(Prior of Saccidananda Ashram Shantivanam from 9th April 2018)

Messages from Fr. Dorathick shared on his blog page - please click on link below:-

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Deepening Your Spiritual Journey with Benedictine Practices
Benedictine spirituality, rooted in the teachings and the Rule of St. Benedict, has a rich history and profound influence on individuals and communities around the world. By examining the key elements of Benedictine spirituality and its impact on daily life, community living, and hospitality, we gain a deeper understanding on how these ancient teachings continue to shape and inspire individuals in the modern world.
The Role of Community in Benedictine Spirituality
In Benedictine spirituality, community plays a central role. Living in a community promotes a sense of belonging, support, and shared responsibility among members. It fosters an environment where individuals can grow spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually through their interactions with one another. The communal life encourages humility, respect, and selflessness, the key values in Benedictine spirituality.
Hospitality is a cornerstone of Benedictine communities. Benedictines believe in welcoming all guests as if they are welcoming Christ himself. This practice of hospitality extends beyond offering physical comfort to providing a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere where all are valued and respected. Benedictine communities often open their doors to visitors, seeking to create a warm and welcoming environment. Living in a Benedictine community comes with its challenges and rewards. The close-knit nature of community life can sometimes lead to conflicts or disagreements among members. However, these challenges provide opportunities for growth, learning, and practicing forgiveness. The rewards of community living include deep connections, support systems in times of need, and a sense of shared purpose and belonging that enriches the spiritual journey of each member.
The Influence of Benedictine Spirituality in the Modern World
The values and principles of Benedictine spirituality have found relevance and resonance in the modern world. Concepts such as humility, balance, hospitality, and stewardship are increasingly valued in a society marked by individualism and materialism. People are drawn to the peaceful, intentional living that Benedictine values promote, seeking to incorporate these principles into their daily lives.
Benedictine Spirituality in Non-monastic Settings
Benedictine spirituality is not only confined to monastic settings but has also permeated in various aspects in our society. Individuals and groups outside traditional monasteries have embraced Benedictine practices such as mindfulness, simplicity, and community building. Benedictine spirituality offers a way of life that transcends religious boundaries, appealing to people seeking a deeper connection with themselves, others, and the world around them.
How Can Bendictine Spirituality Benefit You?
Balanced Life: Bendictine spirituality emphasizes the importance of balance in all aspects of life. By focusing on prayer, work, and community, individuals are able to cultivate a sense of harmony and fulfillment.
Inner Peace: In the midst of chaos and turmoil, Bendictine spirituality provides a sense of inner peace and serenity. Through daily prayer, meditation and reflection, practitioners are able to quiet the mind and nourish the spirit.
Community Support: Community living is a fundamental aspect of Bendictine spirituality. By surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals who share your values and beliefs, you will find support and encouragement on your spiritual journey.
How to Incorporate Bendictine Spirituality into Your Life?
Establish a Daily Routine: Start by setting aside dedicated time each day for prayer, meditation and reflection. This will help you stay grounded and cantered amidst the busyness of modern life.
Practice Gratitude: Take time each day to express gratitude for the blessings in your life. By cultivating a mindset of thankfulness, you will cultivate a spirit of generosity and compassion towards others.
As the world grapples with increasing complexities and challenges, the timeless wisdom of Benedictine spirituality holds promise for the future. The principles of balance, moderation, and hospitality can offer guidance in a fast-paced, interconnected world. The adaptability of Benedictine values to diverse contexts suggests that their influence will continue to grow, inspiring individuals and communities to cultivate lives of meaning, purpose, and interconnectedness.
In conclusion, Benedictine spirituality offers a timeless path to inner peace, community harmony, and a more meaningful connection with God. By embracing the values of prayer, work, humility, and hospitality, individuals can cultivate a deeper sense of purpose and fulfillment in their lives. As we reflect on the enduring relevance of Benedictine spirituality in today's fast-paced world, we are reminded of the enduring wisdom and beauty found in this ancient tradition.

Happy Feast of St. Benedict!
Fr. Dorathick

(Drawing of St. Benedict by Fr. Dorathick)


