Welcome to Sevagram Ashram
an invitation to have an experience of simple and stress-free life at Sevagram Ashram, India
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
(October 2, 1869; Porbandar, Gujarat India; January 30, 1948; New Delhi, India)
It would be presumptuous to claim that one fully understands Mahatma Gandhi. But over the years, as we read him, the Mahatma has begun to make more and more sense. It is through him that it became easier to understand the present day situation of society and politics. What he was trying to achieve is as relevant today as it was 80 or a 100 years ago. Things may have changed superficially but at a deeper level the issues remain the same. His understanding of modern systems was phenomenal. He could see how present day modernity is designed to make an individual more and more dependent at all levels – materially, spiritually and mentally – on forces outside one’s control.
He was trying to make us self reliant in more ways than one — materially of course — but more so at the level of spirit and mind. Freedom in its true sense was of utmost importance to him — where one’s freedom is not in conflict with the freedom of the other; where freedom is based upon the understanding of the universal principle of co-existence and where freedom is based on individual sense of responsibility rather than the notion of Rights. He had an intuitive understanding of the universal principles of co-existence and his readings and experiences convinced him that this was also our civilizational understanding and that the remnants of this understanding still existed among our people. He learnt from the ordinary Indians and developed a great respect for them which reinforced his faith in this learning.
Gandhi ji was in search of an integrated samadhan (resolution) which he constantly strived for yet he was extremely practical in his approach at the level of society and politics. He understood the spiritual striving — so intrinsic to human beings — where we all desire peace and harmony at all levels of existence. His was not an anthropomorphic world. He believed in the ancient Indian understanding where in existence there is coexistence between all orders of existence – the material, the pranic, animal/birds and human beings. At the same time he also understood the power of modern systems where the individual was increasingly driven to become not only a pawn but often an accomplice of the very forces and systems that exploited him.
The uniqueness of Gandhi ji does not come across unless we read him together with the socio-political context of the times. Like most things worthy of understanding, Mahatma Gandhi also needs to be read with trust and faith. Only after understanding the context, the meaning behind what he was saying or doing, can we really evaluate him – and only then, accept or reject him.
Mahatma Gandhi is an ideal for many people in the world. Various people want to know that how could he mobilised, lead and motivated millions of people by divine guidance produced through eternal values such as truth and non-violence. Individual, society, ecology, politics, economy, education, human relationship, spirituality... there is perhaps no aspect of human life relinquished on which he has not thrown light of his substantive (or radical or seminal) ideas. His life inspire us to live an integral life as a prefect human being – a humane being! A number of people want to live their life in accordance to Gandhian thoughts; want to come little closer to him to know, to understand and to realise him. This urge may provide us an opportunity to live a qualitatively better life and to understand various problems related to our social and individual life, and find their solutions as well.
Sevagram Ashram is better known as workplace of Mahatma Gandhi. Established in 1936 near Wardha town, it is the only place remain today where ashram-life still prevail according to Gandhi's values and principles. Continual common practices such as organic farming, gaushala, cooking, spinning on Spinning Wheel (Charkha), prayer are performed here collectively as it was in Gandhi's time. Apart form it, ashram devotees are trying to be self-sufficient through local production itself. Here, you can get an experience of simple, stress-free and self-sustaining life.
The Why of a journey to discover Gandhi
It all started with an idea of a Gandhian activist Amit who lives near Sevagram Ashram in collaboration with Dr Sadbhawna Bhardwaj, who lives and works in Italy at the Association AIMA Ayurveda in Milan. This experiment is part of a context that has the sheer task of introducing the visitor, first in mainland India, with a brief visit to the city of Delhi for tourism-teaching and then follow in the footsteps of Gandhi. Catapulting the participants in the ashram of Sevagram, where Gandhi himself lived. His last major project, leaving the world an example of the way of life in which he has always believed and still, despite everything, remains unchanged from then, with the rules of the ashram. A model of independent community that can give you the example of the survival of the rule of 'Simple Life', eco-friendly, socially dignified, humanly rewarding and economical, a model of peaceful life without any kind of stress. Service for all, in which all recognize and appreciate the contribution and efforts of every individual, whatever she or he does at his ashram.
