Shri Modern Centre for Kailas Ashram, the Modern Brahma-vijnana Kendra (or the Modern Centre for Brahman-knowledge) is a unique lighthouse of the It was founded by the honourable Swami Shri Dhanrajgiriji, who was a staunch Advaita Vedantin. He used to remain immersed contemplation on his own Self. He lived here in a hut near the bank of the Ganges in Rishikesh. His sole occupation was to teach Vedanta daily to those who were inquisitive about the nature of Brahman and were busy contemplating on the Self. About 129 years ago in 1880 he had a dream thrice in which Lord Chandramauli Ashutosha Mahadeva directed him to bring here an ancient Shivalinga from a dilapidated temple in Kankhal and to recite Vedanta before it after installing it here in an enlivening and sanctified way. Acting upon the directions of the Lord, tine honourable Swamiji Mahraraj laid the foundation of the Kailas Brahmavidya Peetha in order to daily recite Vedanta to Lord ”Abhinava Charldreshvara” Besides the performance of this sacred assignment, this Brahmavidya Peetha, along with its branches, is always devoted to the service of Vedic Sanatana Dharma.
In the tradition of this Brahmavidya Peetha there have been saintly persons who were seekers of spiritual knowledge, knowers of Brahman and scholars. They devoted their whole life to preserve, strengthen and nurture the tradition of Shankara.
The Present Acharya Mahamandaleshvara
Adorning the tradition of this Brahmavidya Peetha, the eleventh Head Acharya Mahamandaleshvara Shrimat Swami Divyananda Sarasvatiji Maharaja continuously disseminates the knowledge of Vedanta strictly following the principles of Shri Adi Shankara. During the last two years, he has not only preserved the dignity and glory of the Vidyapeetha but has given a new direction to the developmental works. Two such significant works are:
- Proper preservation of ancient texts.
- Facllity for the Brahmacharins and Sannyasins to study Vedanta and the relevant texts.
Shankara’s Commentaries and Related Texts
The present Mahamandaleshvara has ushered in a divine era of studying the commentaries on the Prasthanatrayi by Shri Shankaracharya and other related texts daily for two hours both in the morning and in the afternoon. Thus by dint of his tireless handiwork he hap reinvigorated Shri Shankara’s tradition. This has benefited a great number of Sannyasins, Brahmacharins and house-holdes in their spiritual pursuits.
Illustrious Figures of the Ashram
This Ashram has had the association of some personalities who propagated Sanatana Dharma not only in India but also in the west. Dissuading the ordinary people from undesirable ways of life, they educated and initiated the ordinary people into it and also equipped them with the knowledge of Vedanta. The glory of the Ashram lies in association with such spiritual luminaries. The names of some of such spiritual personalities are: Swami Vivekananda, Swami Abhedananda, Swami Ramatirth, Swami Shivananda Sarasvati, Tapovana Maharaj Swami Dharma Prakashananda, Swami Tarananda, etc. whose greatness and uniqueness are well-known all over the world.
Residential blocks of the Ashram
The Residence of Mahamandaleshavara, Vayu Bhavan, Residence of spiritual seekers, Chaitanya Dham, Residence of the Acharya, Sanneedam, Residence of the workers, Residence of devotees, office of the Ashram, Publications Division, etc.
Kitchen and the Dining Hall
Tea is served in the morning and evening. Pure and Sattvic food is served twice. Cow milk is also given to the sannyasins and devotees after the dinner-
Abhinava Chandreshvara Temple: Rudrapatha in the morning. Recitation of Shivamahimna hymn in chorus in the evening. Almost daily ablution (abhisheka) of Lord Rudra by the devotees in the morning.
Adi Shankara Temple: Arti both in the Morning and in the Evening.
Founder Temple: After the recitation of the Hymn to Shiva in chorus, the devotees and students visit the temple and have darshana of the founder saint Swami Shri Dhanarajagiriji.
(Those who want to serve the Brahmacharins, sadhus and sannyasins with food, to donate for the tending of the cows, to arrange for the ablution of Rudra, to donate for the publication of sacred books, may contact the office. The donation is exempt from income tax under section 80 G).
Congregation Hall (Satsanga Bhavan)
Vyakarana and Six Systems of Indian Philosophy are taught here daily in the morning and in the afternoon.
Activities of the Ashram
Only Brahmacharins and Sannyasins stay and study here observing the following rules.
Rules to be observed :
- Discipline is first and foremost rule to be observed by the resident Brahmacharins and Sannyasins in the Kailas Ashram and its branches.
- Arti in the morning and recitation of the Veda (Shukla Yajurveda).
- Reading of the Bhashya of Shri Shankara on the Prathanatrayi with ten propitiatory (shanti) mantras.
- Arti and recitation of Shivamahimna hymn in chorus in the evening.
Attendance in all these performances is compulsory for all the residents.
Sanskrit Vyakarana, Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Samkhya, Yoga, Purva Mimamsa and Uttara Mimamsa are taught in a traditional way in the Ashram. Some stalwarts of the Ashram in education have brought out glosses on the intricate philosophical problems of Vedanta and these have a significant place in the pedagogical method of the Ashram. These glosses have been published by the tenth Mahamandaleshvara Shri Swami Vidyanandagiriji.
About ninety books have been published by the Kailas Vidya Prakashan. These include some very rare books on the Vedanta which are difficult to obtain elsewhere. To illustrate, Shankara’s Bhashya on the Prasthanatrayi with the commentary of Anandagiri accompanied by the Govindaprasadini comments (Govindaprasadini Tippana) and commentaries in Hindi entitled as Lalita and Mltakshara by Swami Vidyanandagiriji, which are helpful for the devotees. These are available in the Library.
Library and Preservation of Manuscripts
The Ashram has a library adequately equipped with old and new books numbering 11500 which are used by Acharyas, students and other residents of the Ashram. It has 900 manuscripts.
An eighteen-day Jnana Yajna beginning with the Achala Saptami is organized every year in which the present Mahamandaleshvara Swami Shrimat Divyananda Sarasvati dwells upon the intricate but significant topics of Shrimad Bhagavadgita, Upanishads and Brahmaputra in a lucid language. These discourses by Swamiji are accompanied with easily comprehensible illustrations. AlI interested devotees benefit from attending this Jnana Yajna.
Every years on the occation of Mahashivaratri after the Jnana Yajna, an Initiation Ceremony is organized in which those who are desirous ‘ ‘ of renouncing worldly life are initiated into Brahmbcharya and Sannyasa in accordance with their capability.
Go Seva (Service of the cows)
In the cow-shed of the Ashram cows are tended in a totally selfless and devoted way.
Even following the path of Kevaladvaita, the Ashram organizes the celebration of festivals with enthusiasm but in a disciplined way in accordance with the tradition of Vedic Sanatana Dharma. Festivals in the memory of the former Acharyas and other spiritual dignitaries are also celebrated.
The Ashram provides free homoeopathic treatment to one and all.