Profound Spirituality of St. Romuald

St. Romuald, a revered figure in the history of Christian mysticism, is celebrated for his profound spirituality and remarkable contributions to the monastic tradition. His life and teachings have inspired countless individuals seeking a deeper connection with the divine and a more contemplative approach to spiritual growth. 
The Life of St. Romuald:
St. Romuald was born in Ravenna, Italy, in the 10th century. Despite belonging to a noble family, he felt a deep longing for solitude and spiritual contemplation from a young age. Inspired by the desert fathers of Egypt and the monastic tradition of St. Benedict, Romuald embarked on a quest for inner transformation and closeness to God. He is known for founding the Camaldolese order, a unique blend of eremitic and cenobitic monasticism that emphasised solitude, prayer, and manual labour. St. Romuald’s own life exemplified a rigorous commitment to asceticism and relentless pursuit of spiritual perfection.
The Key Themes of St. Romuald’s Spirituality:
Solitude and Silence: St. Romuald placed great emphasis on the transformative power of solitude and silence in nurturing a deeper relationship with God. He believed that withdrawing from the distractions of the world enabled individuals to hear the voice of the divine more clearly and cultivate inner stillness.
The Prayer of the Heart: Central to St. Romuald’s spirituality was the practice of the prayer of the heart, a form of contemplative prayer that seeks to unite the practitioner’s heart with the heart of God. This prayerful union was seen as the ultimate goal of the spiritual journey, leading to profound peace and intimacy with the divine.
Humility and Obedience: St. Romuald emphasised the virtues of humility and obedience as essential for spiritual growth. He viewed humility as the foundation of all virtues, enabling individuals to surrender their own will to God’s divine providence. Obedience, in turn, was seen as a path to freedom and self-mastery, as monks submitted themselves to the guidance of their spiritual fathers.
St. Romuald’s teachings and way of life have had a lasting impact on the Christian mystical tradition. His emphasis on the transformative power of solitude, prayer, and humility continues to inspire spiritual seekers around the world. The Camaldolese order, founded by St. Romuald, remains a vibrant community dedicated to the pursuit of contemplative life and spiritual renewal.
St. Romuald’s spirituality offers a profound and timeless message for modern seekers longing for a deeper connection with the divine. Through his life of prayer, solitude, and self-emptying love, St. Romuald invites us to embark on a journey of inner transformation and spiritual awakening.
May his teachings continue to guide and inspire all who seek to draw closer to the heart of God.

Fr. Dorathick OSB Cam

(Drawing of St. Romuald by Fr. Dorathick)

The Spiritual Significance of Pentecost in Today's World

Pentecost, marks the end of the fifty days of Easter and commemorates the moment when the apostles were empowered by the Holy Spirit to take the message of Jesus Christ to the world. This event symbolizes the birth of the Christian Church and the beginning of a new era of faith and spirituality. Pentecost, celebrated by Christians, commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles and other followers of Jesus Christ. This event is defined in the New Testament in the Book of Acts and is believed the beginning of the Christian church. 

The spiritual significance of Pentecost in today's world can be seen in several ways; It is a reminder of the power of the Holy Spirit to transform our lives these days. Pentecost is a reminder of the empowerment that comes through the Holy Spirit. It symbolizes the presence of God's spirit within the world and inside the lives of us, offering guidance, strength, and comfort. The story of Pentecost emphasizes the idea of unity in diversity. It speaks to the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome language and cultural barriers and unite people from diverse backgrounds. Pentecost is a time of renewal and transformation. It encourages us all to reflect on our own spiritual journey and to seek a renewed filling of the Holy Spirit for empowerment and guidance. The Pentecostal message has global relevance in today's interconnected world, emphasizing the universal nature of the Christian faith and its potential for spiritual transformation across cultures and nations. Pentecost emphasizes us mandate to share a message of hope and salvation with all. It encourages us all to serve, to be merciful, and to live the gospel.
In modern life, where chaos and uncertainty are common, Pentecostal spiritual understanding offers a beacon of hope and way. The message of Pentecost is one of unity, power, and divine intervention. It teaches us to rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to guide us through difficult times and to inspire us to spread love and compassion in the world. 

The spiritual significance of Pentecost in today's world is multifaceted, with themes of empowerment, unity, renewal, global relevance, and mission. It serves as a reminder of the ongoing presence of the Holy Spirit and the challenge of living the teachings of Christ in a world of diversity and interconnectedness. 

Pentecost is not just a historical event happened two thousand years ago; It is a living reality that continues to shape and transform the lives of us all today. As we open ourselves to the divine love of Pentecost, we are filled with renewed purpose and joy to be ambassadors for God in a world hungry for love, truth, and hope. Let us be vessels ever ready and willing for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, spreading Pentecost's message of love to all who seek meaning and purpose in their lives.

Fr. Dorathick


a pencil drawing of Fr. Bede by Fr. Dorathick

Fr. Bede Griffiths’ Impact on Modern Spiritual Thought

Fr. Bede Griffiths spiritual journey was greatly influenced by his encounters with Eastern mysticism. His immersion in Indian culture and philosophy gave him a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness of all life and divine unity. Griffiths’ incorporation of Eastern practices such as meditation, yoga and music into Christian spirituality marked a significant departure from traditional Western theological systems. By embracing these Eastern traditions, Griffiths transcended dualism and transcended religious boundaries to achieve a more holistic spirituality. The synthesis of East and West for his own spirituality life not only improved but inspired countless others to search for universal truths found in religious traditions. It reverberates constantly in discourses and tradition. It challenges beliefs and promotes interreligious dialogue.

Fr. Bede Griffiths perspective on spirituality and deep connection to both Eastern and Western traditions have persevered to encourage spiritual seekers around the world. Griffiths noticed a spirituality which transcends the boundaries of our way of life, religion, and geography. His groundbreaking work in Interreligious talk paved the manner for a new information of spirituality that embraced range and unity concurrently. One of Griffiths' maximum enduring contributions to modern spiritual concept turned into his integration of Eastern and Western non secular practices. By combining factors of Hinduism and Christianity, Griffiths created a rich tapestry of spiritual awareness that resonates with human beings of all faiths and religion.

