Shivapuri, the holy Yajnya Nagar, was founded by Parama Sadguru Shree Gajanan Maharaj who has reiterated the Eternel Vedic message in the form of a Fivefold Path.
Shivapuri is termed as Yajnya Nagar where a massive Yajnya Pillar which was erected as a symbol of Vedic Somayaga, announcing the ringing in of Satya Yuga i.e. New Era of super-science, knowledge and universal brotherhood.
The serene and peaceful Shivapuri-Ashram is situated at a distance of 1.5 km from Akkalkot town (district - Solapur, Maharashtra, India). Akkalkot or its nearest junction Solapur is on the Mumbai-Chennai, Banglore, Hyderabad main railway lines of Indian Railways. It is connected by state transport bus services with most of the towns of Maharashtra state and are easily accessible by road. It is 40km from Solapur between which there are frequent bus connections.
The place was named Shivapuri after Shivanand Yogindra Maharaj, the father of Parama Sadguru Shree. Shivanand Maharaj was the highest among Yogis. He was a Nada Brahma Yogi who examplified the Shabda Brahma concept. Shabda Brahma means "the word that was in the beginning, which was with God, which was God and by which everything was made that was made" (John 1).
People held him in highest esteem as the incarnation of Jamadagni, the great sage of Bhrugu dynasty, who enunciated the Akshar Brahma concept ( concept of the indestructible word). Literally the word Jamadagni in Sanskrit means the blazing yajnya fire.
The Vedic word Shiva also connotes yajna fire. Hence Shivanand means fire which grants Ananda or 'eternal bliss'. Shivanand Yogindra Maharaj possessed astonishing Yogic powers. Even while he used to be in deep sleep one could hear the chant of Mantra in his breathing rhythm. This great Yogi once declared "Death shall not conquer us".
The devotees believe that he is still in the state of Samadhi in Shivapuri in the cellar where the holy body is preserved before the place was sealed with stone. It seems that there is some mission yet to be performed by the holy body in the cellar called Shivagumpha. One can see in the Shivapumpha a radiating Linga, in the Shivapumpha, called Shivajyotirlinga. Jyotirlinga is a radiating point in the subtle energy circuit that manipulates the atmosphere beneficially. In the upper portion of shivgumpha there is another radiating point called Somnath-Linga which was established to commemorate the great Somayaga of 1969.
Before actually purchasing this small piece of land in the year 1953 as a proposed site for preparing Swami Shivanand's Samadhi many auspicious signs were shown to Shree. He had seen the 'Rising of the sun' on the horizon as he first cast his glance on the piece of land which later was to be known as Shivpuri. To Shree that symbolised the ushering in of the New Era. As if it was the rising sun of Satya Dharma. Shree many times had stated that a special sky is created over Shivpuri. The Seven Stars (the 'Sapta-Rishi' or the seven seers) radiate upon Shivapuri with a special blessing eye! Shree had further stated that if any seed of Sat Karma (Good Karma) is sown in the land of Shivapuri, it sprouts and blossoms in to a big tree within no time and effort.
This land is special. It is conducive to right action and right thought. Shree once said, "Shivapuri in future will be the most Holy place of pilgrimage for innumerable followers of Five fold Path spread all over the world. They will come to pay their respects to this holy land from where their beloved Master reiterated the eternal and universal message of Vedas. Shivapuri will henceforth be associated with our name like Bodhi gaya is with Lord Buddha, Mathura with Lord Krishna, Jerusalem with Lord Jesus Christ and Mecca with Prophet Mohammed. Purity and sanctity of this place will remain charged for thousands of year to come.
The land on which an Avatara walks remains energised and holy for thousands of years".
On one ocassion Shivanand Yogindra Maharaj remarked "Behold, the fragrancesof flowers pervades our garden".
In fulfillment of these words a garden is laid out at Shivapuri where you find the fragrance of flowers pervading among the existence of rare trees like Rudraksha (Eleocarpus-ganitrus-Roxb), Camphor (cimamomum- Camphora,L.) and Kadamba (Anthocphalus-cadamba,Mig) etc and several potent medical herbs.
Visitors feel enthralled by the peace and bliss that reigns at Shivapuri, the abode of Yajnya.
ACTIVITIES AT SHIVPURI ASHRAM
5.00 am Vyaharuti Homa followed by chanting of Gayatri mantra and Omkara in Shivamandir.
