Four ashrams are
associated with the life of Guru Dev, Gyan Mandir in Uttar
Kashi, Shri Brahma Niwas
in Benares, Jyotirmath
in Joshimath and Brahma
Niwas in Allahabad.
Dev left home at the age of nine in search of a spiritual teacher. Five
years later, at the age of fourteen, Guru Dev found Swami Krishnanada
Saraswati in the remote valley of Uttarkashi, high in the Himalayas and
joined the Swami’s ashram
as a brahmachari
(celibate student). While it is not entirely certain, it is believed
that Krishnananda had his ashram
in the building known as Gyan Mandir. Under Swami
guidance, Guru Dev obtained full enlightenment (Brahmi Chetana) at the
age of twenty-five.
Mandir would later play another key role in the legacy of Guru Dev.
When Guru Dev died in 1953, his disciple Maharishi Mahesh Yogi removed
himself to Gyan Mandir, where he resided in solitude for many months
before embarking on his life-long mission of teaching Transcendental
Meditation throughout the world.
on Gyan Mandir, Uttarkashi
Krishnanand Saraswati Ashram - 'Shri Brahma Niwas' of Benares
several years before he became the Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math in
1941, Guru Dev had an ashram
constructed in Benares, which he dedicated to his guru, Dandi Swami
Krishnananda Saraswati. The formal name of the building is 'Shri Brahma
Niwas'. This became Guru Dev’s principal ashram
throughout his life. It was here that Maharishi Mahesh Yogi became Guru
Dev’s secretary and later his disciple. It is also where Guru
was installed as Shankaracharya, where his body lay in state
he died in 1953 and where his successor, Swami Shantanand, was
installed as Shankaracharya.
Krishnanand Saraswati Ashram
SHRI BRAHMA NIWAS
on Shri Brahma Niwas, Varanasi
Shankara, Adi Shankara, established four maths,
or seats of learning, one in each region of the Indian subcontinent,
and placed one of his four principal disciples as the head of each math. The northern math,
known as Jyotir Math, is a short distance from the cave in which Adi
Shankara obtained enlightenment. When Guru Dev was appointed
Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math, that seat had been vacant for some 150
years or so, and there was no longer an ashram standing. As
one of his first tasks as Shankaracharya, Guru Dev had a new ashram constructed
on the site of the original Jyotir Math ashram.
Although Guru Dev spent much of his time at the Benares ashram or touring
through north India, the Jyotir Math ashram was his
formal seat, though he spent little time there.
>> webpage on
Niwas at Allahabad
had frequent occasion to travel to the holy city of Allahabad. In 1950,
he had an ashram
constructed there, which, like the Benares ashram, is known as
on Shri Brahma Niwas, Allahabad
Nivas, 15, Alopibag,