Welcome to Sevagram
You are invited to stay here and live for a week in accordance with Gandhian values and principles. This will be as a camp where all the participants will live routine ashram life in disciplined manner and go through some Gandhian literature as well. You will be a part of ashram life during this week. We shall also do collective reading of Gandhian literature, and have a dialogue on Gandhian values, principles, and related topics as well. This stay is specially focused on the expectations of inquisitive students, explorer youths and social activists. Our endeavor is to develop an holistic and inclusive understanding of relationship among the individual, society and ecology, and to make this experience useful for entire life. Further, our expectation is also to kindle curiosity for intense study on Gandhian values and phylosophy. This camp will start form 30th December 2012 and end by 5th of January 2013.
The camp is open to all and shall accommodate around 20 participants on first come first serve basis.
Knowledge of English will be an advantage. Although an Italian translator will be present to facilitate you all the time.
Indian participants can join us directly at Sevagram Ashram by evening of day 3, December 28, 2012. Day 9, January 3, 2013 shall be last day for Indian participants and they can leave the camp by night of same day or next day morning as per their convenience.
Participants will have to follow ashram routine with due discipline. This includes sweeping, work in goshala, work in organic farm, morning and evening prayers, spinning, etc.
We shall have some reading and interaction sessions during afternoon. Participants are requested to read and discuss on various themes related to Gandhian philosophy, values and way of life. (Reading material will be in English language.)
Participants will reside in simple cottages (made by bricks and concrete) on twin sharing basis.
Simple and healthy vegetarian food will be served to the participants and you will also get coffee/tea.
Smoking, drinking wine etc. and any other intoxication will be prohibited.
Although, the camp will finish by 5th of January 2013, but if any participant wants to stay more in ashram, it could be arranged on request.
General program of the tour
Day 1 (December 26, 2012)
The program begins on December 26 with a flight from Milan Malpensa airport to New Delhi India. For reasons of time zone (3 and a half hours more than in Italy), and the length of the trip, you will arrive New Delhi on December 27th in the morning.
Day 2 (December 27, 2012)
We will to the guest house with comfortable half-board. In the afternoon there will be a tour of the city to better acclimate which includes a guided tour of New Delhi.
Places to visit – Rajghat, Gandhi Museum, Book Store, Red Fort, India Gate etc as per availability of time.
Day 3 (December 28, 2012)
Departure form New Delhi and arrival at Nagpur (flight New Delhi – Nagpur).
Subsequent transfer by shuttle bus to Wardha (80 km. approximately) and accommodation at the Sevagram Ashram guest house set up for participants with double bedrooms and bathroom.
Day 4 (December 29, 2012) to Day 7 (January 1, 2013)
Early experience of living and experiencing the principles of simple life and Gandhian Ashram-life.
Daily routine of the ashram.
Conferences with eminent Gandhian scholars under the guidance of Prof. Arya bhushan Bhardwaj.
5:30 am – Morning Prarthna (mantras sung together with his brothers Gandhian)
6:00 to 8:00 am - Nitya Karma (daily routine Yoga, Meditation)
8:00 am - Nastha (Breakfast)
9:00 am to 12:00 pm - Sharirik Sharam (work for the physical body, this will include cleaning the ashram premise, gardening and care for the cows in the barn with brothers and sisters living ashram).
12:00 to 02:00 pm - Lunch and rest.
02:00 to 05:00 pm – Talk with various eminent Gandhian scholars. A good time to study the principles of Mahatma Gandhi.
5:00 to 6:00 pm - Charkha practice (practice famous machine that makes handmade fabric).
06:00 to 07:00 pm – Evening Prarthna (mantras, bhajan).
07:00 to 08:00 pm - sharing of emotions, ideas, feedback about the experience by everyone.
08.30 pm - Dinner
Day 8 (January 2, 2013)
Brahmavidya Mandir, a trip to an ashram of Vinoba Bhave.
Visit to Shanti Stupa, Buddhist temple and pagoda.
Day 9 (January 3, 2013)
Visit to Nivedita Nilyam, about 7 km. Visit this great organization established to educate young Gandhian activists.
Day 10 (January 4, 2013)
In the morning transfer by bus from Wardha to Nagpur.
Nagpur to New Delhi airport by Nagpur-New Delhi flight.
Systemization at the Guest house.
Visit to the main bazaar of the city.
Overnight stay and dinner.
Day 11 (January 5, 2013)
Transfer to New Delhi International airport for your return flight.
Dr Sadbhawna Bharadwaj ( European co-ordinator)
Contact No: 0039-3405865469
Amit ( Indian Co-ordinator)
Contact No: 0091-9424471247 / 0091-8171112349
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