ashram
   The Sanskrit ashrama was a place for ascetics to perform austerities (practices of renouncing bodily and psychological comfort), usually at a distance from and in isolation from the larger world (shram, means to exert oneself strongly). In later times the word came to designate a place organized for spiritual practice, a refuge where devotees could pursue their paths. Most often the ashram would be under the tutelage and guidance of a particular guru or lineage of teach-ers. Isolation is no longer the determining factor of an ashram, though many are still deliberately sited away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
   Further reading: Anne Cushman and Jerry Jones, From Here to Nirvana: The Yoga Journal Guide to Spiritual India (New York: Riverhead Books, 1998); R. P. Sax-ena, and Vinay Laksmi, eds., A Directory of Ashrams in India and Abroad (Mathura, India: Ashram Publica-tions, 1975) Susan Vickerman, “An Examination of the Indian Ashram and Its Potential for Women’s Spiri-tual Fulfillment” (Ph.D. Diss., Graduate Theological Union, 1990).

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

Look at other dictionaries:

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