Ashrams in Rishikesh, India
List of Ashrams in Rishikesh India
|Ashram||Phone No. (STD: 0135)
|Vanprasth Ashram||243 0811
|Parmarth Niketan||243 4301
|Ved Niketan||243 0279
|Vanamali Gita (or Vanmali Geeta) Ashram||243 1316
|Geeta (or Gita) Ashram||243 1998
|Geeta Bhawan (or Gita Bhavan)||243 0122
|Swarg Ashram||243 3452
|Yoga Niketan Trust||243 0227, 243 5072
|Shivanand Ashram (Divine Life Society)||243 0040
|Akhand Yog Dham Trust||243 5432, 98370-73279
|Omkarananda Patanjali Yog Kendra||243 0193, 243 0910, 243 0911
|Sadhna Mandir Trust||243 1693, 243 1485, 94120 55413
|Vithal Ashram & Yoga Study Centre||243 0193, 243 2636
|Kriya Yoga Ashram||243 5222, 243 6248
|Yog Sadhna Ashram Trust||243 6697
|Yoga Study Centre||243 3837
|Ayushman Ayurvedalaya||243 5554
Yoga Centres in Rishikesh India
|Ashram||Address||Phone No. (STD: 0135)||Fax (STD: 0135)||Email &|
|Parmarth Niketan||P.O. Swargashram, Rishikesh - 249 304||243 4301,|
|Ved Niketan||Swargashram, Rishikesh - 249 304||243 0279||NAemail@example.com|
|Yoga Niketan Trust||P.O. Shivananda Nagar, Muni ki Reti, Rishikesh - 249 192||243 0227,|
|Divine Life Society||Shivanand Ashram, Shivanand Nagar, Muni ki Reti, Rishikesh - 249 192||243 0040||244 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Akhand Yog Dham Trust||Mangal Yoga and Nature Medicine Centre, Crossing Point of Tehri Road, near Ram Jhula, Muni ki Reti, Rishikesh - 249 192||243 5432, 98370-73279||NA||
|Omkaranand Patanjali Yoga Kendra||Ganga Sadan, P.O. Shivanand Nagar, Muni ki Reti, Rishikesh - 249 192||243 0193, 243 0910, 243 0911||243 email@example.com|
|Sadhna Mandir Trust||Ramnagar, P.O. Pashulok, Rishikesh||243 1693, 243 1485, 94120 55413||NAfirstname.lastname@example.org
|Ayushman Ayurvedalaya||P.O. Tapovan, Muni ki Reti, Tehri Garhwal||243 5554||NAemail@example.com
|Vithal Ashram||Lakshman Jhula bypass road, Muni ki Reti, Rishikesh||243 0193, 243 2636||NAfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Kriya Yoga Ashram||Tapovan, Muni ki Reti, Rishikesh||243 5222, 243 6248
|Yog Sadhna Ashram Trust||Railway Road, Rishikesh||243 6697||NA||NA
|Yoga Study Centre||Ganga Vihar, Haridwar Road, Rishikesh||243 3837||NA||NA
|Bharat Heritage Services||Haridwar Road, Rishikesh||243 3179, 98370-89079||NA||NA
Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh
Parmarth Niketan is located near Swargashram. It's president is Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji Maharaj. Ganga Aarti performed here every
evening is worth watching & calms down ones senses & mind. There is also a Gurukul (a school) run by ashram for teaching
Yoga, Meditation & other Hindu sacred ceremonies. 'International Yoga Festival' is organized by ashram every year in the month of February,
in which people from all over the world participate.
Ganga Aarti at
Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh
Aarti at Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh (or Hrishikesh) is the beautiful ceremony in which deepas (the oil lamps) are offered to God. Aarti can be done to a deity in the temple, it can be done on the banks of the Ganges to Mother Ganga, or it can be done to a saint. It is performed to God, in any manifestation, any form, by any name. The essence of the aarti ceremony is that all day long God offers us light - the light of the sun, the light of life, the light of His (Her) blessings. Aarti is a time when we say "thank you," and we offer back the light of our thanks, the light of our love and the light of our devotion.
We realize that the small deepa is nothing compared to the divine light which shines on us all day. So, aarti is a ceremony of humility, a time in which we acknowledge that "God, you are everything. I am nothing. All day you shine upon the world. All Ashrams in Rishikesh I can offer you is this small deepa, a flame which will be blown out by the passing wind. But, I offer it with devotion and with love. Please accept my offering."
One of the meanings of Aarti literally is "remover of pain." This is beautiful, because there is nothing inherent in the name of the ceremony that says which form or name of God it should be performed to. It should be performed to the Divine Remover of Pain in our life.
Facilities at Parmarth Niketan Ashram,
Rishikesh (or Hrishikesh)
There are about 1,000 residential rooms in Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh, that retain the simplicity of ashram living and yet are equipped with the necessary modern amenities. Many guest rooms have attached, Western style bathrooms Ashrams in Rishikesh India and many have hot, running water. Linens are provided. The ashram provides a clean, pure and sacred atmosphere to thousands of pilgrims and devotees.
Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh
Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh is open for the stay of only those pilgrims who are here to devote themselves to sadhna, meditation, seva and satsang. People who come to Rishikesh for picnics, recreation, business, etc. are not allowed to stay in this ashram.
1. The pilgrims staying in this ashram are required to observe and adhere to truth, non-violence, self-discipline, and polite etiquette.
2. All pilgrims are expected to join in Ganga Aarti (the light ceremony with devotional songs List of Ashrams in Rishikesh India at sunset).
3. All pilgrims are required to dress modestly and soberly, in a way that shows respect for the tradition of ashram life. We request that no shorts, sleeveless shirts, or other revealing clothing are worn.
4. A pilgrim is allowed to stay in the ashram for a maximum of 15 days on the first visit. This period can be extended only with permission from the authorities. In the case of extended stays, the accommodation may be shifted.
5. In the event that the administration asks the pilgrim to leave (even prior to the conclusion of the first 15 days) the pilgrim must vacate the premises immediately.
6. No strangers or persons who are not mentioned on the admission form are allowed to be invited or entertained in the rooms.
7. If the pilgrim has to leave for two or three days, he or she will have to inform the Directory of Ashrams in Rishikesh India manager and will have to leave the keys to the room in the ashram office. If he or she has to leave for more than three days, he or she will have to vacate the room. Locking the room without providing information to the management is prohibited. If necessary, the management will open the room by breaking the lock.
8. It is the pilgrim's responsibility to keep his/her room clean and tidy. Rooms should always remain in the same condition as when they were assigned.
9. Please refrain from picking flowers and littering.
10. If you are eating your meals at the ashram. Please be punctual. Meals will only be served during the posted times.
11. It is prohibited to use playing cards, radios, or TVs
12. No pets are allowed
13. The following are strictly prohibited: smoking, drinking intoxicants, Directory of Ashrams in India eating egg or other non-vegetarian foods, playing cards, watching television, playing radios/cassette players loudly. We also recommend that you refrain from eating onions and garlic.
14. No one will have the rights and license of tenancy.
15. Each pilgrim will have to vacate the accommodation on the stipulated day, even before the management asks him/her to do so.
16. Please insist on a receipt for your donation. Specify the cause to Ashrams in Rishikesh to stay which you want to donate (e.g. food for the poor, schools, images/orphanage, hospital, aarti, yagna, gaushala, accommodation, images/meditation section, Veda Vidyayala, etc.)
17. Please do not oblige anyone by directly providing money, clothes or tips of any kind. This affects the discipline and management of the ashram as well as negatively influences the divine, devoted feeling amongst the individuals here. Whatever help you want to give, please donate it to the office, and it will be distributed where it is most needed.
How to reach
Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh?
