The Chinmayaranyam ashram at Ellayapalle in Andhra Pradesh, India was proclaimed by Swami Chinmayananda as a new kind of ashram, where the poor and needy would be served with love and affection. True to its motto, "Receive the light of Knowledge. Bring out the heat of action," Chinmayaranyam has done tremendous work for the upliftment of the rural poor in that region.
The project was spearheaded by Swamini Saradapriyananda (who attained mahasamadhi on April 17 2000), one of Swami Chinmayananda's foremost direct disciples. As the driving force behind Chinmayaranyam and its activities, she conquered one and all with her selfless, tireless service and unconditional love.
'Amma' as she was lovingly called, had received a piece of barren land in a burial ground donated by the villagers for establishing an ashram in a remote village in the drought prone Cuddapah district of Andhra Pradesh. Gurudev's first visit to this place on 8th February 1982 was to conduct the Bhoomi puja. The village had two wells, of which one was dry and the second would go dry any moment. Against this background Swamiji was visualizing a forest around the Ashram, which to many appeared to be a dream. Pointing out with his walking stick to two banyan trees, standing on either side of the land, Swamiji said, "Dig along the line that connects the two trees. Water is sure to come." Water did sprout forth from the well when it was dug.
Chinmayaranyam has now been transformed into a beautiful green ashram. In recognition of this work the government granted the ashram a hillock surrounding it for development.