Griffiths' emphasis on the importance of contemplative practices, inclusive of meditation and prayer, furthermore, had a profound effect on modern non secular idea. His teachings on the transformative power of silence and stillness keep encouraging individuals searching for a deeper connection to the divine. In a world marked by division and discord today, Griffiths' message of unity and love is more relevant than ever. His profound insights into the nature of the soul and the interconnectedness of all beings continue to inspire religious seekers at the present time.

Fr. Bede Griffiths' teachings are a lighthouse of wisdom that helps us make sense of the complex modern world we live in and get a better understanding of who we are and where we fit in.

Shanti Shanti Shanti

Fr. Dorathick

Jesus Resurrection and Consciousness

Dear Oblates and friends of shantivanam

In the realm of spirituality and philosophy, the concept of Jesus' resurrection and the connection to consciousness is a topic that has intrigued seekers and scholars for centuries. The idea that a man could rise from the dead and transcend physical limitations raises profound questions about the nature of reality and the power of belief. The resurrection of Jesus is a central belief of the Christian faith, marking the culmination of the Easter story. According to the Gospels, Jesus was crucified, died, and was buried, only to rise again on the third day. This miraculous event serves as a testament to the power of God and the promise of eternal life for all who believe. The resurrection of Jesus is not just a historical event but a profound spiritual truth that transcends time and space. The resurrection of Jesus symbolises the triumph of life over death and the promise of eternal salvation. From a spiritual perspective, the resurrection is not merely a historical event but a profound metaphor for the resurrection of consciousness from the limitations of the material world. By transcending death, Jesus exemplifies the power of divine consciousness to overcome the illusions of separation and fear.

The resurrection of Jesus represents the ultimate act of transcendence, demonstrating that the human spirit is not bound by the confines of the physical body. By rising from the dead, Jesus shows us that death is not the end but a transition to a higher state of being. This profound symbolism invites us to contemplate the nature of consciousness and the limitless potential of the soul.  Easter is a time of celebration and reflection. It is a time when we come together to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and to renew our faith. But Easter is not just about religious traditions and chocolate eggs; it also has a deep spiritual significance that can lead us to a higher state of consciousness.

Easter and consciousness are closely linked because Easter symbolises rebirth, renewal, and transformation. Just as Jesus rose from the dead on Easter Sunday, we too can experience a spiritual awakening that leads us to a higher level of awareness. This process of awakening can help us become more in tune with our inner selves, our purpose in life, and our connection to the divine.

Exploring the spiritual aspect of Easter allows us to inquire deeper into the true meaning of this day.  By connecting with our spiritual selves during Easter, we can experience a sense of inner peace, joy, and fulfilment that goes beyond the material pleasures of the season. This spiritual journey can help us grow and evolve as individuals, leading to a more meaningful and purposeful life. One way to cultivate consciousness during Easter is to engage in spiritual practices such as prayer, meditation, and contemplation. By setting aside quiet time for reflection and introspection, we can connect with our inner wisdom and deepen our understanding of the divine. We can also focus on acts of kindness, compassion, and forgiveness during Easter, as these qualities are essential for raising our level of consciousness.

By merging Easter and consciousness, we can experience a profound sense of spiritual growth and transformation. This integration allows us to tap into the higher realms of awareness and connect with the universal energy that surrounds us. Through this process, we can cultivate a deeper sense of gratitude, love, and compassion for ourselves and others, leading to a more harmonious and fulfilling life. Easter is not just a time for bunny rabbits and chocolate eggs—it is a time for spiritual reflection and growth. By exploring the connection between Easter and consciousness, we can deepen our understanding of the true meaning of this sacred day and embark on a journey towards higher awareness. the story of Jesus' resurrection offers profound insights into the nature of consciousness and the power of spiritual transformation. By contemplating the miraculous event of Jesus rising from the dead, we can unlock new levels of awareness and tap into the infinite potential of our souls. The resurrection of Jesus is not just a historical event but a timeless symbol of the human spirit's capacity to transcend adversity and embrace the light of divine consciousness. May we all be inspired by the story of Jesus' resurrection to awaken to our highest self and walk in the footsteps of the risen Christ! So, this Easter, let us all take a moment to connect with our spiritual selves and embrace the transformative power of consciousness
May the spirit of Easter fill your heart with love, peace, and joy..,