Directions to Parmarth Niketan from Delhi: -
1. Coming by Car -
- Come to Haridwar
- Pass Haridwar
- Go 15-16 Km.
- You will see the Hanumanji Temple (Baba Neem Karoli Temple) on your left.
- Just past the temple is the IDPL Gate on your right. Turn right at this
- Keep going straight.
- Ask for the Barrage Bridge. Follow the way to the bridge. There will also
be signs for Parmarth. Follow these signs.
- Cross the Barrage Bridge. You are now 8 km from Parmarth Niketan.
- Immediately after crossing the bridge, turn left.
- Go straight through the mountains. First you will go up, and then go back
- There will be a fork in the road. One road goes off to the right, for
Neelkanth. Don’t take this road. Take the road that goes left and down
- Head down until there is a left turn. There will be another sign for
Parmarth; Turn left.
- Go a few hundred meters to the first road (the only road). Actually
it’s more like an alley in the back of the ashrams. It is directly parallel to
Ganga, a few hundred feet inland).
- Turn right.
- Parmarth Niketan Ashram is at the end of this road.
2. By Train: -
There are several trains a day between Delhi and Haridwar, schedule is posted below. You can book tickets online at www.indianrail.gov.in. You can either hire a taxi to take you directly to the ashram Ashrams in Rishikesh for Meditation as per the directions given above, or you can take a taxi, bus, or rickshaw to the Muni-ki-reti parking lot in Rishikesh which is the parking lot near Ram Jhula (also called Shivanand Jhula). From there you can take a motor boat across Ganga (or walk across the bridge). Then, after crossing, head down Ganga - a right turn - until you see a huge, beautiful clock tower. That is Parmarth Niketan. We are a few hundred meters down river from Ram Jhula.
3. By Air: -
There are supposed to be flights starting between Delhi and Jolly Grant Airport in Rishikesh/Dehradun. The airport is only about 1/2 hour from the ashram. From there again you can take a taxi or bus to Rishikesh.
When you arrive, ask for Pujya Swamiji's reception. There you will find Bijendra, Subhash or Narendra
Phone: (0135) 2440088, 2434301 or 2434308
From Abroad, dial +91-135 instead of 0135
Swami Chidanand Saraswati ji Maharaj,
Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh
SPIRITUAL AND ACADEMIC EDUCATION: Touched by the hand of God at
eight years old, Pujya Swamiji's youth was spent in silence, meditation and
austerities high in the Himalayas. At the age of seventeen, after nine years of
unbroken, intense sadhana, he returned from the forest -- under the orders of
his guru -- and he obtained an academic education to parallel his spiritual one.
Pujya Swamiji has master's degrees in Sanskrit and Philosophy as well as fluency
in many languages.
THE TEACHING OF UNITY: Unity, harmony,
and the belief in infinite paths to God are the foundation of Pujya Swamiji's
"religion." His goal is to bring everyone closer to God, regardless of what name
one uses. "If you are a Hindu, be a better Hindu. If you are a Christian, be a
better Christian. If you are a Muslim, be a better Muslim. If you are a Jew, be
a better Jew," he says.
In this line, he has been a leader in numerous
international, inter-faith conferences and parliaments, including the Parliament
of World Religions in Chicago in 1993, the Ashrams in Rishikesh Haridwar Parliament of World Religions in
Capetown, South Africa in 1999, the Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious
and Spiritual Leaders at the United Nations in 2000, the World Economic Forum in
New York in 2002, the World Council of Religious Leaders at the United Nations
in Bangkok in 2002, the World Conference of Religions for Peace in Kyoto, Japan
in 2006 and the Global Youth Peace Summit at the United Nations in New York in
SPIRITUAL LEADER AND INSPIRATION: Pujya
Swamiji is the president and spiritual Famous Ashrams in Rishikesh India head of Parmarth Niketan Ashram in
Rishikesh, one of India's largest and most renowned spiritual institutions.
Under his divine inspiration and leadership, Parmarth Niketan has become a
sanctuary known across the globe as one filled with grace, beauty, serenity and
true divine bliss. Pujya Swamiji has also increased several-fold the
humanitarian activities undertaken by Parmarth Niketan. Now, the ashram is not
only a spiritual haven for those who visit, but it also provides education,
training, health care etc. to those in need.
Pujya Swamiji travels the
world, speaking to audiences large and Best Ashrams in Rishikesh India small, formal and informal, spreading
inspiration, upliftment and divine messages to people of all cultures, all walks
of life and all ages.
He is also the founder and the spiritual head of
the first Hindu Jain Temple in America. This beautiful 3-domed, masterpiece is
located on the outskirts of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and has paved the way for
unity between Hindus and Jains across America. Pujya Swamiji is also the founder
and inspiration behind many other temples in USA, Canada, Europe and
GUIDE TO YOUTH: Pujya Swamiji knows the youth are
our future; he is forever changing the course of that future through his
profound effect on every youngster with whom he comes in contact. Children and
adolescents seem to bloom like flowers under the rays of his light.
Additionally, he gives pragmatic tools to help them unite in the spirit of
peace, harmony and global change. Pujya Swamiji runs youth sessions and camps in
USA, Europe and throughout Asia.
"Giving is Living," is Pujya Swamiji's motto; he is always in the midst
of dozens of projects, each one a noble and tenaciously dedicated effort to make
the world a better place for all of humanity. He is the Founder/Chairman of
India Heritage Research Foundation (IHRF), an international, non-profit,
humanitarian organization dedicated to providing education, health care, youth
welfare, vocational training to the needy population. Schools, hospitals, an
ambulance and an orphanage/gurukul are only a few of IHRF's innumerable
RECOGNITIONS: Pujya Swamiji has
received dozens of awards for both his role as spiritual leader and also for his
unparalleled humanitarian work. Some of the more noteworthy are as follows:
1) Mahatma Gandhi Humanitarian award, given by the Mayor of New Jersey, USA
for outstanding charitable and interfaith work,
2) Hindu of the Year by the
international magazine Hinduism Today
3) Devarishi Award, by Sandipani Vidya
Niketan, under the guidance of Pujya Sant Rameshbhai Oza for promoting Indian
culture and heritage across the world
4) Bhaskar Award, by Mystic India and
Bharat Nirman for Outstanding Humanitarian Service
5) Prominent Personality
Award, by Lions' Club
6) Diwaliben Mohanlal Mehta Charitable Trust Award for
Progress in Religion
7) Best Citizens of India Award
Further, he has been given the title of Patron of the
Russian Indian Heritage Research Foundation, Moscow, and he is also a Patron of
the Centre for Religious Experience in Oxford, UK, the International Naturopathy
Organisation, and the Bapu Nature Cure Hospital in Delhi.
He is also on
the Advisory Board for Guru Dakshina Samiti, a Samiti aimed at educational
programmes for empowerment of women and disabled youth.
Swami Asanganandji Maharaj
In 1945 at the age of 9, Pujya Swami Asanganandji Maharaj came to Parmarth Niketan under the guidance and as a disciple of Swami Shukdevanandji Maharaj. For the past 61 years, He has been devotedly serving the ashram.
He has obtained acharya degrees in Vedanta and Sanskrit literature, as well as a Master's degree in Sanskrit literature. Since 1961, He has tirelessly served the ashram's Sanskrit Vidyalaya. Though very learned, His simplicity and humbleness is manifested in the countless number of hours performing the simplest of tasks.
In 1977, He renounced worldly attachments and took sanyasa from Swami Shukdevanandji Maharaj.
From 1991 to 2006, he has served the Swami Shukdevanand Trust, first as Managing Trustee from 1991 -2006, and now as Chairman since 2006, gracing all of the projects with his devotion and piety.
Pujya Swami Asanganandji Maharaj has been imparting the wisdom of the ancient holy scriptures including yoga to countless number of devotees. His wisdom has brought inspiration, upliftment and deep knowledge to pilgrims who seek His guidance.
