Light of the Spirit Monastery is a monastic community for those men who wish to follow the paths of Original Yoga and Original Christianity in their search for God.
Our major spiritual practice (sadhana) is meditation. Therefore we begin each day with three hours of meditation. We draw our perspective as yogis from the Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, Yoga Darshana (Yoga Sutras) and the Sankhya Karika. Yoga is based on the Sankhya philosophy which was the original philosophy of the ancient rishis of India and the basis of the scriptures just mentioned.
Jesus Christ spent over half of his life in India studying yoga and philosophy until returning to the West as a missionary of the Sanatana Dharma (Eternal Religion). After his crucifixion and resurrection, he returned to India and lived the rest of his life in the Himalayas. (See The Christ of India on this website.)
We believe that Jesus was a great Siddha (perfected being), and we honor him accordingly. We revere all great ones such as Krishna, Buddha and Lao Tzu. We believe that the individual spirit (jivatman) is eternally one with the Supreme Spirit (Paramatman), and that each one of us is destined to become exactly what Jesus and those other great ones became.
Jesus told his disciple, Saint Thomas, to also live in India, which he did, first living with Jesus in the Himalayas and then in Kerala at the southernmost tip of India. (See The Apostle of India on this website.) There he established the Ishanni Sampradaya as an integral part of Hinduism. Later the Ishannis came to be called Saint Thomas Christians.
Light of the Spirit Monastery (Atma Jyoti Ashram)
We are all that remains of a mission established in the United States at the end of the nineteenth century by the Syrian Jacobite Saint Thomas Christian Church of South India, also known as the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, or Indian Orthodox Church.
Always esoteric in its approach, early on the mission adopted the liturgical and sacramental forms of Bishops James I. Wedgwood and Charles W. Leadbeater which they had formulated for use in the theosophically-based Liberal Catholic Church. (See The Yoga of the Sacraments on this website.) It is these rites that distinguish us as Christians. Otherwise, our beliefs and spiritual practice are identical with those of classical Hinduism (Sanatana Dharma), and are based on the teachings of the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita and the Yoga Sutras (Yoga Darshana).
In our opinion the true interpretation of Jesus’ teachings can be found in the writings of Paramhansa Yogananda. We also value The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ by Levi Dowling.
Visitors, male or female, who wish to come to the monastery for an hour or so visit are welcome, though they should notify us beforehand.
We do not accept short-term residents who do not intend to lead the monastic life, nor do we have provision for those interested only in a work-study program.
Those Interested in Monastic Life
Those who are interested in perhaps becoming members of the monastery should read our article Monastic Life in Our Monastery.