Shanti Shanti Shanti

Fr. Dorathick

Holy Thursday - 28th March 2024

The institution of the Holy Eucharist by Christ on Holy Thursday

Holy Thursday is the commemoration of the Last Supper of Jesus Christ. It also commemorates His institution of the priesthood. It is a significant day in the Christian calendar that commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with his disciples. One of the most notable rituals performed on Maundy Thursday is the washing of feet by a priest or clergy member. This act holds deep symbolism and significance within the Christian faith, reflecting the teachings of Jesus on humility, service, and love for one another.
Washing the feet of religious or holy people seems to be a common ancient custom. It seems to have spread throughout the world in ancient times. This culture also seems to be prevalent in most major religions such as; it can be prevalent in Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Shikhism, etc. The act of washing feet has its roots in ancient cultural practices, where hospitality and cleanliness were of utmost importance. In biblical times, it was common for hosts to wash the feet of their guests as a gesture of welcome and respect. In the Gospel of John, we see Jesus himself washing the feet of his disciples, setting an example of humility and service for us. The act of washing feet symbolizes humility and service, two essential virtues emphasized by Jesus in his teachings. By performing this act, the priest demonstrates a willingness to serve others selflessly, regardless of their status or position. It is a reminder that true leadership is not about power or authority but about serving others with compassion and love.
In the act of washing feet, there is an element of forgiveness and reconciliation. Just as Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, he also forgave them for their shortcomings and reconciled with them, setting an example of unconditional love and grace. The priest, by washing the feet of others, symbolizes a willingness to forgive and reconcile with those who may have wronged him.
Washing feet also symbolizes unity and fellowship within us. By humbling oneself to serve and be served, the priest and the congregation come together in a spirit of togetherness and camaraderie. It is a symbol of shared humanity and common purpose, reminding us that we are all equal in the eyes of God and should treat each other with kindness and respect. The ritual of washing feet on Maundy Thursday serves as a powerful reminder of the core values of Christianity – love, humility, and service. It is a call to action for all of us to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, embodying his teachings of compassion and selflessness. Through this simple yet profound act, the priest and the congregation reaffirm their commitment to live out the principles of their faith in their daily lives. The symbolism of the priest washing feet on Maundy Thursday goes beyond a mere ritual – it is a profound expression of love, humility, and service. It serves as a poignant reminder of the teachings of Jesus and challenges us to live out those teachings in our own lives. Pray for all our priests today to be strong in their vocation. Set their souls on fire with love for your people.

Happy feast to all our priests

Fr. Dorathick


February 2024

LENT: A Call to Follow the Way of Christ

Lent is an important time in the Christian calendar that is a time of reflection, repentance, and preparation for Easter. It is a call for all of us to deepen our relationship with God by closely following the ways of Christ. The essence of Lent is how it encourages Christians to embrace a transformative journey to spiritual renewal.
Lent refers to the forty days of preparation celebrated by Christian churches. In Eastern churches, it begins on Ash Monday and mostly on Ash Wednesday, and ends on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter. The word "lent" comes from the Old English word "lencten", meaning "spring”. In Latin: Quadragesima, ‘Fortieth’. The forty-day period of Lent symbolizes the forty days and nights that Jesus fasted in the wilderness, facing temptation before beginning his earthly ministry. This period reflects important biblical events, such as Noah’s forty days and nights in the ark, and the forty years of the Israelites wandering in the wilderness. 
A season of reflection and repentance: Turn away from sins.
Sin is an offense against reason, truth, and right conscience; it is a failure in genuine love for God and neighbor are caused by a perverse attachment to certain goods. It wounds the nature of man and injures human solidarity. It has been defined as “an utterance, a deed, or a desire contrary to the eternal law.” (CCC 1849) Lent allows us to reflect on our lives, confess our shortcomings, and ask forgiveness. This is a time to examine our conscience, confront our own weaknesses, and return to God and one another in heartfelt repentance.

Deepening the relationship with God
Lent invites us to draw closer to God through prayer, fasting, and charity. By adopting spiritual disciplines, believers withdraw from worldly distractions and focus on divine matters. This deliberate work brings the person into a deeper relationship with God.

Practices during Lent
1. Prayer
Prayer plays a central role during Lent. We are encouraged to set aside dedicated time for prayer each day, fostering a richer connection with God. Special liturgies, such as Stations of the Cross, become popular during this period, allowing Christians to reflect on Jesus' suffering and sacrifice. Prayer is a dialogue with God, talking to Him and listening to Him. When we develop a lifestyle of prayer in our daily lives, we are intimately connected with each person in the Trinity. There is no right or wrong way to pray, and our prayer style changes throughout your life.
2. Fasting
Fasting is a common practice during Lent, following Jesus' example of self-denial in the wilderness. Christians may choose to abstain from certain foods or activities as a way to discipline their bodies and focus on their spiritual journey. This restraint helps develop a greater sense of self-control and dependence on God. 
Fasting is one of the oldest practices associated with Lent. Many of the early Desert Fathers and Mothers put on very intense fasts as a way to resist temptation, strengthen their will, and trust Jesus more. Speaking of fasting, remember that there are many different ways to fast other than snacking, even if that’s the usual method.
The prophet Isaiah emphasized that God does not want us to fast without changing our attitude. This shows that the purpose of fasting is closely related to prayer and the quality of the heart. An empty stomach or someone hooked up on social media reminds us of God’s hunger, and prayer and fasting come together to bring us to the theme of Lent: a deep transformation in Jesus Christ.
3. Almsgiving
Almsgiving, the act of giving to those in need, is also emphasized during Lent. We are encouraged to share our blessings with others, whether it be through financial contributions, acts of service, or offering support to marginalized communities. This practice cultivates compassion, generosity, and solidarity with others. Helping the poor is one of the truest acts of charity we offer to our brothers and sisters. But like fasting, charitable giving is more than just giving money.
Charity is an act of justice that pleases God’s heart as we care for our neighbors in need, whoever they are, or whatever their circumstances. When we give alms, the hope is that we learn to be generous and trust God more to meet our needs, rather than to feed ourselves, and forget others who are less fortunate than we are.
Lent as a Way of Christ
1. Imitating the footsteps of Jesus
Lent is a time to reflect on what Jesus did by embracing self-sacrifice, deepening their prayer life, and showing love for others. It is an opportunity to consciously follow the way of Christ and align our lives with the teachings of the Gospel.
2. Growth, transformation, and renewal
Lent provides the right environment for personal growth, spiritual transformation, and renewal. By surrendering to the practices of Lent, believers open themselves to the inner workings of the Holy Spirit, allowing God to reshape their hearts and minds.
Lent is a call to embark on a transformational journey to spiritual renewal. Through prayer, fasting, and charity, we embrace the ways of Christ and deepen our relationship with God and one another. Let us use the season of Lent as an opportunity to reflect on our lives, ask for forgiveness, and grow in faith, knowing that the journey will eventually lead us to the joyful celebration of Easter.

