Hindu Ashrams and Hindu Organizations

Swami Dayananda Ashram

Dayananda Ashram Rishikesh, situated on the banks of the Holy Ganga, is a unique centre for the study of Vedanta and Sanskrit grammar. It is unique in the sense that although the subject has been around for thousands of years, the teaching medium is English and the campus comfortable and appointed with all the modern conveniences.

The ashram was established during the 1960s by Swami Dayananda Saraswati, who is an internationally recognised teacher of Vedanta and foremost scholar of Sanskrit. Swamiji and his disciples conduct regular residential courses at the ashram with the focus on Bhagavad Gita and the ten principal Upanishads as commented upon by Adi Shankaracharya. These and selected ancillary texts are analysed and taught along with Sanskrit grammar in the Paninian style. Vedic chanting is also taught during courses.

In addition, throughout the year, a resident acharya holds daily discourses on the Upanishads, incorporating analytical examination of Adi Shankaracharya's commentaries.

Dayananda Ashram is the parent Vedanta institute of the Arsha Vidya Gurukulam group, established by Swami Dayananda. Known as Arsha Vidya Pitham it means a centre of learning based on the teaching of the ancient rishis.

Ashram Facilities

The ashram is set amidst two and a half acres of manicured gardens and well established trees. A calm and secluded spot yet only ten minutes walk from the main Rishikesh bazaar and the bustling markets of Ram Jhula.

More than one hundred and fifty rooms, all with attached bathrooms, hot water, and around the clock electricity provide four-star accommodation for course students.

A comprehensive library with over five thousand books, largely Swamiji's private collection, offers a light and congenial atmosphere to study or browse.

Kitchen and dining facilities provide nutritious meals three times a day.

Lord Gangadhareswar Temple conducts abhishekam and arati daily. Vedic rituals are performed by the ashram's resident priests on request.

Bhikshas and bhandaras can also be arranged on request. The ashram bookshop is well stocked with Swamiji's books. A cassette library houses a compressive selection of Swamiji's teachings and public talks. Malas and puja items are also for sale.



The Vision of Vedanta

India 's culture is based on a body of knowledge known as the four Vedas. This knowledge came from rishis, seers, who in states of deep meditation visualised this teaching in the form of mantras, many thousands of years ago. Much later, a great sage known as Vyasa arranged the Vedic mantras into four specific texts known as Rg-Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda and Atharva Veda. This knowledge, which is said to be not of human origin, formed the blueprints for humanity in terms of how it should live and interact with its environment and the world at large.

The end portions of the four Vedas are known as Upanishads which are teachings of a more subtle nature. The Upanishads teach in infinite detail that there is one consciousness that is in and through the universe and every form of life. It is Brahman. It is awareness. There is nothing else. This is Vedanta.

There are one hundred and eight known Upanishads in existence today. There are thought to have been many more. Of these, ten are considered to form a nucleus for the teaching known as Brahmavidya - the knowledge of Brahman.

A post-Buddhism-era sage called Shankara popularised these ten Upanishads and wrote extensive commentaries on them and the Bhagavad Gita, which contains the essence of the Upanishadic teaching. These commentaries, along with selected ancillary texts form the basis of the teaching tradition of Dayananda Ashram and its parent organisation Arsha Vidya Gurukulams .

For in these Upanishads is the clear knowledge of who I am.

The Upanishads show through the knowledge of Brahman that immortality and freedom from the cycle of life and death are the true nature of humanity and of every form of life.

Yoga Courses at the Ashram

Ashram Yoga Studio:

Swami Dayananda Ashram has a wonderful yoga studio, which is fully equipped to accommodate more than 50 students at a time. It is located just behind the Ashram Temple with a scenic view of Himalayas and the holy Ganga River. Senior Iyengar Yoga teacher Sri.Ramanand Patel of USA visits often to conduct yoga retreat here. Iyengar Yoga teacher Sri. Nandakumar conducts regular yoga courses for beginners and intermediate level students. Apart from them some other yoga teachers from different parts of the world visit the ashram to conduct yoga courses.


Forthcoming Yoga courses:

Shri Nandakumar will conduct residential Iyengar Yoga courses on the following dates: October 1st - 8th, 2008 / November 5th - 14th, 2008, February 4th - 13th, 2009 / April 19th - 26th, 2009

These courses will explore the technical details of Asana and Pranayama in the tradition of Iyengar Yoga. These courses are very well suited for beginners and intermediate level students. Interested persons are requested to register in advance or send their enquiries to yogiyaar@hotmail.com or contact the office.

Contact Information

Ashram Address:

Swami Dayananda Ashram, Rishikesh  
Swami Suddhananda

Arsha Vidya Pitham
(Swami Dayananda Ashram)
P.B.No:30, Purani Jhadi
Rishikesh - 249 201

Telephone: 0135-2430769 / 2433769
(from abroad dial +91-135 instead of 0135)
FAX: 0135-2430769
E-mail: dayas1088@hotmail.com

The Swamijis at the Swami Dayananda Ashram, Rishikesh will be happy to make arrangements for your stay. Please make your bookings well in advance so that necassary arrangements can be made.