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Getaway of Spiritual India

Spirituality and Indian Culture

The history of India would remain enigmatic, particularly, the remarkable phenomenon of the continuity of Indian culture through the millennia would remain a mystery if we do not take into account the role that spirituality has played not only in determining the direction other philosophical and cultural effort but also in replenishing the springs of creativity at every crucial hour in the long and often weary journey. It is true that spirituality has played a role in every civilization and that no culture can claim a monopoly for spirituality. And yet, it can safely be affirmed that the unique greatness and continuity of Indian culture can be traced to her unparalleled experimentation, discovery and achievement in the vast field of spirituality.

Indian culture has recognized spirituality not only as the supreme occupation of man but also as his all-integrating occupation. Similarly, the entire spectrum of Indian culture,—its religion, ethics, philosophy, literature, art, architecture, dance, music, and even its polity and social and economic organization, all these have been constantly influenced and molded by the inspiring force of a multi-sided spirituality.

The distinctive character of Indian spirituality is its conscious and deliberate insistence on direct experience. It affirms that deep within the heart and high above the mind there is accessible to our consciousness a realm of truths, powers and ecstasies that we can, by methodized effort of Yoga*, realize in direct experience, can even hold permanently, and express in varying degrees through our instruments of the mind, life and body. This affirmation has

1. Yoga Institute, Mumbai

A 19th century institute located in the posh Santa Cruz area in Mumbai, the Yoga Institute educates its students on the importance and rewards of yoga, besides exhorting on the advantages of studying ayurveda.

2. Ananda in the Himalayas, Narendra Nagar

Nestled among the tranquility of the Himalayas, here is where traditional Indian wellness regimes, along with a generous smattering of Vedanta, yoga and ayurveda, the practice aims at bringing together our body, mind and soul.

3. Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh

Located on the banks of the River Ganga, and having earned its position as one of the best and largest ashrams in India, the institute imparts extensive spiritual training in meditation and yoga. It also helps one explore the art forms, and gain insight into the mystical world of eternal peace that everyone craves for.

4. Isha Foundation:

  • To teach Yogic science and meditation for all the ages
  • Action for rural rejuvenation
  • Isha Vidya which provide education for the rural children
  • Feel the inner silence and promote spirituality

5. The Art of Living, Bangalore

Doing absolute justice to its title, the foundation dates back to 1982, where Sri Sri Ravi Shankar gifted the world stress-elimination and self-development programmes that enrich daily lives. Followed by people across the world, the Art of Living tops the list as one of the best spiritual forms designed with yoga, meditation and breathing techniques.

6. Osho International Foundation, Pune

Contrasting other ashrams everywhere, Osho Ashram has no gender segregation and is designed on lines of a resort than anything else, which propagates inner peace and the ability to be free with oneself. Though it is different from regular Indian culture and functioning, the ashram offers specialized spiritual services for all.

7. Ideal Ayurvedic Resort, Kovalam

A combination of the rich culture and heritage of India, and the natural beauty of Kovalam, spiritual learning in the form of ayurveda and yoga philosophies is what attracts hordes of people to this resort. With soulful practices aimed at rejuvenating and reviving the spirit, you get to learn the all-natural ayurvedic approach to daily life.

8. Ramamani Iyengar Mémorial Yoga Institute, Pune

Introduced by BKS Iyengar, the institute imparts asanas of Yoga, along with its esteemed spiritual values. Students are welcome to take part on a regular basis to ensure that they do not miss out on classes, as each session has something different and novel to learn.

9. Satyananda Yoga Center (Bihar School of Yoga), Munger

The nose is the doorway to the brain and also the entryway to one’s inner self. The nasal administration of medicated drops is recommended for an excess of bodily humors accumulated in the sinuses, throat, nose or head areas

10. Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dhanwantari Ashram, Thiruvananthapuram

Located in a State that is the epitome of spiritual studies and retreats in the whole country, Kerala, the ashram is a paradise for ayurveda and yoga studies. The institute concentrates on the spiritual essence of life, and how it needs to be and can be supplement through age-old yoga techniques, along with an infusion of ayurveda to complete the experience.

Best Spiritual Retreats in India

The predominant location for Vata is the colon. Basti therapy involves the introduction of herbal decoctions and medicated oil preparations into the rectum. It relieves constipation, digestive problems, chronic fever, colds, sexual disorders, kidney stones, heart pains, backache, sciatica and various joint pains. Many other Vata disorders such as arthritis, rheumatism, gout, muscle spasms and headaches can also be treated with Basti.

Renewing the body and soul: 10 spiritual retreats in India

1. Yoga Vidya, Karnataka

The programs vary based on the level of experience the participants have with yoga and consist of a beginner and advanced level. The beginner level consists of a two week long Yoga Immersion Retreat where participants are taught the theory of yoga as well as given detailed instructions and demonstrations.

