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Yogaville, Virginia


December 12, 2021

As I drove to Charlottesville from South Boston the other day, I came across a road sign for Yogaville. My initial reaction was that the name must be a joke, but then I read the following description of Yogaville. Who knew? Clearly not me!


Yogaville, or Satchidananda Ashram, was founded in 1980 by Satchidananda Saraswati, whose western notability stems from his opening of the Woodstock festival. The ashram is the international organizational headquarters of Swami Satchidananda's documented teachings and is located in Buckingham County, Virginia.

The primary goal of guru Yogiraj Sri Swami Satchidananda (1914-2002) was interfaith understanding as a vehicle to world peace. To this end, the LOTUS (Light Of Truth Universal Shrine) was constructed and inaugurated in 1986. Swami Satchidananda was living in Yogaville at the time of his death, though he was visiting Madras (city now known as Chennai), in South India at the time.

The property in rural Virginia, along the James River, was identified for the community from the air as the swami flew over, looking for land farther south than his ashram in Pomfret, Connecticut. Swami Satchidananda acquired 600 acres in 1979 to form his town, financing it by selling property in Falls Village, Connecticut that had been given to him by Carole King. As of 1986, when the LOTUS was dedicated, around 120 people were living on a total of 750 acres.

Reports cited plans to eventually house a population between 600 and 1,000. The ashram in Yogaville maintains a large kitchen and dining room for residents and guests. In 1996 a book of favorite ashram recipes was published and is now in its 9th printing. According to the official website, there are around 200 residents as of 2015. In May 2016 Yogaville received Landmark Status.

In addition to the Virginia and Connecticut ashrams, Yogaville-West was founded in Seigler Springs, California in 1972.


Costing $2 million (financed through donations and tithes) and dedicated on July 20, 1986,[2] the shrine is the centerpiece of Yogaville. The structure is shaped like a lotus flower, features a gold-leaf dome, and houses 12 altars representing Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Shinto, Tao, Buddhist, Islam, Sikh, Native American, and African religions. Blue neon tubes extend from each altar up along the spines of the vaulted ceiling.

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1 komentarz

15 gru 2021

Did you drive around, or better walk around, the grounds?!?!? It is a stunning place!!! My ex wife's fourth husband had a son who was going to study there, so I took him down and really saw the place!!! If you didn't, it would be worth the return to get a tour or just walkabout through the grounds!

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