Gurudev Siddha Peeth
Gurudev Siddha Peeth is an Indian ashram run by the Gurudev Siddha Peeth Trust and serving the Siddha Yoga path. It is situated between the villages of Ganeshpuri and Vajreshwari, 70 miles (110 km) north-east of Mumbai. On the Siddha Yoga path it is known as the "mother ashram" because it is where Siddha Yoga really began.
The ashram's origins date back to the guru known as Bhagavan Nityananda, who had been in the nearby village of Ganeshpuri since 1936. Before he died in 1961, Nityananda is said to have told his devotee, Swami Muktananda, to build an ashram near Ganeshpuri on land that Nityananda gave him. Nityananda prophesied that the ashram would become "very big and beautiful" and would attract people from all over the world.
Swami Muktananda established the ashram and called it Sri Gurudev Ashram, in honour of Nityananda. In 1978, Muktananda changed the name to Gurudev Siddha Peeth. The ashram has since grown as Nityananda predicted and is the site of shrines to both Nityananda and Muktananda (who died in 1982). It functions as a full-time spiritual retreat for people who want to pursue their Siddha Yoga practices. The ashram also runs short-term retreats, for example a seven-day "Pilgrimage to the Heart Retreat."
In addition to spiritual practice, the ashram established significant charitable services for the benefit of the adivasis (tribal people) of the area. Medical services and housing were provided for these people and for other poor people in the valley. The PRASAD Project was set up to administer these projects. The PRASAD Project also organized several eye-camps in which those who were blind from cataracts received free corrective surgery that restored their eyesight. Current PRASAD projects include organic farmers' initiatives, irrigation and water conservation projects, women's self-help groups, and AIDS prevention awareness.
- Brooks, Douglas Renfrew; Sabharathnam (1997), Meditation Revolution, Agama Press, ISBN 81-208-1648-X
- Muktananda, Swami (1996), Bhagawan Nityananda of Ganeshpuri, SYDA Foundation, ISBN 0-911307-45-1
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