It provides a spiritual background to the practice of yoga that can help the participants with their spiritual experience. They also teach the basics of Ayurveda and Patanjali Yoga sutras.

There is also an intensive advanced program that is for experienced individuals. Although the advanced program is currently discontinued, it might resume in the coming year. Yoga Vidya also has a meditation retreat that combines yoga with art and its one among the top spiritual retreats in India.

2. Lotus of the Desert Retreat, Rajasthan

This particular retreat is conducted only for women and focuses on feminine divinity in each of them. Travelling through the state of Rajasthan, the retreat focuses on the inner journey of each of the participants as they experience the colour and vibrant beauty of the state.

It provides everyone a chance to experience the peaceful nature of a yoga retreat as you meditate and practice yoga in the sacred city of Pushkar,Ajmer.

Other activities include hiking to temples on top of the mountains during sunrise and sunset. The retreat also lets participants visit some of the most spiritual places in Rajasthan. The retreat also includes exploring the beautiful cities as they make their way through them which includes the city of Jodhpur. It also provides the opportunity to go on a camel safari in the Jaisalmer desert experiencing the beauty of the desert landscape. The beauty and spiritual aspects of the city of Delhi are also explored and experienced.

3. Tushita Meditation Centre, Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh

Located in Northern India in the hills, the centre is known for the study and practice of Buddhism. Although not a retreat in the traditional sense, the centre offers an excellent environment to learn and practice the teachings of Buddhism.

The centre offers 10 day introductory courses in Buddhism. The centre also has personal retreats for experienced individuals that focuses highly on discipline and meditation in silence.

This ‘Silent retreat’ is a rare opportunity to be completely cut off from the outside world and focus solely on the task of meditation that can help participants discover the inner self.

4. Satvik Sadan, Bhimtal, Uttarakhand

The retreat also offers Ayurvedic massages for an invigorating experience. Located close to the Kumaon region which is believed to be the birthplace of Yoga, this is one of those spiritual retreats in India which seeks to impart the wisdom of the ancient practice of Yoga not just through postures but by setting participants off on a spiritual travel.

5. Chakra Activation and Balancing Retreat, Manali, Himachal Pradesh

Chakras are believed to be energy centers in the body where positive energy flows in and negative energy flows out. Ensuring that they are open can result in the release of negative energy from the body and can create harmony and balance in the mind and soul.

Having said that, this is one of the few spiritual retreats in India that organizes a seven-day retreat at their Manali centre that will educate you on the aspects of each chakra and help you strengthen those chakras that are weak and calm those that are hyperactive which will result in a balanced life.

The program also ensures that you have a rich spiritual experience and a lot of time for personal reflection. The program which includes Yogic breathing and meditation also has a separate five-day advanced session.

6. Blue Mango Retreats, Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh

The Blue Mango Retreats in the beautiful Lahaul-Spiti is the world’s highest meditation and spiritual retreat. This is one of the types of spiritual retreats in India which is especially suited for those who seek solitude and peace among the Himalayas. Apart from the beautiful scenery, the area is known for its Buddhist culture.

One of the few places where participants can experience peace and tranquility, the Blue Mango retreat offers a six day spiritual and meditation retreat that promises to rejuvenate your mind and offers lessons on ways to tackle one’s life in a better way. The program also offers the chance to experience the local culture and also interact and learn from the locals.

The retreat promises to take you on a spiritual travel that will help in emotional and mental healing, deepen your spiritual understanding and strengthen your spiritual development. The retreat offers the flexibility of either a group retreat or an individual retreat. An individual retreat may be more beneficial as the participant can customize his retreat and can receive focused attention.

7. Yoga Ashram, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand

One of the well-known yoga retreats in India Yoga Ashram Rishikesh provides a number of yoga retreats as well as a variety of wellness packages that are aimed at revitalizing the soul. Apart from a large number of spiritual treks, the centre also offers a number of spiritual retreats. It has a program that takes the participant through a number of spiritual retreats in India.

It also includes a tailor-made retreat where participants can customize a retreat to suit their individual needs. It also provides a yoga and spa retreat in addition to a body rebalancing retreat that focuses on those individuals that need to reinvigorate a tired body, mind and soul.

Their ‘Ayurvedic Indian’ retreat offers a complete detoxification for a healthy body and a clear mind. For those individuals who haven’t yet experienced the healing powers of Yoga, it includes a foundation course where they can experience and also learn about the benefits and origins of yoga. The centre boasts of a variety of places where the participants can experience their yoga retreat that include the beaches of Goa and the Western Ghats.

8. Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Centre, Kerala and Karnataka

Located in both Mysore in Karnataka and Varkala in Kerala, the centre has a variety of spiritual retreat programs that aid in the spiritual development of the participants.

Apart from having a Yoga retreat taught by experienced instructors, the centre also features a number of meditation classes that can help the participants in their spiritual travels. The centre conducts yoga retreats on the beaches of Varkala that will help the participants focus on their inner self.

