The ashram and the resort – A poverty of richness

From Keerti's desk

An ashram is the heartbeat of mystery — and a resort is manifestations and ostentations only, writes Keerti in the Deccan Chronicle. Published on Juy 8, 2019.

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With the advancement of science and technology, our world has become very rich in appearance. We can see it. This richness has changed the quality of life for the people blessed with all kinds of resources to raise their standard of living to a very high level. At the same time, most people can see it, envy it, but cannot have it — they feel very deprived and depressed. They also see that the rich people blessed with all kinds of resources are not sensitive and responsive to the people who are deprived of this richness — they are not in a mood to share. This is really painful and hurting the deprived ones. This deprivation creates resentment and instigates a large number of people to become violent, organise gangs and do robberies, snatch gold chains from women on the streets, kill helpless and lonely senior citizens in their homes and escape with their lifelong savings.

This way, both the haves and have nots suffer from greed, and as the enlightened mystic Lao Tzu says in the Tao Te Ching: Some have lavish garments, carry sharp swords and feast on food and drink. They possess more than they can spend. This is called the vanity of robbers. It is certainly not the Way.

He adds: People starve. The rulers consume too much with their taxes. That is why people starve. There is no greater misfortune than greed.

This insensitivity and greed has corrupted the spiritual world also. Most of the modern-day ashrams have gone through a complete makeover. They have become five-star resorts that boast of swimming pools and all kinds of entertainment for relaxation. They talk more about relaxation than meditation. The meditation is for the sincere seekers and they need space with an ashram-feel. The resorts are meant for casual visitors who are not seekers but do have lots of money and desire  a good time. Nothing is wrong with having a good time, but this should not be the end of their inner journey, which is supposed to be a journey for self-realisation. Such ashrams, yoga-meditation centres are fast disappearing, making way for the American-style yoga centres: One does a one-month standardised Yoga Teachers Training Course (TTC) in Rishikesh, Dharamshala, Goa or Kerala, certified by some American association and becomes a yoga teacher. In this yoga system, there is no place for dhyan or samadhi, only physical fitness with asanas. After attaining the certificate, one travels to the West to teach yoga and fulfils his worldly desires. And there are others in the West, who choose to learn and teach certain therapeutic meditations. When their business starts flourishing, they focus only on therapy and forget about meditation. This way, spirituality remains confined to the physical and mental level only.

An ashram is the heartbeat of mystery — and a resort is manifestations and ostentations only.

Osho combines and harmonises the two together: The heart of an ashram with resort-like facilities. The outer richness throbbing with the inner richness. – illustration Osho News, credit Osho Teerth Park


Keerti facilitates Osho meditation retreats all over the world and is the author of various spiritual books.

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