Visiting the Ashram
All are welcome to visit the Neem Karoli Baba Ashram and enjoy the temple room and grounds. The ashram is a sacred space for meditation, devotional singing and satsang or spiritual discourse among aspirants. All members of the ashram community contribute to the sacredness of this place which is a haven of peace and spiritual inspiration for hundreds of visitors and guests each year. We practice bhakti yoga-chanting and devotional practices, and karma yoga or seva-selfless service to God and creation.
A beautiful statue of Hanuman-ji, a lovable monkey god who devoted his entire being to the service of his divine master, Lord Rama, graces the temple room. His story is immortalized in the Hindu epic, the Ramayana, a fable which extols the virtues of universal love, devotion, service, surrender, non-attachment, equality and respect for all beings. A copy of the Ramayana is kept for devotees to read and chant from in the temple room. There is also an altar to the Divine Mother in her forms of Durga, the warrior goddess of protection and auspiciousness, and Annapurna, the goddess of grain and abundance. Another altar honoring Lord Shiva in the form of the Shiva Lingam along with his son, the elephant-headed remover of obstacles Lord Ganesha, and his vehicle, the bull Nandi, sits in the next corner. Central to the worship in the temple is devotion to our beloved guru, Sri Neem Karoli Baba, an Indian saint whose simple message of universal love and service continues to touch millions of lives. His takht, or sacred seat, covered with a plaid blanket of the type which he often wore, is the focal point for meditation and prayer. It is considered disrespectful to face one’s feet or back towards any of the altars or Maharajji’s takht. We also ask that all those who enter the temple room are bathed and in clean clothes and that they respect all of the articles of worship including the musical instruments and prayer booklets.
One of the central teachings of Neem Karoli Baba, also affectionately known as “Maharaj-ji”, is to “feed everyone”. The kitchen at the ashram feeds several hundred devotees each week in addition to hosting feasts for hundreds at several festivals throughout the year. Check out our daily schedule page for ashram hours and details about weekly feasts and programs and our festivals page for this year’s festival dates.
For more information about the ashram kitchen or if you would like to make donations of foodstuffs to the kitchen or help in preparing the prasad-the sacred food offerings-please see the kitchen page. Everyone who visits is welcome and encouraged to volunteer. For more information about how you can participate in seva, check out the seva opportunities page.
If you are interested in an overnight visit to the ashram, we allow visitors for a maximum of three nights. We have limited indoor guest room facilities-check out our dharmasala page for more details. There are camping facilities available from May to October. More information is available on the seva opportunities page.
Lastly, we ask that you keep a few things in mind while visiting:
- Enjoy the flowers, but please do not pick them.
- Intoxicants are not allowed on ashram property.
- We ask that parents watch their children at all times and be responsible for their children’s safety.
- Please do not bring dogs or other pets to the Ashram-this includes the parking lot!
- Weapons are not allowed at the ashram.
- Please dress modestly-men and women should be covered from shoulders to knees in and around the temple building. Shawls are provided for your use outside the temple room door.
THE PUJA DUKAN IS CURRENTLY NOT ACCEPTING CLOTHING DONATIONS UNTIL HANUMAN JAYANTI 2017. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
Thank you for your cooperation and enjoy your visit!