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Annadaanam, the Sacred Food Offering

Annadaanam or the offering of free food that is first offered to the divine and then shared with the hungry is considered the foremost of social and spiritual services in the Vedic tradition.

Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam already has a service record of feeding 1000s of people per day at its international headquarters at Bidadi Ashram, Bengaluru and its Tiruvannamalai Ashram, the sacred energy field, which is the birth place of the 293rd Guru Maha Sannidhanam, Srila Sri Paramahamsa Nithyananda Swamigal.

In Tiruvannamalai, on special occasions such as the monthly Pournami (full moon day) and annual Karthigai Deepam festival, close to 100,000 people a day are offered the Annadanam.
Launched on 27th April 2012 this year, the Annadaanam scheme in Madurai Aadheenam has received an overwhelming response, just within few days.

  • Annadaanam is offered to around 2500 people every day.
  • On an average, an astounding figure of 125 kg of rice are cooked each day.
  • Food is served thrice a day at the Aadheenam premises prepared in the most hygienic manner in the energy field of the Aadheenam.
  • The food is prepared to the accompaniment of mantras or keertans (sacred hymns), infusing positive vibrations in the food that has the power to heal people.
  • Ananda Sevaks, the blissful volunteers of Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam cook and serve hot, nourishing sattvik meals (the purest food) with rice, dal and vegetables.

On special occasions, the Aadheenam feeds over 5000 people a day. This service is 24/7, open to all.


eN-Milk, the ‘Gnana Paal’, Enlightening Milk

This is a unique offering from Madurai Aadheenam, whose patron saint is the child-incarnation Thiru Gnanasambandhar, one of the four visionary saints of the Saiva Siddhanta tradition.

  • The scriptures say that as a baby at the innocent age of just 3, Thiru Gnana Sambandhar was once nourished by the ‘milk of Enlightenment’ from the Cosmic Mother herself. On drinking the milk, this child became enlightened, receiving the ‘Gnana Paal’, the ‘cup of the ultimate Truth, spiritual knowledge’. The Existence, the nature poured Her essence into Him, and He ripened fully to the Super Consciousness.
  • In commemoration of this most sacred event unmatched in the history of our great vedic heritage, and as a symbolic offering of wisdom to the people, Madurai Aadheenam is now offering the ‘Gnaanapaal’ or ‘Enlightening Milk’ (consecrated milk) to all visitors, pilgrims, and devotess to the Aadheenam.
  • The milk is energized by the divine grace of the Guru Maha Sannidhanams of the Aadheenam to sow the seed of enlightenment in the person drinking it.
  • Over 200 liters of milk are being consumed every day.
  • Around 1000 people are being benefited by this offering every day.

We invite all to come and taste the flowing of the ultimate nectar, “Gnana Paal’ and be blessed by the grace of Lord Shiva and Devi, just as they blessed Thiru Gnana Sambandhar.

Future Plans

  1. Efforts are on to extend both these services of ‘Annadanam’ and the ‘Gnana Paal, Enlightening Milk’ to other locations of the Madurai Aadheenam as well
  2. In the first phase, this spiritual service will serve the pilgrims and Sannyasis (spiritual mendicants) at all the 5 temples being maintained by Madurai Aadheenam.
  3. Free meal schemes in schools are also envisaged as part of the next phase of this project.