First, what has inspired the creation of the sanctuary (the Amma sanctuary)
As a child living in South India, it would pain Nandhi to see and feel the cry of cows, bulls and buffalos squashed together in trucks headed to slaughterhouses- and not being able to do anything
about it. It was also frustrating to see vast wasted land with thorn trees and bushes simply unused when millions were starving. Nandhi felt really bad for eating food knowing that there were hungry children all around who did
not have even one full meal a day. Some of his favorite fantasies that would run in his mind over and over again and each time a newer little fold to that dream were- saving the life of all these animals that
were discarded, having huge farms to grow food and feeding the hungry. These fantasies sort of fell asleep through the years of ‘growing’ up.
The next part of the story: The Three Sages:
Years later, after waking up through a death experience, the only thing that mattered to Nandhi was to be with God. These were Nandhi’s years as an ascetic, a
saddhu. One of his favorite places was the Mamara Guhai (the Mango Tree cave), where Sri Ramana Maharishi had been meditating for over six years. On one of Nandhi’s pilgrimages, while sleeping in this cave, he was woken up by a Sage who lived in this cave saying, My guru who has not spoken for over 20 years and his other two friends, who too have not spoken for many years have come to our cave. They intend to do a pilgrimage by foot all the way up to the Himalayas starting tomorrow. You can ask them anything, though, you will have your reply perhaps written down- if they wish to answer. This was like a prayer being answered as for Nandhi did have a big question that needed an answer in the form of guidance.
After prostrating and paying the respects to the three Sages, Nandhi sat before them and said, “Divine Beings, when I am here, everything is peaceful and love. When back in human reality and the marketplace of survival, it is war. What is my ‘yoga’ there? The hatha yoga, puja and meditation, that I practice here just does not seem right and in tune with the stressful situation there. Guide me please!” There was silence. Just a blank stare from all three of them. Nandhi said, “here is a pen and paper for you, please write your thoughts”. Suddenly, one of the three sages said, What use is our silence if it cannot help humanity. Let me speak. Let me represent my other two friends.. With this, he began speaking- shattering the silence he had observed for many years. It was a flow of energy rather than words alone, and although grasped by the intellect,
the mind tuned inwards to a meditative space of loud silence. Some of these guiding energies have, later,been incorporated in Nandhi’s teachings of yoga, called Kalangi Yoga.
The Sage, after the stream of wisdom outburst, said, We are happy to be with a noble soul. We wish to bless you. Ask us for anything and we will fulfill your wish! Nandhi said,Swamy, you will not give me what I ask for,therefore, please do not have me ask you for it. The Sages smiled thinking Nandhi did not believe in their ability to grant a boon/wish and said, Our thoughts are concentrated and one pointed and tomorrow we undertake a pilgrimage through India’s most sacred shrines all the way to the Himalayas. Our blessings are potent. Please go ahead and mention
what your heart desires and it will be yours. Nandhi then said, “Please give me the wisdom behind all your silence and prayers”. After a few minutes of quiet, the sages glowed with smiles. The Sage said, You have asked us for what is the only valuable treasure that is worth an entire human life. Come and sit closer and absorb our prayers. They blessed Nandhi- “We would like to give you our gift- a gift to humanity through you. The ancient intent of all masters of higher consciousness is SAIVAM VETRI. May you be vibrant in this intent of Oneness that uplifts humanity’s collective consciousness!”.
Saivam means awake to oneness and in literal sense means, being a vegetarian. Vetri means victory. This blessing woke up Nandhi’s childhood dream. Nandhi began to realize why he was here on Mother Earth and slowly another reality was unfolding.
Ammachi: Shortly after the blessings of the three sages of Thiruvannamalai, Ammachi was traveling through Nandhi’s hometown, Sivakasi, and she was staying in Nandhi’s parents house. Nandhi’s parents had a lot to complain to Amma about Nandhi. They told Ammachi, Please put sense into this boy’s head. He has forgotten responsibilities. He wanders from one pilgrimage to another. His business has collapsed and instead of being ashamed, he seems happy to spend the little money he has on feeding people. He has become mad. Ammachi smiled and held Nandhi to her lap saying, Son of Siva, just do whatever you do from your heart! This is when Nandhi told her in a few words, the dream of Amma Sanctuary. Ammachi said, Just do it. Amma is with you. These words of empowerment meant everything to Nandhi. Ammachi’s inspiration has lead the first sanctuary to be called Amma Sanctuary.
Soon afterwards, Nandhi, found himself in California with each day a little step as foundation towards unfolding the ancient intent of Saivam Vetri, the goal of creating sanctuaries for retired animals globally, with each sanctuary supporting large organic farms that pledge over 25% of its vegetarian produce to feed the hungry among various other initiatives such as creating firewood substitute, clean electricity, and inputs for international organic farming – organic pesticide and super manure.
Why a sanctuary as a spiritual project?
Ari is an ancient Tamil word that means ‘to know’. Ariven means, the one who is awake. This is the age of higher consciousness with mass awakenings. After waking up to realizing we are the spirit having the human experience, we are in touch with the reality described in all religious texts, as the I Am. In this realization is the oneness of life, reality, karma and dharma. As awake, we realize the joys of being in the receiving end of grace. In coming together as a community of the awake, we not only enable compassion and sharing on global scales but also lift our civilization to the next level of consciousness. As spiritual beings inspired in the action, we journey beyond the I Am to What If, i.e, transform humanity through our intent as action.
How are you choosing the animals for the sanctuary?
Imagine making an ox carry heavy load everyday under the hot sun nearly all its life and when old age shows signs, it is sold off. Soon it lands in a slaughterhouse. Likewise, the cows that are milked until their yield of milk does not justify the food it is given, are sent to a slaughterhouse. Our sanctuary is primarily for animals used by humanity that would otherwise end in slaughterhouses. Our sanctuaries will be a little ‘thank you’, we as human race could express to the selfless animals who have been milked and have toiled for us. We seek assistance in creating the prototype for 200-500 aged animals in our debut project – Amma Sanctuary. In Stage 1, We learn from this project to create macro sanctuaries to house 5000-15000 aged animals. at stage 2. What we seek to do must be on scales to represent humanity and retired animals everywhere on Planet Earth.
See the Ariven Vision:
You can make all the difference! This is a vision of common sense action for us to enact basic compassion dharma on
global scales through RD, expertise, cooperation and global strategy.