Sanskars at Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh
According to Hindu tradition, the sanskaras are essentially the "rites of passage" that a person passes through in life - from conception to death. However, any definition in English falls short of the deep significance and meaning of the Sanskaras in the lives of Hindus. A closer definition is the word "sacrament," for a sacrament implies an outward celebration or ceremony symbolic of an inward growth, change or grace. The sanskaras refer to the main religious/spiritual purificatory rites and rituals for sanctifying the body and mind, such that growth may be positive, progressive and smooth.
Each sanskara has a particular ritual and puja associated with it. The proper, pious completion of the ritual associated with each sanskara ensures that the crucial lessons of each "rite" are learned and that the next stage of life can be successfully entered.
Mundan at Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh
Mundan (the first hair cut): This sanskara is performed typically during the first or third year of age when the child’s original, first hair growth is shaved, frequently leaving only the shikha on the top/in the back. According to the sages, the hair from birth is associated with undesirable traits from past lives. Thus at the time of the mundan, the child is freshly shaven to signify freedom from the past and moving into It is also said that the shaving of the hair stimulates proper growth of the brain and nerves.
The chudakarana sanskara is also said to bring long life to the recipient and it is performed as a special ceremony in most homes, particularly for young boys.
On the banks of Mother Ganga, in Rishikesh we have a special chadakarana sanskara/mundan ceremony. In this ceremony, the special Vedic mantras and prayers are chanted by trained priests, acharyas and rishikumars. The young child is shaven clean on the banks of Mother Ganga and the hair is then symbolically offered to Mother Ganga. The child and his/her family then perform a sacred yagna ceremony and the divine Ganga Aarti.
Marriage Ceremony at
Parmarth Niketan Ashram Rishikesh
In Hindu tradition, marriage is not only a ceremony, but it is truly a sacrament. It is not a marriage of bodies, but a marriage of souls. It is not a marriage for only a few years or a few decades, but rather it is a marriage for at least 7 lifetimes.
A wedding marks not only a marriage of bodies. Rather it marks a marriage of souls. As the bride and the groom stand beside each other, they are not only taking each other’s hand into their own. They are also taking each other’s hearts and each other’s lives into their own.
In mathematics one plus one equals two. But in spiritual marriage, one plus one equals one! Newlyweds are not two now. They are one. One heart, one mind, one soul. They are united in God, united in love and united in light. But, one plus one can also equal eleven. Coming together does not merely double who you were when you were alone. Now, they are each more than ten times as much!
The beautiful 7 steps of a traditional Indian wedding represent 7 sacred vows. They are vows of dedication, vows of loyalty, vows of devotion and vows of love. However, these steps are not taken only one time. These vows are not taken only on one’s wedding day. Rather, the bride and groom must walk these 7 steps – in their minds and hearts – every day. They must re-pledge themselves, their love and their lives to God and to each other every moment of every day.
On the holy banks of Mother Ganga, at Parmarth Niketan we perform sacred weddings. Different arrangements can be made depending on the couple, their family, their tradition, etc. Weddings are sometimes elaborate and large, sometimes intimate and small, sometimes complex and deeply religious, sometimes simple. But each marriage is sanctified by the power and the presence of the holy Mother Goddess Ganga and the sacred Himalayas, as well as the divine energies of the saints, sages and rishis who have performed their meditation and sadhana in this holy land.
Sacred Thread Ceremony (Janeo Sanskar) at
Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh
Upanayana or yagno pavit (sacred thread ceremony). This is essentially an initiation ritual. The child is initiated into the study of the sacred Vedas. It marks the transition from the infantile stage of play to the serious stage of study and sadhana. The upanayana sanskara typically takes place around the 8th year of a child's life; however, some receive it as early as 5 and some as late as 12. To many, it is regarded as one of the most important sanskaras of childhood. Further, it is considered such an essential sanskara that most traditions concede that, however late it may be, the sanskara should still be performed.
It is said that the sacred thread ceremony marks a new life. The child, traditionally, leaves the family home at this young age to go and live with the Guru on the Guru's ashram or in a gurukul.
Upa means "near to" and Nayan means "to take (him) to", so upanayana is the sanskara of taking the child near to the teacher.
At the sacred thread ceremony, the child enters the brahmacharya stage of his life - a time of celibacy and complete immersion in his studies and spiritual growth.
The three strings of the janoi denote the three gunas - sattva (reality), rajas (passion), and tamas (darkness). Their significance is that the wearer must be above the three gunas, must transcend the bondage of the three qualities of life. They also remind the wearer that he has three debts in life: to the seers, saints & rishis, to his ancestors and to God. The three strings are tied in a knot which is called the brahmagranthi and it symbolizes the united trinity of Brahma (the Creator), Vishnu (the Sustainer) and Shiva (the Destroyer).
The sacred thread ceremony is performed here at Parmarth Niketan quite frequently, and people come from all over the world to have this important sanskara performed on the holy banks of Mother Ganga. The ceremony is conducted and overseen by trained priests, acharyas and rishikumars, and the final, sacred Gayatri mantra is whispered into the child’s ear by Pujya Swamiji.
Janeo Sanskar ceremony of Rishikumars
A young girl, Indu, who had been adopted at Parmarth many years ago was given away as a bride today. It was the first "dharma-kanya" to leave from the ashram into married life. She was given in marriage to a young man named Somesh who had come and worked as a teacher at the boys' gurukul. Together they will continue to serve the ashram and the dharma.
Yoga Courses at Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh
Beginner Foundation Yoga Course
Yogacharyas: Sadhvi Abha Saraswati (Mataji) and Indu
This 10-day foundation Yoga program includes prayers, pranayama, traditional yoga asana, Yoga in the Bhagavad Gita / Vedic Philosophy, Vedic Chanting, Meditation and Yoga Nidra. Each day will conclude with Ganga Puja, Havan, Arti at sunset and meditation/Yoga Nidra after dinner. Please note that there will be no classes on Guru Purnima and Independence Day.
Intensive Yoga Course - Monday, January 4 - Saturday, January 30, 2010
Monday, September 6 - Saturday, October 2, 2010
Yogacharyas: Sadhvi Abha Saraswati (Mataji) and Indu
This 4-week (150 hours) Intensive yoga course includes, prayers, Pranayama, Traditional General and Advanced Hatha Yoga Asana, Yoga in the Bhagavad Gita / Patanjali Yoga Sutras, Vedic Chanting, Yoga Nidra and other meditation techniques. Each day concludes with Ganga Havan and Aarti at sunset, and meditation/Yoga Nidra after dinner.
Yoga Teacher Training with Ayurveda: Monday, 4 January - Saturday, 6 February 2010
Monday, September 6-Saturday, October 9, 2010
Yogacharyas: Sadhvi Abha Saraswati (Mataji) and Indu
This 5-week Parmarth Yoga Program with Ayurveda is designed for yoga teachers in-training and yoga teachers. It is a 200-hour program which includes prayers, Pranayama, traditional general and advanced Hatha Yoga, Yoga in the Bhagavad Gita / Patanjali Yoga Sutras, Ayurved body types, Ayurveda principles, vedic chanting, Yoga Nidra and other meditation techniques. Each day concludes with Ganga Havan and Aarti at sunset and meditation/Yoga Nidra after dinner. There is a 2-week practicum which prospective yoga instructors are expected to complete. This course is only for those who are already teaching yoga, and want to improve, perfect themselves and broaden their perspective as Yoga Teachers.
Yoga Definition, Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh
Yoga is a Sanskrit word derived from the Sanskrit root "yuj" which means to connect, join or balance.
