Ashram…Sri Hari Bhagwan’s abode on this planet, our sanctuary and deepest longing.
Talking of Sri Hari’s abode, let me open this post by sharing a google earth image of the Ashram:
Please take a close look at this picture and try to observe the shape of the surrounding valley. The heart is where the Ashram is, literally and pictorially in this picture. If you notice closely, you will see the shape of a conch (shankha) formed by the lofty Himalayan foothills. Take a look again, I’m sure you will see it this time and not only this, you might also see another mystical shape by Mother Divine’s grace.
There has to be a reason Swami Ji chose this place back in 2009 (before renouncing), it is indeed tapobhoomi (land where intense spiritual practices have been performed). The puranas are replete with the mention of Sri Badrika Ashram where Lord Vishnu came back to bless the devotees, it’s the same land where sage Nara and Narayana performed intense sadhana for thousands of years. No wonder our Ashram is called Sri Badrika Ashram.
The glory of the place is such that even the soil from the Ashram is potent to allay the sorrows and miseries of devotees. A common woe of the village folks used to be that their cows won’t yield milk, Swami Ji once asked a cowherd to take soil from any corner of the Ashram and put it as tilaka on the cow’s forehead. Next day, that cowherd came running to the Ashram to thank Swami Ji as the cow had yielded milk like never before. It has been the experience of many other devotees about the potency of Ashram dhooli, some make it a regular affair to apply tilakam like that, the logical mind questions, but I leave it to your faith to make what you want of it.
Back in 2009, it was a secluded piece of land, disconnected from the city. The only way to come to the place was by walking downhill from a mountain on the other side of the river, cross the river and then walk uphill onto where the Ashram land is. This is a short 2015 video, when I visited Ashram for the very first time taking the same downhill trek (apologies for the distortion in some places):
Swami Ji graced the Ashram on 11.10.2011 with a yajna and opened it for devotees to visit. Ashram back then used to be a single mud hut on the entire 30 acre land. This a 2017 picture of the same hut, watch this super cute video to see the entire landscape of the Ashram back in 2011.
Another one from slightly far off, this one is from 2011.
After running multi-million dollar companies, having lived in the most luxurious of places, with a personal staff of 10; Swami Ji renounced everything and got one with God; came back for all of us, living in this mud hut without 24*7 electricity, a proper water connection, biting cold and all sorts of insects. His greatness and compassion is beyond description, he did not need to come back, yet he did, knowing most of us were not seeking God but just struggling with mundane challenges of life. No end to his glories and grace.
He always made sure that all devotees were given necessary comforts while they visited the Ashram. No one ever left the Ashram with a grumpy face (unless it’s only luxury they were seeking). Cut to 2017, with Mother Divine’s grace, devotees were given an option (mega blessing, tbh!), to get their rooms made on Ashram property if they so wished.
Since then, Ashram has been growing and rising, talking at a worldly level; the food, the rooms, the comfort, the landscape and the luxury, add a starry sky in the night, a murmuring river downhill, rainbows and snowfall in winter, it’s nothing short of a top notch luxurious resort, and Swami Ji is just beginning, as some of the long time devotees say remembering what all Swami Ji told them, that will transpire on this land in years and eons to come. I remember Swami Ji say on Sri Hari Bhagwan’s birthday:
Yahan par sab resources infinite hain (there is no dearth of resources in Ashram, everything is infinite here)
As is the way of Swami Ji’s words, they are simple and gentle always but the real meaning only unfolds with time. Here are some visuals of the heavenly Ashram now:
Cloud clad valley:
Our beautiful temple compound:
River facing exquisite Library:
Our lovely dining hall:
Gently murmuring Giri-Ganga river:
All this is just a fraction of the experience, the moment you step into the temple hall and lock eyes with the ever-smiling, resplendent and glorious Sri Hari Bhagwan,
You want the time to freeze and that moment to never stop. The peace and joy that sprouts within is incredible and inexplicable. I cannot even begin to explain how it feels when you walk into the meeting room to meet Swami Ji,
We are beyond blessed that we have been allowed to step into this world, just the fact that we have visited this place and have seen Sri Hari Bhagwan & Swami Ji in this lifetime makes this life worth celebrating and living fully. We are here, while they are here, what better time to be born!
I’m so thankful to you Bhagwan, for making me a part of your world. Thank you so very much, Prabhu😊❤️
It’s been 8 months since I visited Ashram, and it won’t be until 2021 that I’ll visit again. I understand it and I don’t, but it is what it is, waiting for the divine call🙏
This post is a dedication to all those devotees who are fervently yearning to visit the Ashram and see Bhagwan. Hope we all get to see him soon and spend time in our cherished and much missed sanctuary.
Jai Sri Hari😊🙏