Sanyas Ashram

Image via Wikipedia

     You may think that an ashram environment is one of peace and tranquility and it certainly can be at times, but the truth of the matter is, wherever human beings gather, there can be drama.  This popular spiritual commune was no different.  Located near the foothills of the Himalayas, it is one of many scattered throughout India and is presided over by a prominent guru.  It is a retreat destination of many worldwide as well as home to several devotees.

     An issue facing many of the pilgrims that make their way to this spiritual haven is one of privacy.  The lack of private, individual lodging for the enormous influx of visitors make it futile for some to remain comfortable.  Much grumbling, sulking and complaining would ensue with sometimes inexcusable, heated arguments breaking out.

     Finally, this brought about a strict and decisive mandate.  Silence.  Within the walls of the compound, silence would be maintained at all times unless otherwise authorized.  Meals would be taken in silence.  All darshans and yoga classes would be held in silence by the attendees.  No more chit-chat or other conversation within the ashram would be tolerated.  Any questions needing to be asked of personnel would be done in private quarters.

     The change was immediate.  A rapport quickly could be felt between the visitors when they had only the use of inference and “sign language” to communicate with each other.  Now, the attendees could more easily absorb the discipline and teachings with their full attention and not with distracted bickering with their neighbors.  Ah, peace at last.


Monday Morning Writing Prompt–Random Creativity:

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  1. jgavinallan

     /  August 4, 2011

    So full of detail and things of interest…everything held in silence…OMG!
    I would need tape over my mouth…
    Discipline and sincerity will lead to peace…
    lovely post and even better read


    • It really does help though with senseless chatter and ego trips!

      So glad you liked this, Jaye–thank you.

      Gayle xoxo


  2. I’ve lived a lifestyle where silence was the norm like you’ve described and learned that true silence is within. I need my quiet time, for sure, but am a little bit agoraphobic, I suspect. A crowd makes me anxious. Probably would do better in a hermitage in the woods (have had that experience) then an Ashram. Here I am, 67 years old and still struggling with Inner Silence. Sigh. Thanks for sharing this, Gayle.


    • I’ve gone through many retreats where silence was the norm. It’s definitely harder for some than others. I too do not enjoy crowds–the energy can be anxiety producing for me as well. And I agree about inner silence–it’s there with us no matter what is happening outside–only how to tap into it at will. I continue the struggle too, Victoria.

      Thanks for coming by.


  3. So many religions have silence and quiet as part of finding peace and tranquility within. It is something that has to be constantly practiced. I meditate eveyrday and still have my mind wander from time to time. I can’t imagine not having that silent time to feel my inner quiet.

    Poignant story .. although fiction … I believe it’s sprinkled with human truths.
    Namaste, dear friend


    • Yes, it’s a constant practice, Izzy. My mind still wanders too after all of these years. I thrive on being alone–it seemingly is my nature. I must have been a hermit in a past life!

      Thank you for enjoying the story–I enjoyed your very refreshing sailing trip story as well.

      Namaste, Isadora,


  4. that was a shrewd idea for sure 🙂


    • Silence is golden. 🙂 Although something tells me that even with the mandate of silence–egos would find a way to show themselves!


  5. Some writer you are Dear One!
    Not a true story? boy oh boy, it seemed so real..

    If you had not bolded the words out, I would have never known it was a prompted one- such was the flow..

    Silence, I could use some right now! This is after I stay in solitude..

    Weekend hugs xoxox


    • What a nice compliment coming from a professional editor as yourself! I really appreciate your kind words, Olivia.

      I think I will always be in need of more silence myself. 🙂

      Have a good weekend, Olivia! xoxo


  6. I honestly believed that this was a true story , Gayle ! It was so believable , my word ! A convincing presentation … I even thought to myself , what an excellent idea !


    • No, not true, but having lived in an ashram for several years, I know what can transpire in living with so many different personalities! Many retreats that I have attended also are conducted with strict silence from the attendees–so I did pull from my own experience to write this.

      I would guess that there are some ashrams that do adhere to the silence rule. 🙂

      Thank you very much, Misha, for your kind words for me.


  7. Silence IS golden, as the old saying goes. Well done story, Gayle! 🙂

    Peace … at last!

    Happy days.



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