Welcome to Vishwalaya
Vishwalaya began in the 1984 when Guru Sri Visva Mitra Ram Ram and his wife Devakiamma settled next to the Gundanjineya temple in Ravugodlu village, about 35 kms from Bangalore. At the time, he was a wanderer in search of meanings who sat on the granite slopes of the hills or in one of the many caves. Ram Ram’s connection with children began when the local women of the village needed somewhere to leave their children while they worked all day, and decided to entrust their children with Ram Ram during the day. From these humble beginnings, when Ram Ram had neither roof nor means, Vishwalaya grew into an ashram where more and more children came from further distances to seek shelter with Ram Ram.
Vinod,Vishwalayastrustee and Ram Rams son,has beenworking with Vishwalaya for 25years,and has been involved completely in running the ashramsince Ram Rams passing away.
Buildings sprang up, people volunteered their time and money, and so, nearly thirty years after Ram Ram’s original dream, Vishwalaya was registered as a Trust. When Ram Ram attained Samadhi in 1999, he left behind 27 resident children, with a legacy of more than 600 children having passed through his ashram. His followers have continued to support and run the ashram until today.
William Stafford : “Children dance before they learn there is anything that isn’t music.”
Vishwalaya- the Universal Temple, also called Ram Ram’s Paradise for Children, which now houses and educates more than 30 children, began with a single child, no buildings and no funds. When Ram Ram first came to Ravugodlu, he was a wanderer in search of meanings. He sat on the granite slopes of the hills or in one of the many caves. The village women, who had to go a long way off to work or to fetch water, one day decided that he could take care of their children while they were away. Ram Ram had neither roof nor means at that time, but when more children were entrusted to him, he simply put his trust in life and over the next two and half decades a little ashram grew and functioned around Ram Ram.
Ram Ram used to say that he did not set up anything; he was only an instrument of a higher power. How could he have embarked on such a task, he would ask, when he himself did not know where his next meal – if at all any – was coming from?
The man and his mission:
Ram Ram was many things to many people but he did nothing to attract anybody. On the contrary, he could often be harsh, critical and downright rude if he thought you were not fit to be in the Paradise for Children. The one role he enjoyed was that of grandfather to the many children and the villagers of Ravugodlu. But many continued to regard him as a guru, a holy man, a sanyasi, whose potent blend of earthly wisdom and scriptural knowledge was a guide to life.
Vishwalaya takes formal shape:
Word spread and slowly Ram Ram’s place began to grow. Buildings came up; more children came, often from far off. More visitors, more funds. Through the years, children have come and gone, having sought shelter in Vishwalaya leaving only when they reached maturity or when reclaimed by parents. At present, there are over 30 children here; from one-year olds to early teenagers (Even the occasional grown-up who seeks shelter here is not turned away.) Ram Ram believed that every child has a right to paradise on earth. And so nearly three decades after the first child was given into his care, when he had neither home nor help, Vishwalaya was registered as a Trust.
A vision yet to be realized :
After Ram Ram’s death three years ago, funds that come in the form of personal donations stopped coming in with the same regularity. When he was alive, visitors came in plenty and gave generously, now that he is no longer physically present, both visits and help have reduced, making the task of finding a regular source of funds has become a challenge.
But as Ram Ram points out, “When the flood of love arises and all the boundaries are crossed, then no destructive karma can happen, no negativity arises, love overflows unconditionally”