SIDDHANATH FOREST ASHRAM
One of Yogiraj's deepest desires was to create a spiritual center dedicated to the mission of ShivaGoraksha Babaji. To fulfill this long-cherished dream, in 1982 he bought land in the valley of Sitamai embedded in the mountain ranges of the Sinhagad Fort beyond Pune.
This was a challenging time for Yogiraj. Often, it seemed like taking one step forward and two steps back. Where acquiring land for the Ashram should have been an enormous encouragement towards his life work of spreading spiritual knowledge, instead he had to deal with the skepticism, doubts and negativity of society, facing open ridicule for his choice of Ashram location. At every turn, he was mocked: “Who will come to the jungles?”
Yogiraj remained silent. His soul sight saw then what everyone sees today that the world flocks to him at the beautiful haven that is the forest Ashram.
The initial days were arduous, taking a physical, mental and emotional toll on Yogiraj Siddhanath's family, while he was the bedrock of stability.
Sau. ShivanginiRaje dedicated herself completely to helping him make the Ashram a reality, exerting almost superhuman power to juggle her roles as a wife, spiritual partner and mother.
When digging commenced to create a foundation for the Ashram kitchen, an ancient stone diya was found. In the spot consecrated to Yogiraj's underground meditation cave, digging revealed a stone shivalinga. At every turn, Yogiraj Siddhanath and Sau. Shivangini saw signs that this had been the land of tapasvis from ancient times. This greatly bolstered their belief that they were the instruments of the land, which would continue to impart spiritual knowledge, as it had been doing through the ages.
Today, ShivanginiRaje's labour of love is evident, permeating every pore of the Ashram land, while Yogiraj's support permeates the air around it. Like Shiva and Shakti, Mata Shivangini is the persona and character, of the Ashram while Yogiraj Siddhanath is its soul.