The Sacred Grove: Centre for Exploring Consciousness is an initiative of The Satsang Foundation.
Inaugurated by Sri M on 3rd July, 2022, the Sacred Grove is located at Chowdepalle, Andhra Pradesh, 27 km away from The Satsang Foundation Ashram in Madanapalle.
At the core of this Study Centre is the spirit of Swadhayaya – Sadhana – To understand the Self. This spirit invites an enriching interaction between the inward journey and its outward expressions.
The Aranya Sanskriti (forest civilization) of ancient India is one of the finest examples of exploring the recesses of consciousness, in solitude and in relationships. In these sacred groves, the teachers and disciples interacted to share the essence of life. In the same spirit, Sri M has envisioned a Sacred Grove for Satsang, both, in solitude and in interaction with the teacher and other co-travellers.
Infrastructure to Facilitate the Journey
To encourage and nurture a seeker’s journey, the following facilities have been planned on the 17-acre serene campus, surrounded by hills and paddy fields.
Sadhak Niwas: A cluster of 12 cottages for self-retreat have been designed with each cottage consisting of two independent, self-sufficient units. Up to 100 participants can be accommodated at one time.
Swadhyaya Kshetra – the library, houses literature from the earliest and authentic works on Nath Panth (Tradition) and Kriya Yoga and more than 1300 books from all traditions, allowing winds of wisdom to blow from all directions, religions, ideologies, and practices. The library also provides an audio-visual facility to listen and meditate upon the teachings.
Environment Concerns: Tree plantation is one of the precious aspects of the project. A large cluster of trees connected with Ayurveda, mythology and tradition has found a place in the heart of the Centre.
Farms and Orchards: With the conviction that a simple agrarian lifestyle can be spiritually oriented as well as financially sustainable, around seven acres of land has been earmarked for organic farming of vegetables and fruits.
ArogyaM – Wellness Centre based on Ayurveda and Yoga : Programs and Therapies for holistic wellbeing are offered regularly. The centre has two separate treatment rooms for men and women, and rooms for residence, reception area, and living quarters for the therapists.
Santrupti – Dining Hall and Kitchen: Wholesome, Satvik and nutritious food prepared with organic produce is served at the dining hall.
Goshala: A spacious home for 10-12 indigenous cows with ample open space for them to move freely. Fodder too is grown in this area.
Vrikshavalli is a plantation of indigenous trees, flowering bushes and creepers. After three years of careful collection, planting, and nurturing of indigenous species of trees, a rich Vrikshavalli of 50 varieties is seen growing in front of the library and Sadhak Nivas.
Yoga and Meditation Hall: The participants residing at The Sacred Grove for retreats as well as the Wellness Centre will benefit from this facility.
Swadhyaya – Self Retreat at Sadhak Nivas
A cluster of 12 cottages for self-retreat have been designed with each cottage consisting of two independent, self-sufficient units. Each cottage has a spectacular view and offer a quiet ambience for solitude and meditation.
With access to the well stocked library, the audio-visual collection in there and the serene surroundings, it becomes easy for everyone to commune with nature and self.
Aspirants interested in stay for Swadhyaya – self study at the Sacred Grove, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ArogyaM – Wellness Center based on Ayurveda & Yoga
ArogyaM – The Wellness Centre is Sri M’s vision of bringing the goodness of Ayurveda and Yoga together for inculcating a holistic way of living.
At ArogyaM, the health and wellness programs are based on Ayurvedic therapies, along with Yoga, Asanas and Pranayama under supervision of doctors and yoga experts. Programs and therapies focus on detoxification to remove toxins accumulated due to one’s lifestyle and stress. They are aimed not only at relaxation and rejuvenation but also to prepare the body and mind for spiritual progress.
There are three wellness programs that have been thoughtfully put together to address basic detoxification, de-stress and health needs:
- Swaasthyam : 10-day basic detoxification program for all.
