You are prompted to come in and a huge, beautifully sculptured Hanumaddwaram (gate) invites you to enter. Within the inner roof of the arch, you can see a carving of the baby form of Lord Dattatreya. Then comes the gentle welcome by Ardhanareeswar and Lord Ganesh.
From an unexpected quarter you hear Veda Chantings by young boys seated in a thatched hut under the wary and correcting eyes of the teacher. The peetham (consecrated spiritual place) champions the cause of Vedic learning, running a time honored school for Veda and Sanskrit studies. There is a determined role of the peetham in reviving ancient studies conducive to the intellectual development of real spiritual seekers.
This Peetham is blessed with every facility for spiritual endeavors. Lord Dattatreya is the presiding deity of the peetham . Lord Dattatreya is the Energy deity representing the Master teacher (Sadguru principle). He leads a seeker to transform from the darkness of objective existence to the light of subjective existence and to an experience through individual process of spiritual sadhana. Just as the sun, the moon, the air, water, fire, and the seasons function, one should also play his role in Dattatreya's cosmic plan of serving the creation in a motiveless (selfless) way. Lord Dattatreya teaches silently at the soul level. Lord Dattatreya is the key to the wisdom of the Upanishads and Vedanta tatva.
His Holiness Sri Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji, the pontiff of Datta Peetham emanates a genuine, self-realized spiritual aura and projects the truth of Lord Dattatreya's vision. A highly evolved spiritual soul, He causes truth Seekers to get magnetically influenced by His Holiness. A slow unfoldment takes place in a person who seeks His blessings. A concealed cosmic energy plays a role in the temple body of His Holiness Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji. Sri Swamiji is a potential guide, solace giver and represents the vedic tradition. The indweller in the soul of His Holiness Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji is Lord Dattatreya alone. In 2004, Sri Swamiji gave Sannyasa Deeksha and appointed Sri Datta Vijayananda Teertha Swamiji (Sri Bala Swamiji) as his successor to Datta Peetham. Trained by Sri Swamiji since childhood, Sri Bala Swamiji embodies the spiritual heritage, scholarliness, affection and divine energy of Sri Swamiji. A scholar in Vedas and the spiritual heritage of India, Sri Bala Swamiji 's youthful energy and genteel warmth relects Sri Swamiji's energies.
Vasishtha Karyalaya (Office) holds the administrative offices of the Peetham, and keeps an eye on the day to day functioning of the Peetham. It is also an information center ready to detail the activities of the Peetham. Whether visibly or subtly, His Holiness Sri Sri Swamiji communicates through the functionaries of Vasishtha Karyalaya.
Let us enter the shapely and ornamental large building which holds the "Universal Prayer Hall". The prayer hall on the west is the temple of Lord Dattatreya, the Trinity God head of Brahma, Vishnu & Shiva.This is the main seat of Avadhoota Datta Peetham, the traditional & central seat of Sri Swamiji's activities. The universal prayer hall, as the name denotes is a place for followers of various traditions and religions to congregate and pray. The most important "Puja Peetha" where SREE CHAKRAM (MERU) is situated and worshipped in a Mantap place. This is visible to the entire prayer hall and is the focus of thousands of devotees who witness pujas on festival occasions. All special religious Vedic activities and ceremonies take place on this podium. . This temple is a place of powerful and vital spiritual impulse. For Datta devotees, there is profound symbolism here in the Datta Temple. Datta Peetham has built many temples for Dattatreya in various parts of the country. People experience healing energies in these Dattatreya temples, propagated by Sri Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamij
The universal prayer hall also holds the Narashima Swamy temple which contains the shrines of Lakshmi Narasimha, Ganapathy, Shiva Lingam & Vishalakshi Devi.
The Sachchidanandeswara Shiva Lingam is located to the south of prayer hall. Daily Ganapathy Homa is performed in the Havan Kund near the Shiva Lingam.
The manifest words of sacred utterance here are "Jaya Guru Datta" and "Sri Guru Datta". The unmanifest power of sanctity attached to them, and the healing energies attributed to Lord Dattatreya should be heard from the followers of the Peetham, who have their own experiences to relate. People come here, sit quietly, and meditate on Lord Dattatreya.i.
The peetham has beautiful surroundings. There is a lot of greenery and lush gardens, and you can walk around the area on metelled roads. It's a clean and effortless expression of Natural peace and serenity, required badly by a stressed mind. If you are a person searching for a peaceful moment, Datta Peetham offers it. But be prepared to eliminate for awhile your worldly (mundane ) ideas as long as you are in the Peetham precincts. On your mental plane, make an attunement to this place. Check yourself thoroughly first, to see whether your heart belongs here to this place. If you are a careful chooser for spiritual truths, then make sure that your have enough patience and less pride.
