Badarikashrama, located in San Leandro, California was founded by Sri Swami Omkaranandaji in 1984. Named after the Himalayan site where Vedavyasa received and taught the Vedic scriptures, the ashrama stresses the Vedic teaching that the Truth is One and comes in many forms. The atmosphere is conducive for people of all nationalities and faiths to feel welcome, share its resources and activities and experience the unique spiritual and cultural heritage of India.
Under the guidance of Swami Omkaranandaji the spiritual disciplines of Bhakti (devotion), Karma (action) and Jnana (knowledge) Yogas are taught stressing their practices in daily life for self-improvement and self-knowledge. The lives and teachings of the rishis, modern saints and sages, with particular emphasis on Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda, are studied and promoted. Through worship, study, and spiritual practice people can experience the sacredness of life and have awareness of the Divine Light in all our surroundings. These spiritual practices and studies create an avenue for people to rise above the mundane physical existence and comprehend the essence of the Vedic teachings that our lives are immortal and everything is filled with Eternal Spirit.
In the peaceful prartana mandira (prayer hall) puja and arati are conducted three times daily. Ramakrishna Aratrika is performed every evening. A weekly Sunday Service is conducted with special worship services and talks and a Sri Satyanarayana Puja and Katha on every purima (full moon day). Programs include celebration of festivals, lives and teachings of saints, concerts, retreats, and other special events including the celebration of Thanksgiving and Christmas. The ashrama has done a great deal for the promotion of Indian culture in the broader community through outreach in the local and state media and the inclusion in events of people from all traditions. Many classes are held throughout the year for children and adults to teach meditation, yoga, music, and dance(Indian classical), which gives people the opportunity to explore and renew their spiritual and cultural heritage. The bimonthly Sandesha (newsletter) gives the details of events with its monthly calendar and diary.
Badarikashrama is committed to serving the spiritual and cultural needs of society through opportunities for personal liberation and the Service of God through Humanity. Educational and cultural exchanges between the centers in America and India also make up a part of the work of the ashrama. Through the support of our San Leandro center community a school has been built to serve the village children in rural India. Badarikashrama Vidyashala currently provides education to students from LKG and UKG, Primary and middle school with a student body of currently 700. In the coming years the Vidyashala will reach up to twelfth grade. Badarikashrama is committed to serve God through humanity.
Aims and Goals
- Classes in Philosophy, Sanskrit, Dance, Music and Yoga
- Seminars and pilgrimages to locations of significance to hinduism
- Expansion of residential facilities
- Educational and cultural exchange between India and US