The most important thing, however, is that Yoga - with its entire applications and implications - is a powerful means to an end. The ultimate end of all human pursuits is "Moksha." Moksha is freedom from all bondage; freedom from insecurities; freedom from the clutches of desires; freedom from the sense of limitations and inadequacy; freedom from all that thwarts us on our divine journey in life. In other words, the end of all human pursuits is everlasting peace, happiness and a sense of fulfillment. This is possible with steady and prolonged sincere practice of Yoga. It activates a process of cleansing and purification of mind, which in turn, prepares us for the dawning of Self-knowledge. Yoga means this connection; this knowledge that removes the impurities and the veil of ignorance that keeps us strangers to ourselves.
Yoga should never be mistaken for any other mode of exercise, which is operational only on a physical level.
Yoga is a way of life; it is not removed from it. We do not need to feel disappointed or frustrated considering our limitations with regard to physical health; shape and size of the body; lack of time; lack of space or unavailability of a teacher. Yoga, in fact, is the means to overcome all these problems. Yoga includes every aspect of life. Yoga touches everything in life. All healing methods and meditations are part and parcel of Yoga. Yoga is like the sun itself, which brightens everything that comes into contact with it.
Yoga is usually defined as union: union between the limited self and the Divine Self. The aim of Yoga is not really to unite us with anything for we are already united. It is to help us realize our identity with the Divine Self, to make us know and tune into our intrinsic nature.
There are many definitions of Yoga, which apply to all levels of existence and awareness. At the physical level, we need to harmonize the functions of different organs, muscles and nerves so that they do not hamper or oppose each other. Disharmony in various body parts and systems brings about inefficiency and lethargy or clumsiness. Moreover, it manifests in diseases in the body.
In this context we can define Yoga as physical harmony & health and mental balance & peace.
The Bhagwad Gita, a very widely known classical text on Yoga, gives various definitions of Yoga.
1. Yoga is equanimity of mind in success and failure.
2. Yoga is discretion in work.
3. Yoga is the remover of misery and destroyer of pain.
4. Yoga is the supreme secret of life.
5. Yoga is serenity.
6. Yoga is the giver of infinite happiness. Patañjali, the author of the classical Yoga text, The Yoga Sutras, defines Yoga as, "complete control over patterns or modifications of the mind."
The Structure of Yoga:
The various branches of Yoga could be, for practical purposes, classified into five basic groups:
1. Jnana Yoga: the Yoga committed to inquiry.
2. Karma Yoga: the Yoga committed to selfless service and Dharma.
3. Bhakti Yoga: the Yoga devoted to love and devotion to God.
4. Raja Yoga: the Yoga committed to introspection and contemplation.
5. Hatha Yoga: the Yoga devoted to the discipline of the body and the balance of the mental, physical and subtle forces of the body through the practice of asana and pranayama.
Iyengar Yoga is the name given to the Yoga of those who follow the practice and teachings of Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar, the world's greatest living master of Hatha Yoga. It is Ashtanga Yoga, a practice which embraces the 8 limbs of Yoga (yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi).
The emphasis is on the integrity of practice in asana and pranayama through concentration on alignment, creation of strength and flexibility and availability of the asana and/or pranayama to the practitioner by demonstration, verbal instruction and use of props.
There is an inherent therapeutic aspect as well as a body-mind-breath component in the practice due to this emphasis.
For more information about Parmarth Niketan's Yoga and Meditation, please contact:
Sadhvi Abha Saraswati (Mataji)
Yoga and Meditation Section, Parmarth Niketan
P.O. Swargashram, Rishikesh (Himalayas) 249304, India
Phone: (0135) 2440088, 2440077, 2434301
[from abroad dial +91-135 instead of 0135];
Fax: (0135) 2440066
E-mail: email@example.com (write in subject line: - Enquiry on Yoga and Meditation)
Contact Details of Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh
Parmarth Niketan Ashram
Rishikesh (Himalayas); Uttarakhand-- 249304
Ph: (0135) 243 4301, 243 4302, 09411106604
Fax: (0135) 2440066
On the one hand, the Sivananda Ashram is a physical place, located somewhere with buildings, residents, and offices. On the other hand, it is not a place at all. It is the spiritual expression of the divine mission of its founder, Swami Sivananda. If a natural calamity was to occur, and all the buildings were destroyed and all the residents dispersed, there would still be a Sivananda Ashram. To the extent that people devoted to carrying on his work share Swami Sivananda's vision, to that same extent Sivananda Ashram would continue to exist.
So often people in the Ashram will remark how they still feel the spiritual presence of Swami Sivananda and see his hand in the affairs of the Ashram. They will say, "It is not I who works, but Gurudev who works through me." The residents also feel that it is in this very place that they can be led more firmly to their goal of God-realisation. In this place of selfless service, contemplation and ego-annihilation, is an atmosphere vibrant with the spiritual power that can carry the aspirant to that realisation. Swami Chidanandaji once said in response to a request of an Ashram resident to go elsewhere to do sadhana, "Yes, there may be many other places more suited for good spiritual practice. But if it is God-realisation you want, there is no better place than here."
The Sivananda Ashram is the headquarters and spiritual focal point of a vast worldwide organisation called "The Divine Life Society." The Society encompasses more than 300 branches around the world, as well as individual devotees in India and abroad. At the centre of this vast network of spiritual uplift throughout the world, in the form of the Divine Life Society, stands the Sivananda Ashram as the guiding light. The Ashram is dedicated to the service of all and is itself benefited by the generous donations of the devotees who want to see that service continue. It is in the Ashram that any person interested in the spiritual life, whether a member of the DLS or not, can come and be nurtured by the spirit that pervades this place.
The best way to understand the purpose and objectives of the Divine Life Society is to study the life and teachings of its founder, Swami Sivananda. Once one can clearly see the nature of his divinely inspired personality—the generosity, service, and loving-kindness—one can more easily understand the heart and soul of the organisation that would grow up around him—the Divine Life Society.
Dr. Kuppuswami, the young seeker who would in due course come to be known throughout the world as Swami Sivananda, left his medical work in Malaya in a burst of spiritual renunciation and came as a humble seeker to India. He would eventually find his way to Rishikesh, India in 1924, and there he encountered a wondering monk by the name of Swami Viswananda. They stayed together only a short while, but this swami could recognise the potential in the young doctor. Swami Viswananda offered to initiate Dr. Kuppuswami into the holy order of sannyasa, thereby beginning the life of renunciation and service of the one whose name would henceforth be “Swami Sivananda.” Thus begin a period of some years of extreme austerities, meditation and service to others that would culminate in a spiritual awakening which transformed the already dynamic personality of Swami Sivananda into the a yet higher realm of enlightenment.
After finding simple quarters in Kolghat, and then Brahmananda Ashram near Rishikesh, Swami Sivananda shifted over to the eastern side of the Ganges River to a small place in Laxman Jhula. Swami Sivananda desire to continue his medical service led him to open a small clinic, which came to be known as the Satya Seva Ashram Dispensary. Swamiji performed this service two hours each morning and afternoon, and would continue that work for some years. In the same year of 1924 another small kutir (cottage) became available in Swarg Ashram, (across the Ganges from the present Sivananda Ashram site), and there Swami Sivananda would eventually come to reside for the next ten years. In this period he engaged in extensive meditation, spiritual practices and service to others that set him apart from even the most adept and dedicated monks in the area.
Swami Sivananda never spoke directly to his enlightenment experience, but one would assume that at some time during this period spent in Swarg Ashram (1924-1934) he had a direct experience of the divine which transformed the ardent seeker into the spiritual giant he would become. Word of his spiritual attainments spread, and devotees started coming to him, seeking his teachings and blessings. It became difficult for all the visitors to be accommodated in the limited space provided by Swarg Ashram authorities, and it became clear that some sort of change would be necessary. The decision was made to shift across the Ganges to the western side, and in January 1934 the decisive move was made.
