Sri Swamy Poornananda Ashram
Sri Swamy Poornananda’s ashram is situated in Sundipenta, Srisailam. Srisailam is home to both a jyothirlinga and a shakti peetham. It is a beautiful town located in the lush Nallamala forest. The jeeva nadhi Krishna sweeps across the place, as scenic mountains stand in the background. Such is the eminence of the place that Swamiji chose to have his ashram in. Swamiji wanted the ashram to serve as a place to house the divine padukas of Sri Rakhadi Baba. The ashram is revered as a Gurupaduka Kshetram by the devotees. We are also immensely blessed to have our Sadguru’s adishtanam and Paramaguru’s paadukas in the same place!
Baba Hall is a place known for its quiet and serene environment. It was constructed in 1975 to serve as a place for devotees to meditate. A huge portrait of Rakhadi Baba (Swamy Omkaranananda) adorns the wall in the hall in which Baba can be seen sitting in his poise stature. Baba’s deep and piercing eyes were painted by Swamiji Himself and his eyes seem to follow you through the room. Under Baba’s photo is the Bhuvaneswari yantram, engraved by Swamiji in 1971 in Pochampadu. Through the course of making the yantram, Swamiji is said to have survived on only a glass of milk every day.
Baba’s padukas are placed in a silver plate before the yantram. The padukas were brought to the ashram by Swamiji from Kalavai (Baba’s native) in 1970. Swamiji held Baba’s padukas with the highest regard and instructed that Guru Pooja be performed everyday to them, a tradition that is continued till date. Also, harathi is given in the Baba Hall twice daily at 6AM and 9PM. The radiance of Baba’s portrait in the harathi lights is indescribable and is a sight to watch!
During the Navaratris, navakanyas perform Chandi pooja and parayana in the hall, following strict deeksha. Dimly lit by deepams throughout the day, the Baba Hall invokes an unsaid silence and deep devotion in the devotees.
Swamiji's Adhistana Mandhir
Swamiji left His mortal coil in the year 2000(Vikrama naama samvatsaram) on 'Chaitra shukla Vidhiya', the day next to 'Ugadi'(Telugu new year). Years before itself, Swamiji gave clear guidelines to a few of his close disciples about where His Adhistanam should be constructed and the rituals to be followed during the construction. Accordingly, the devotees obeyed all of Swamiji's instructions and built the Adhistanam.
The following year, a Shrine was built over the Samadhi and a 'Panchaloha' Vigraha of Swamiji was installed. Everyday in the morning, 'Abhishekam', along with 'Guru pooja' are performed and the traditional 'Harathi' is given to Swamiji four times a day. Devotees sing various hymns and songs on Swamiji with joy at the time of Harathi.
Between the years 1965-1968, Rakhadi Baba fabricated Vibhooti Lingams with his own hands on the day of Shivaratri in Kariyar and they were given to devotees as blessings. Particularly in the year 1968, both Swamiji and Baba made a Vibhooti Lingam together, which was given to Sri Dorairaju, an early devotee from Kariyar. Later in the 1990s, Swamiji had that lingam brought to the ashram and it continues to be here, till date. Every Shivaratri, the lingam is brought out from Swamiji’s personal room and elaborate poojas are performed to it.
Annapoorna hall is the dining hall of the Ashram. It is a long hall with Swamiji's and Jillellamudi Amma's photo frames adorning the wall on one end. Three vegetarian meals are served everyday in the hall which hundreds of people and sadhus eat as Prasadam. Devotees are allowed to volunteer around in the kitchen for cutting vegetables and in serving the food, as an act of service.
Every meal starts with the recitation of Annapoorna and Shakambari slokas, the deities of food and nutrition. Even the simplest items like Dal, Sambar and buttermilk taste divine when eaten in the Ashram. That is no surprise, because every grain of rice served in the ashram is Swamiji's tapophalam, as told by Swamiji Himself. Swamiji always insisted every devotee who visited the ashram to surely have a meal at Annapoorna hall before they leave.
From 1969-1977, Hatakeswaram, near Srisailam became Swamiji's abode. With Paladhara-Panchadhara water falls on one side and the historical Hatakeswara swamy temple near by, the place has so much spiritual significance. Siddhapurushas, yogis, saints and rishis stayed at this place from the beginning of the time, including the Adi Shankaracharya. It is said that Adi Shankaracharya composed 'Shivananda Lahari' at this same place. Surrounded by thick jungle, water falls, temples and wild animals, this place holds very powerful vibrations.The historical Hatakeswaram has extended its significance with Swamiji's presence there for years.
There Swamiji stayed in a cone shaped small hut in the beginning. Later two rooms were built there, a room for Swamiji to rest and the other room, a small corridor where Swamiji used to give Darshans. Under Swamiji's guidance, many events and rituals were performed at Hatakeswaram Ashram from 1969-1977. The early devotees experienced many miracles and had darshan of great saints, higher and celestial beings who paid their visits to Swamiji at Hatakeswaram.
Even after leaving for the Asrham at Sunnipenta, very often Swamiji used to visit Hatakeswaram Ashram. Also, Swamiji directed few of his disciples and Sadhus to stay at Hatakeswaram in solitude for a period of time to do Sadhana. In the year 2005, a 'Jyothi Mandapam' was built at Hatakeswaram Ashram, a room for meditation purpose and even this day, many Sadhus and Spiritual enthusiasts from various parts of the country come and stay in Hatakeswaram Ashram in solitude to practice spirituality. A big scale 'Annasantharpana' takes place at Hatakeswaram Ashram every year around March-April months as per Sri Swamiji's instructions.