Saragrahi, which literally means “essence-seekers”, is being developed under the guidance of Swami BV Tripurari, and its mood is one of inclusivity. By focusing on the essence of our spiritual pursuits, we find that the differences which naturally arise due to acquired tastes and circumstance, do not need to divide us. The essence leaves room for respected, honored and desirable diversity. As the community develops, it will facilitate spiritual pursuits across a life span, from cradle to cremation.
Saragrahi consists of 150 acres of gentle sloping mountains with long range mountain views. There are at least two ridges with 360 degree views. The land has several small creeks that wind their way through magic valleys where quartz and other minerals litter the forest floor. Many native medicinal plants line the walk-ways and find their place in the forest bed. Wild turkeys strut about and you can even hear an occasional peacock from a neighboring farm.
We are in the beginning stages of developing the natural opportunities afforded by the land into a dynamic spiritual community complete with both private and public aspects. The architecture and gardens at Saragrahi will be flavored by Japanese sensibilities. We have recently completed our first building, a barn with an apartment above which is the center of our functioning organic no-kill dairy, supplying ahimsa milk to the ashram, as well as the larger community. We have 3 milking cows, one of whom will be calving this October. We have also established an organic garden and berry patch which supplies food to the ashram, for festivals, and for sale to the larger community.
We are currently in the process of developing our first camp ground which will provide facility to guests visiting during our annual festivals, as well as an economic source for the further development of the community facilities. The plan consists of 10 camp-ins (camping cabins), a bath house, kitchen pavilion, and amphitheater. A walking path alongside a meandering creek will connect the camp grounds with the future yoga retreat center described below.
The future development of the project will include a:
• pushpa samadhi (meditation chapel) in honor of Srila AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar dev Goswami
• monastery for both male and female monastics
• neighborhood for retired people winding down their involvement in the outside world and turning their focus inward
• neighborhood with facilities and homes to meet the needs of families with children
• no-kill dairy
• organic gardens
• organic bakery
• yoga retreat center and camp grounds
The yoga retreat center will provide wonderful sacred spaces for yoga, meditation, music and just plain old get-me-out-of-the-madness-of-life retreats. It will not be glitzy or glamorous, but it will be elegant in its simple natural harmony. We will offer a variety of accommodations to facilitate people of different tastes, needs and means. There will be rental cabins, tent platforms and dorm rooms. A central dining hall over-looking Japanese gardens in the valley below will serve vegetarian meals mostly grown in our own garden, the milk and milk products will be from our own no-kill dairy, and the breads and pastries will be baked on-site. There will be different areas and outdoor pavilions and gazebos for yoga or music or both simultaneously, as well as a spa where guests can melt away tensions with a massage, sauna and cold plunge. You can see many photos of the property on Saragrahi’s FB page. The photo at the top of this page is one of Saragrahi’s wonderful western views.
As a larger community of spiritually active people develops around the hub of Saragrahi proper, other village-type industries will organically develop based on needs and abilities of the individual community members. We see many cottage industries developing as a way to meet both the financial and product needs of the community and its members.
Ananda Ashram is a property purchased by a community member to serve as temporary temple and base for those who are doing the hands-on development of the community. It also hosts the community’s annual festivals until there are adequate facilities available at Saragrahi itself.
Saragrahi is completely funded by the kind and generous gifting of those who see the value of this project’s service to the community at large, as well as an investment into their own future spiritual life. If you would like to be a part of the development of this project please contact me or DONATE NOW.