- Shaantam : 10-day de-stress program ideal for professionals to relax, detox and improve one’s quality of sleep.
- Langhanam : 15-day weight management program.
For participating in the well-being programs offered at ArogyaM, please write to us at email@example.com.
In harmony with the surroundings, the Goshala complex includes a spacious abode for 12 cows with a barn for the new-born and the young ones, living quarters for the farmers, storage room, dairy room, and a fenced grazing ground for free movement of the bovine. The complex also has an open shrine of Lord Krishna – ‘Gopal’ himself (Go-pal – the one who looks after, nurtures and nourishes the cows) not just for the cows but also for the commune of seekers expected to flock here over the years.
The Goshala with desi cows (A2) of Gir and Sahiwal breed, natural farming and tree plantation are integrating well, as mutually supportive activities.
For any offerings to the Goshala, click here
Going Green – Tree Plantation
The hills around The Sacred Grove are dry and denuded, with large rocks precariously placed. We decided to take a step towards contributing to the eco-balance by planting varied species of trees and plants. Two years ago, plantation process was commenced with Sri M planting two Neem and one Gulmohar tree on the Western Boundary of the land. Following this, large flowering trees and shade giving trees have been planted along the boundaries of the land. Kanuga, Amaltash, Sita Ashoka, Aakash Malli, Gulmohar, Tamarind, Rain trees, Peltaphorum, Spethodia, Largesstroemia adorn this area.
Almost an acre of land has been earmarked for plantation of indigenous trees, rich with medicinal, mythological and religious significance. In this area, we have planted Neem, Peepal, Rudraksh, Palash, Kadamba, Bakul, Shami, Bilva, Amala, Nagamali, Srigandha, Kanchan, Parijat, Amaltash, Champaka, and Devganner Arjuna and Avadumbar trees.
In the tradition of forest cultures of our ancient past, a Panchavati has been created with Neem, Peepal, Bilva, Amala, and Rudraksh trees, to invite meditation and Sadhana.
In addition to the two year old plantation of Mango grove and other fruit trees like Sapota, Guava, Custard Apple, Pomegranate, Fig, we have planted Papaya, Apple-ber, Rose-Apple, Green apple, Sweet lime and lemon trees.
While most of the listed trees have some medicinal significance, in the next phase of tree plantation, we plan to plant trees rich in medicinal value. Since a Wellness Centre, with a therapeutic intent, is going to be a significant part of The Sacred Grove, the process of setting up an herbarium has already been initiated.
Water Management on the Campus is one of the primary initiatives at “The Sacred Grove”, The Foundation has inherited a working borewell and an open well from the original farmers. For ongoing requirements, we plan to organize additional water resources and better management of these.
In consultation with a water-management expert, the architects and engineers, a pond of 145 by 145 feet dimensions has been created to collect rainwater from the overlooking hill, a part of the Eastern range of Palakonda hills. The surface water that would otherwise have drained off into the adjoining lands or caused water logging harming the plantation, has been directed into the pond. Strategically located in the midst of fruit plantation, fodder plantation, vegetable farms, it will not only take care of irrigation needs but also enrich the soil and help raise the depleting underground level. Since there is an ongoing construction work at the site, the dugout soil was used largely for creating pathways and kept in reserve for further construction.
Organic cultivation and Goshala
Organic cultivation and Goshala have a symbiotic association. Panchgavya, Jeevamrutam and organic manure made from cow dung and urine, are used for paddy cultivation, vegetable farming, and fruit gardens.
We are glad to share that our experiments with chemical free cultivation has been quite promising. Vegetables grown here are utilized in the kitchen, where simple food is prepared for the residents.
A Yogi has envisioned a space for Yajna Karma – a sacred offering from the core of one’s being. We invite you to be part of this vision and make offerings of participation and commitment
The Sacred Grove is bound to evolve along many more unchartered paths.
We look forward to donations and volunteer support
For volunteer support, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
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