The Important places in Datta Peetham are:
Mulikeshwara (in front of Prayer Hall). This huge terracotta idol of Shiva represents the herbal powers of plants & nature.
Dharma Dhwaja (In front of Prayer Hall). This monolith stone pillar represents the churn of good and bad thoughts and through the churn comes out prinstine pure truth. The stone pillar is carved with symbols of nature, music, Chakras, Yoga principles, philosophical aphorisms & religious symbolisms. On top of the pillar is Guru Paduka from which flows the fountain of spiritual wisdom. Twenty minute sound and Light show in different languages is organized on week ends.
Kishkindha Mulika Bonsai Garden: This is the largest Bonsai plants garden in India. Sri Swamiji has carefully and tenderly nurtured superbly crafted Bonsai plants from across the world. There are Bonsai plants representing 12 zodiac signs, 27 Nakshatras (stars), nine planets, seven musical notes etc. Sri Swamiji has given many of the Bonsai plants a speicific Raga name. This Raga is special to that particular Bonsai plant. Sri Swamiji's soothing meditation music is played in the garden. A walk through the garden brings peace and calm. The garden is open from 9 AM to 12 noon and from 4 PM to 6 PM. Occassionaly the garden is ornamentally lit and open in the evenings.
Moolika Vana (Herbal garden), a very rare garden where herbal plants and trees can be seen. A winding path takes a visitor thru various plants and trees connected with 27 stars, 12 zodiac signs (stone pillars highlighting the aspects of each sign) is placed along with trees connected with the 12 zodiac signs. Panchayatana garden (five trees representing the five spiritual energies of Hinduism). Akala Moksha Stupa is a terracotta pillar inside the garden. This pillar is a symbol of prayer to those who die due to unnatural causes like accident, suicide etc. Prayer facility for those who pass away in such unnatural way is available.
Dina Stupa - 365 stone pillars, each highlighting the numerologial and spiritual significance of each day of a calendar year. These pillars are placed across the Ashrama. Maps indicating the place of the pillars inform a visitor of the pillar of their date choice.
Saptarshi Sarovara: A large pond where religious raft festival take place during Datta Venkateswara Brahmotsava (June), Datta Jayanti (December).
Karya Siddhi Hanuman Sannidhi: A 70 feet tall Hanuman worship place. One of India's tallest statue of monolith (stone) Hanuman is seen. Devotees have the sacred opportunity to worship Hanuman with Poorna Phala Deeksha (offering of dry coconut), Dhwaja Puja (flag worship).
Nada Mantapa: A state of the art multi-purpose auditorium which can seat over 2000 people in the audience. Many of Ashrama's important festivals like Birthday Festival (June), Navaratri (September / October) & Datta Jayanti take place here. Music concerts, Dance ballets, Kriya Yoga camps take place here. The elegant hall has world's only "Sapta Swara Devatha Mantapa" - a shrine with pillars and idols of seven musical notes. The hall is decorated with large portraits of world reknown composers. There is a Yaga Shala in Nada Mantapa.
Sri Datta Venkateswara Kshetram. Established in 1999, This is a Venkateswara Temple. There are shrines of Venkateswara, Padmabathy Devi, Ganapathy, Dhanvantari (God of Health), Nava Grahas, Marakata (emeraladsque) Subrahmanya, Eka Dasha Shiva Linga (eleven Shiva lingas made with eleven precious stone) shrines. Bayalu Hanuman (open air Hanuman), Shrine, Asthana Mantapa, Bande Dattatreya ( a large rock brought from Mekedatu, Sri Swamiji's birth place) which contains carvings of Varaha Swamy & Dattatreya). Annual festivals include Brahmotsava (June), & Vaikuntha Ekadashi (December / January) among many other Hindu festivals observed.
Veda Patha Shala : A tradition school which teaches Rig Veda, Yajurveda & Sama Veda to elegible students. Started in 1986, the school has trained hundreds of students in the traditional Vedas. The school conducts pan India Veda exam open to students across India. Shastra Sadas and many such Vedic actviity are conducted by the school.
Book Shop: The Ashrama book shop sells hundreds of audio albums of Sri Swamiji's Bhajans and Healing music, discourses, video programs and books. Sri Bala Swamiji's albums and albums of well known musicians who have sung or played Sri Swamiji's Bhajans are also available.
Anna Purna Mandir : Daily breakfast, lunch and dinner is served to visiting devotees of Sri Swamiji.
SGS Hospital: A out patient poly clinic which serves basic health needs of the community around Ashrama. Ayurveda Hospital cates to specialized Ayurvedic treatment. Doctors are available for consultation on week days.