November 8, 2002 

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Sivananda Ashram, Pampady, near Thiruvilvamala, Palakkad,

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Sivananda Ashram, founded by Swami Sivananda in the village of Pampady, near Thiruvilvamala, Palakkad, is a welcoming research centre of ayurvedic medicines.  People come here specially for the free treatment of diabetics.

The Swami, together with his 2 or 3 brother disciples, prepare the 16 herb mixture which is given away free to the visitors.  This powder is to be taken thrice a day with milk or water.  Many patients confirmed that their sugar count decreased after they started taking the medicine.

Perhaps it is no wonder then that multinationals and Indian corporates have approached him, seeking the patent for the herbal formation.

“Though I am against large scale commercialization of the medicine, I would like it to reach a larger section of the population.  But the manufacturers should not be guided by profit consideration alone and distance it from the common man,” he says.

The ashram hit the headlines when nearly a year ago, the then Vice President, K.R.Narayanan laid the foundation stone for a modern ayurvedic hospital at the ashram on November 11, 1996.

Apart from the medicines, the ashram has 12 cottages, mostly single rooms.  These cater to the old people and are akin to the geriatric wards in the West.

The swami was born in Balussery and studied at UC College, Aluva.  Swami Akamananda, who used to lecture there on spirituality, influenced the young man’s desire to renounce materialism.

He later traveled to Andhra Pradesh and became the disciple of Swami Yogananda of Sri Sailam Ashram.

A view of the ashram


Courtesy: A. Satish, New Indian Express

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