Sadhana Sangama Trust


The touch of the first rays of the morning sun amidst the soothing chirping of birds and cool breeze wakes one up to yet another day of a beautiful journey called life. An Ashram greets one with such a relaxed and peaceful rise in the morning, every day.

There are so many places on earth where such mornings can be witnessed. Yet, what makes an Ashram different?

It is the presence of a Sadhguru that makes all the difference, to the place as well as to our lives. A Sadhguru is ‘Consciousness’ itself devoid of subject-object relativity. This ‘Consciousness’ is also an uninterrupted, uncorrupt awareness.

The purpose of life, for one and all is and should be to evolve to that state of ‘Consciousness’. Where to begin and how to go about it?

There are pioneers in this realm who are capable of guiding those who are keen and determined in this pursuit of evolution. The one who guides is called a ‘Guru’ and the one who is willing to be guided is called a ‘Shishya – follower’. The place where this learning happens is called an ‘Ashrama’.

With this background, one can get an understanding of what life will be in an Ashrama. Yes, it is a learning centre where one commits oneself to learning and discipline that are needed for evolution. This is a process and it happens through every action that one performs in the Ashrama. I’m at awe when I realise how meticulously our Sages have evolved the techniques to help a seeker!! Because, just through all the mundane activities that we are engaged in, for our self-preservation, they guide us to evolve to that state of ‘Consciousness’, without introducing anything new or alien to us.

The primary learning in an Ashrama is ‘de-learning’ and re-learning’. The actions that we perform remain the same and appear the same, outside. All that happens, happens inside

In an Ashrama also, you breath, you sleep, you eat, you work and you do your spiritual practices etc., The activities that we do every day can be made spiritual if done with awareness and the proper way in which it has to be done. In an Ashrama, one learns the proper way of breathing, sitting, eating, thinking, focussing, relating, communicating, and the list goes on. When one is ready for the higher practices, the Sadhguru gently guides the aspirant to experience higher levels of consciousness, ultimately leading to Samadhi.

Ashrama is not confined to a physical space alone, for it is also a state of mind. When the mind commits itself to self-study in order to evolve, your body becomes your Ashrama. Whatever transformation happens, it happens inside and not outside. Even your Guru is inside you and not outside. Therefore, whenever you remember the purpose of your life and organise your life and its activities in line with that purpose, you are an Ashramite living in the Ashrama.

By the above, it is not suggested that one doesn’t need a physical Guru for guidance. The necessity of a physical Guru is vital in the path and process of evolution. Because Guru is the one who is going to protect and guide till the time one meets the Guru within.

The Ashrama, as a physical entity, is like Pratimopasana. Just as we see divinity in the form of a Pratima (image). Even though Ashrama can be referred to as a state of mind, the need and relevance of an Ashrama in the form of physical space cannot be done away with, for the seekers will be at different stages of evolution and the environment makes a huge difference in the evolution of a seeker.

In conclusion, the life in an Ashrama is designed to guide one continuously towards the purpose of life. The Guru achieves this by imparting the knowledge that is necessary which are svadhyaya (self-study) through Shravana (listening), Manana (contemplation) and Nidhidhyasana (practice), pranayama, dhyana (meditation), asanas, relaxation, among others. An Ashrama is a place that guarantees protection and evolution. Life in an Ashrama is, definitely, enlightening.

Shree Guru CharanArpanamasthu.

(offered at the Lotus Feet of the revered Guru)

N. Narayanan

Sadhaka and Ashramite

Swami Rama Sadhana Dhama (SRSD)

8 responses to “AN ASHRAM LIFE OF A SADHAKA”

  1. N Narayanan says:

    @Dr Ashok Bhatt
    Sir, Namaskaram.
    1. Experiencing ashram at home.
    Home is a space where we live among people who have karmic connection with us. This very karmic connection will act as a deterrent to create an ashram environment at home, externally. However, definitely, within oneself, one can create an ashram atmosphere by constantly remaining in touch with the Guru within and listening to Guru’s Vaani.
    2. Guru is one stream of uninterrupted consciousness. In that sense, the words Guru, Sadhguru, Jagatguru all have the same status. In the shastras, if such categorization exists, I’m not aware of it.
    The response to both your queries is based on my limited understanding. It is my personal view point.

