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Adwaita Ashram: Swami Vivekananda’s Legacy of Vedantic Teachings

Spread India's Glorious Cultural & Spiritual Heritage

The Adwaita Ashram, also known as Adwait Ashrama, was founded by Swami Vivekananda. The main goal of the ashram is to propagate the teachings of Advaita Vedanta, which is a school of Hindu philosophy and spiritual practice emphasizing non-duality.

Locations and Headquarters

The headquarters of Adwaita Ashram is located in Mayavati, near Lohaghat in the Champawat district of Uttarakhand, India. This ashram is famously known as the Mayavati Ashram and was established in March 1899. It is situated in the Himalayan foothills, an area that Swami Vivekananda chose for its serene and contemplative environment.

Branches

In addition to the main ashram in Mayavati, there are other branches in India, although specific details about all locations might not be as widely documented. Each branch generally maintains the core focus on Vedanta teachings and meditation practices.

Activities and Spiritual Practices

Adwaita Ashram is involved in a range of spiritual and social activities. These include:

  • Regular prayers and meditation sessions.
  • Study and discussions on scriptures like the Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, and other Vedantic texts.
  • Publication of spiritual literature, which has been a significant activity of the Mayavati Ashram through its publication arm.
  • Conducting charitable activities in surrounding areas, including education and healthcare services.

Staying in the Ashrams

Yes, individuals seeking spiritual growth are welcome to stay at these ashrams. Typically, visitors can stay for spiritual retreats, which involve participation in the daily activities of the ashram, including meditation, communal prayers, and scriptural studies. However, potential visitors are usually required to get in touch with the ashram in advance to arrange their stay, as there are guidelines and schedules to be followed.

If you’re interested in visiting or staying at the ashram, it would be best to contact them directly to receive the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding accommodations and participation in spiritual practices.

Food in Adwaita Ashram

In ashrams like Adwaita Ashram, food is typically provided as part of the daily routine for residents and visitors. Here are some key aspects of the food served in such ashrams:

Vegetarian Meals

The meals served are strictly vegetarian, aligning with the ashram’s adherence to the principles of non-violence and spiritual purity. Meat, fish, eggs, and often onions and garlic are excluded from the diet.

Sattvic Diet

The food is generally prepared according to the principles of a sattvic diet, which is meant to be nourishing while promoting purity, health, and spiritual well-being. A sattvic diet includes fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, and dairy products.

Communal Dining

Eating in an ashram is typically a communal affair, where all residents and visitors share meals in a common dining area. This practice fosters a sense of community and equality among everyone at the ashram.

Simplicity

The meals are simple yet nutritious, designed to support the physical needs of the individuals while they engage in spiritual practices without causing lethargy or discomfort.

Fixed Timings

Meals are served at fixed times, and everyone is encouraged to adhere to these schedules to maintain discipline and order within the ashram environment.

If you plan to stay at the ashram, it’s advisable to embrace these dietary practices fully, as they are an integral part of the ashram’s spiritual regimen. For those with specific dietary needs or restrictions, it’s a good idea to communicate with the ashram management ahead of your visit to see if accommodations can be made.

Facilities Across Adwaita Ashram Centers: Accommodation and Dining Options

Accommodation and food are typically available at the main Adwaita Ashram in Mayavati, which is well-established to host visitors and spiritual seekers. This ashram is designed to support both short-term and long-term stays, providing meals as part of the communal living setup.

For other centers or branches of the Adwaita Ashram, the availability of accommodation and food can vary. Some might offer similar facilities for visitors, especially if they are set up for retreats and extended stays, while others might function more as day centers focused on local community activities and regular spiritual gatherings without residential facilities.

If you are interested in visiting any specific center of Adwaita Ashram besides Mayavati, it’s best to contact that center directly to inquire about the availability of accommodation and meals. They can provide detailed information on what is offered and any preparations you might need to make prior to your visit. This approach ensures that you have the most accurate and up-to-date information for planning your stay.

Reaching Adwaita Ashram, Mayavati

Reaching Adwaita Ashram, Mayavati, involves a journey through the picturesque landscapes of Uttarakhand, India. Here’s a detailed guide on how to get there:

Nearest Airport

The nearest airport to Mayavati Ashram is Pantnagar Airport, which is about 160 kilometers away. From Pantnagar, you can hire a taxi or catch a bus to reach the ashram.

Nearest Railway Station

The nearest railway stations are:

  • Tanakpur Railway Station: Approximately 110 kilometers from the ashram. Tanakpur is well-connected by rail to major cities in India. From Tanakpur, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to Lohaghat, and from there, continue to Mayavati Ashram.
  • Kathgodam Railway Station: This station is around 180 kilometers from the ashram and serves as another viable option. From Kathgodam, you can take a taxi or bus to Lohaghat and then proceed to Mayavati.

Road Travel

  • From Delhi: The ashram is approximately 500 kilometers from Delhi, and the journey can take around 12-14 hours by road, depending on traffic and road conditions. You can drive or hire a taxi directly to the ashram. Alternatively, buses heading towards Lohaghat or Champawat can also be taken from Delhi.
  • From Lohaghat: Mayavati Ashram is about 22 kilometers from Lohaghat. You can hire a local taxi from Lohaghat to reach the ashram. This last leg of the journey offers scenic views and winding mountain roads.

Local Transportation

Local taxis are often the most convenient way to reach the ashram from nearby towns such as Lohaghat or Tanakpur. The roads are mountainous and scenic, which makes for a beautiful but somewhat challenging drive, especially during the monsoon season.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Mayavati Ashram is between March and June before the monsoon season starts, or after the rains from September to November, when the weather is pleasant and conducive to travel.

Planning your visit with attention to the local weather and road conditions is advisable, especially considering the remote mountainous location of the ashram. It’s also a good idea to contact the ashram ahead of your visit for any travel advisories or specific instructions.


Spread India's Glorious Cultural & Spiritual Heritage

By Mala Chandrashekhar

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