The Spiritual Path in India
In India, there is a considerable variety of ashrams (spiritual centers), which offer various activities for the renewal of body and mind. Yoga, meditation, and breathing methods are some of the ways to achieve it. Many of them are volunteer centers, promoting different values and social or communal development. Here is an overview of some of the country’s most popular ashrams:
Ravi Shankar’s Ashram, Karnataka
The Ashram of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar opened in Bangalore in 1982 and has since had a reputation far and wide as an excellent place for anyone looking for a solution to relieve stress and self-development. It is a voluntary organization called Art of Living, that has a representation in over a hundred countries. The ultimate goal of the organization is to promote a world without violence and tensions. They support many fields of work including conflict resolution, empowerment of women, prisoner rehabilitation and more. The center of the organization is in an ashram in Bangalore which offers various courses, based mainly on the study of breathing techniques, yoga, and meditation. The basic course lasts for three days and includes breathing techniques, to help restore the body and mind balance.
Ved Vignan Maha Vidya Peeth
21st Km, Kanakapura Road, Udayapura
Bangalore, Karnataka 560 082, India
Phone: +91 80 28432273 / 74
The Osho Ashram, Pune
Osho’s Ashram in Pune is probably the best-known in India. The spirit of the spiritual leader Osho continues to reside over it. It is a spiritual institution but very commercialized and prices for the ashram activities and facilities are quite high. Conditions are very good, and the Ashram has a resort feeling with comfortable rooms and a swimming pool. Each year visitors from dozens of countries come to the ashram to attend various meditations.
It is compulsory to wear maroon robes and every participant must undergo an HIV test. The Osho community is one of the world’s most well spread and Osho centers exist across India as well as in many countries.
17 Koregaon Park
Pune MS 411 001
Phone: +91 20 6601 9999
Sri Aurbindo Ashram, Pondicherry
The Ashram founded by the philosopher and Guru Sri Aurbindo in 1926. Its goal was to work toward creating a better world and currently serves as a volunteer center, and charitable works initiated in Pondicherry. The Ashram is located in an urban setting and emphasizes the practice of yoga, as a tool that can be used for mankind and the goal is to achieve new humanity and spirituality (Ananda) by removing the ego and desires. Besides yoga, you can also volunteer in any of its departments – library, theatre, Ayurvedic Center, etc. From the ashram, a universal community has grown in Auroville next to Pondicherry which is a small idyllic town that was set up by a French lady called Mirra Alfassa.
Information Centre of Sri Aurobindo Ashram,
3, Rangapillai Street,
Amma’s Ashram, Kerala
The Ashram of Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, known as “Amma”, the embracing mother. The ashram is located in the city of Kollam in the state of Kerala and is a mecca for many devotees from all over the world. Amma seeks to overcome the lack of love and compassion in the world and gives out warm hugs to her followers. Whoever wants to stay in the ashram can join classes in yoga and meditation combined with joint prayers, held every day. Amma holds public darshans (meetings with the public) on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday in the morning.
Mata Amritanandamayi Math,
Kerala, India, 690525.
Phone. +91-476-289-7578, +91-476-289-6399
So hopefully, after reading this post you are one step closer to enlightenment… : )