The Art of Living International Centre, Bangalore, India
~ Swati Sharma
The Art Of Living International Centre in Bangalore is a paradise for the senses.Founded by Sri Sri Ravishankar, eighteen years ago this was a barren piece of land, is quite unbelievable as the ashram is absolutely green with a variety of trees and vegetation and sweet singing birds for our company.
The Vishalakshi Mantap is the star attraction of the Ashram, conceived and designed by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar himself. It is built in the shape of a Sriyantra and has five stories symbolizing the five elements. It comprises ornate halls which are used for meditations and satsangs. The one thousand petalled, lotus-shaped structure is a wonderful blend of Vedic architecture and modern technology .The glass dome that tops the building is adorned with a magnificent ‘kalash’ – 15’ ft 3”in height- the biggest in Asia.
You can constantly watch the V.M. for hours and still want to see more of it…
Dazziling at night !
The interiors of the V.M. have symbols of different religions of the world, the ceiling in the centre has various Gods and Goddesses and the symbols of all zodiac signs.
An open air auditorium with a balcony provides a wonderful view of the ashram and surrounding areas.
The banyan tree strutting its branches merrily into the balcony.
Sri Sri Ravishankarji’s little cottage.
The shady cool ambience soothes your mind and body.
The lake besides Radha Kunj and the Vishalakshi Mantap seen afar.
Ved Vignan Maha Vidya Peeth
Ved Vignan Maha Vidya Peeth is an Educational, Charitable Trust providing Holistic Education accessible to children in rural areas. VVMVP gives free education, transportation, uniforms, books, stationery, mid-day meals and other facilities that are needed to give the students quality education.
Veda Agama Samskruta Maha Pathashala
Veda Agama Samskruta Maha Pathashala aims to preserve the age-old rituals of temple worship – the Agama. Children aged between 11-18 years study here. The school offers them free boarding and food. During the Navaratri celebrations at the ashram , thousands of devotees meditate as these students chant mantras and hymns for the poojas and yagnas in a synchronized and rhythmic manner.
A part of the Veda Agama Samskruta Maha Pathashala .
The Gaushala has cows belonging to the Gir variety in Gujarat. These pure Indian breed needs to be protected. In the Gauhala, every cow has a name and each morning, divine instrumental music is played to them. This relaxes them and increases their milk production. The cow dung is used as manure.
Ancient methods of healing the mind and body are used here.
The silence of this place was only broken by the wind…
Photo credits: Swati Sharma, Shilpi Pandey