Annamalaiyar Temple – Yogi Ramsuratkumar Ashram
Yogi Ramsurat Kumar Ashram is an important Ashram in Agrahara Kollai, Thiruvannamalai. One of the famous Ashrams frequented by lot of peoples including foreigners.
Yogi Ramsurat Kumar Ashram in Thiruvannamalai is located at 12°13'07.4"N 79°03'16.3"E or 12.218730, 79.054531.
Life History of Yogi Ramsuratkumar
Yogi Ramsuratkumar (December 1, 1918 – February 20, 2001) was an Indian saint and mystic. He was also referred to as "Visiri Samiyar" and spent most of his post enlightenment period in Thiruvannamalai, a small town in Tamilnadu which is famous for attracting spiritual seekers worldwide and has had a continuous lineage of enlightened souls. He acknowledges the contribution of three of the most well known saints of his time in his evolution to enlightenment. These individuals were Sri Aurobindo, the founder of Integral yoga, Ramana Maharshi, one of the "spiritual supermen" of his time, and Swami Ramdas, Yogi's eventual guru.
Pre Enlightenment History:
Yogi Ramsuratkumar was born in a village Naradara, Lalganj, Ballia-277216 (U. P.) near Kashi on December 1, 1918. In his childhood, he loved very much to meet the yogis and monks. He was befriended by a number of holy men who built their huts on the Ganges shore or simply wandered nearby.
He grew up as a Grihasta but eventually, the tugs of spirituality in his heart took over. In search of his "guru", he visited and spent time in the ashrams of both Sri Aurobindo and Ramana Maharishi. He later moved to Kerala at the ashram of Swami Ramdas. In his own assessment, Sri Aurobindo gave him Jnana, Sri Ramana Maharshi blessed him with tapas and Swami Ramdas gave him the nectar of Bhakti.
Swami Ramdas initiated him into the holy mantra: “Om Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram ", by pronouncing it thrice in his ears. Yogi Ramsuratkumar often refers to this instance as his "death", since from this moment on, his ego no longer existed, and he had a profound spiritual experience.
Post Enlightenment History:
Yogiji travelled across the country from 1952 to 1959. Not much is known about the exact whereabouts of the yogi in this period. He finally reached Thiruvannamalai in the Southern India in 1959. He was a "hidden" saint during this early period, with not too many individuals realizing that this "beggar" was someone who would bring riches to the lives of countless many. He was seen near the Temple chariot, at the corners of the Road, under the trees of the Temple. As more and more people started acknowledging the divine presence in him, Swamiji then began living in a small house in Sannadhi Street beneath the Temple.
He continued to bless the devotees who thronged at thousands to his house at the Sannadhi Street. At a point, his devotees became too many to be handled in a small house and the devotees wished him to have an Ashram which he gently accepted after much persuasion for the sake of his devotees. The Yogi Ramsuratkumar Ashram is constructed at Agrahara collai with a total area of 3.5 Acres.
Students in the West:
Yogi Ramsuratkumar most prominent Western students were Lee Lozowick, who founded "Western Baul" communities in the United States and Europe, and Krishna Carcelle (Gaurakrishna), who published the Vedantic monthly magazine 'Rama Nama' and created the website of 'Yogi Ramsuratkumar Bhavan' with the blessings of his Master, and publishes free eBooks on Yogi Ramsuratkumar.
This prominent Ashram comprises of several buildings of which the most prominent structure is the Pradhan Mandir. Pradhan Mandir is a meditation hall where upto 4000 devotees can come together and chant mantras. This building has a high aluminium roof which is supported by brick mortar walls in addition to several concrete pillars at their sides. A metal statue of the great Yogi Ramsurat Kumar which had been installed by him is present in this hall. A fibre and wax statue of the Yogi is also present here.
Maha Samadhi Shrine:
Maha Samadhi Shrine is a place inside the Ashram where Yogi Ramsurat Kumar's physical remains are present in a Samadhi or Memorial. Disciples chanting lots of Vedas have installed a Linga on top of the Samadhi. This Lingam was created in Varanasi with lots of prayers and was brought here especially for this purpose and several poojas are performed on it by the Yogi's devotees.
Old Darshan Mandir:
Old Darshan Mandir was the first building to be constructed in this Ashram. It was from here that devotees of Yogi Ramsurat Kumar Received Dharshan of him.
Swagatham Hall is a ground floor hall where for a short period devotees of the Yogi got a Darshan of him and they also celebrated his Jayanthi once here. Above the Swagatham Hall a meditation hall with glass panels is present. People can meditate from here seeing the Maha Samadhi of Yogi Ramsurat Kumar through glass panels.
The Siddhi Sthalam has three rooms and was the place where the Bhagavan stayed for sometime towards the end of his journey on earth. In was in these room that devotees nursed Yogi Ramsurat Kumar when he became sick.
Vedapatashala or a school teaching Vedas is present inside this Ashram where people of all ages come and learn about the Vedas. A library with a copy of the Vedas and several other rare religious books is present here. Guru's statue made of green marble looks over them as they study. This statue was carved by an Italian who used a photograph of the Yogi for reference. Devotees can see this statue between 9:00 AM and 10:00 AM and also between 6:00 PM and 7:00 PM.
