What Living in the Ashram Really Means

Sadhguru looks at the purpose of creating a powerful energy space like the Isha Yoga Center, and the idea behind creating such an “umbrella of energy.”

Sadhguru looks at the purpose of creating a powerful energy space like the Isha Yoga Center, and the idea behind creating such an “umbrella of energy.”

Read in Telugu: ఆశ్రమంలో జీవించడం ఎందుకు?

Sadhguru: What is the purpose of living in an ashram? There are various types of ashrams. People who have not been able to take care of themselves in the outside society, their food or their wellbeing or their housing, they move into certain types of ashrams. Isha Yoga Center is not one of those ashrams. This is an ashram created for a spiritual purpose. Why does one move into an ashram space like this, which is essentially for the spiritual process? What is the ingredient which makes it into that kind of a space? What is the significance and why be in such a space?

This is a spiritual space because the necessary energy has been invested in this space. If we were as strong as the other creatures who live on the Velliangiri Mountains, we wouldn’t have made this place ugly with all the buildings – we would have just slept on the field.

To be in the ashram means to be under the umbrella of this energy. What is the purpose of an energy like this when it is driving many people totally insane? You stay here, you can’t be here. If you leave this place, you cannot be anywhere else because the purpose of this energy is not to let you settle down.

The idea of creating an umbrella of this energy is to put your life on fast-forward.

The idea of creating an umbrella of this energy is to put your life on fast-forward. People on the spiritual path are people of unquenchable discontent. It is being propagated that spirituality means contentment. Contentment means you have contented yourself with what you have. A spiritual person means he is unwilling to settle for anything less than the Ultimate. If he is miserably discontent, he becomes ugly. If he is joyfully discontent, he is dynamic. He is a possibility all the time. He won’t stay in one place. It doesn’t matter how much comfort it offers, he will not stay. It is a longing not to stop, not to find a nest of comfort, not to end up in a nook that is comfortable, but to get onto the boiling main stream and go.

When we put life on a fast-forward, everything is exaggerated in your experience, both your joys and your miseries. When your pain gets exaggerated, you wonder, “Why the hell this spirituality? Why did I choose this? I thought this was going to be bliss…” That was the advertisement at least: “Inner Engineering – Peak of Wellbeing.” Yes, it is, but you need to understand, when you stand on the highest peak, wellbeing means you just manage to stand – that you are not blown off.

There is a beautiful story in the yogic lore. Once there was a blacksmith in a village, a very poor man. It looked like he acted like a magnet to all the problems in the world. They were visiting him too often. But he was a devout, very prayerful person. Once, a friend of his who did not believe in all this came and said, “What nonsense, you going on praying to your god. Look at your life! All the time you are in trouble.”

So the blacksmith said, “See, I know only this profession. Everything I have learned, I have learned by being a blacksmith. If I want to make a useful tool, I take a piece of steel, heat it, beat it, cool it, heat it, beat it… If a piece of steel cannot take the heating and beating and cooling, then I throw it on the scrap heap. Otherwise it becomes a useful tool. So my prayer is only this: “Dear god, heat me, beat me, cool me, do whatever– but don’t ever throw me on the scrap heap.”

The scrap heap is a comfortable place. Nobody beats you, nobody heats you, nobody does anything to you, but you are on the scrap heap. You should not be afraid of pain, you should not be afraid of hardship, you should not be afraid of death. “Don’t put me on the scrap heap.” That should be the only fear for a person on the spiritual path.

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4 years 9 months ago

Dear brothers and sisters,

I am from South India. Male, 27. I currently study abroad.

Given my age, there are lot of things I have seen so far - losing my family members one by one, losing a lover I was about to marry, poverty and sickness. I slowly detached myself from all this misery and understood that it is all maya staged to fool us and make us bound to everyday life.

I have travelled around the world, been loved by many and looked upon as an inspiration for some. Yet, I know there is no 'Me'. This 'Me' is just a sack of flesh that has been given life. This truth hurts me everyday. Detached attachment is no good way to live.

I wish to be amidst people who want to explore this path less treaded. I want to take up sanyasam and enter ashram life. Being a Shakta, I heard Sadhguru lets motivated humans join the Bhairagini Maa path. Can someone please elaborate me or mail me on what I should do for this? I would be highly indebted to you. Thank you very much.

5 years 11 months ago

Sadhguru beat me ., heat me , cool me do whatever ... but don't throw me in to the scrap heap.... i bow down

4 years 8 months ago

Sadguru I want to live in isha foundation to find meanings of life. Please guide me.

5 years 11 months ago

Don’t put me on the scrap heap!!

3 years 4 months ago

I would like to know how to join the ashram. I've been fighting the spiritual path for awhile now, trying to grow spiritually within the walls of my own comfort. Things have come to a point where I can no longer play that game and am seeking to walk the path. I welcome the information.

5 years 11 months ago

Ok I have a Sannadhi at home but I dont care about comforts. I just want to grow as fast as possible.
Should I move to the Ashram?

5 years 11 months ago

I bow down to Isha samskriti childern

5 years 11 months ago

Non for profit organization or ashram I am confused.

5 years 11 months ago


5 years 11 months ago

Hi Jonas.
If you have a Sannadhi at home.. You are already under the umbrella of his energy and grace..
I don't think u have to go to ashram.

5 years 11 months ago

Thanks for ur answer.
hopefully u r right.

5 years 11 months ago

I'm not in ashram, but I can sense the "fast-forward" that life-lessons these days are too deep and absolutely unforgettable. So clear not to let me err again. New wisdom feels great at the end of such trying episodes. But certainly during those difficult times, I have wondered (read "grudged") why all this... I won't get into such a thinking hereafter, Sadhguru. This post also reminds me of what you have spoken before:
* On 22 June 2008, my First Sathsang with You blossomed in Chennai. You asked us if escaping from every situation life. "Is making an ever successful series of escapes life?" Your words are ringing again in my ears. You stated the truth that experience makes life.
* Some other time, you asked us whom we remember and look up to for Strength: those who had the nectar or Shiva, who became Neelakandha(after consuming poison) for the welfare of all. You restated that facing a trouble is all that matters in life, for that creates the most wanted solution.
* Also, at my last Sathsang, you told us that this "fast-forward" gives us intelligence early on and that brings enormous difference to our life experience thereafter.
Wish this reminder lives on in me... May I seek my salvation with Thee...

5 years 11 months ago

Sweet Sadhguru, On a lighter side, it would be so nice if we have the choice to sleep outside, under the trees in the Ashram. I prefer to stay in dorms instead of renting cottages. But the issue is, I am a very light sleeper and staying at Adi Yogi or Kaivalya sounds like I am constantly surrounded by dozens of lions and tigers with all that snoring.