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Best Meditation Groups To Join In South India?

Discussion in 'South India' started by tri-n-b-helpful, Jan 26, 2016.

  1. tri-n-b-helpful

    tri-n-b-helpful New Member

    I have never been to India before, but will need to go there soon. I have heard that India's South is very famous for its "meditation tourism industry". I think that Ayurvedic medicine started somewhere there or maybe it's just done particularly well down there.

    So I would be interested in joining a meditation group that has a "vegetarian - only" policy, preferably strictly vegan, where food is also provided. What criteria would we need to satisfy in order to be eligible to attend sessions on a daily basis? Where are the highest, holiest meditation centers that you know of?
     
  2. swalia

    swalia Guest

    I have been to Bangalore thrice for spiritual retreats at the Art of Living International Center, Bangalore. They have a huge, beautiful ashram built in acres of land which is full of scenic beauty. Vegetarian food is served in the ashram kitchen there.
     
  3. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello there! Welcome to the forum!

    Here are some meditation centres and ashrams that I can recommend to you in the Southern part of India:

    Best Meditation Centres and Ashrams in South India

    1. Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre and Ashram - They offer many courses for beginners and even advanced yoga practitioners. The centre was founded by Sri Swami Vishnudevananda. The Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre also has other branches in the country and in the world. They focus on these five principles: Asana, Pranayama, Savasana, Vedanta & Dhyana and Vegetarian Diet. They have different types of courses, but you might be interested in the Meditation Program. This is a 6-days course where you will be reached proper breathing techniques, meditation practice and use of mantras. It's best to book for a course during the months of May to September, it's the off-peak season and rates are lower. And yes, the ashram does offer vegetarian meals and accommodation as well for guests. Other information you might need:
    • Address: T.C. 37/1927(5), West Fort Road, Eanchakkal Westfort Rd, Fort, Pazhavangadi, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695023.
    • Contact number for centre: +91 92079 90888.
    • Contact number for ashram: +91 471 2273093.

    2. Amritapuri Ashram - This is where Amma was born. The ashram started with just a small kitchen where Amma entertained female disciples. From there on, it developed into more huts and a simple room for Amma. As the devotees started pouring in, a temple dedicated to Goddess Kali was built. This is where the darshans are held. Amma is known by the whole world, for her compassion and devotion for Hinduism. This ashram conducts daily Integrated Amrita Meditation courses to devotees. It is a combination of yoga, pranayama and meditation for just 20 minutes each day. The cost to stay in the ashram is Rs. 250 per person per night. This includes the accommodation and the meals of the day. Some other information you might need:
    • Address: Mata Amritanandamayi Math, Amritapuri, Kollam, Kerala, India, 690546.
    • Contact number: +91-476-289-7578.

    3. Prasanthi Nilayam - This is the main ashram of Sathya Sai Baba. The name Prasanthi Nilayam means The Abode of Supreme Peace. The ashram has three canteens, but all of them offers purely vegetarian meals. There are also room accommodations in the ashram, however, advanced booking cannot be done. There's a separate office for both Indian residents and non-Indians for room booking. The Indian residents can go to the Room No. 7 in front of the South Indian canteen to register for a room. The foreigners can go to the North 8, N1 office to register for a room. Rooms are between 2 to 3 USD per day. You can only stay in the ashram for 10 days maximum, this restriction is to allow others to have a chance to stay in the ashram. Everyday, chanting, meditation and poojas are done in the ashram. You can join in these daily schedules. Some other information you might need:
    • Address: Puttaparthi Main Road, Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh 515134.
    • Contact number: +91 98337 91638.

    4. Sri Aurobindo Ashram - This ashram was founded by Sri Aurobindo and Mirra. There are some guest houses in the ashram in which visitors can stay in. It's best to prebook a room in advance as during festivals, the ashram might have a larger number of visitors. Once you are given accommodation in the ashram, you will also be given a pass that you can use for attending activities like meditation in the collective hall and samadhi. The guest houses also provide food for the guests as they have dining halls or restaurants. They serve vegetarian meals too. Other information you might need:
    • Address: 3, Rangapillai Street, Pondicherry - 605001.
    • Contact number: +91413 2233604.

    5. Sri Ramana Ashram - This was the home to Ramana Maharshi, a modern day sage and an Advaita Vedanta philosopher. There's a big hall here where devotees just meditate or stay into. Inside that hall, the Sri Bhagavan (Ramana Maharshi) Shrine can also be found. There are also other rooms here dedicated for meditation. Unlike the other ashrams, there are no special programs conducted here for meditation. You can do meditation on your own. Or you can attend the daily rituals done here. You can apply for a month in advance to stay in the ashram but you can only stay a maximum of three days. You can also opt to stay in the apartments around the ashram, which are also run by the same management. Three meals a day are provided for by the ashram. Other information you might need:
    • Address: Chengam Road, Tiruvannamalai, India.
    • Contact number: +91 4175 9244937292.

    6. Integral Yoga Institute - This was founded by H. H. Sri Swami Satchidananda, born in the village of Chettipalayam. He studied yoga and meditation with Sri Aurobindo, founder of Sri Aurobindo Ashram. You can do activities like hatha yoga, pranayama, meditation and other types of yoga here. Their rooms cost Rs. 1,200 per night for foreigners and Rs. 1,000 per night for Indians. Food isn't included in the tariff, however, you can opt to prepare your own meals. Or eat in the nearby restaurants, many of which offer vegetarian dishes. Other information you might need:
    • Address: Shop No.139/86, W Sambandam Rd, R.S. Puram, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu 641002.
    • Contact number: +91 422 254 2651.

    7. Isha Yoga Centre - The Isha Foundation is founded by Sadhguru. The foundation has about 150 centres all around the world, run by volunteers. The Isha Yoga Centre is located at the foothills of the Velliangiri Mountains. Its Spanda Hall is a major meditation centre in the area, where thousands of devotees gather to each week. You must book a room as early as two weeks prior to your visit. For the months of February and March, you'd have to book at least 6 weeks in advance. There's also an eatery inside the yoga centre premises which serves delicious vegetarian dishes. Other information you might need:
    • Address: Velliangiri Foothills, Ishana Vihar Post, Coimbatore 641114.
    • Contact number: 83000 83111.

    All of these ashrams and meditation centres allow visitors to participate in meditation sessions. To stay in the ashram though, you need to let go of the worldly things like internet and cell phones. As long as you abide by the ashram's rules and guidelines, they would allow you to stay there.

    I hope this helps.:)
     

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