Fr. Dorathick OSB Cam

The Holy Family: A Symbol of Love, Faith, and Unity
Holy Family Feast Day Sunday 31st December 2023

The Holy Family is one of the most revered symbols of Christianity, symbolizing the values of love, faith, and unity. This sacred symbol represents the one family of Jesus Christ, including his mother, Mary, his adoptive father, Joseph, and himself. The Holy Family serves as an inspiration to believers around the world, providing guidance on how to live a virtuous and fulfilling life. Throughout history, Christians have shown great devotion to the Holy Family, seeking their intercession and drawing lessons from their lives. Devotion to the Holy Family helps individuals to emulate their virtues and strengthens the bond within families. By turning to the Holy Family in times of need, believers find solace, guidance, and inspiration to navigate the challenges of life.
The lives of the Holy Family offer valuable lessons that resonate with individuals and families of all backgrounds. Here are some key takeaways:
The Holy Family incorporates the unconditional love that exists for one another. Their love was based, not on outward appearances, but on deep devotion to God and to one another. By modeling their love, families can develop a sense of intimacy, forgiveness and unity.
Mary and Joseph trusted in God's plan, even when faced with uncertainty and hardship. Their unwavering faith allowed them to navigate challenging situations with grace and confidence. By anchoring our faith in God, families can find comfort and strength during difficult times.
The Holy Family demonstrates the significance of respect and obedience within the family unit. Mary and Joseph respected their roles and always placed God's will above their own. Encouraging respect for parents, elders, and authorities cultivates a harmonious family environment. Effective communication and mutual support were key aspects of the Holy Family. They shared their fears, dreams, and aspirations with one another, fostering a nurturing environment. Open lines of communication and supporting one another through life's ups and downs can strengthen family bonds. The Holy Family prioritized spiritual growth and nurtured a deep relationship with God. By fostering spirituality within the family, individuals can find solace, guidance, and strength in their faith.
In today's world, the concept of family life has undergone significant changes. From the traditional roles, families are now faced with the challenge of balancing work and home responsibilities. In the pursuit of work-life balance, families must prioritize self-care. Taking care of one's physical, mental, and emotional well-being is essential for maintaining a healthy family life. Today it’s so sad to see so many broken families among us.  It’s very important to build a healthy family it will cultivate a peaceful and harmonious world. During busy work schedules and household chores, it is crucial to prioritize quality family time. Families can strengthen their bond and create lasting memories by setting aside dedicated time for each other. This can involve activities such as family dinners, or weekend outings. By focusing on quality rather than quantity, families can maximize their time together.
The Holy Family serves as a beacon of love, faith, and unity for believers worldwide. Their lives offer powerful lessons on unconditional love, trust in God's plan, respect and listening to each other from the heart, communication, and support, and the importance of spiritual growth. By drawing inspiration from the Holy Family, individuals and families can cultivate virtues that lead to joy, harmony, and fulfillment in their own lives. Let us remember the Holy Family's example and strive to build strong, loving, and united families, rooted in God's love.

Fr. Dorathick

Message from Fr. Dorathick 
for the 117th Birth Anniversary of Fr. Bede Griffiths - 17th December 2023 

