Sri Lalitha Mahila Samajam houses the shrine of Universal Mother, Goddess Lalithambika and is the center of a powerful Sri Vidya tradition. It provides a unique opportunity for a spiritual seeker to practice their devotion in the inspiring presence of Sad Guru Sri Vidyamba Saraswati and her disciple Yoginis (Ambajis).
All the temple and ashram activities including poojas, yagnas and other social activities are performed and managed by Guru Mata and her female disciples.
Guru Mata and the Yoginis (Ambajis) with their powerful spiritual practice, spiritual ceremonies like Pooja and Yagna and their social service has transformed that place into a powerful spiritual center. Any true spiritual seeker with their blessings will experience profound progress in their spiritual path and attain the lotus feet of Goddess Lalithambika. This is in essence the real mission of the Samajam.
Mr Maruthamuthu worked as government school teacher in a small town called Vallam in Tanjore District. His wife’s name was Vadivazhagi. Their child was Sarangapani, who was born on 19.11.1900. The child accepted his father as his Guru and was initiated into the six Adhara Deeksha and Murugan mantras in his 4th year itself. At the age of 8 he went to Kovilur and studied Tamil philosophy. Later on he studied teacher training and got appointed as Government middle class teacher. After a while, he left home leaving behind his parents, job and all his relatives. He went to Chennai and from there he went to Kashi and Rishikesh and there he studied Grammar, Geetha Upanishads, BrahmaSutras, religion, philosophy and Vedas. He gained proficiency and became a Vidwan in both Sanskrit and Tamil languages.
He travelled to Sri Lanka Kandi, Khadhirgamam to have a darshan of Muruga. In that place he had the vision of Muruga twice in human form, he interacted and discussed various things with the Lord. Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh was his Guru, who initiated him into sanyasa and he was given the deeksha name Adhwayananda Saraswathi. He resided in the Sivananda ashram for many years and taught Geetha and other Sastras to the in-mates of the ashram.
In 1945 at the command of his guru, he travelled extensively in Tamilnadu and gave lectures in Gita to the raptured audience.
“Gita Vachaspathi, Prachaara Praveen, Vedhnantha Bhushanam and Adhyaath Jyothi” were the titles given to him by Swami Sivananda. He was the master of Gita in those days and no one could excel him in his knowledge of Gita. An example for his greatness is that he inculcated the knowledge of Gita to women in Rajapalayam. They could recite all the verses in Gita and gained mastery in Sanskrit and philosophy.
Similar to the Sivananda ashram which is at the foot of the Himalayas and at the bank of river Ganga, our ashram is situated at the foot of Thirueengoimalai on the northern banks of river Cauvery. SIVANANDA SAADHANA NILAYAM was established in the name of his guru Sivananda in the year 1947 and was inaugurated by the then chief minister of Tamilnadu Mr.Omaandoor Ramasamy Reddiar in the presence of Mr.Ps Kumarasamy Raja and Mr.TSS Rajan.
In 1952, Swami Adhwayananda studied Homeopathy and became a homeopathic doctor. At that time Swami Maruthachala Adigal who was practicing Homeopathy at Amalapuram Tk, Samanasa Village in Andhra Pradesh became his friend, in the same year he was initiated into Sri Vidya upasana by Swami Bhasurananda Saraswathi. After getting initiated in to the upasana of Devi, Swami returned to Tamilnadu.
Similar to Christian nuns, many Hindu women from different walks of life came forward to the Ashram to take up sanyasa to extend their services to the world and other women. So, an institution was started exclusively for women in the year Vijaya in 1953 on Vijaya Dasana Day and was named SRI LALITHA MAHILA SAMAJAM. The Ashram was registered in 1954.Sri S.R.Bhoopathy, who was an R.D.O. of Musiri acquired the land for the Ashram during that period. Learned women in the Ashram, who were studying Vedas and Gita showed interest and requested Guru Adwayananda that they wanted to embrace Sanyasa. In 1961 Swami Adwayananda took them to his Guru Swami Sivananda and initiated them into sanyasa. After getting their sanyasa they were given the deeksha nama “Yogini Sreevidyamba Saraswathi”.
Our Guru, who was proficient in doing the Sri Chakra pooja taught the pooja to the other yoginees. To make it more convenient for the yoginees to perform poojas, he constructed Lalithambika temple and performed Kumbhabeshekam in 1963. Sri-La-Sri Mathaji Sri Vidyamba Saraswathi joined the samajam in 1954 and became an ardent disciple of Swami Adhwayanada. Under the guidance of her Guru she studied Tamil and Sanskrit and all the procedures to execute the poojas and yagas. At the age of 14 she was initiated into sanyasa by Swami Sivananda. Mathaji Sri Vidyamba Saraswathi became the head and president of the Ashram on Vijayadasami 1964 and took over complete responsibility of Sri Lalitha Mahila Samajam. She in turn trained all the yoginees in Vedas, meditation, yoga, poojas, procedures to perform yagas. Hindu philosophy and taught them all this to do this devotion and with perfect pronunciation in Sanskrit. Under the auspices of Swami Adwayananda Saraswathi, Kumbhabishekam and Sri Vidya conference were also performed in the years 1996 and 2009. Swami Adwayananda Saraswathi after witnessing all these events silently handed over all the responsibilities of the Ashram to Mathaji Sri La Sri Sri Vidyamba Saraswathi and meditating on the goddess. Lalithambika internally with one-pointedness he entered into Samadhi.