Given the fact that there was no suitable place to stay and no available resources, Swami Sivananda and the people who followed him took up temporary residence in an abandoned cow shed. Later on, the Maharaja of Tehri would become aware of the struggling group of swamis, and he generously gave a parcel of land on which the Ashram would came to be located. Life was obviously very hard and conditions challenging, but surely the joy of being in the presence of a great master was reason enough for the disciples to stay on. In those very early days the early disciples included Swami Swarupananda, Swami Atmananda, and the man who would be one of the pillars of the Ashram in the early days, Swami Paramananda. This core group became the basis out of which grew a circle of devoted followers who would allow the Divine Life Society to develop and flourish.
Gurudev (as Swami Sivananda came to be known by his disciples) was occasionally being invited to come to Punjab and parts of Uttar Pradesh frequently to lead sankirtan (devotional singing) conferences. While returning from one of those conferences with some devotees, Gurudev received the advice that he should register his newly developing ashram in some official capacity. In the grand spirit of “do it now,” Gurudev got off the train at the next station (which happened to be Ambala), and on January 13, 1936 The Divine Life Society Trust was established. The Sivananda Ashram in Rishikesh became the headquarters of the Divine Life Society.
Spiritual Outreach through Books
The very first point in the Aims and Objects of the Divine Life Society is: “To Disseminate Spiritual Knowledge,” and it indeed was the top priority of Gurudev, as he always wanted to share all that he had. After he attained the Supreme, his zeal to share this experience had no bounds; he was committed to the spiritual awakening of all of mankind. He wrote more than 300 books in a very simple and easy-to-understand style, addressing the reader directly as if he were giving personal guidance. He had the knack of bringing the highest knowledge within easy reach of the common man. He never tried to exhibit his scholarship or to impress anyone, but he came easily to the level of the reader. As a result, his inimitable spiritual writings could kindle spiritual awakening in millions of readers all over the world, and inspired them to tread the path of spirituality. In the early days, he had no money to buy a lantern. An empty inkbottle with a wick and kerosene served as a lamp. He had no money to buy paper. He used to collect used envelopes, and cut them on three sides and use the inner side for writing. No handicap was too big for him to overcome. His zeal to spread the spiritual knowledge was simply unstoppable.
Swami Sivananda published his first book in 1929, The Practice of Yoga, Part One, and many others would follow in due time. In order to better support the dissemination of knowledge, the decision was made in 1939 that a Sivananda Publication League be formed, which would facilitate the publication of Gurudev’s many book. The SPL, as it came to be known, continued to expand over the years, and the titles being published came to also include books by Swami Chidananda, Swami Krishnananda, Swami Brahmananda, and other noted senior swamis of the Divine Life Society. The SPL maintains at present an on-going catalogue of 150 titles for sale in India and around the world, many of which are printed at the Sivananda Ashram itself. (A large number of books are available in e-format on this web site, in the “Reading Room” link.)
Given the fact that it was often difficult to get the books printed as quickly and cheaply as possible, the Society took steps to acquire a printing press of its own and organise the work of bringing out the books. As a result, the Yoga Vedanta Forest Academy Press was established in 1951 and an old Chandler and Price printing press was installed. (It would be another two years before the Ashram had electricity, so in the early years the press was operated by foot treadle!) Swami Dayanandaji and Sri Narasimhuluji were the driving forces behind the press for over 35 years, and through their untiring service the publishing and printing of Gurudev’s books continued at full strength. Along with the publication of books, the decision was made to make a monthly spiritual periodical available to the general public, and in 1938 the first copy of “The Divine Life” magazine was printed and sent to devotees. The magazine is now in its 66th year of publication. A Hindi-language version, “Divya Jivan,” is also available. Both journals contain articles on Yoga philosophy, religion, spiritual practice as well as practical spiritual advice and guidance.
Swami Sivananda’s heart was so large, and no human problem or requirement was neglected. Early on Gurudev had been interested in medical outreach and as the Divine Life Society and the Sivananda Ashram expanded, so did the service to those in need of health care. Following on the heels of the early dispensary, a hospital was set up in 1950 in the Sivananda Ashram itself for use by all, with no fees being charged for either the medical assistance or the medicines. The Hospital has grown to have a 30-bed ward, operation theatre, pharmacy, X-ray unit, laboratory, gynaecological services, and outpatient and in-patient care by three senior doctors, along with other attending physicians. At present, over 500 patients are treated on average each day. One could not refer to the hospital without also mentioning the name of revered Dr. Devaki Kutty, who served the Ashram for many years in numerous capacities, but she was primarily known for her work as a renowned gynaecologist and hospital administrator.
What is more, an Ayurvedic Pharmacy was opened in 1945 as well as an Eye Clinic in 1956. Later on the significant needs of the poorest of the poor in the local area were answered through the establishing of Sivananda Home—a hospital and treatment centre for destitute and abandoned persons, leprosy patients, along with persons needing treatment for TB and AIDS. Along with the out-patient treatment, the Sivananda Home houses about 50 patients who have not other place to turn. The Divine Life Society also has four centres exclusively for the treatment of leprosy, two of which have their expenses borne entirely by the Society, and two others that are funded independently. In addition, the Society provides funding for a Leprosy Centre in the state of Orissa, as well as medical treatment and food for outpatient leprosy victims through the Laxman Jhula Leprosy clinic.
The Divine Life Society has been active in all sorts of charitable service, certainly too many to mention in this short article; nevertheless one would have to take note of the tremendous devotion of service to humanity that has come in so many forms. There would be the scholarships for needy students given each year to worthy recipients; the disaster relief funds which are sent out to persons in dire need; the free distribution of food at each meal for anyone who asks; free tuition, room, board and instruction for two month academy courses offered at the Yoga Vedanta Forest Academy at the DLS headquarters; for visitors who come from all over India and the world, and who can stay in the Ashram and be fed in the Ashram without charge; the literature—books, pamphlets, magazines, etc.—that are distributed to thousands at no cost, the outreach and service of all the branches throughout India and the world….All of these form only a bare outline of what actually takes place. Suffice it to say that even now the generous spirit of Swami Sivananda is being served.
Ashram Site and its Growth
The headquarters of the Divine Life Society are at the Sivananda Ashram in Rishikesh in northern India, on the banks of the Ganges River. The Ashram started off in such a small way, with only a few buildings or departments. In the early days of the Ashram, there were only a few buildings right along the river, where Gurudev and the people who had come to take refuse with him took shelter. A rudimentary kitchen and some living quarters were constructed to begin with, and later as funds were donated by devotees, more buildings were constructed in a piecemeal fashion. In 1940, six rooms were thus constructed and given the name Yoga Sadhana Kutir. Ananda Kutir, the nucleus of all the activities in the Ashram, was then constructed with donations from devotees.
The decision was made to construct a place of worship, and soon contributions started pouring in; the Bhajan Hall was formally opened on 2nd April 1942. For a good many years, many of the major spiritual activities – the daily satang, spiritual retreats, special pujas and functions—were held in Bhajan Hall. On December 3, 1943 a 24 hours a day, seven days a week chanting of the ‘mahamantra’ for world peace began in the Bhajan Hall, and this chanting has continued unbroken for 60 years up until the present day. In 1958, directly beside the Bhajan Hall, the Sivananda Pillar was constructed, on which the ‘Twenty Spiritual Instructions’ as well as sayings from all the world religions are inscribed.
