Ashram founder Gaurav Datar had a big idea in mind when he started his own ashram in Guwahatti, but he quickly realised that it wasnt a religion, but a business model that could turn him into a multi-millionaire.
“When we started our ashram, I wasnt really sure how to sell it.
People werent interested.
I was thinking, let’s get a company that would take care of this business model.
Weve got a business plan and the way we are going to do it is this: We are going in for business and then we will do it right,” he said.
The concept of a business in Guvnahati started from the idea of developing a spiritual path and helping people to become spiritual.
Gaurav, who lives in Kerala, says that it isnt a new idea to teach spiritual path.
“We have been doing this for over 2,000 years.
We have a tradition that says we must not teach people about religion.
But we have also done it for over 150 years.
The tradition that we follow is that we have to teach people to follow the path.
We teach people that religion is not a religion but a means to an end.
We dont want people to believe in it.
We want people who are interested in doing something to be willing to do something about it.”
People are interested.
Theyve got to get out of the house.
They need to get their heads down.
If they are interested theyll take the initiative to become an ashram.
If its not working then they wont do it.
That is what we do,” he added.
I thought, this is the perfect opportunity. “
My idea was to have a business.
I thought, this is the perfect opportunity.
But it didnt work out that way.
So we had to change it and it is now called Ashram.
We are in business now and we are expanding it to other parts of Kerala and other parts in India,” he told HT.
Kumar also revealed that he is not an orthodox Hindu but is a practising Hindu.
“I dont believe in religion, I dont believe that religion comes to the mind when it is practised, I believe that people come to the practice when they are not aware of it.
There are many different ways of practising.
So the idea is to help people realise the importance of practises, not just religion,” he revealed.
The Ashram has about 10,000 members who pay a monthly fee of Rs 4,000 to come in and get a spiritual programme in Guwali.
“People come to our ashrams for spiritual purpose and they pay Rs 2,500 to do a spiritual training.
They get to know the path of their ancestors.
We also have a training centre where people can practise their yoga.
They also get to meet and pray with the ashrams founder,” Kumar said.”
We have a programme in which people get to practise their meditation and then they go back to their house and talk to their family.
There is also a programme where people get up at 4 am and practise their japa,” he shared.
The Ashram is also offering yoga courses.
“There are yoga classes in the mornings and evenings, in the evenings.
There also is a programme that you can take to the beach where people practise yoga, too.
We offer yoga classes for girls, too,” he explained.”
The Ashrams founder says we have got a good business plan.
We will also help people to convert to Christianity.
We aim to have 50-60 people who convert from Christianity to Buddhism.
We hope that the number will be around 50,” he continued.
The business model of the Ashram will continue to evolve and eventually it will expand into other parts across India.
“When I started the Ashrams business, I thought it would be very small, just me.
It has now expanded to about 30 people.
It is a small ashram but its not just a small one.
Its also a business and we want to grow it,” Kumar revealed.