  2. ASHOK BHATT says:

    Narayananji namaskar .Thanks for sharing your thoughts .Being a blessed one, to be at the place of GURU, it is motivating to listen to your experiences.
    Your blog stimulated us to contemplate .Two things to know and understand.
    1)can we have the experiences of ashram being at our houses. I remember Guruji and Gurudev, both mentioning as their vision being to convert homes as Ashramas. If yes ,What are the prerequisites ,specially for travelers like me
    Of course the Ashrama with the presence of Guru is uncomparable.But just a thought
    2Being on this spiritual path, many a time we use very powerful words-Guru and Sadguru
    Are they same and interchangeable or different ones. Please elaborate in your future blogs if possible
    Ashrama as Dr Sadhana has rightly pointed is place where all the SHRAMA-work is done which takes us towards the final goal
    Also we all have to constantly work on ourselves to be deserving under the guidance of the GURU

  3. Priya Narayanan says:

    The atmosphere of the ashram changes the thinking of an individual and the individual whole-heartedly gets involved in all the daily chores of the activities that are performed there. Disciplines are followed in the ashram which initially one may resist but as time passes on one adjusts with that discipline too. Blessed are those who stay in the ashram where the Guru is guiding them clearly in all aspects.

  4. Sadhanashree P says:

    A very inspiring article for many to get on to Ashram life 🙂 The word ‘ashrama’ has 2 parts aa+shrama … ‘Aa’ prefix means ‘complete’ and shrama means putting in one’s effort.. so, precisely ashrama is a place where one puts in complete , dedicated efforts… This effort can be multifold.. starting from the mundane cleaning work to the highest purpose of self-transformation! And the presence of Sadguru is the catalyst to the effort that we put in giving it the right direction n purpose!
    I simply loved the thought process – ‘Ashrama is not confined to a physical space alone, for it is also a state of mind’ … How true! With the guidance of a Sadguru when we put in our ‘complete efforts’ that are aligned with the higher purpose of life then any place becomes an ashram! And we are truly blessed to get the feel of that ‘ashram life ‘ so that we can carry forward the same frame of mind even when we have to live amidst the busy chaotic world! Thank u for the wonderful insight, Narayananji!

  5. Savitha says:

    It’s very clear writeup by Narayan and answer to my contemplation about difference between life in Ashram and else where..!

    It’s beautifully said that re- learning and de-learning the same things which changes internally can happen only in ashram. Guru whispers “wiseness” without any words. Suddenly one day we can feel the change in ourselves n can feel tranquilness.

    The feeling of being in the arms of Guru…the feeling of being in the best path in life…the feeling of total surrender…the feeling of being with supreme can only happen under the abode of Sadguru.

    It’s nothing but full on of spirituality here. Thank you so much Narayana for your inspiration…..

  6. Kumuda says:

    Thanks Narayanji for this wonderful article on Ashrama and being an Ashramite!
    For one to come out of mundane activities of survival and be in the path of self realization, Ashrama plays a major role.
    As explained, being around with that uninterrupted consciousness, will create an energy within that takes the seeker to higher self.
    This article proves adhering to that discipline in the path of spirituality and being in that constant manana and shravana for a disciple will become much stronger when around this beautiful place called Ashrama.

  7. Rama Swaminathan says:

    Ashram an abode of consciousness, here u learn to live,.
    Following the path shown by our Guru towards enlightenment..
    A journey that takes u to experience the essence of life away from the material world..
    Thank u Narayananji, for giving the insights of the ashram life.U r blessed to have experienced this.

  8. sudendra kulkarni says:

    An ashram would traditionally, but not necessarily in contemporary times, be located far from human habitation, in forests or mountainous regions, amidst refreshing natural surroundings conducive to spiritual instruction and meditation. The residents of an ashram regularly performed spiritual and physical exercises, such as the various forms of yoga. Other sacrifices and penances, such as yajnas, were also performed.[7] Many ashrams also served as gurukulas, residential schools for children under the guru-shishya tradition.

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