The spirituality of Fr. Bede Griffiths can indeed be seen as a pathway to discovering the cosmic Christ. Bede Griffiths, a mystic, embraced a unique approach to spirituality that bridged Eastern and Western mystical traditions. One key aspect of Bede Griffiths' spirituality was his deep reverence for and connection to nature. He saw the natural world as a manifestation of the divine, an expression of the cosmic Christ. For Fr.Bede Griffiths, every aspect of creation, from the beauty of a flower to the vastness of the cosmos, was a reflection of the divine presence. Through his contemplation of the natural world, he sought to deepen his understanding of the cosmic Christ. Fr. Bede Griffiths emphasized the importance of meditation and inner stillness as pathways to encountering the divine. He believed that through silent prayer and contemplation, one could become more attuned to the presence of the cosmic Christ within oneself and in the world. In this way, Bede Griffiths teaches us that the cosmic Christ is not a distant figure but a living presence that can be encountered in our own hearts and in every aspect of creation. Furthermore, Fr.Bede Griffiths' exploration of the intersection between Christian and Hindu spirituality can also lead to a deeper appreciation of the cosmic Christ. Through his experience of living in an ashram and his study of Hindu philosophy, he recognized the universal truths that can be found in different religious traditions. Griffiths believed that these truths ultimately point to the reality of the cosmic Christ, who is present in all of creation and transcends religious boundaries. The spirituality of Fr. Bede Griffiths offers a pathway to discovering the cosmic Christ through a deep reverence for nature, a commitment to inner silence and meditation, and an openness to the wisdom of diverse religious traditions. By embracing these aspects of Fr. Bede Griffiths' spirituality, one can cultivate a deeper awareness of the cosmic Christ's presence within oneself and in the world around us.

Message from Fr. Dorathick - 
for the 50th Death Anniversary of Swami Abhishiktananda:-

7th December 2023

Today we celebrate the 50th death anniversary of Swami Abishiktanda. One of our co-founders of Saccidananda Ashram Shantivanam in Tamilnadu. In the realm of spirituality and Hindu mysticism, Swami Abhishiktananda emerges as a figure of profound significance. Born as Henri Le Saux in France, this enigmatic personality dedicated his life to the pursuit of a spiritual path that transcended borders, religions, and identities. With a unique blend of Western intellect and Eastern wisdom, Swami Abhishiktananda left an indelible mark on the world, inspiring countless seekers on their quest for self-realization and union with the divine.
Explore the life and teachings of Swami Abhishiktananda, a spiritual luminary who bridged the gap between Eastern and Western traditions to inspire seekers on their path to self-realization. Swami Abhishiktananda's spiritual journey began with a profound encounter with the teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi, a revered Hindu sage. Intrigued by the philosophy of Advaita Vedanta, which espouses the non-dual nature of reality, Henri Le Saux felt a deep calling to explore the depths of this ancient tradition.
In pursuit of his inner calling, Henri Le Saux set foot on Indian soil and found solace in the lap of the majestic Himalayas. Renouncing his former identity, he embraced the life of a renunciate and assumed the name Swami Abhishiktananda, which translates to 'Bliss of the Anointed One.'
Swami Abhishiktananda's teachings were centered around the concept of Advaita, or non-duality. He emphasized the inherent oneness of all existence, suggesting that the perceived separation between the individual self and the ultimate reality was illusory. Through his writings and discourses, he invited seekers to embark on a journey of self-discovery that transcended the limitations of the ego.
One of the core beliefs of Swami Abhishiktananda was the idea that true spiritual realization could only be achieved through a direct and personal experience of the divine. He encouraged individuals to move beyond the realm of mere intellectual understanding and dive deep into their own consciousness to uncover the eternal truth that lies within.
Swami Abhishiktananda's unique background as a Westerner-turned-Indian-sage enabled him to bridge the gap between Eastern and Western spiritual traditions. He actively engaged in interfaith dialogue, seeking to find common ground among diverse religious and philosophical worldviews.
Through his deep understanding of both Christian mysticism and Hindu spirituality, Swami Abhishiktananda sought to encourage a mutual appreciation and respect for the wisdom found in different religious traditions. He believed that by transcending the boundaries of religious dogma, one could discover the universal truth that underlies all faiths.
Swami Abhishiktananda's profound insights and teachings continue to inspire spiritual seekers to this day. His writings, including "Prayer" and "The Secret of Arunachala," serve as valuable resources for those on the path of self-realization.
Through his life and work, Swami Abhishiktananda demonstrated the transformative power of embracing different traditions and transcending cultural barriers. His legacy serves as a reminder that spiritual enlightenment knows no boundaries or limitations and that the search for truth is a universal quest that unites humanity.
Swami Abhishiktananda's life was a testament to the power of self-discovery and the potential for unity among different spiritual paths. His teachings continue to guide countless individuals on their quest for spiritual awakening and the realization of their true nature.
By embracing the philosophy of Advaita Vedanta and championing interfaith dialogue, Swami Abhishiktananda has left an indelible imprint on the spiritual landscape, inviting us all to explore the depths of our own being and discover the divine within.
May God continue to bless you all and may we continue to spread peace and joy to the whole world
With love and blessings

 66th Death Anniversary of Fr. Jules Monchanin - 10th October 2023
Fr. Jules Monchanin who took the name of Parama Arubi Ananda (the Bliss of the Supreme Spirit)

Dear Oblates and friends of Shantivanam

On October 10th, we commemorate the death of Fr. Monchanin.  Let us reflect on this day about the Mysticism of Christ taken from Jules Monchanin (1895-1957) as Seen from East and West: Lyon-Fleurie vol. 1, 99, 100.