The area which is now Sivananda Ashram was originally all jungle which had many bael trees. No one really ventured into this area, and it was totally secluded, and as a result Gurudev chose a spot in the midst of these bael trees for his sadhana and meditation that he felt was especially holy. In time it was decided to construct the Ashram temple in that very place. Devotees in Calcutta raised the necessary funds, and the Viswanath Temple was formally consecrated on 31st December 1943. It is interesting to note that Sri Sridhar Rao (Swami Chidanandaji, later President of the Divine Life Society) was appointed as the first pujari of the temple. The temple was greatly expanded in a building project undertaken to coincide with Gurudev’s Centennial Celebration in 1987.
Many more devotees started coming to the Ashram along with a big boost to the activities, and additional funds started flowing in. So, many more buildings came up – Silver Jubilee Kutir, Lakshmi Kutir, the Yoga Vedanta Forest Academy, Parvati Kutir, Vaikuntha Dham, Diamond Jubilee Hall, Ganga Kutir, Siva Kutir, and the Ganga Ghat and steps. Later on in 1976 a Library was constructed which currently contains 19,000 donated volumes. In 2001 an Audio-Visual Library was opened, which has videos, VCD’s, CD’s, audio cassettes and archived films on video for use by visitors. Affixed to the Audio-Video Library and opened in the same year is a photography restoration lab which is preserving and publishing old photographs of Swami Sivananda and the Sivananda Ashram. Just recently, a new Yoga Hall as well as a spacious bookstall for the Sivananda Publication Leauge were opened down on the Ganges bank beside the Post Office.
In the 1976 a large Dining Hall facility was built which can feed over 300 persons at a time. In that same period the present gathering place for satsang and most large festivals and celebrations, the Samadhi Mandir, was completed. It includes a large assembly hall as well as the Samadhi Shrine which contains the memorial to Swami Sivananda, which had been constructed shortly after his mahasamadhi (death of the body) in 1963. Extensive expansion was undertaken to accommodate the growing number of visitors. In the early 1980s the two blocks of Govardhan Dham were built on Dattatreya Hill above the main Ashram complex, and in the early 1990s the two blocks of Ishwar Bhavan were constructed on the Mt. Kailash Hill.
Divine Life Society Administration
Swami Sivananda seemed to be an unstoppable force of energy; he was writing 300 books, running a spiritual institution and directing the work of the sadhaks and seekers living there, as well as carrying on a constant correspondence with people all over the world and caring for the spiritual needs of all those who took refuge with him. His advent on this earth came to an end in 1963, and others came forward to carry on his legacy. First and foremost is Sri Swami Chidanandaji who was made President of the DLS in 1963 and who has remained in that post up until the present day. It would however not be fitting to mention him only in his capacity as administrative head. He is a saint of the highest attainment whose life and work have inspired thousands and thousands of people. Swamiji has worked tirelessly both in India and in many trips abroad to continue to propagate Gurudev’s message.
Another of the brightest lights of the Divine Life Society has been Sri Swami Krishnanandaji who was General Secretary of the DLS from 1961 up until his mahasamadhi (passing away) in 2001. Once again, we should not just limit such a person to an administrative position. He was a saint and philosopher whose books indicate the depth of his intellectual knowledge and spiritual attainment. But there were other—too many to name really—but one deserves special mention: Swami Venkatesananda. He was sent by Gurudev to South Africa, Mauritius and Australia to teach and carry on the DLS mission. Swami Venkatesananda’s books are simply a delight to read, filled as they are with wit, wisdom and exceptional insight. He was a true beacon in Gurudev’s mission, who served for many years before his mahasamadhi in 1982.
The Ashram headquarters in Rishikesh has 37 departments rendering service in various ways. In addition to the hospital, SPL, and the press mentioned earlier, some of the more prominent departments would be the mandir department which is responsible for worships and pujas, the Annapurna Annakshetra (dining hall), pharmacy section for distribution of free medicines, the magazine section for organizing and posting of the DLS magazine, construction department, and the reception department which is in charge of accommodations for the thousands of guests who visit the Ashram/headquarters each year.
Gurdev felt that people should have a chance for satsang and service in their own communities; hence the idea came of opening branches that were affiliated with the DLS headquarters. The work of the DLS is then continued through the effort of numerous branches located throughout India and the world. There are presently over 300 branches in India, a large proportion of which are located in Orissa state, along with numerous branches abroad—in the U.K., the USA, France, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Italy, Spain, Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Mauritius, and Australia—to name a few.
HOW THE DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY WAS BORN
By Swami Paramananda
Many are curious to know when Sri Swamiji wrote his first book, how he was able to establish his second-to-none Divine Life Society within a few years of his coming to Rishikesh.
The first book that was written and published by Swami Sivananda is his master-piece Practice of Yoga. The year was 1929. That, as all of you know, is an excellent book. I had the opportunity to see a 'deluxe' edition copy of the book at the Connemera Library in Madras. The book was priced as low as rupees two only. Even in those early days of Sannyasa life, when it was very difficult for him to procure money, Sri Swamiji brought out costly editions of books for supplying free of charge to all public libraries and poor aspirants who would treasure them. For those of ordinary means there were cheap editions priced very low. Incidentally, it also happens to be the book that brought me so close to him. That much regarding his first book.
The Divine Life Society, if I can say, was virtually born the very moment Sri Swamiji stepped into Rishikesh, i.e., in 1923. What he started that day, he is still continuing now.
He would go to every Mahatma living around him, fetch them water from the Ganges, attend to their needs and serve them to their satisfaction without their asking. I have seen Sri Swamiji doing the very same thing even while at Swargashram (i.e., from 1930 onwards when I first met him). On one occasion when I stepped into his Kutia (hermitage) to attend to his need, I remember Sri Swamiji asking me to serve all other Mahatmas living, washing their clothes, sweeping their kutias and so on. On another occasion, he told me that I should always look out for opportunities to serve others in any capacity. He would insist on keeping a small handkerchief in our pockets so that we might clean the shoes of the Mahatmas and Yatris while they were at Satsang, without their knowledge. Such is his zeal and enthusiasm for serving the Virat Swaroopa (cosmic manifestation) of the Lord.
As he put into action his love for service in the year 1923 in Rishikesh, the seed for the Divine Life Society was sown. He watered it with the nectarine stream of cosmic love and selfless service and in the next year a tender plant sprouted forth and was christened 'Satya Sevashram'; it was a charitable medical dispensary to cater to the needs of the ailing Mahatmas and pilgrims. It functioned as a mobile clinic also. This happened (in 1926) after Sri Swamiji moved from Rishikesh to Lakshmanjhula.
Indeed the seed should have been a divine one; for, now the tender plant grew into a nice little tree when Sri Swamiji shifted his Kutia from Lakshmanjhula to Swargashram. That was somewhere in 1929. 'Satya Sevashram' paved the way for 'Swargashram Sadhu Sangh' but the former's motto remained the same, that is, practising cosmic love and selfless service.
All the time, even though Sri Swamiji was busying himself with writing books, he was touring many places holding Satsang and Sankirtan. All this formed part of the Society's work. The work was continued with renewed vigour and enthusiasm at every step. Swamiji travelled from Mount Kailas in Tibet, to Rameswaram in the southern tip of Deccan, and from Srinagar in Kashmir, to Gangasagar in the Bay of Bengal.
In the mean time, he had settled at the present site of Ananda Kutir (in 1934). After a while, in the year 1936, when the little tree of 'Swargashram Sadhu Sangh' had firmly rooted itself and grown into a full-size tree, it brought into existence the Divine Life Society. As you know it better now, this divine tree is every day shooting forth a new branch bringing into existence new centres of Divine Life, far and near. Every day, it brings forth immortal, unfading, pleasant smelling flowers in the form of ideal selfless workers. And the fruits of this divine tree are but the immortal happiness.
And so, as you have seen, the Divine Life Society really came into existence in the year 1923, even though it assumed its present name in 1936.
