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Sri Aurobindo Ashram
The Ashram was founded in 1926,the ashram community consists of about 2000 people.This dynamic community reflects the life-affirming aim of Sri Aurobindo's yoga.Work as an offering to the divine is the essential part of this yoga and all ashram inmates do productive work each day in one of their several departments.
Sri Aurobindo was once part of India's freedom movement and later become one of the most influential spiritual leaders in the country.His greatest disciple was Mirra Alfassa , a French citizen who later became the founder of the ashram under the guidance of Sri Aurobindo himself.She later came to be known as 'the mother' by the disciples of the ashram.
Sri Aurobindo Ashram
The Ashram was established in 1926 by Sri Aurobindo, a revolutionary, poet, philosopher, and Yogi, and his chief disciple and lifelong French companion, Mirra Alfassa ("The Mother").
The Ashram is a spiritual center for the practice of Integral Yoga and is the major draw in Pondicherry. It is one of the most popular Ashrams in India for Westerners. It is also considered one of the most affluent.
Various ashram buildings, workshops, shops, and guesthouses are all around town. You can recognize the buildings by the pale grey color highlighted with white.
Be sure to see the stone samadhi (tomb) of Surobindo and The Mother located in the central courtyard of the main building.
Across from the main ashram building on Rue de la Marine is the educational center. The center is stocked with books in almost every language. Upcoming events held at the center including films, plays, and lectures, are posted on the ashram's notice board.
Entrance to the ashram is free, although donations may be collected. Hours are from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Children under 3 are not admitted.
Check the website for information on inexpensive ashram accommodation and dining options.
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Aurobindo Ashram - extremely peaceful!!
One needs to maintain pin drop silence inside the ashram. The area around the samadhi of Sri Aurobindo allows visitors to sit and pray/meditate or just absorb the deafening silence.
There is also a library inside from where you can buy books on a number of topics including meditation, spirituality, history etc.
The visiting hours for the visitors are from 8 am to 12 noon and then again from 2 pm to 6 pm.
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Sri Aurobindo Ashram
Founded in 1926, the Sri Aurobindo Ashram has grown from a small group of two dozen disciples into a large diversified community with almost 1200 members. Counting the 400 students of the Centre of Education and the hundreds of devotees who live nearby, the larger ashram community consists of more than 2000 people.
Situated in a busy city of over 700,000 people, the Ashram is not a quiet place of retreat but a vibrant centre of life in a modern urban setting. The dynamic character of the community reflects the life-affirming aim of Sri Aurobindo's Yoga. Work as an offering to the Divine is an essential aspect of the Yoga, and all Ashramites do a certain amount of productive work each day in one or another of the Ashram's departments.
In the sadhana or spiritual discipline at the Ashram, there are no obligatory practices, no rituals, no compulsory meditations or systematic instructions in Yoga. You are left free to determine the course and pace of your sadhana in accordance with your own natures. But the general principle of the sadhana is the same for all: there must be a surrender to the Divine and an opening to the Divine Force so that it may work to transform one's being.
The Ashram is located in the eastern part of Pondicherry. Ashramites live and work in a large number of buildings spread throughout the area. The focus of community life is the Ashram main building, usually called simply "the Ashram", which consists of an interconnected block of houses, including those in which Sri Aurobindo and the Mother lived for most of their lives. At its centre, in a tree-shaded courtyard, lies the Samadhi, a white-marble shrine where their bodies are laid to rest.
The Ashram provides its members with all they need for a decent and healthy life. Various departments have been organised to look after the basic requirements of food, clothing and shelter, as well as medical care. There are also libraries for study and facilities for a variety of cultural pursuits. The Ashram is administered by the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust.
Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry
The main reason to travel to Pondicherry (Puducherry), is to visit or to stay in the experimental city of Auroville, what I did during three days.
But the town of Pondicherry has also very interesting places to spend one day or two visiting them, being the most important the ashram sheltering the tomb of Sri Aurobindo, a mystic, yogi, poet and also politician writing articles against the British rule, for which the British put him in jail for one year, and when he was released he took refuge in Pondicherry, a French territory, where he felt safe from arrest by the British.
It was in that French city that he met the Mother (Mirra Alfassa), or a French disciple and spiritual companion, who is also buried together with him. The Mother was the founder of Auroville in 1968.
During one day I saw the French Consulate, the monument devoted to Gandhi, and especially the ashram with the two tombs (Sri Aurobindo and the Mother), where taking pictures was forbidden. There were also several exotic market in Pondicherry, a catholic cathedral, several Hindu temples built in Tamil style, and, let us say, a sort of Mediterranean atmosphere in the beaches. I even heard people speaking French in the streets and bakeries selling delicious French croissants.
After Pondicherry I travelled to Madras (Chennai) to pilgrimage to the holiest places where Saint Thomas (Jesus’ Apostle) lived, but before I made a stop of a few hours in Mamallapuram to revisit its UNESCO wonders.
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Sri Aurobindo Ashram
I can only give the vision of a casual traveller who despite being prepared by reading about the life of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, his wife, his achievements, his Ashram, his Integral Yoga, their social work ... , got a big surprise when visiting the Ashram and I saw in the garden the people with great devotion and respect meditating, praying ... under the shade of the frangipani in front of the white marble tombs in where both were resting and the people offering them flowers
Sólo puedo dar la visión de un viajero ocasional, que a pesar de haberse preparado leyendo sobre la vida de Sri Aurobindo y de su mujer la Madre, de sus logros, de su Ashram, de su Yoga Integral, de su labor social..., se llevó una gran sorpresa al visitar el Ashram y ver a la gente que con una gran devoción y respeto estaban en el jardín meditando, rezando... bajo la sombra de los franchipanes ante las blancas tumbas de mármol en las que descansan los dos y allí les ofrecían flores
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