The visionary behind Devipuram is a former nuclear scientist by the name of Dr. Nishtala Prahlada Sastry. Lovingly called Guruji today, he worked at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai (Bombay) for 23 years; later he worked as a teacher in Africa for two years.
Guruji resigned his job after receiving a wake-up call from Bala Tripura Sundari at the Balaji Temple, Hyderabad. Prompted by Her, he began building this temple to Lalita in the form of the Sri Chakra Meru, in order to share the worlds he had seen and the joys he experienced in Mani Dweepa, the sacred Sri Chakra.
At Her instance, he performed a Devi Yagam in Visakhapatnam in 1983, when he received the place where the temple stands today. After coming here, he saw the Goddess of Creativity, Kamakhya Devi, in a triangular pit formation in a rock boulder nearby. She showed him all the various deity forms who receive puja in Sri Chakra, and gave him many experiences of the Kula pujas of yore, which she enjoys. He recorded these visions of yoginis and deities through the visual medium of sculpture. She guided him at every step in the building of the present temple. He struggled for 11 years in this wilderness to bring this Sri Meru Nilayam temple into reality.
Not content with merely sharing his spiritual visions, Dr. Sastry – by this time known by his Diksha name Amritanandanatha – founded a registered public charitable trust called the Sri Vidya Trust. Assisted by a band of committed youngsters, he initiated an array of rural development activities, including 50 night schools for dropouts in the 6-14 age group; mobilizing 4,000 women to run a Macts(mutually aided cooperative thrift society); a self-help, thrift-banking project called Jagruthi; a hospital on wheels; designs for low-cost housing; a computer-assisted adult-education project covering 12 villages; and so on. The vision of Sri Vidya Trust is to inspire people to improve their lot in life, and to empower them to make positive and enduring contributions to society.
As Guruji says, “If God had patented the air, we could not breathe.” He believes that we all benefit by sharing our love and ideas. Only by sharing love does one grow.
Devipuram has become a great resource for quenching the thirst of serious Sri Vidya Upasakas, who marvel at the vision behind it. Spiritual renewal is a subjective development, best experienced by oneself. Devipuram has everything necessary to elevate you mentally, physically and – most important – spiritually. So come, enjoy, empower and realize yourself.