Sri Lalitha Mahila Samajam is located on the eastern side at the bottom of the mount Thirueengoimalai, Agasthya the Tamil Guru was greater than Siddhas, Rishis and Munis. In Kanchipuram from Lord Hayagreeva he learnt all about Goddess Lalithambika’s city, history, yantra, mantra, Sri Lalitha Sahasranama and Lalitha Trisathi. After getting initiated into the upasana of Goddess Lalitha, he converted his wife Lopamutra, who is the form of Cauvery, into holy waters and carried the water in a Kamanadala and was on his way to do pooja in Podhigaimalai. While he was on his way to perform pooja, in Kudagumalai Lord Ganesha in the form of a crow flew and toppled all the water. Dismayed at what has happened Agasthya followed the water which flowed on to the earth. It was a custom in those days to worship kadambar in the temple in the morning, Sokkar in the noon and Thirueengoimalai in the evening. It was believed that all the sins of person are eradicated if one visits all the 3 temples in a single day.
As per his daily routine Agasthya always worshipped Kadambar in the morning. Sokkar in the after-noon and Eengoinadar in the evening. On that day Agasthya bathed in the river Cauvery and worshipped Kadambar, Sokkar and climbed the mount Eeogoimalai in the evening. But to his surprise he found the doors of the Temple closed. Agasthya was disappointed because he could not worship all the three temples on the same day. His wish could not be fulfilled. The holy water he had brought for the pooja got drained in the middle of the way. In such a situation he heard a divine voice telling him “You were carrying the waters of Cauvery for pooja. This place is the most conducive place for the worship of Sri Chakra; Sri Vidya Pooja. With your mystical powers you can take the form of a honey bee and enter the sanctum sanctorum through the key hole and have a darshan of Lord Siva. You in the form of honey bee and Lopamudra in the form of river Cauvery can meditate and do the poojas in this sacred place and give benediction to the devotees who come here to worship me”. Hearing commandment of the divine mother Agasthya stayed on there with his wife Lopamudra and is doing penance to this day in this holy, sacred place. That why this place is called Eengoimalai. By adding Thiru as prefix to this place, it is known as Thirueengoimalai.
In big temples when the Lord comes in procession, the deity is called Somaskanda-moorthi. It means Siva being in union with Umadevi, Skanda. The idol of Siva is tallest, the idol of Uma Devi is in medium size and the idol of Muruga is the smallest.
Similarly, mount is the form of Siva is the highest and is called Ayyarmalai or Sivaayamalai. Here, Siva is in the form of Ratnagireeswarar, this temple is with 1000 small steps to climb. Beyond Cauvery on its left side is the mount in the form of shakthi. It is called Maragathachalam and this temple has 500 small steps. Between Eengoimalai,Marakathamalai and Ratnagiri is the temple of Muruga called Kadambar Siva situated on the ground and is not situated on a mountain. These 3 Kshetras are known as Somaskanda Kshetras . Thirueengoimalai is form of Umadevi and is the Shakthi Kshetra. All the Adharas with Chakras and Alphabets are formed when the baby is in womb of the mother. The location of chakras is known only through intense practice of yoga and pranayama. The siddhars are able to get a knowledge of them only through concentration and meditation. In the same way Akshara Shakthi peetas are formed when the earths formed.
In Sanskrit language, vowels are 16, consonants are 35, together they are 51 alphabets. The parts of the body of Devi Dakshayani which fell on the earth became the 51 Shakthi Kshetras. The 50th Shakthi Kshetra is Thirueengoimalai which has the “Lam” beejaakshara. This represents Ajna chakra which is in the middle of the eyebrows in the human body. The shadow of Devi Dakshayahi fell on this mountain and so this place is called Chayapura Shakthi Peetam. Sri Lalitha Mahila Samajam is situated in this sacred Mahashakthi peetam, which is the combination of Chayapuram and Somas Kanda Kshetras and is the most celebrated, holy place.
Thirueengoimalai is located 5Kms from the northern banks of river Cauvery and lies 42kms west of Trichy and 42 kms east of Namakkal.. The sanctum sanctorum of the temple houses the beautiful idol of Lalithambika and the Sri Chakra Maha Meru Peeta giving benediction and grace to all the devotees.