Monchanin’s Christocentrism is found on the meditation role of Christ. This time it’s not the person of Christ who holds Monchanin’s attention but rather the two natures: it is by Christ , true God and true human, that humanity will be able to attain the divine Essence itself.

Christ is mediator in so far as “in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead.” Monchanin long meditated on this text of Colossians 2:9, which was at the center of the Christological vision of Teilhard de Chardin, as recalled by Father de Luba.   “Paradoxical as it might seem”, says Monchanin,” this Christocentrism itself is the scriptural and theological foundation of the most intellectual type of theocentric mysticism, under its purest form and the most distant from anthropopathism.

"Through Christ, fully human and fully God, is the way toward the bottomless abyss of Divinity, enveloped in its mystery and its silence. Christ, as a human being, is the starting point. The same Christ, as God is the final end. And at that ultimate stage meditation bears on God in what he is: in his Essence, in his absolute Divinity”.

Christ, in so far he is true God and true man, is the way (Jn.14.6) who leads humanity to God. In Christianity, all immersion in the divine Essence is an immersion in Christ: The mystics were immersed in the bottomless ocean of essence, in the fullness- Pleroma - of the Divinity.

The pleroma, recapitulation of all, is the mystery of Christ and the Church, from whence comes Monchanin’s Panchristism and his theology of the Mystical Body.
This vision of the Pauline pleroma is founded of Monchanin’s Panchristism. Christ in "all" according to three perspectives: The pleroma (Col. 2:9), the recapitulation (anakephalaiosis) (Ep 1:10) and the eschatological perspective of God all in all (1 Cor 15:28). In Christ, in whom the pleroma dwell, Monchanin contemplates the One –All, the recapitulation of the cosmos and history in Christ, and their culmination in submission of all to Christ and Christ to God. The final, or eschatological unity is the return of the original, or paternal, unity.

Shanti Shanti Shanti

With love
Fr. Dorathick


Spirituality begins with freedom
Dear Oblates and friends of Shantivanam

As a wide notion, spirituality allows for a variety of viewpoints. It often entails a quest for purpose in life and, in general, involves a feeling of connection to something greater than ourselves. As a result, it is a shared human experience that affects everyone. A spiritual experience may be described as sacred, sublime, or simply as a profound sense of aliveness and connectivity. Some people could discover that their affiliation with a church, temple, mosque, or synagogue other religious practices is closely related to their spiritual life. Others could turn to prayer or find solace in a close personal connection with God or a higher power. Others look for significance in their relationships with nature or arts etc… Your personal notion of spirituality may evolve through time in accordance with your experiences and relationships, much like your sense of purpose.

The worldview offered by spirituality says that there is more to life than merely what humans can physically and sense experience. Instead, it implies that there is something more substantial linking every living creature to every other and to the universe as a whole. It could involve religious customs that revolve around the concept of a superior being. A holistic view of one's relationship to others and the wider world may also be involved.

True spirituality will begin in us. There is an urge in all of us towards eternity. This can be often felt when we are unable to move towards that eternity, for instance, you feel that you are blocked or you have a limitation or barriers. Each of us has a profound longing for freedom too. True freedom, however, is spiritual, and it entails recognizing and drawing strength from that which is enduring, constant, and unchanging. In the world, there are so many movements for the cause of freedom today. Freedom is a deep need of each one of us. True freedom, though, is spiritual means identifying and taking support from that, which is permanent, that which always exists, and that which is eternal.
I can only discover and understand spiritual ability and power when I lay the foundation of my life on that which always exists; this is the way to deep spiritual freedom. If I hold on to anything temporary in this world, then that which I am dependent on will ultimately cause me suffering and sorrow in some form. The way to discover is letting go and turning within, I see that my mind is a sacred place, a still state of being clean. I must not allow anything I see or hear, to penetrate this place and drive my thinking, because this is also dependence — to be under the influence of the power of the senses, of what the world is showing me. One who sits in the sacred space of the mind with tranquillity sees everything and hears everything and nothing disturb that sacred space. Then they will become free of the dependence on the sense organs. Their mind is filled only with stillness and thoughts of what is eternal, permanent, and always exists, God. One will be totally enjoying his or her freedom with The Infinite!

