In February, I was invited to a meeting with Vigyaans guru Vivekananda and the other three leaders of the ashram.
I was taken into the ashrams room, and told to sit down and have a cup of tea and coffee with the other leaders.
They all looked pretty normal to me.
They were all wearing their customary ashram robes, and I was given a small bowl of chai tea and asked to sip it.
But this was not a typical meeting.
It was an extraordinary one, and there was something very different about it.
This meeting was not just about the guru.
It could be about the community as a whole.
The guru had asked for this meeting to set an example for his disciples.
The ashram was an institution, and it was not about the ashrama alone.
Vighya had asked us to make this an institution for the whole community.
In other words, it was an institutional culture in which all of us, as members of the community, were to be involved.
The meeting had a very specific purpose: to create a communal structure where all the members of Vigayaan’s ashram would be able to sit together and speak freely.
We could talk freely, but it would also be a place where everyone could share their experience, their problems, and their hopes.
It would be a community of experience, and we could see ourselves through this communal lens.
The leaders had decided to start with a simple premise.
One of the leaders had a bad day.
She was depressed, and her husband was too, too.
She wanted to do something about her depression, but she had no idea what.
Her husband was not as good a teacher as she thought he was, so she asked him to teach her some yoga.
She went to the yoga studio and tried it, and she was able to practice yoga for a while.
Then her husband got a bad rash on his forehead.
He asked her to go to the doctor, and the doctor told her to see a doctor.
She didn’t know what to do, so he gave her some tea.
Then she went back to the practice, but the doctor was not interested.
She asked the doctor to come to the ashrutha (ritual gathering place), and the ashra was there.
The doctor came, but Vivekanatha and the others asked him not to come.
They said that he was too busy.
So the doctor left, and Vigayananda came.
He told the doctor that he wanted to talk to her, but he was not going to do that because he was busy.
He didn’t like to talk about his wife’s problems.
He said that she was too depressed and too sad, and he told her that she needed to work hard to change her mind.
He would give her some books, and give her more support.
She came back a few days later, and asked him how he had done.
He replied that he had worked really hard to get her to understand yoga.
And he gave the doctor a small piece of cloth and told him that he would help her.
He gave the cloth to the guru, and they started to practice together.
The relationship between the guru and the guru’s students was very special.
They had a bond, and a very strong relationship.
They could talk, and sometimes they would even go to each other’s ashrams.
The teachers had a huge responsibility, and this was their responsibility.
They gave them lots of information, and when they did this, the students loved it.
As we said, it could be an institution that helped all the people of the village.
It had to be a social institution, where everyone had an equal place.
In this context, it can be said that ashram culture was a social phenomenon.
The people who went there wanted to be part of this community, and that was the main purpose of this institution.
And this was also why, after Vivekanathan’s death, the asharam was put on hold.
In 2010, the guru had gone back to his ashram in Kerala.
But he had to stop there.
That meant that the ashrah would have to go on.
After that, the organisation went on.
The community was still functioning.
It still had people who were connected to each others ashrams, and many of the students still lived in the asharathas.
The organisation still has a small presence in the village, and people still visit the asham to learn.
So, this organisation is still there.
It’s just a different kind of ashram with different structures.
So what happened?
What is happening now is a complete restructuring.
In 2013, the government started a new programme for the ashrarathas, called the Vibhudan Yojana.
The programme is to build up the ash