Arulananda Swami believes in serving the humanity irrespective of caste and creed. In order to fulfill this objective, he has established Arulananda Trust in 1994. The trust did not have the financial means initially and since 1998, as a result of Swamiji's overseas visits and generous donations from devotees, the Trust is able to initiate a number of community service activities. The trust is doing many charitable activities and it was recognized as best charitable trust in Chirala as well as Prakasam district according to media survey of Lion’s club in that area. Pasumalai, the village where Lalitananda Swami's Samadhi is present, and its adjoining villages have also benefited greatly from the service activities of Arulananda Trust. Swamiji always says to his disciples that, in addition to spiritual service, helping people meet their basic needs is also service to God. The board of trustees meet on the 3rd Sunday of each month to discuss and make decisions on the main activities of the Trust.
Objectives of the Trust are:
1. To promote the divine and spiritual messages of the Arsha Dharma amongst the fellow humans in the universe.
The ashram publishes a monthly magazine called "Atma Jyothi" free of cost in Telugu language with the aim of promoting hindu religious principles, teach Vedas, Upanishads, medicinal value of herbs and the use of Sidha ayurvedic medicines.
Satsangs (Discourses): Ashram devotees perform outreach activities by meeting in different places and conducting Bhajans and religious discourses conveying Swamiji’s message to the public. At the end of the discourse, the public also put forward their proposals for the needs and development of their village.
2. To establish, renovate and construct Hindu temples and institutions and to develop and maintain the same.
The Trust has renovated and completed Kumbhabhishekam of the following temples in Tamilnadu in Chenji district near Lalitananda Swami Samadhi temple in Pasumalai; Arnangoor Shiva temple (TN), Thenpalai Ambal temple (TN) and a Ganapati temple, Melolakoor Ambal and Vishnu temples, Thanial Chelli Amman and Shiva temple, Ganapati temple at Netkunam village.
In Andhra Pradesh, the Trust has renovated and completed Kumbhabhishekam of the following temples; Maha Lakshmi temple Chirala, Sri Rama temple at Thotavaripalem, Avadhoota Swami Samadhi temple Chirala (annual anniversary of Swami’s aradhana), Omkara Kshetram ILTD colony Chirala (monthly maintenance), Ayyappa Swami Sai Baba temple Chirala, Shiva temple, Agraharam, Paruchur, Durga temple at Bapatla, Aadiparashakthi temple Chirala, Brahmangari temple Chirala, Muthumari amman temple Jandrapeta, Chirala.
Adichennakeshava Swami temple, Old Chirala: This temple was built in the 11th century and Agastya Maharishi has done pratishtha. Several attempts of renovation of this temple failed when the villagers approached Swamiji through a Hindu newspaper correspondent (Chirala Rama Rao). The Trust demolished the building and totally reconstructed the temple and Swamiji did the pratishtha of the Adichennakesava Swami. Arulananda Trust helps for the daily maintenance of all the above temples.
More recently, the trust supported reconstruction of a Kalyana mandapam and a Mahalakshmi temple in Chirala. The cultural activities at this temple were stopped for few years before reconstruction. From 2007, in January on the third day of Pongal, Gomatha pooja is being conducted in order to encourage the public to maintain this cultural activity. As an incentive, the owners of three healthy cows are given a prize for their effort in maintaining the cows. The public also conduct "Go pooja" with annadanam and prasadam. Rs. 7 lakhs was given to build a Dhyana mandir at Perala Shirdi Saibaba temple.
Future Proposals: One acre land has been donated to the Trust near the beach where the Trust proposes to construct an Ashta Lakshmi temple. This temple will be similar to the temple in Besant Nagar, Chennai with an estimated cost of approximately 5 crores Indian rupees.
3. To promote universal brotherhood and harmony in the society by conducting seminars on universal peace, love, and nonviolence.
4. To establish and run the educational institutions based on human values such as truth, right conduct, peace, and non violence prescribing a character-oriented education.
Swamiji established a Veda Patashala (vedic school) in 2003, to encourage children who are interested in learning the Vedas. The school started with 25 students. A learned Vedic scholar, who is resident in the ashram, teaches the students in a typical gurukulam setting in the serene surroundings of the ashram. Currently, the school has 50 students learning the Vedas.
The Trust is helping for the maintenance of the Melolakoor school in Tamil Nadu. The Trust helps the students of Vadarevu and surrounding village schools by providing educational aids (computers, notebooks, uniforms) and construction of buildings. The Trust also conducts vocational training courses at Vadarevu (sewing) and near Pasumalai Samadhi temple ashram (sewing and type writing). The trust supports tertiary education of poor students on merit by providing books and funds. Several computers were also donated to needy students.