About 'The Divine Life Society'
The Divine Life Society is a shining example of the creative aspect of the Divinity within man. It is a remarkable achievement of the Founder, His Holiness Sri Swami Sivananda, who from the year 1936, has built up the wonderful mansion of 'Divine Life' brick by brick, on the firm foundations of purity, integrity, nobility and magnanimity. The ideals of the Society are lofty, most practicable and within the reach of every human being, irrespective of position, caste, colour, country and creed.
The Institution caters to the cultural needs of all ranks of people, to whatever class they may belong. Each one can tap whatever suits him the best according to his stature and intellectual or spiritual attainments.
The holy river Ganga flows by the side of the Ashram, coming down from the icy regions of the Himalayas, carrying with her the message of seers and sages of the past and the present, thus in a way keeping intact the connect
About Yoga Niketan
India has forgoten the traditions of Yoga. Even the name of Sage Patanjali was known only in the small circles of scholars. The philosophy of Yoga was studied by persons who wanted to specialize in the six schools of Philosophy. The Yoga of Patanjali is an important part of Philosophy. But it was studied not for practice but for the acquisition of learning. In the present age the practical yogis are extremely rare but Swami Yogeshwaranand Saraswati has revived the ancient yogic system and given it a new direction.
Yoga Niketan Trust was foundecd by Swami Yogeshwaranand Paramahans. He was the master of Raj Yoga & he is the only Indian so far who had been granted Honorary Presidentship of International League of Yoga under the Auspitious of UNESCO, he had practically performed & demonstrated the power of yoga by stopping his heart & again restarting the same, when he demonstrated at Japan and he was closely supervised ay the medical fraternity, who confirmed the power of yoga when all the machines attached to his body stopped, (when he stopped his heartbeat) & revive after sometime. Impressed by the power of Yoga Mr.K.Kimura a Billionair in Japan became his disciple who at present is running 30 branches in the whole of Japan under the name of Japan Yoga Niketan.
In Holland there is an independent branch of Yoga Niketan, run by Mertens Luciew popularly known as Atma Muni.
Swami Yogeshwaranand Paramahans was one of the greatest Yogis of the 20th century. He lived the life of extreme renunciation and austerity mostly in the Himalayas practicing all that is laid down in the scriptures for the realization of soul and God and spent a life time in reviving the ancient science of Yoga.
Swami Yogeshwaranand Parmahans formerly known as Brahmachari Vyas Dev ji, left his home of his well-to-do parents at a tender age of twelve, like Buddha, in search of knowledge and self-realization. The young Brahmachari spent the early years of his life in the study of Sanskrit language and mastering the scriptural lore. He then followed the path of ancient rishis of Himalayas and practiced the most difficult tapasya and Yogic Sadhana while continuing the search of real guru who could lead him to the final goal. He came across a number of ascetics about whom one reads only in the scriptures but his search for a real guru was rewarded with the meeting of a great ascetic, yogi Paramananda Avadhoot, who helped him in perfecting shunya (void) samadhi. Later, his search for a great yogi came to an end only when he met Avadhoot Swami Atmanand ji (who had then returned from Tibet) in a cave near Gangotri (in Himalayas) from whom he learnt Samprajnata samadhi and perception of various processes of nature in the state of samadhi, the ultimate divine knowledge.
The various events of his life in the Himalayas with the great ascetics and the practice of higher yoga are far stranger than fiction. Some of them are even unbelievable for those who are not conversant with the power of yoga. One of the events of the great yogi's life is described in his own words as "He placed his racious hand on my head. My eyes closed and I attained some unknown state. My body was illuminated as if by electric light. This light filled the entire body and revealed all its inner states, of subtle processes."
By constant and dedicated practice of meditation he experienced various types of Samadhis, some of them lasting for several weeks which culminated in his gaining knowledge of self-realization, origin and dissolution of cosmos and the goal of human existence. Having satisfied his thirst for the ultimate divine knowledge, he spent the rest of his life imparting the valuable knowledge to hundreds of thousands of keen aspirants of all faiths from many countries of the world. He travelled widly out of India.
He merged in Brahma on April 23, 1985 at the age of ninety-nine. The esoteric knowledge which used to pass from guru to disciple through personal relationship and which sometimes required not only a whole lifetime but several lives, was set down, at the behest of his guru, in his books. Some day, when the top scientists of the world pay the attention it deserves, to this subtlest of subtle sciences, these books will give all the basic material for their research and cause a stir in the world of science. At present, these books are helping keen aspirants everywhere to achieve their ultimate goal of realization of soul and God.
Little bit above the main Badrinath road completely free from noise or pollution and full of greenery throughout. Spread in more than 7 acres, having various types of flowers, fruits & medicinal plants. Person can walkup from main Badrinath road, while from the back, Laxman Jhulla by pass road it is approachable by first class road & all type of vehicle can go & park in the ashram. Majority of the students are from the different parts of the world & different nationality. The mode of education is English & Hindi.
Sadhna Hall or the meditation hall, has got room cooler as well as air conditioner for the comfort of the students, to enable them to practice meditation quite comfortably. It can accommodate upto 100 students. Cushions are provided to sit upon. Meditation and sadhana class are held early morning before yoga class and in the evening after yoga class & followed by dinner.
Yoga Hall cum Samadhi hall is exclusively used morning and evening for Asanas and Pranayams, Kriyas are done once a week & there is a big platform outside the hall for the same. Inside yoga hall room coolers are provided for comfortable practice during all seasons. There are two classes in a day, one the morning as well as in the evening, classes are taken by experienced teachers under the guidance of Yoga Acharya and one of the trustees Swami Vigayanandji. Ashram has got a publication named "First Step to Higher Yoga" which depicts all the asanas (nearly 300), freely illustrated and details of benefits to specific part of the body. In the side of the yoga hall Tomb of Founder President whose body was laid to rest in meditation position & buried their after his death. There is a marble statue of the founder at that spot.
Library is well stocked of spiritual Literature of well known writers in different language, some of the publication have been translated to foreign languages as well.
Ashram has a community Kitchen where food is prepared free from all type of spices and chilles. Different variety of breakfast are prepared mainly of porridge and tea. In food, Indian Chappati (bread), Rice, One type of pulse one type of green vegetable and green salad is served. Every student is provided with proper dishes which they have to clean themselves, during their stay in the ashram. At times sesonal fruit is also served.
On the main Badrinath Road, Ashram has got one temple, which any body can visit. By the side of the temple on the bank of Ganges, 20 room guest house is run commercially i.e. donation, it is equal to three star hotel having facilities of canteen & telephone in each room. Person staying in the guest house can go downstairs, have a dip in the Holy Ganga and come back in his/her room. There is enough parking space available in the guest house. Round the clock security system is their in the Guest House as well as in the temple. 24 Hrs electricity & water supply is also available.
Pickup & Drop Facility
Yoga Niketan Ashram also provides its devotees, facility of pickup and drop from Railway Station, Airport and from nearby places.
The education is based totally in Patanjali yoga shastra. The main activity of the Ashram is to train and provide guidance in the practice of Patanjali's eight fold paths. This includes physical, mental and spiritual training. The admission to the courses is open to all without any discrimination of caste, creed or Nationality. Minimum stay required is 15 days, aspirants (students) having shorter period can stay in the Ashram guest house and avail the facility of attending classes in the ashram. On holidays, when there is no class, all the inmates/Sadhaks may visit our Radha-Krishna Temple at Ganga Ghat at the time of Aarti, if so desired, and clean Yoga Hall and Meditation Hall. Majority of the students are from the different parts of the world & different nationality. The mode of education is English & Hindi.
