The first Meivazhi Ashram was founded at Rajagambeeram village in Sivaganga District,Tamil Nadu.
The second one was started at Tirupathur, a panchayat town in Sivaganga District,Tamil Nadu. where the Sabha was initially registered on 19 June 1933.
From small beginnings, the number of followers gradually increased, year by year. By 1939, the sabha was shifted to Madurai (Aruppukottai Road). But in 1942, during the Second World War, the British Government acquired the entire place in Madurai and paid a compensation of Rs.1,37,750.00 to Meivazhi Sabha.
Consequently, the sabha had to be shifted to a different place. In the same year, the sabha was shifted to a land at Pappancahivayal, Pudukkottai District,Tamil Nadu. where Aandavargal purchased a jungle land for about Rs.6,000.00 and cleared it for habitation.
The sabha was re-registered on 10 June 1944 in the, then Pudukkottai State, where it has been functioning ever since. This place is the presentMeivazhi Salai.
The Control of the Sabha was under Meivazhi Salai Aandavargal till 1976, after which he entered a very deep meditative state.
The place where he started meditating has become a shrine for the followers of Meivazhi and is called as the “Ponnaranga Devalayam meaning “The Golden Temple”. All the Prayers, Rituals and Festivals are held around this Shrine.
Dress code for entering the Ashram
Meivazhi followers have a mandatory dress code for entering the ashram. Men who have received the upadhesam, the highest level of spiritual teaching (known as Anandars), wear saffron shirts and traditional Hindu panchakacham trousers.
Males who have not received it wear white turbans and clothes other than saffron, and in dark colours.
Women who have received upadhesam wear sarees and cover their head with a saffron scarf, while other women cover their head with the end of the sarees.
Daily rituals take place around the clock at the Ponnaranga Devalayam, throughout the year. The most significant prayer ritual for the followers is the evening one, which is attended by the most number of people on any given day. The followers refer to the prayer rituals as ‘Vanakkam’, literally meaning ‘Hello’ or ‘Greeting’ in English, possibly referring to the meeting of Human soul with the God.
1. Prayer at 4:00 AM and Vanakkam at 4:30 AM;
2. Maha Sangarpa Manthiram at 7:00 AM;
3. Aravala Vanakkam at 12:00 PM;
4. Vanakkam at 6:00 PM;
5. Vanakkam at 9:00 PM, 12:00 AM, 1:30 AM, 3:00 AM;
6. Para Vanakkam at 10.00 PM to 12.00 AM, 12.00 AM to 2.00 AM and 2.00 AM to 4.00 AM;
1. Piravaa naal Pirappu Thirunal, during the month of Panguni, celebrating the day of Spiritual rebirth of Salai Andavargal.
2.Vaikasi Thiruvizha, comprising three festivals:-
- Aadu meippu Thiruvizha, in remembrance of Salai Andavargal as a good Shepherd as per the command of his Guru.
- Pasubatha Kangana Thiruvizha, celebrating Salai Andavargal’s acquisition of Sannadam and Spiritual powers through continuous Penance.
- Puthadai Punai seer Thiruvizha , celebrating the start of a Spiritual life through family life.
3. Pichai Andavar Thirukkola Thiruvizha , during the month of Purattaasi, celebrating the Bestower of Alms
4. Thiru Avathara Thirunal, at the end of Margazhi and during Bhogi, celebrating the birth of Salai Andavargal.
5. Kolari Saalayar Pongal in the month of Thai, celebrating the festival of Pongal, with preparation of sweet Pongal using holy water by the Disciples gathered around the Ponnaranga Devalayam
Mattu Pongal , celebrating the Cows and Bulls with decorations, sweet Pongal and other activities around the Ponnaranga Devalayam, around Flag post, singing songs
6. Karthigai Deepam, celebrating the Festival of lights in the month of Kathikai
7. Hoisting of the Pooran Kodi, a special flag decorated with 92 bells, during the Panguni and Vaikaasi festivals.
8. Hoisting of the White flag bearing the ‘Killnaamam’ or the Crescent Moon, which occurs twice every month, on the full moon day and on the third day of New Moon.