Future Proposal: The trust proposes to build and conduct a primary and secondary boarding school with all modern facilities for the education of poor children in Vadarevu. The students will be taught discipline, human value and culture apart from regular education.
5. To inculcate the Sanatana Dharma and to help the poor and needy of the society, as service to human beings is service to God.
The trust has a free mid-day meal scheme for poor old aged people living around the ashram in Vadarevu. The Trust maintains an old age home for the disabled in Chirala and perform nitya annadanam at Chillakallu, Pasumalai, and Vadarevu ashrams. The Trust also runs a free medical dispensary with an Allopathic doctor, nurse and an assistant providing consultations and free medicines for the poor people in and around the Vadarevu village. This is the only institution in the vicinity that provides completely free medical treatment.
Kalyana Mandapam – Mahalakshmi amma temple: Arulananda Trust built a Kalyana mandapam for use by lower middle class people at the Mahalakshimi temple in Chirala. This Kalyana mandapam is used by the people of all castes and creeds for a minimal charge to cover the expenses of utilities. Swamiji laid the foundation stone and the project was completed by the trust in 2001.
Future Proposal: The Trust proposes to construct an old age home for the poor and the needy in Chillakallu with 50 rooms with medical facilities.
6. To establish and run manufacturing units for the preparation of Sidha medicine for all the ailments (see under Chillakallu section of the Ashrams webpage)
7. Other aims of the trust for the benefit of the public
Medical Camps: The trust conducts annual general medical, eye and blood donation camps. Several doctors, specialists and medical students from Andhra Pradesh participate in conducting the annual medical camp at the Vadarevu ashram as a service. At the medical camp, the Trust identifies people with sickness who cannot afford further medical treatment and help financially for their treatment elsewhere. The camps are well attended by surrounding villagers to whom the ashram provides transport and food.
Recently, a tractor with a trailer was donated to Desiahpet Panchayat and Chillakallu Panchayat for cleaning the villages. Rs. 15 lakhs was donated to Municipal Chairman of Chirala as an advance for an electric crematorium machine. The total cost of the machine and construction will be Rs. 70 lakhs. The Trust has agreed to support the project on the request of the municipality commissioner.
The trust often provides food, clothes and basic items for people who are affected by natural disasters (Tsunami, Cyclone) around Chirala.
Some more details of the recent activities of the Trust are provided below.
A dispensary offers free medical treatment for the poor people in Vadarevu. Every month, a medical camp is held at Vadarevu ashram for diabetics where screening, diagnostics, and monitoring is performed. Medicines are given away for free every month to about 200 patients with diabetes.
Education & Vocational Training
Arulananda Trust is financially supporting a secondary school near Pasumalai in a village called mElolakkur in Dindivanam district in Tamilnadu.This support enables many poor children to complete their secondary education. Around the village, students who do well in the higher secondary exams are also given scholarships to pursue College and University education. Recently, school uniforms were donated to 240 students in Chirala. Sarees and Doti's were donated to 200 people in Chirala. Rs. 30,000 was donated as educational aid to students in ILTD colony and Vetapalem near Chirala.
In the villages around Pasumalai, vocational training in needlework, sewing, and typewriting is being imparted for women, from poor farmer families, to help them earn a decent living. For women who do well in the class, a free sewing machine is given to encourage them to make an independent living. Similar classes are held in vAdarEvu Ashram to help women from the poor fishing communities around the Ashram. Several sewing machines are being distributed on a regular basis to poor and needy women for earning their livelihood. 8 dust cleaning vehicles were donated to two panchayats in Chirala. The function was held at Jandrapet Panchayat at Arulananda Trust Satsang building.
In the future, there is a plan to help the poor farmers in and around Pasumalai by opening a cottage industry for people to produce handicrafts and other products that could be marketed to help their sustenance.^ TOP
Lunch is provided daily in the ashram for the poor and orphaned old people who live around the Vadarevu ashram. Nithya annadanam mandapam was also built at an old age home in Vetapalem.
