The Path to Inner Peace
Today, 06/08/2015, the Sri Durgamayi Ma Ashram e.V. was presented in an article in the local newspaper, the Ulmer Südwestpresse:
Most of the people living in Ulm know the orange-coloured house of the ashram Brindavon situated on the corner of König-Wilhelm-Straße only from the outside.
Some may have taken a look inside on the open door day held for the benefit of the “Aktion 100.000” and “Ulmer helft” (local charities), or may have taken part in the kirtan singing or a meditation or simply enjoyed the silence in the temple area. But who runs the ashram? It is a non-profit assciation.
In the preamble of the Sri Durgamayi Ma Ashram e.V. it says: „Peace in our human society can only be achieved if we find peace within ourselves. Bringing about this peace is the core of all faiths and requires emphasizing not what separates them but what they have in common, to underline not their differences but to recognize and practice what units them. The Sri Durgamayi Ma Ashram e.V. sees its task in reviving religious experiences so that all human beings can find their path to inner peace.” A spiritual community consisting, at the moment, of 25 adults and three children lives in the ashram on the Ostplatz. „I love living here because it allows me to be focused on my spiritual path in the midst of this world. I love living in a community with so many people who are all pursuing the same goal and have the same master” says Nandi, 42, qualified in leisure education, who has been living in the ashram Brindavon for ten years.
The ashram is also the seat of the association and the place where the members and guests can practice Bhakti Yoga, the “path of loving devotion to the Divine”. This path is not determined by any faith. The word “ashram” means a “place of practice” and describes a place of contemplation, inner reflection and spiritual practice. In India, it above all denotes a place where a spiritual master teaches and where disciples can encounter their master. This ashram is headed by the German spiritual master Sri Durgamayi Ma, whom her pupils call Mataji, which means revered mother.
At the beginning of the seventies, Mataji found her way to her master Sri Neem Karoli Baba in India. “Under his guidance, Mataji achieved inner peace and returned to Germany in 1981 as a human being liberated from herself”, the association states in an information release. A group of Mataji’s students founded the ashram association in 1997 out of a deep desire to create a place where this path to inner peace can be practiced by anybody who wishes to do so. In this way, her students wish to contribute to peace in the world.
Part of this spiritual practice is the daily light ceremony called “aarti”, celebrated every morning and evening as a reminder of the “divine light that resides in all human beings”. In India, the aarti is the traditional form of honouring the Divine as it is practiced in public temples and also by the families at home. The participants pass a light in front of a picture of the deity to remind them of the fire in their hearts which must burn so we can find our way inward by the glow of this fire.
Other important practices are the joint meditation, the singing of mantras and Mataji’s darshan – being in her presence. Everybody is invited to visit the ashram or attend the different practices. The ashram shop “Hier und Jetzt” in the house next door also belongs to the ahsram association. It offers a large variety of gifts, many of which come from India, of course, and also a small but lovingly arranged and selected second-hand section.
Ulmer Südwestpresse 06.08.2015 Birgit Eberle