As a meditation retreat the centre also offers Osho’s meditation classes that offer different kinds of Osho’s meditations. The centre also includes a three-week intensive course on Pranayama that is based on the power of breathing and focuses on controlling of the breathing as a means of calming the agitated mind and body. It teaches the different forms of breathing that allow the individual to purify and revitalise his body and thus enhancing his mental energy.

9. Shreyas Retreat, Bangalore, Karnataka

This is another one of the popular spiritual retreats in India that offers its participants Ashtanga Yoga sessions which are normally for experienced practitioners that focus on a series of postures moving in a certain flow. Breathing is focused on as a way of facilitating the removal of toxins. The centre also offers Hatha Yoga which aims to purify and harmonies the body by using it as an instrument to master the mind and hence attain higher levels of consciousness.

The centre provides spiritual meditation retreats that aims to create a balance in mind, body and spirit through Yoga. The centre also gives silent retreats that are a way of calming the mind and re-prioritizing one’s life goals.

For those looking to relax, the centre offers a number of Ayurveda massages that can help to remove the negative energy that has been accumulated over time using a several techniques including Shirodhara Ayurveda massage that involves pouring a continuous stream of warm oil on the forehead and also Choorna Pinda Sweda Massage that consists of using herbs to massage the body that have the effect of calming the muscles.

The Buddhism in India

India is the land where Buddhism originated. Lord Buddha was an Indian prince who abandoned all materialistic pleasures to find the real truth of life. His teachings today have immense significance. A whole lot of people wish to know not only about his life but also about the status of Buddhism in the country of its origin in past as well as present. Here, through this text, we have tried to trace for you the development, fall and revival of Buddhism in India, from the beginning till date. But before that, we have provided you a list of most important Buddhist attractions - states, cities, monasteries, temples, monuments, caves and festivals - of India. Details of them are essential to understand the development of Buddhism in India more accurately.

Buddhist Meditation & Teachings Centers in India

The Burmese Vihara
Gaya Road, Bodhgaya District - Gaya,
Bihar, India
Tel: 200721 / 881
Tradition: Theravada
The Burmese monastery is specially famous for its study courses.

Daijokyo Japanese Monastery
Bodhgaya
Dist. - Gaya
Bihar, India
Tel: 200747


Wat Pa (Thai-Bharat Society)
Buddhagaya Vanaram Temple
Bodhgaya
Bihar, India
Tel: 631-400528
Besides regular meditation retreats, the Thai temple conducts two ten-day courses in the Vipassana Theravadin tradition every year in January.

The International Meditation Centre
Post - Bodh Gaya
Dist. - Gaya
Bihar, India
Pin - 824231
Contact Number: 200707
Tradition: Theravada

The Root Institute for Wisdom and Culture
Post - Bodh Gaya
District - Gaya
Pin-824231 (Bihar)
Tel/Fax: +631 400 714 / - 400 548
A follower of the Tibetan tradition, the institute organizes short and week long residential courses with a focus on the Mahayana tradition.

Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre (MIMC)
Head Office - Devachan, Post Box 22
Leh, Ladakh - 194101
India
Tel: 91-1982-44025 / 44155

Delhi Office: A-116, 2nd Floor
Arjun Nagar, Safdarjung Enclave
New Delhi - 110001
India
Contact Number: 91-11-61650
MIMC offers numerous residential and non-residential meditation courses with a variety of free meditation courses such as Vipassana, Zen and Tibetan every summer ranging from 2 to 10 days at the main Devachan Centre. An additional attraction offered by the Centre is the Milarepa Meditation & Trekking Camp, a retreat program in beautiful remote valleys for those seekers who wish to experience the splendor of both inner and outer realms.

Vipassana International Academy(Dhamma Giri)
Po. Box 6
Igatpuri - 422 403
District - Nasik(Maharashtra)
India
Tel: [91] (025) 538-4076/4086/4302
The center offers ten-day courses of Vipassana meditation with an emphasis on the percepts of moral conduct.

Bhikkhu Sangha`s United Buddhist Mission
Sarvodaya Buddha Vihar, Opp. Kurla
Kurla Railway Terminus, Tilak Nagar Chembur Bombay 400089. India.
Tel/Fax (91-22) 522073
Besides social work and welfare of the unprivileged, the mission organizes Vipassana meditation camp, daily evening prayer and Dhamma and cultural classes

Dhamma Kranti Buddha Sangha
110/111, Shantinagar, Yerwada
Pune, India
Contact Number: +91206611646
The Sangha conducts regular discussion on Dharma, Meditation courses and Social work.

Maha Bodhi Society
14, Kalidasa Road, Gandhinagar
Bangalore - 560009, India
Tel: 91-80-2250684
The society trains people about moral behavior, fundamentals of Dhamma, Chanting and Meditation and Stress free life.

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