Sunrise Morning Agnihotra
10.00 am to 11.00 am
Vyaharuti Homa and Tyyambakam Havan in Shivamandir
12.00 noon Vyaharuti Homa in Annapoorna
03.00 pm Vyaharuti Homa followed by Gayatri Havan in Shivamandir
04.00 pm Tryambakam Havan, starts at 4.00 PM and concludes just before evening Agnihotra
Sunset Evening Agnihotra
09.00 pm Vyaharuti Homa followed by reading of Shree's message (Divya Sandesh) and reading of the ‘Prayer of the soldier of Satya Dharma'
WEEKLY - Every Sunday
08.30 am Sharnagati
09.30 am to 12.00
GANESH YAGA (Ganpati Atharvashirsha Havan) is performed on every Chaturthi day (4 th day of a lunar calendar month-i.e. twice a month)
Shree Sonamata Smriti ‘ Hare Ram' mantra chanting (108 times )on every Trayodashi ( 13 th day of the bright half of the lunar month)
Shree Maha padyapooja (traditional pooja of Shree Charan padukas) on every Sankashti Chaturthi ( 4 th day of the dark half of the Lunar month)
ANNA DAAN :
Annapoorna trust of Shivpuri looks after the food requirement of all visitors, volunteers and disciples staying at Shivpuri. Services are offered free of cost. Very often visitors are from Western countries. Ashram provides accommodation facility to guests in the residential blocks specially built for the purpose. Visitors can book their accommodation in advance and stay here. This activity is sustained by donations received from disciples, followers and guests.
GO SHALA :
An ideal cow rearing centre is run by the Ashram. Cows are fed organically grown fodder. Cow's healthy milk is supplied to Ashrams Ayurvedic hospital and Annapoorna. Huge stocks of Cow dung cakes are also produced at the centre, which are supplied to various Agnihotra centres in India , Malaysia and Germany .
AYURVEDIC DIAGNOSTIC AND MEDICAL RELIEF ACTIVITY :
Since 1976, the trust called Dharmatma Tatyaji Maharaj Memorial Medical Relief Trust has been providing free Ayurvedic diagnostic services and medicines to the poor and needy people of this backward area. Lakhs of people have availed the services of the trust so far. Every Thursday and Sunday scores of ailing people from surrounding villages throng the centre to receive free medical check-up, advice and medicines. AYURVEDIC PANCHAKARMA CENTRE established by the trust in 2001 provides scientific PNACHAKAMRA treatment in the holy atmosphere of Shivpuri at reasonable charges.
EYE VISION CARE CENTRE established recently is another feather in the Trust' cap. It has proved to be a boon to the people of this area. The latest eye-check up camps, free eye treatments including surgery have won the admiration of the people. Free glasses have been distributed to hundreds of needy patients so far.
SHARDAMATA ENGLISH MEDIUM HIGH SCHOOL :
Ashram runs English medium high school and fulfils the much needed requirement of the area. Children of poor and downtrodden sections of the society are given admission into the school. The school commences with the performance of VYAHARUTI HOMA every day. Students are made to chant some select Vedic Mantras as a part of their daily prayer. The stress is laid o the overall development of the personality of the child.
Generally the guests visiting Shivpuri are taken round the holy shrines adoring Ashram for darshan.
SHREE CHARAN PADUKA : Visitors can have darshan of SHREE's Holy Paduka in the sitting room of SHREE. From the same place SHREE gave darshan to devotees.
SHIVAMANDIR: The holy body of SHREE's father SWAMI SHIVANANDA YOGINDRA MAHARAJ is put to rest here in the cellar.
SONAMATA TEMPLE : This is the temple of SHREE 's mother SONAMATA revered as an incarnation of goddess GAYATRI.
SHREE MEMORIAL : The most sacred spot where SHREE's mortal remains were consigned to flames. The spot from where he revived the dying Yajnya practice, the spot where He finally merged with the Fire.
HOLY MOTHER'S MEMORIAL : Here holy mother, SHREE's life partner SOW SHARDAMATA entered the fire.
SOMAYAGA ALTARS : The historic sacrifice, the first SOMAYAGA of this era was performed here in 1969 under the direct guidance of SHREE.
After going round these places, AGNIHOTRA is explained to the guests. Point that the SHREE-ordained Agnihotra is the message of the era is driven home. All the guests are invariably impressed with the serene atmosphere of SHIVAPURI. Some even feel mesmerized by the divine aura engulfing Ashram. Most of the visitors while leaving Shivpuri buy Agnihotra material with a resolve to commence the practice at their respective places.