Yoga Niketan Trust
P.O. Shivanand Nagar, Pin-249192
Rishikesh, Utaranchal, India
Phone: 91-0135-2430227, 2435072
E-Mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Yoga Niketan Trust
30-A, Road 78, Punjabi Bagh (West)
New Delhi-110026 India
Phone: 011-25194192, 25912059
E-Mail : email@example.com
Vedanta or Swami Dayanand Ashram
Dayananda Ashram Rishikesh is situated on the banks of the Holy Ganga, away from the major tourist attractions. It is a unique centre for the study of Vedanta and Sanskrit; unique in the sense that the classes are conducted in English yet the adherence and reverence to the ancient tradition of teaching (Sampradaya) is total. There is a temple dedicated to Lord Siva as Gangadharesvara facing the Ganga. The main lecture hall also faces the Ganga. There is a library with more than 5000 titles on various subjects, i.e. Vedanta, Sanskrit Grammar, Indian and western philosphies, Religion and Yoga. There is also a Yoga studio where Iyengar Yoga camps are conducted and daily Yoga classes can be joined by residents and visitors.
The ashram was established during the 1960s by Swami Dayananda Saraswati, who is an internationally recognised teacher of Vedanta and foremost scholar of Sanskrit. Swamiji and his disciples conduct regular residential courses at the ashram with the focus on Bhagavad Gita and the ten principal Upanishads as commented upon by Adi Shankaracharya. These and selected ancillary texts are analysed and taught along with Sanskrit grammar in the Paninian style. Vedic chanting is also taught during courses.
In addition, throughout the year, a resident acharya holds daily discourses on the Upanishads, incorporating analytical examination of Adi Shankaracharya's commentaries.
Dayananda Ashram is the parent Vedanta institute of the Arsha Vidya Gurukulam group, established by Swami Dayananda. Known as Arsha Vidya Pitham it means a centre of learning based on the teaching of the ancient rishis.
Swami Dayananda Saraswati
Swami Dayananda Saraswati is a contemporary teacher of Vedanta and a scholar in Sanskrit in the tradition of Sankara. Swamiji has been teaching Vedanta in India for more than five decades and around the world since 1976. His deep scholarship and assimilation of Vedanta combined with a subtle appreciation of contemporary problems make him that rare teacher who can reach both traditional and modern students.
A teacher of teachers, Swami Dayananda taught six resident in-depth Vedanta courses, each spanning 30 to 36 months. Four of them were conducted in India and two in the United States. Each course graduated about 60 qualified teachers, who are now teaching throughout India and abroad. Under his guidance, various centers for teaching of Vedanta have been founded around the world; among these, there are three primary centers in India at Rishikesh, Coimbatore, Nagpur and one in the U.S. at Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania. There are more than one hundred centers in India and abroad that carry on the same tradition of Vedantic teaching.
In addition to teaching, Swami Dayananda has initiated and supported various humanitarian efforts for the last forty-five years. The most far-reaching of these is the establishment of All India Movement for Seva in 2000. Awarded consultative status with ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council) by the United Nations in 2005, this organization is devoted to serving people in the remote areas of India, mainly in the field of Education and Health Care.
Swami Dayananda Saraswati has also promoted several international events and participated as a speaker in several global forums, among which are: the United Nations gathering of NGO's, the UNESCO Seoul Global Convention, the United Nations 50th Anniversary Celebration, the Millennium World Peace Summit, the International Congress for the Preservation of Religious Diversity, the Conference on the Preservation of Sacred Sites, the World Council for Preservation of Religious Diversity, the Youth Peace Summit, the Global Peace Initiative of Women Religious and Spiritual Leaders, a Hindu-Christian dialogue with the World Council of Churches, and the Hindu-Jewish Leadership Summit.
Arsha Vidya Pitham
(Swami Dayananda Ashram)
P.B.No:30, Purani Jhadi
Rishikesh - 249 201
|Telephone:||(ISD Code: 0091)(STD Code: 0135) 2430769, 2431769
|Fax:||(ISD Code: 0091)(STD Code: 0135) 2430769
Vanamali Gita Ashram
Vanamali Gita Yogashram is a small ashram (spiritual retreat and place of aspiration.) nestling at the foot of the Himalayas beside the beautiful river Ganga in the holy city of Rishikesh, North India. Vanamali is another name for Lord Krishna, who is the Lord and Master of Vanamali Ashram.
Vanmali has published quite a few books- "Sri Krishna Lila” which is on the life of Lord Krishna, (published as “The Play of God” in US), "Sri Rama Lila" (published as "Song of Rama" in US), “Nitya Yoga: The Yoga of Constant Communion," a book of essays on the Srimad Bhagavad Gita, and a translation with transliteration of the actual text of the Bhagavad Gita and a book on sattvic, vegetarian cooking. the natural way, called The Taste Divine.” (Please see the Ashram store for the full range of Vanamali publications.) The Ashram is also distributing a CD of original sacred verse
“Vanamali Love Songs”
Apart from its spiritual activities, the ashram also does service to the poor people of the village. About 150 of the village children have been adopted by the Ashram and are given clothes, food and help in education. The ashram has started a project to provide small cottages for very poor and
deserving families of the village. Phone number of Vanmali Ashram is (0135) 243 1316.
Gita Bhawan is situated at Swargashram, Rishikesh. It consists of a very large complex comprising discourse halls and over 1000 rooms available free of charge for the stay of devotees. Regular discourses are organised. A large number of devotees visit and stay here for holy Ganges dip, listening to discourses and sadhana & meditation. During the summer months (end -April to early-July), day-long special Satsang programs are arranged and devotees flock in thousands to attend it.
For the convenience of the devotees, simple vegetarian food, kitchen & grocery items and Indian sweets are available at very moderate price. Other conveniences include Laxmi-Narayan Tample, free ferry boat service, Gita Press book shop, cloth shop, Ayurvedic department, etc. Saints are provided free food and cloth.
In the Ayurvedic department, medicines are prepared according to scriptures from Himalayan herbs using Ganges water. They are distributed by the free dispensary and are available for sale also.
The ancient Banyan tree within the complex deserves mention. It has been a site for penance of various saints like Swami Ramtirth. Presently, the tree and the surrounding woods on the banks of the Ganges, offer many quiet and peaceful spots for sadhana and meditation. Two well-built bathing-ghats in front of Gita Bhawan 1 and 3 provide young and old, the opportunity for a holy dip in the Ganges.
For more information please contact -
Gangapar, P.O. - Swargashram,
Rishikesh - 249304 (Uttaranchal)
Ph : +91-135-2430122, 2432792
Dharamshalas in Rishikesh
|Ashram||Phone No. (STD: 0135)
|Gurudwara Hemkund Sahib, Muni ki Reti||243 0229
|Bhajan Ashram, Ghat Road||243 0059
|Bharat Mandir, Purana Bazaar||243 0053
|Baba Kali Kamli Wala, Kshetra Road||243 0006
|Punjab Singh Kshetra, Kshetra Road||243 0847
|Manbhari Ashram, Sabzi Mandi||Mob.: 97197-22128
|Gujrati Dharamshala, Ghat Road||243 7879
|Asha Mai Dharamshala, Haridwar Road||243 2388
|Dilli Wali Dharamshala||243 6715
|Sindhi Dharamshala, Ghat Road||243 0398
|Aggarwal Dharamshala, Railway Road||243 1604
|Bhagwan Ashram, Haridwar Road||243 1930
Hospitals in Rishikesh
|Ashram||Phone No. (STD: 0135)
|Gita Bhawan Ayurvedic Chikitsalaya, Swargashram||243 0122
|Parmarth Niketan Yog Natural Medicine Centre, Swargashram||243 4305
|Public Hospital, Dehradun Road||243 0402
|Nirmal Ashram Hospital, Maya Kund||243 0015, 243 0942
|Himalayan Institute and Hospital, Jolly Grant||241 2081, 241 2083
|Shivanand Ashram Hospital, Shivanand Nagar, Muni ki Reti||243 0740