A devotee of Yogi Ramsurat Kumar who saw many blessings when he worshipped him during the 2004 Kumbhabhishekam he gifted a silver chariot to the Ashram. This silver Chariot is present on a locked room with shutters. The holy Yogi's Utsavar travels in this chariot with the sound of chanting of Guru Nama and sounds of Nadaswaram during auspicious times.
A research foundation to study influences of Sanskrit in Indian Cultures is present here. The research foundation which is also known as Yogi Ramsuratkumar Research Foundation for Asian Culture or Yogi Ramsuratkumar Research Foundation also studies how the Bharatham's Jeevan Mukthas are influenced by Sanskrit in addition to vedas and several other cultural factors.
This foundation aims to study and better understand the vedas and functions based on the Maharaj's view to that this world would have perished without them. Several research studies have been done by this foundation along with Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Viswa Mahavidyalaya. Studies about Vedic Rishis and their life are also done here in addition to study of Devas. Presently a team devoted particularly to study the Rig Veda has been formed and it also teaches it to people who wish to learn them.
Girivalam refers to the action in which devotees walk with their prayers around deities. One of the most famous paths of Girivalam is located in Thiruvannamalai around the Arunachala hill which is believed to be a lingam itself. Devotees believe that Goddess Parvathi had also walked this path praying when performing penance towards Lord Shiva. The same way a Girivalam Path is present inside this Ashram and Maharaj had stated that performing Girivalam here is a very powerful prayer to invoke the blessings of God.
From 1999 food is being provided to a number of sadhus who visit this Ashram in a building with a thatched roof. It was the wish of Maharaj to have the building built with a thatched roof. A statue of Maharaj is also present here which blesses the Sadhus who come and eat here. The Sadhus who come and eat here are provided a vegetarian meal with rice, vegetable and a fruit in the end of the meal.
Nama and Japam are Sanskrit words which translate as Name and do once again in English. So Nama Japam is a Sanskrit word which refers to the repetition of God's name as a prayer. Nama Sankeertanam is another name of Nama Japam. Devotees gather together or singly chant the name of ishta deva (favourite god) or Ishta devata (favourite goddess) many times in their minds or loudly. One of the greatest men who prayed Nama Japam was Bhishma who repeatedly chanted Vishnu sahasranama.
The renowned saint Adi Shankaracharya believed that devotees should meditate on Lakshmi Narayana chanting Vishnu Sahasranama. Nama Japam is given great importance at this Ashram too as the divine Yogi had believed that Nama Sankirthan was an adequate form of worship to attain salvation. In a separate hall Nama Japam is conducted continuously here from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
Annadhanam is provided in the mornings and evenings at this Ashram. The food served is cooked in the kitchen nearby and a store room to store oil, rice, utensils and other cooking materials is present here. Maharaj used to provide Darshan to his devotees for a short period of time at this room.
Vidhyalaya Nursery and Primary School:
Yogi Ramsurat Kumar Vidhyalaya Nursery and Primary School is a school which is run by this Ashram from the year 2002. This school has seen a steady increase in the number of students from 12 students when it started to 150 students at present. Study of Vedas and several extracurricular activities are encouraged by this school in addition to regular studies. Presently classes till fifth standard are functioning here.
Free medical camps with the aid of devotee doctors are being conducted by this Ashram from July 11, 1999. Initially about 5 doctors participated in these camps and presently about 25-50 doctors participate in these camps. The numbers of people treated by these camps have increased from about 100 people in each camp initially to about 600 people in each camp at present.
Cow is considered a divine beast in Hinduism with it being personified as Kamadhenu a godly cow. The Goshala here has about 50 cows whose milk is supplied to orphanages and children of Vidhyalaya Nursery and Primary School.
5.00 A.M - Yogi Ramsuratkumar Suprapaatham
5.30 A.M - Ramji Ahaval Recital
5.55 A.M - Deeparathanai to Bhagawan's Murthi
6.00 A.M - 6.00 P.M - Continuous Chanting of Yogi Ramsuratkumar Jaya Guru Raya Mantra, Nama Bhajan
7.45 A.M - 9.00 A.M - Yogi Ramsuratkumar Mahalingeswarar Adhishtanam: Nithya Poojai, Abhishekham, Archanai & Aarthi
8.45 A.M - 9.15 A.M - Morning Prasadam
11.30 A.M - Sadhu Bhojan and Poor Feeding
12.00 Noon - Deeparathanai to Bhagawan's Murthi
12.30 P.M & 1.15 P.M - Afternoon Prasadam
4.45 P.M - 5.45 P.M - Yogi Ramsuratkumar Mahalingeswarar Adhishtanspan: Nithya Poojai, Abhishekham, Archanai & Aarthi
6.00 P.M - Deeparathanai to Bhagawan's Murthi
6.30 P.M - Vishnu Sahasranamam at Veda Patashala
Pooja to Bhagawan's Holy Feet
· Every day between 10.30 A.M to 12 Noon
· Prior Registration Needed
Thulabharam (Holy Balance)
· Every day between 10.00 A.M - 12 Noon and 4.00 P.M - 6.00 P.M
· Those desirous must bring the offerings. Money offerings are not accepted.
Procession of Silver Chariot along the Ashram Girivalam path
· Every day Between 5.00 P.M - 7.00 P.M, 24 hrs advance information needed for preparation
Yogi Ramsuratkumar Trust,
Agraharakollai, 1833/1 Chengam Road
Phone: + 91-04175-237567