Arulananda Swami has taken up renovation of many rundown Hindu temples by performing kumbhAbhiShEkams and arranging for the daily pUjas in the temples.
avadhUta Swami's Temple: Recently, avadhUta swami's ashram and temple has been renovated. avadhUta Swami, who was once prominent in Chirala and who had left his physical body long ago, appeared to Arulananda Swami and requested that his Ashram be developed. According to his wish, Arulananda Swami renovated avadhUta swami's ashram and made arrangements for regular pUjas to be performed for avadhUta swami. This ashram and temple are functioning well under the supervision of Arulananda Swami with pUjas and annadAnams (feeding people) offered regularly.
arulAmbala Swami's SamAdhi: During a visit to Nagapattinam in October 2003, Arulananda Swami got a vision of Sri Arulambala Swami, also known as “Eelathu Swamikal”, requesting him to renovate his SamAdhi temple. Accordingly, Swamiji started restoration of Arulambala Swami's Samadhi temple in ViyapArimUlai, Point Pedro in Sri Lanka. In addition, Swamiji is also establishing an orphanage near the samAdhi to fulfill the wish of Arulambala Swami to publicize the SamAdhi to the local people to obtain his blessings. The renovation of this Samadhi temple is finished and kumbhabhishekam was also performed. The temple is functioning on a daily basis now and it is being supported by Sri Yoga Hanuman Trust of London.
A brief biography of Arulambala Swami: In 1910, Arulambala Swami left Sri Lanka and reached Nagapattinam in Tamilnadu in a spiritual quest. Nagai Neelalosani Amman became his guru and asked him to stay at the temple so that she would teach him “JnAna nishtai” (deep meditation). For 4 years, 1910-1914, he was in “JnAna nishtai” without food at the Nagai Neelalosani amman temple. After this, he continued his nishtai under water for 41 days. Arulambala Swami did not believe in exhibiting miraculous deeds so his “nishtai” underwater only exemplifies his supreme meditative state. In 1914, he visited vEdAraNyam, agastyam, paLLi mAyavaram, chidambaram, kAraikUdi, and pondichery. Most of his time in India was spent at NAgapattinam and Pondichery. He has published several books during his stay in India. Since he lived mostly at the beginning and the end in Nagapattinam he was also called “Nagapattinam swami”. Swami greatly believed in being in “one state”, so he chose to be silent and hence was called “Mouna Swami”. Since his origin was from Jaffna , he was also called “Yalpanatthu Swami” by the people of Nagapattinam. Many people have sought help for their problems from Swami and he would always say that he'll put forward their request to God and eventually clear the obstacles for them. He was also a guru to the great Tamizh poet Subramanya BhAratiyAr.
Arulambala Swami finally returned to Sri Lanka on 27th of November in 1942. After just a week of his return, on December 3rd (Attha nakShatra) 1942, Swami took SamAdhi and left his physical body. A samAdhi temple was constructed near the VIrapatira Kovil, ViyapArimUlai by his devotees immediately thereafter. The local villagers still offer prayers at the samAdhi temple. Swami's guru pUja is celebrated annually on “MArkazhi Attha nakShatram”.
Swamiji established a vEda pAThashAla (vEdic school) in 2003, to encourage children who are interested in learning the vEdas. The school started with 25 students. A learned vEdic scholar who is resident in the Ashram teaches the students in a typical gurukulam setting in the serene surroundings of the Ashram. Currently, the school has 50 students learning the vEdas.
Upon securing enough funds, the Trust intends to integrate mainstream education and learning of the vEdas. Two and a half acres of land has been acquired for this school in front of the Ashram in vAdarEvu to develop the school to include a junior college and a student hostel with facilities for extra-curricular activities.^ TOP
Rammanantha Trust (London , UK)
To promote the aims and objectives of Arulananda Trust, Swamiji’s devotees registered a charitable trust in the United Kingdom as Sri Yoga Hanuman charitable trust in April 2005. Recently, the name was changed to Rammanantha Trust. Many devotees, disciples, and other people with general interest in Hinduism in the UK benefit from Swamiji's spiritual guidance and benefit from learning religious practices and pUjas. Swamiji also trains people interested in learning yoga and meditation during visits to London. Several British disciples have visited Swamiji's ashrams and various charitable projects in the ashrams. For more details, please visit Rammanantha Trust's website.^ TOP
Arulananda Foundation (USA)
Arulananda Foundation, USA was incorporated in 2010 as an independent non profit organization organized exclusively for charitable, religious, scientific and educational purposes including (a) promoting the spiritual message of Arsha Dharma for the upliftment of society; (b) practicing Sanatana Dharma and service to humanity as service to God by way of helping the poor and the needy; (c) disseminating knowledge of Yoga and meditation for spiritual advancement of everyone; and (d) supporting research and development and raising awareness of Siddha Ayurveda medicine. Arulananda Foundation, USA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and has been primarily supporting the educational initiatives of Arulananda Trust. Donations to Arulananda Foundation in the US are tax deductible.