Day Time Visit to the Ashram
We welcome visitors to the Ashram and Temple of the Divine Mother (also known as the Lakshmi Temple) every day during daylight hours. You may join us for ceremonies, meditate or pray in the temple, join in the karma yoga, visit our Maha Lakshmi Gift Shop, or join us for a meal around 12:30pm. If you are a group, advanced notice is advisable particularly if you would like a tour or a meal. Many people bring offerings to the temple. In keeping with our commitment to honor Mother Earth, Bhuveneshwari, we ask that you consider bringing organically grown fruits, dairy products, and grains. We also have plenty of plates, cups, and silverware for you to use; so please refrain from bringing disposable dishware (particularly styrofoam). Honoring our Vedic tradition, we also request that you do not bring food containing onions or garlic.
Over Night Visiting Information
Prior to an over night visit to the Haidkhandi Universal Ashram of Babaji please call ahead of time to let us know about your intention to visit and to see if there is availability. You must arrive by 4pm so that we can orientate you, get you settled before evening aarati, and give the staff time to bath and prepare for aarati, which is at 6pm. Families should plan on bringing dinner already prepared as we do not cook after aarati, we simply warm up leftovers from lunch. (Please inform us ahead of time if you need us to have extra dinner prepared for you.) We will give you directions to Crestone and advise you about accommodation availabliity. This is a simple Ashram devoted to the Mahavatar Babaji and the Divine Mother. Since it is Babaji's home, we feel that all of us are here to tend and maintain the Ashram in accordance to His teachings. It is in this spirit that we attempt to continually enhance the beauty of the Ashram. The earthship shown on the left houses the communal kitchen area, the Maha Lakshmi Shop, and office. The photo on the right shows the beautiful 1,000 sq. ft. greenhouse where we grow organic vegetables and flowers. Both are passive solar structures.
Bring these items: sheets or sleeping bag and towels, (not required if you are flying), ceremonial clothes (women are asked to wear long dress slacks, skirts, sari or punjabis to aarati and men should wear long dress pants or lunghis), work clothes for karma yoga, sneakers or hiking shoes, some type of sandals or slip-on shoes, flashlight, sunscreen and insect repellent (for summer) and toiletries. Also, it is recommended that you bring an international calling card if you need to make international phone calls as cell phone reception is not reliable here (Verizon is pretty good). The phone here is for ashram business use first, but personal domestic phone calls can be made anywhere for free. So please respect this and ask to use the phone during off-business hours. For more details on any of the above please contact us.
Staying at the Ashram requires following some simple rules. These are: adherence to the ashram schedule (attending aarti from 7-8am and 6-7pm, working for 6 hours a day, and observing quiet time after 9pm), vegetarian diet, no drugs, or alcohol, appropriate dress, bathing twice daily before the aaratis, respect of the land and willingness to participate fully and serve.
Accommodations: There are five rooms in our lovely, earth-friendly dormitory pictured on the left. The larger room sleeps up to eight people and the four smaller rooms are adequate for between two and four people. There is also on-the-floor sleeping space in the yurt (on the right) and some camping space is also available but you must bring your own tent. To cover the cost of food and lodging, we suggest a donation of $36.00/night per person, $180.00/week or $450.00/month. (A private room is $63 per night.) There is no cost for children. Anyone wishing to stay for longer periods of time or who has intentions of being a resident should contact us directly.
Karma Yoga: A requirement of being at the Ashram is that everyone here WORKS everyday! Karma yoga is selfless action devoted to the Divine while repeating the name of God. Not being attached to the results of the work is also key. This is one of the strongest teachings of Babaji and our main spiritual practice. This simple practice can lead to tremendous insights and realizations within ourselves. Karma yoga is a minimum of six hours per day, although sometimes during celebration periods this changes. We have a "karma yoga meeting" each morning after Aarati to plan the activities and work that needs to be done that day. Babaji said, “Work is worship.”
Aarati: Aarati is the daily devotional temple service that takes place morning and evening. Offerings of fire, earth, water, air and food are made to the Divine as prayers are sung in Sanskrit and Hindi. Aarati offers the opportunity for us to play music, sing and dance while celebrating our connection to the Babaji and the Divine Mother. Aarati is at 7am and at 6pm and lasts about an hour. All are expected to attend except for women on their moon time.
Japa: Japa is reciting the name of God. Babaji said to use the name of God that is in your heart. This means that a Christian may be repeating a different name of God than a Buddhist or Muslim. If one did not have a particular name of God the name that Babaji recommends is "Om Namah Shivaya," meaning "I bow to God within.". Constant repetition of this mantra acts like running water to purify the mind. This is a way to devote all activity of the day to the Divine. Babaji said we should repeat the name of God 24 hours a day. Formal Japa is recited using prayer beads called a mala. The mala has 108 beads that can be made out of sandalwood, dried tulsi seeds or any semi-precious stones. These are available in our Maha Lakshmi Shop.
Havan: Havan (or fire ceremony) is an ancient Vedic form of worship where the fire is seen as the mouth of the Divine. Offerings of dried grains, fruit,and flowers are offered during the havan while mantras are repeated in thanksgiving for the many ways that the Divine sustains us. Havans are performed on the new and full moon and other festivals. Gifts of apples, bananas, coconuts, incense or flowers are appropriate to bring, if you wish. Fasting from grains and other heavy foods before participating in a havan is part of the discipline as well as wearing ceremonial clothes.
For Women: A woman's moon time (menses) is a time for extra meditation and rest. During the first three days we ask that you do not participate in temple activities, havan or community food preparation. However, other karma yoga service will be expected during these days.
We embrace the ideal of a close relationship between Mother and child. To this end, we are fine with mothers nursing their babies at the Ashram. Out of respect for the many cultures visiting here, we do ask that this is done in a modest fashion with a shawl or some covering.
The Ashram is a place for focused spiritual practice where you may surrender yourself to divine energy. An attitude of respect and reverence for the culture connected with these spiritual practices makes a big difference in your personal experience. An attitude of "Here I am... what can I do to help?" will bring the most benefits to those who wish to learn and experience as much as possible of Babaji's teachings and Grace. Please feel free to ask us if you have any questions or need assistance with anything.
Share Your Experience at the Ashram
Many people have wonderful experiences at the Ashram. Please share yours...whether it was your first visit or your tenth. It would be great to hear from you, the experiences are different every time. The Ashram also welcomes comments and suggestions about improvements to enhance Ashram visitors’ experiences.
Sharing your experiences and comments is a way of inspiring others; understanding your own self and what you have gone through; and contributing to the experience of all who visit Haidakhandi Universal Ashram. You can submit experiences and comments via an email to info@BabajiAshram.org or fill out the form below.
If you wish to submit your experiences or comments anonymously, leave out your name on the form below and use a bogus email address or send them to the Ashram by regular mail, using the following address as both sender and recipient on the envelope:
PO Box 9
Crestone, CO 81131