Weekend at Art of Living Ashram, Bangalore Photo Journal
Do your 100%
"Do your 100% in everything you do," Dr Divya insisted. …Things done half-heartedly never get done.
Dr Divya and Pankaj ji our teachers for the weekend Basic course at the Art of Living Ashram had the same effect on me as the very ashram.
Tapa, incessant work has gone into the making of the ashram. The ashram is a living organism, populated and under continuous creation by the likes of Dr Divya. Life at the ashram is a yagya, a continuous prayer for betterment of the world we live in. And this happens by touching the soul's need to know and express itself as bliss.
If this sounds like poetic prose to you, bear with my Pranayama-induced happy mind.
Tapa is the dictum that rules the Art of Living ashram. There is no lazy road to bliss, I gather after the 3 days well spent here.
This Nandi at the main entrance to Vishalakshi mandap faces a painting of Ma Vishalakshi inside the mandap. Beautiful paintings, possibly in acrylics, are hung on walls in different places in the ashram, including one of Ardh-Narishwar and Ma Annapurna.
The ceiling at Vishalakshi mandap
That's Ma Vishalakshi :-)
Inside Vishalakshi mandap
The circular hall with double storeyed seating may be huge but it has the feel of being at home in your drawing room with close friends, even though many of those present here are first time visitors like me :-)
The essence of Sri Sri Ravishankar's motto of 'a one-world-family' or 'Vasudhaiv kutumbakam' is exuberantly alive here.
Lodging facility at Aparna
The number behind my photo identity card issued at check-in was my key to the shared room at Aparna. My roommates, Saumya and Prisilda – two bubbly girls on a retreat, were a source of unending joy.
Shopping is nirvana for city-folks like me, but this Divine Shop had real roadmaps to nirvana. I picked up a commentary by Sri Sri Ravishankar on Yogasara Upanishad.
Sri Sri Kriti
That's Saumya and Prisilda just done with exploring the hand made clothes and artifacts at Sri Sri Kriti – a shop which sells products made by rural women, under guidance by designers.
Sri Sri Ayurveda
Sri Sri Ayurveda Panchakarma
Pankaj ji (right) leading the way…
Food glorious food, under the supervision of Ma Annapurna
In Radha kunj
Radha kunj by the lake in the ashram is another quiet walkway lined by trees and plants chosen with great care, just as everything else here.
A Yagyashala in Radha kunj
Radha kunj opened up at Ved Agam Sanskrit Maha Pathshala, a gurukul where boys study the Vedas, Puranas, Agam, and more in Sanskrit literature…
Ved Agam Sanskrit Maha Pathshala
This gurukul is overlooking a natural lake, which has 2 crocodiles.
This security personnel had met Guruji Sri Sri Ravishankar this morning, while guruji walking on this dirt road, was touched by a shrub's need for something. 'Why is this shrub wilting?' Guruji thought aloud.
With no one but himself around, the security personnel replied, 'Sir, it may need water.' And no sooner had he spoken, he was sorry for saying 'sir'. He was speaking with guruji, how could he call him 'sir' a word of formal address!
Guruji is his own, one of a one-world-family:-) When I met him after breakfast, he was still regretting his slip of tongue – 'Sir, instead of Guruji!' How could I address him like a stranger!
More about the Ashram
Basic and Advance courses happen every weekend. Please contact ashram for latest details. Sri Sri Yoga and Sehaj Samadhi also take place regularly. Anyone who has done a course or wants to do one is welcome to stay at the ashram. Weekend retreats also take place. Sri Sri Panchkarma is also available here with Ayurvedic doctors who diagnose through Nadi parikshan. The food at the ashram is vegetarian. It is a no-smoking and no-alcohol zone.
I have just returned after doing an advanced course here. It was amazing! Art of Living is for everyone. Please do the courses and practice...
The Art of Living International Centre
21st Km Kanakapura Road
For queries regarding accommodation contact the Housing Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.