This monastery spreads out over 382 acres of gardens, groves, paths, ponds, waterways and forests, all at the foot of an extinct volcano. It is a secluded, cloistered home and theological seminary to a small fellowship of dedicated monks from several nations who live and serve here full time, striving to fulfill the dual goals of selfless service and self-transformation through ashtanga (eight-limbed) yoga, which begins with good character and piety and leads to deep meditation and ultimate enlightenment. As you walk the grounds, you may feel the rarefied spiritual vibration created by the presence of our beloved Gurudeva, who lived here for 31 years, and by his monks’ decades of meditation, worship, one-minded harmony and mystic experiences.
It was in 1970 that Gurudeva (1927–2001) founded this center. He had traveled the world over with his Innersearch Travel-Study programs, seeking the perfect place for his spiritual headquarters. In 1968 the group stayed for three weeks at the Tropical Inn resort, as this property was then called. He had found his ideal location. In the decades to follow the monastery developed and flourished, based on the time-tested culture of Hinduism. Today, even in India, it is counted among the world’s important Hindu holy sites. Dozens of temples and institutions around the world rely on the monastery for strength and guidance.
The monks’ day begins with a 5:30am puja (worship service) in Kadavul Temple, followed by a one-hour yogic meditation guided by Satguru. Anchored by this contemplative discipline, they turn to their assigned duties: running two temples, caring for the property, publishing, construction, growing food, hosting pilgrims and guiding seekers around the world. All gather for a vegetarian rice-and-curry lunch at 1:08pm. After a brief siesta, work resumes at 3pm. At 6pm the monastics exercise or take a walk, have dinner and enjoy informal time together; bedtime is 9pm.