The founders of Saccidananda Ashram - Shantivanam

From left to right -Fr. Jules Monchanin, who took the name of Parama Arubi Ananda (the Bliss of the Supreme Spirit) Fr. Henri Le Saux, who took the name of Abhishiktananda (the Bliss of Christ) and Fr. Bede Griffiths, who took the name of Dayananda (the Bliss of Compassion)

This site was created for those who have become Oblates of Shantivanam and those who share the vision of Fr Bede Griffiths and the Founders of Shantivanam Fr Jules Monchanin and Fr Henri Le Saux (Swami Abhishiktananda)



1) Oblates are men and women, married and single, who offer their lives to God as Supreme Reality beyond name and form.

2) This Reality manifests itself under various names in Earth's traditions; Christian Oblates respond to it through Jesus, the New Testament and the Church.

3) Oblates recognize and revere traditions other than their own and respect all who seek God.

4) As monastics, Oblates claim kinship with monastics of all traditions.

5) Oblates of Shantivanam build on the foundation of prayer/study/work that characterizes Shantivanam in its Benedictine/Camaldolese tradition as their way of realizing the Divine Mystery as love uniting the world.

extract from The Golden String Vol. 1 No.1 BULLETIN OF THE BEDE GRIFFITHS TRUST  Spring 1994  P4  - Father Bede’s Desire for New Styles of Religious Community- and An OngoingExperience  - Beatrice Bruteau




                The community at Shantivanam would like to invite you to become a friend of the ashram. This is a friendship that will be cultivated around the spiritual vision and mission of the ashram with benefits extending to the many poor and needy associated with us directly or indirectly, whether working with us or simply because of living in the extended vicinity of our neighborhood. For our ashram’s mission is simultaneously spiritual and social, encompassing 100% love of God and 100% love of neighbor.    

                In addition to a deep contemplative life that we live daily ourselves, we are committed to providing a conducive atmosphere for anyone who wishes to deepen their spiritual journey, and, quite importantly, we are engaged in inter-religious dialog, a vocation that we inherited from our founders Jules Monchanin and Henri Le Saux and Bede Griffiths. And we, like them, are inspired by Jesus himself, who said, “Blessed are the peace makers for they shall be called the children of God”. Our world, as you know, is in conflict largely because of the lack of understanding and harmony between religions. Together, we can make a difference in our world today! .... FOR COMPLETE MESSAGE CLICK HERE or go to heading ABOUT     


What is an Oblate of Shantivanam

Oblates of Shantivanam are individuals or families who have associated themselves with Shantivanam community in order to enrich their spiritual life. Oblates shape their lives by living the wisdom of Christ and seek God in the spiritual tradition of Jules Monchanin (Swami Parama Arubiananda), Henry Le Saux (Swami Abhishiktananda) and Fr Bede Griffiths (Swami Dayananda). By integrating their prayer and work, they manifest God's presence in the place wherever they live and live for the wellbeing and harmony of all.

Oblates adopt values of Christian spirituality, such as, lectio divina spending time for daily meditation on the Sacred Scriptures; cultivating an awareness of the presence of God in silence and contemplation.

Saccidananda ashram Shantivanam was started on 21st March 1950 by Jules Monchanin and Henry Le Saux therefore on 21st March we are celebrating the 63rd birthday of our ashram.On this occasion I am pleased to announce that we have opened the website for oblates of Shantivanam to be in communication with each other and with our community. I am sure that this website will help us to deepen our spiritual pursuit and promote the communication between Shantivanam and oblates.


At present Shantivanam has 11 solemn professed monks and one simple professed and one novice. Also we have one candidate in Shantivanam.


The community offers hospitality to whoever comes to the ashram to seek God.

Social Work

The ashram continues its charitable work by helping the poor in building houses for the homeless, and old age home for the destitute and helping the poor children for their education.

Interfaith dialogue

The ashram is always known as a place of dialogue and meeting with other religions and cultures.


"but the man who lives by the truth comes out into the light,

so that it may be plainly seen that what he does is done in God."John 3.21

"Asato ma sat gamaya
Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya
Mṛtyor ma amṛtam gamaya
Om shanti shanti shanti

From the unreal lead me to the real,
From darkness lead me to light,
From death lead me to immortality.
Om peace peace peace

from the Brhadaranyaka Upanishad

"God cannot be imagined or conceived. Knowledge of God emerges from a kind of unknowing, a passing beyond all images and concepts into the darkness of unknowing.

This is the knowing of the heart, not of the intellect. It is therefore the knowledge of love. This love itself flows from God, the source, for there is in God a pure act of self-giving by which he ceaselessly communicates himself.

This love is mirrored in the mystery of the Godhead. The Father knows himself in the Son and the Son in the Father. Father and Son communicate in the love of the Holy Spirit." 

Fr. Bede Griffiths

Taken from: The Universal Christ - Daily Readings with Bede Griffiths P49 Introduced and edited by Peter Spink

"...The mystery which is present in my heart is the mystery which is also present in every human heart. In the place where God abides no one is separated from his brothers and sisters. At the very centre of his heart, where God is and where God alone is, he finds mysteriously present the whole human family and all creation. All times are present in that moment of which he is consciously aware - all that was, all that is, all that will be, and also all that transcends the three times as says the Mandukya Upanishad...

Swami Abhishiktananda

Taken from: Prayer: Exploring Contemplative Prayer through Eastern and Western Spirituality, revised and enlarged edition edit. by Swami Atmananda Udasin, foreword by Rev. Dr. James Stuart, Delhi (ISPCK), 2015, p.42.Reproduced here with the kind permission of the Abhishiktananda Centre for Interreligious Dialogue (Delhi Brotherhood Society). Website:

"...Christian mysticism is then, in its essence, the sharing of God's life; that is, the sharing of the trinitarian relationship. It is an intuition above image and concept, a direct experience - not a man-made one, but a God-given one - existential contact with what God is in himself and for himself...

Fr. Jules Monchanin

Taken from: Cistercian Studies Series: Number Fifty-One        In Quest of the Absolute: Life and Works of Jules Monchanin edited and translated by J.G. Weber 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this website’s articles and contributions are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Oblates of Shantivanam nor the official teachings of the ashram of Shantivanam.

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