Amritapuri - Amma's Ashram in Kerala

#1 Apr 14th, 2008, 16:25
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  • dupuis.natalie is offline
#1
Hello:

I am wondering if you know anyting about staying at Amritapuri - Amma's Ashram in Kerala. It was suggested in the Lonely Planet Gudie. Seems that there are thousands of people there at any one time.

http://www.amritapuri.org/

Have any of you stayed there? Did you like it? I have never been to an Ashram, so I can't tell which ones are good or not....We plan to stay there for a few days in May after realxing on the Charai beach by Kochin :-)

Thanks for your advice!
#2 Apr 14th, 2008, 16:43
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  • brownboy66 is offline
#2
Mode Note

Hi dupuis.natalie. I've moved your thread here in the hope it will attract a few more replies.
#3 Apr 14th, 2008, 17:46
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  • federica is offline
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Hi Natalie,

there are some threads about Amma's Ashram on IM. Just use the Search function right on top
#4 Apr 14th, 2008, 18:07
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#4

helpful link

Hello:

Today is my first day of membership, so I am still surfing and figuring out how this amazing travel forum works - thank-you so much for your guidance!
#5 Apr 16th, 2008, 17:16
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I have never been there, but from what I have heard the ashram is a bit on the fanatical side as far as the worship situation is concerned. I have only vague memories though of what I heard, but what was said was rather negative. On the other hand, where many people go more structuring is required and that tends to be enforced more strictly or more hierarchically, from top to bottom. And when you have sort of a Multi-Level command order, that is going to be much less transparent than if you are with friends in a small circle.

If you do want an Ashram experience, choose one that has only a few people living there. An advantage of the large groups is that you can "disappear" in the crowd, while with just a few people around you are very visible. Depends what you prefer. If seeing Amma to get a hug is your priority, you probably have better cards on one of her tours.
#6 Apr 16th, 2008, 17:52
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Natalie, welcome to the site

If you look at the very bottom of the page, you'll see a list of similar threads. Suggest you check them out.

I've been hugged by Amma a few times in London, but I never go to such events here. In London, at any one time during the day, there will be a lot of people, but it here, I understand that many thousands may be there!

I've never been to the ashram. I've heard that it is not a place to go to chill out and enjoy the vibe, but there is an emphasis on seva, on doing work.
#7 Apr 16th, 2008, 18:17
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#7

Good Tips

Hmmm, now I am starting to reconsider if I should spend 2 nights there or not. I don't care about the hug - it is more to see what an ashram is like before committing for a few months to one...

Thank-you so much for all you have to say!
#8 Apr 16th, 2008, 20:17
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#8
I'm not an ashram person, but I'd guess that they are all different!
#9 Apr 16th, 2008, 22:10
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  • atala is offline
#9
If you are in the area anyhow, why not stay there for two nights, you might like it...

But as Nick-H says, ashrams are all different.

The word ashrama is related to the word shrama which means the performance of ritual austerities. The Ashrama is the place (or in the varnashram-system also the time of life, the stage) where they are done. In a conventional way then an ashram became the name of the place where people live who are coming to see a teacher. In West Bengal I have seen signs indicating the way to the rooms where the disciples of some guru sleep, with the word ashram attached. In other words, colloquially it is really reduced just to the sleeping quarters for the visitors or disciples.

Just this "definition" alone would indicate that you would find all kinds of different types of ashrams. There are also many modern institutions which carry this name without even coming close to any of the above implications. Typically an ashram would consist of a building with a small or large number of rooms attached where a sort of communal life is organized especially around the meals, so that people staying there can have enough time to do whatever is considered the sadhana (the religious or disciplinary activity taught there).

So what you really need to know and decide upon is the teaching and practice that you would like to get to know and do, before you decide which ashram to choose to get an idea what an ashram is like.
#10 Apr 17th, 2008, 10:07
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#10
Amma's barely qualifies as an ashram. I guess it is if a complex of six 10-15 storey accomodation blocks is considered an ashram. More cult of personality than religious/ devotional.

The complex is highly regulated - rules for everything, not very engaging unless you are a devotee. Oh, and the food is the worst I have eaten in India. Anything more than a day is torture.

Important to note - Amma is a world celebrity these days - she is rarely at the Kerala ashram. In her absence, there is absolutely nothing to see or do.
#11 Apr 19th, 2008, 00:11
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#11
I've never been there, just saw some photos and found the architecture disappointing... it was looking like a suburb with lots of concrete... I guess there are better places to get an Ashram experience, although I like Amma's mission.
#12 Sep 12th, 2012, 00:18
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  • Merkaba Sol is offline
#12
Hello; I have a friend staying there and she is not happy... would like to move out to a new location.. any suggestions from anybody.

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