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How to Find Sacred Ashrams in India
By:Alyson Paige

The word ashram means "place of striving." An ashram is a place where a guru has stayed, and where disciples have gathered and remained to absorb the guru's wisdom in a quest for liberation from rebirth. It is possible to make pilgrimages to ashrams all across the Indian subcontinent. When looking for ashrams in India, consider the specific school of Hinduism that is the most resonant to you. Whether your interest is centered on Vedanta, Aurobindo, Transcendental Meditation or Tureya Yoga, India offers ashrams for every seeker on a Hindu spiritual path.

Travel to Calcutta and visit the Ramakrishna Ashram. Reflecting the Vedanta teachings of Hindu saints, Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda, the Ramakrishna Ashram offers an experience of the openness of Hindu tradition. Visitors are invited to spend their days in worship and partake in scheduled meals. Teachings are presented during the day.

Visit Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, South India. Visitors are welcome, but accommodations are limited. Sri Aurobindo was a man of science and of spirit. He wrote volumes about his philosophy of spirit and matter. The Sri Aurobindo Ashram is a bustling center for introspection, culture and education. Its website includes a listing of guest houses; be sure to make reservations well in advance.

Attend meditation and programs at the Transcendental Meditation at Gautam Buddha Nagar, near Delhi. Founded by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (of Beatles fame), the center teaches TM, or Transcendental Meditation--a path for the mind to attain "bliss consciousness." You can sign up for more information about visiting centers worldwide, including ones in India, on the TM website.

Find your center and soul's delight at Tureya Yoga Ashram in Tamil Nadu. The Tureya Foundation represents a synthesis of spiritual ideas. The Tureya philosophy is that each person can find self-realization when her unique spiritual potential is uncovered. Self-realization can be achieved in this lifetime, rather than over the course of countless rebirths.