Vipassana International Academy
What is Vipassana?
The term 'Vipassana' literally means "to see things as they really are".
Vipassana is regarded as a type of Buddhist meditation technique, through
which a person stills the mind and achieves a sort of equanimity and
composure. It is said that Lord Gautama Buddha, Himself, made use of this
meditation technique. The technique of Vipassana is 'to watch your breath
with awareness'. In Vipassana, a person is just required to be aware of his
breathing and not try to control it.
Vipassana International Academy
The first Vipassana meditation center in India, for teaching the technique,
was set up at Igatpuri by S.N. Goenka. The center was given the name of 'Dhamma
Giri: Hill of Dhamma'. Today, it is known as Vipassana International Academy
and has the distinction of being the principle center of Vipassana
meditation in the world.
Students from various parts of India as well as abroad come to the academy
and attend its courses. Vipassana Research Institute (VRI) stands adjoining
the academy. It was set up in 1985 to carry out research into Vipassana
The Courses at Goenka Vippasana Center, India
The first course at Vipassana International Academy was held in October
1976. Since that year, the number of courses offered at the academy has
grown year by year.
The ten-day course is the main course offered at the Vipassana Meditation
Center of Igatpuri. They are taught by Goenkaji himself.
One-day Course & Group Sittings
This courser is only for those students who have completed a ten-day course
with Goenkaji or any of his assistants.
Satipatthana course is for those students who have completed at least 3
ten-day course and have practiced regularly for the past one year.
For this course, a student must have completed at least 5 ten-day courses
and 1 Satipatthana course and practiced daily, for the past two years.
For this course, a student must have completed at least 1 twenty-day course
and participated in a full-time Dhamma service in at least one 10-day
This course is for those who have completed one long course or are qualified
for long course since the last five years.
S.N. Goenka was taught Vipassana by a Burmese Vipassana teacher, Sayagyi U
Ba Khin. In order to fulfill the wish of his Guru, he set up a Vipassana
Meditation Center at Igatpuri.
The ten-day residential course for learning Vipassana can be undertaken by
any individual, regardless of the caste, religion, economic background, etc.
You will be required to practice 10 hours of meditation and maintain
complete silence. Complete abstinence from actions like killing, stealing,
lying, sexual misconduct and the use of intoxicants is to be maintained.
Along with that, the first three and a half days, you will have to practice
anapana meditation, which means focusing attention on the natural breath.
The next six and half days will be spent in practicing Vipassana.
How to Reach Goenka Vipassana Center, India
The nearest airport is at Nashik city. It is well connected with most of the
key cities in India.
The railway station at Igatpuri is serviced by a limited number of trains.
You can also catch a train from the Nashik railway station.
Direct bus services are available to both Nashik as well as Mumbai. You can
also hire a taxi for the purpose.