About UsAdvaita Ashrama, Mayavati

View from Ashrama
A view from the Ashrama

The Indian mind, in its long struggle to discover the Absolute Truth, found its culmination in Advaita Vedanta, the crest jewel of the Vedas. A galaxy of the greatest sages who ever walked the earth, for thousands of years, have attested and propounded this sublime philosophy. Other philosophies that were scrutinized on the path were like so many steps leading to the rarefied heights of the reality known as Brahman.

Swami Vivekananda said that the Advaita philosophy has saved India twice from materialism, once by Lord Buddha who worked out its moral side, next by Sri Shankaracharya, who rigorously worked out its intellectual side. Advaita has, with Swamiji's appearance, saved India and the world for the third time. Swamiji reestablished not only its moral and intellectual sides but also made it intensely practical and open to all. Swamiji perceived in it great promise in solving the current and future problems of life that human evolution was raising both in the east and the west.

The Monastery

Ashrama Building

Ashrama Building (Swamiji stayed here at 1901)

Swamiji had always been attracted by the Himalayas, the land of tyaga (renunciation) and yoga, the domain of Lord Shiva. During his tour of the Swiss Alps the idea to found an ashrama in similar conditions in India took shape. When Swamiji returned from the West in 1897 and roused India by his tremendous personality and message, comatose religion too was rejuvenated. In Almora, he inspired Captain Sevier and Mrs. Sevier along with Swami Swarupananda, his disciple, to commence looking for a place to house an ashrama 'dedicated to advaita'. They found it in Mayavati, 6,400 ft. above sea level, surrounded by mountains on three sides, one side opening to a breathtaking view of the snow-capped Himalayan range. The Advaita Ashrama was inaugurated in March 1899. Belur Math, established earlier, approved of its objects and principles and recognized Advaita Ashrama as its branch. Swamiji paid the Ashrama a visit in January 1901 and stayed for a fortnight.

Aproach to Ashrama

There have been hardships but when one has a great ideal to live by, hardships become insignificant. Advaita Ashrama had a press of its own and the first editions of Swami Vivekananda's works, his life, etc. were published from Mayavati, besides Prabuddha Bharata, the monthly journal. Following the laws of inevitability, a good library stocked with excellent books naturally grew.


The object of the ashrama was to study, practise and preach the Advaita philosophy free from ritualistic settings, and also to train others in spreading it. The ashrama in a short time became a melting pot, as it were, of the best minds of the east and the west. It helped spread the core Advaita doctrine, that of the Atman beyond body and mind, which it clothed in novel ways to suit different disciplines and temperaments.

Guest House
Guest House
The other focus was a creation of a huge body of Vedantic, Ramakrishna-Holy Mother-Vivekananda literature in Sanskrit-English, English and Hindi. This is acting as a launching pad for the spiritual, philosophical, psychological and cultural awakening all over the world.

There is a small Guest House with limited facilities. The summer guest season is from mid-March to mid-June. The autumn guest season is from mid-September to mid-November. The period allowed for a party or person to stay here is 2-3 days. No stranger is allowed to stay at Mayavati Ashrama. Prior permission from the Adhyakahs of this Ashrama is essential for staying at Mayavati. For this purpose, correspondence should be made in early January (for reservation in summer guest season) or early June (for reservation in autumn guest season).

Statement of Accounts 2016-17

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