Daily Life in the Ashram


“As a monk, my life has been offered in unreserved service to God and to the spiritual awakening of hearts with His message....The organizational work that God and my Guru and Paramgurus have started through me is carried on by those who have dedicated their lives to the highest objectives of renunciation and love for God.”

                        — Paramahansa Yogananda

Nuns of the Order greeting visitors

Diverse Backgrounds United

In keeping with the two great commandments given by Christ, the monastic ideal is to love God with all one’s heart; and to love one’s “neighbor,” not only in abstract theory but in all the interactions of daily life — seeing in each person the image of God, and feeling for each one’s needs as we would for our own. “Once we were strangers,” said Paramahansaji, “but when we love God we become brothers and sisters.”

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Ashram-life-of-Womens     Ashram-life-of-Womens  

“Living in the ashram has given me the freedom to live my dream—making God the polestar of my life, and dedicating myself entirely to seeking and serving God and Guruji is the most fulfilling life I could have ever imagined.”

—Nun in ashram for 14 years

SRF monks and nuns come from a wide spectrum of backgrounds — men and women of diverse races, cultures, religious upbringings, educational development, and career experience. But what all monastics have in common is an ardent desire to live for God alone.

Through self-discipline, introspection, devoted meditation and a total giving of one’s self in loving service, the monastic seeks to experience the deeper joys of the soul and the supreme love that only God can give.

Daily Life in the Ashram

The renunciant’s daily schedule may vary depending on the particular ashram center and area of work to which he is assigned, but it always includes the basic elements Paramahansaji stressed for a balanced spiritual life: meditation and prayer, service, spiritual study and introspection, exercise and recreation, and time for solitude and silence.

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Ashram-life-of-Mens     Ashram-life-of-Mens  

“More and more I realize what a blessing it is to live, serve, and to be free to seek God in my Guru’s ashrams, surrounded by such sincere and dedicated souls.”

— Monk in ashram for 7 years

Serving SRF’s Worldwide Mission

The SRF monastic order serves the society’s worldwide spiritual and humanitarian work in many capacities:

  • Publishing (in all media) the writings and recordings of Paramahansaji and his direct disciples
  • Providing spiritual counsel
  • Conducting temple services, retreats, and lecture tours
  • Managing the administration of more than 600 centers and groups worldwide
  • Maintaining SRF buildings, meditation gardens, and ashrams
  • Overseeing the distribution of the SRF Lessons, books, ebooks, and recordings
  • Performing the many administrative, office, and other functions required for carrying on the work of an international religious organization
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While modern methods are used in these diverse activities, the guiding principle is always to preserve the purity and spirit of the special dispensation that Paramahansa Yogananda was ordained to bring to the world by the SRF line of Gurus. The supreme calling of every Self-Realization Fellowship monk and nun is to grow daily in attunement with God, which makes it possible to serve with understanding and compassion toward all.

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Monastic Order: Introduction A Centuries-old Tradition The Four Stages of Monastic Life Have You Heard a Divine Call? Sannyas: A Life of Monastic Consecration
Monastic Order: Introduction A Centuries-old Tradition The Four Stages of Monastic Life Have You Heard a Divine Call? Sannyas: A Life of Monastic Consecration
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