Spirituality with some gilt-edged experience! Our journey to the Isha Ashram, Coimbatore.
As we always say, one of the best things about traveling is, we get a chance to interact with different people, experience other cultures, or even a completely different lifestyle. As we did when we visited the Isha Ashram. All we need is an open mind, try not to be judgemental, ability to absorb what you need and move on.
For a long time, both of us wanted to see the biggest Adiyogi Shiva statue, at the Isha Foundation Ashram, situated in foothills of the Vellangiri mountains in Coimbatore. Isha Foundation, a non-profit organization, focuses at creating an inclusive culture towards global harmony and progress. They also conduct programs like Inner Engineering, meditation techniques and other yoga programs, which are making its way into other countries. Inside the ashram, you will also find a community living space.
We took our chances and asked a very close friend to help us get accommodation in Coimbatore and lucky for us, she got us rooms in the ashram itself. So the next thing we know, we were in our Tiago on an 800 km to-from ride. It took us more than 7 hours to reach. By the time we reached the ashram, we were exhausted. Thanks to the drastic weather change. You can see the magnificent Adiyogi statue even before you reach the ashram. It’s one of the biggest statues we had ever seen and it took away all our tiredness in a second. We were really mesmerized by it. It took us more than 15 minutes to reach the registration desk complete and another 15 to complete the procedures. They told us things that we aren’t allowed to do. Sadly, one of them was no photography near the community living space. So, we will be using pictures from google to show you around.
Next morning, we decided to see the statue first. After walking for a couple of km, we finally arrived at the statue! People weren’t lying, pictures weren’t photoshopped, that statue is a piece of art which is very aesthetically designed. The 34-meter-tall and 500-tonne heavy deity and it did intimidate us. We did bow down to him. They have some modern carts that are pulled by bullocks to ferry the passengers to and fro the main gate. From the look of it, the bullocks did look healthy and not tortured. With some hesitation, we booked our seats on the cart.
The ashram offers prasadam or food to the residents during particular timings. Brunch in the mornings, between 9 – 10.45 and dinner between 6.45 – 8 in the evening. All the meals are satvik in nature and are consumed after small prayer.
Interesting part about the ashram is that there are too many things to see and too much to walk. It can get exhausting.
These are the couple of things that you can see/experience there
- 1. Dhyaanlinga – it’s a temple like a dome with a humongous Shiva Linga. All important events including Sadhguru’s visits happen here. It’s known for the sculptural reliefs and symbols of Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Jainism, Judaism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Shinto inscribed on a colossal pillar located at the front entrance.
- 2. Linga Bhairavi Temple – To celebrate and worship the power of a woman, this temple is considered to be a very active source of power within the ashram. Sadhguru believes that along with power, she also has some spiritual dimension attached.
- 3. Teerthakund – The water in this tank is consecrated with a mercury lingam designed to create a certain vibrancy in the water. This is specially designed to be able to be more receptive for the positive vibrations from Dhyaanlinga. There are different Teerthakund designed for men and women (men – Suryakund and women – Chandrakund)
- 4. Isha Home School – The school is located amidst the Ashram in Coimbatore. It’s affiliated to the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE). The school has al the contemporary and up-to-date facilities that provide a safe and encouraging living environment.
- 5. Rejuvenation center – Isha Rejuvenation is an initiative designed to experience inner peace and the joy of a healthy body. It offers a unique combination of programs like a Yoga retreat, diabetes cure, eye cure etc.
- 6. Pepper vine eatery and Isha Shoppe – Apart from the food available at the ashram, there is a cafe where you get some lip-smacking food and juices. Opposite to it is a shop where you can find handcrafted clothes, pooja saahitya, books, etc.
- 7. Play – You can play games with the residents and volunteers every evening.
One can feel the high energy in the ashram premises. The constant chant of Shiva shlokas and songs fills the aura of the ashram with positivity. We just sat there read books, discussed few ideas and meditated. But they are very particular about rules and regulations of the ashram.
We hear things about every institution, Isha is no different, but for travelers like us, it was something different. We experienced something new and learned something new.