragas are the unspoiled sounds of eternal nature, the soul of man and Paramaatman. In the hands of the perfect technician, they are great forces." Sri Swamiji uses a synthesizer because this instrument can reproduce singly or in combination the sounds of more than 1,100 instruments. This allows Sri Swamiji a greater range for healing through music. Not all ailments can be cured by Sri Swamiji's music, especially those which have already reached a terminal state.
Music therapy requires more than just intense meditation on sound. This great master understands the varying vibrational qualities of the different ragas and knows which raga can help cure a particular disease. Certain ragas can only be played at selected times for healing. The renowned Indian musician, Late Sri Maharajapuram Santanam says, "Each one of the ragas have curative powers. Sri Swamiji has done a lot of research on this and I have heard first person accounts of cures through His music therapy. There is a divinity in His music and bhajans which makes it essentially different from others."
Datta Peetham Charitable Activities
Annadanam – In addition to intense spiritual activity, ashram life is also devoted to helping the poor. It is a tradition that all ashram visitors are fed free and food is distributed to the needy on a regular basis. More than 10 Lakh people are fed annually in Mysore and branches.
Medical Service - SGS Vaidya Seva
- Medical service is a very important activity of Peetham. Dedicated professionals are extending free service to needy and poor regularly.
- Medicine worth nearly Rs.1 crore is distributed annually through various medical camps.
- Medical vans carry medicine and doctors to cater to villages and slum areas as part of SGS Vaidya Seva.
- Regular Charitable Hospitals are functioning in Mysore, Cochin, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kamareddy, Sreekakulam and other places.
- Specialty camps such as cancer detection, endoscope, Diabetes, Women and child care etc. are organised at many places through out the year.
- Prevention and health awareness camps simultaneously conducted, explaining various important aspects of traditional therapies and modern life style diseases.
- Emergency Blood Donation to patients in major hospitals of Hyderabad city is an important activity of the 1000 member volunteer group.
Other Charities –
- Datta Peetham runs a destitute women rehabilitation centre called ‘Amma Vodi’ at Hyderabad.
- SGS Annapoorna Rajarajeswari Vruddha Ashrama (Old age home) in Machilipatnam
- SGS Children Home - An orphanage providing service to 40 children is being run in Gunturu.
- Datta Peetham and its branches regularly contribute to the Relief Funds and calamity funds and rise to the occasion to provide succour to poor in calamities such as Tsunami, Floods and drought.
- Instruments and appliances such as wheel chairs, callipers, crouches, sewing machines, carts etc. are provided to disabled and needy regularly during all major functions.
- Datta Peetham renovates, builds class rooms; provide furniture/ equipment to many schools which caters to poorer sections of the society, every year.
- Volunteer group Sri Datta Humane services; renders tremendous service to the pilgrims during major socio – religious – community events.
- To spread spiritual awareness and inculcation of moral values in public, especially students – a monthly magazine Bhakti Mala is published in Telugu, Kannada, English, Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi.
- Several books of high intellectual value and ethical importance; video and audio albums containing messages, documentaries, instrumental music for meditation and healing; Bhajans (devotional Music) rendered by Sri Swamiji, many leading musicians and music directors are published.
- Libraries are set up in many centres.
- Books are donated to many public libraries.
- Research activities, to unearth the intricate values espoused in traditional Indian texts, pertaining to physical sciences such as astronomy, medicine, agriculture, water resources etc. is conducted thru an affiliated organisation I-Serve, Hyderabad.
- Awards (Veda Nidhi, Sastra Nidhi, Nada Nidhi, Sasya Bandhu, Asthana Vidwan, Viswa Bandhu, Viswa Hindu) are instituted to recognise outstanding talent and to honour eminent persons, who have dedicated their lives for the propagation, preservation, research in the fields of Vedas, Sastras, Music, Ecology, Drama, Dance, Social service, Community work, (fostering harmony and amity between communities), Culture, Sculpture etc.
For details contact:
Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Ashrama, Datta Nagar, Ooty Road, Mysore
Karnataka, India 570025. Tel: 0821- 2486486 Fax: 2487487