Matha Gitananda Ashram
TRADITIONAL HINDU MONASTERY
Pilgrimage to the Ashram
The long dirt road that leads to the Monastery seems to define the separation between it and the rest of the world. If you walk through this path, it takes you on a journey of purification of the senses and of the heart: it becomes a pilgrimage. As you go into the woods, the confused and disordered murmur of the mind gradually dissipates, becomes quiet and you can hear the sounds of nature in all its majesty. In the virgin vegetation, the crackling of the steps of the pilgrim echoes on the way to the search for the Self. The bare and austere trees, withered by the ice, like glassy splinters, call for a severe penalty; the white snow blanket caressing, like a mother, covers and nourishes the earth, while the buds sway to the rhythm of gentle breezes of spring, the sweet and heady fragrances of the acacia in bloom; by the sound of driving rain to the full blast of the summer sun.
Nature, with the changing seasons, becomes a crystalline emblem of the inevitable steps of human life, as well as the search of the Truth. By giving of themselves, of their own shortcomings and selfishness, through the cold and dark nights before you can rediscover the light and the scent of a whole new life, cleansed from the shadow of the error and unconsciousness. Until you reach maturity, where you can taste the first fruits of a juicy subtle dimension, a bitter taste that makes all the others. A first it is dawning deep within oneself and is conquered with total dedication to a single ideal, a single purpose: freedom from captivity ignorance veiling his own divine nature.
Take the road leading to the Monastery hides all this, inducing an attitude of contemplation and introspection.
It comes, finally, to an entrance gate flanked by two imposing lions in white marble, a symbol of the conquest of uncontrolled instincts and royalty and courage image: two qualities essential to taking any action.
Crossing the threshold, the pilgrim is represented all around the iconographic representations of those cosmic forces and functions, and divine individual with whom you have to compare or on which it is relying.
The monastery is dotted, in fact, votive temples, carefully arranged in a precise and prescribed symbolic order. They dwell in the hypostases in the sculptural form of some of the main expressions of the Divine present in Hinduism. The golden domes of the many temples and present, in particular those of the two major complex, compete in beauty the peaks of the surrounding mountains, emphasizing the strong symbolic link between the elevation of the temple tower, Sikhara, and the axis mundi, union among all the planes of existence, from the underground to the most senior levels; a testimony of the full identity between micro and macrocosm. The heart of this ideal track pulsates in the main temple dedicated to the feminine aspect of the Divine, the Mother SRI LALITA MAHATRIPURASUNDARI and outdoor temple complex: SRI SHAKTI Pitham.
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