Shanti Shanti Shanti

Fr. Dorathick

11th July 2023 Feast of Saint Benedict

Listening with the ear of the heart

Benedictine spirituality could be summarized in the first verse of the Rule of Saint Benedict: “Listen, my son, to the Master’s instructions and attend to them with the ear of your heart. St. Benedict teaches us in the first verse that there is a deeper way of listening than through our five external senses (sight, hearing, etc.) but we need to learn to listen something deeper. Reality is not merely a scientific fact. Listening is an art. The art and science of listening, shravana (to be heard of) in Indian tradition, that the sages have given so much importance to in our spiritual journey. It's considered so central to spiritual unfoldment that it is prescribed as the first part of the threefold means to self-realization: hearing, reflection, and meditation in In the Brihadaranyaka upanishad, Few could possess the knowledge or understanding necessary to access this deep level of attentive listening, and many are unaware of its importance. This deep listening is rarely taught in schools, institutions, or higher learning. This exclusion can be the conditioning of our minds, which causes us to react to incoming information based on our personal preferences, dislikes, fears, desires, beliefs, and opinions. Therefore, the absence of genuine listening leads to inner and outer mental conflicts, where individuals fail to truly hear one another. Instead, they resort to yelling propaganda in order to vigorously impose their own perspectives on others, which causes disharmony. St. Benedict emphasizes in his rule this deep silence as Listen with the Ears of Your Heart.
The practice of Shravana, known as the inner state of listening in Vedanta, involves a silent and open-minded approach that enables a deeper level of communication and knowledge acquisition. Shravana, a meditative form of listening, creates a space within us where the true significance of spoken words can be unveiled. This entails a focused and discerning listening, devoid of personal biases or attachments, which help us, transcend our preconceived responses. Shravana serves as the foundation for genuine learning and effective communication at all levels. It goes beyond mere verbal expressions, allowing us to grasp the underlying truth behind any statement. This practice is fundamental to higher education, where the objective is not limited to acquiring knowledge of words, concepts, or figures, but rather to connect with the very essence of the cosmic reality within and around us. Today’s thought would have to be further prolonged to include inclining our ears towards the cries of those in need around the world to our listening to God! Listening is not easy often but essential if we want to find or know God. If we ignore what is hard to hear, we might miss God totally. In the Benedictine tradition, obeying means listening and acting on what we hear. True attentiveness requires action. If we hear and do nothing, it's like we never heard at all. Listening with the ear of the heart leads to radical change in us in the deep state of listening, our heart becomes empty. The desert mothers and fathers would call this the purity of the heart. In which there are no barriers and unlimited, in which we become one with God and our hearts become wide open as the heart of God which embraces all his creation with infinite love in the fullness of this life. This is a vocation for a genuine Benedictine monk or a nun or an oblate to discover in a monastic life.

Wishing you all a blessed Feast of St. Benedict!

Fr. Dorathick

Taken from:  Fr. Dorathick's Facebook page:

 13TH MAY 2023


Dear Oblates and friends of Shantivanam

Today we celebrate the 30th death anniversary of our beloved Fr. Bede. A reading always fascinates me whenever I think about Fr. Bede where a profound experience had. He acknowledged it to have been one of the crucial events of his life. He describes this transforming experience in the Prologue of The Golden String:

“I walked out alone in the evening and heard the birds singing in that full chorus of song, which can only be heard at that time of the year at dawn or at sunset. I remember now the shock of surprise with which the sound broke on my ears. It seemed to me that I had never heard the birds singing before, and I wondered whether they sang like this all the year round and I had never noticed it. As I walked on, I came upon some hawthorn trees in full bloom and again I thought that I had never seen such a sight or experienced such sweetness before. If I had been brought suddenly among the trees of the Garden of Paradise and heard a choir of angels singing, I could not have been more surprised. I came then to where the sun was setting over the playing fields. A lark rose suddenly from the ground beside the tree where I was standing and poured out its song above my head, and then sank still singing to rest. Everything then grew still as the sunset faded and the veil of dusk began to cover the earth. I remember now the feeling of awe which came over me. I felt inclined to kneel on the ground, as though I had been standing in the presence of an angel; and I hardly dared to look on the face of the sky, because it seemed as though it was but a veil before the face of God”.

Fr. Bede Griffiths comprehended this enhancement of consciousness as an adorned moment that initiated him into the awareness of a transcendent dimension to life. It was an understanding both of self-discovery and self-transcendence, an initiation into a profound harmony and unity. After this, nature appeared “sacramental” connecting him with the presence of an unfathomable mystery drawing.

Fr. Bede’s experience inspires us today to live consciously every moment. Living consciously without ego centered life, we can simply discover the oneness and beauty in everything.  Living consciously, it’s not something we can change overnight. Living consciously is a lifestyle, an art. It’s not something you do just once, but a habit that you can form for the rest of your life.

Shanti Shanti Shanti

With prayers
Fr. Dorathick


9TH APRIL 2023

Christ our source of new life

Dear Brothers and Sisters

The time of Easter is the time of rejoices of exultation for the Resurrection of Jesus. It's a great day of celebration; it's indeed, “the great Sunday.” St. Athanasius says Easter is "the Great Sunday" and the Eastern Churches would call Holy Week "the Great Week. We rejoice and sing Alleluia. In our hearts, the mantra that we keep on repeating today is the Alleluia. The entire creation rejoices because the Lord has risen from the dead. His resurrection is the peak of our Christian faith. Above all, the mystery of Christ's Resurrection is all our hope that someday, after we’ve gone through our mission here on earth, we will join Him in eternal Joy. His resurrection is proof that our life on earth is only transitory and that God is preparing a place for us to be with Him. It's not simply an abstract idea, but simply we could live our heaven here on earth… but how? Is it possible for us to think? Yes, it is quite possible if we live in peace, justice, communion, and harmony with love. Isn’t it amazing that we start to live a life of heaven here already and that we can continue singing the Alleluia together with the angels in heaven and on earth? Yes! So be it!
Easter gives us all new hope and new life to live our life in fullness with our risen Lord. This new life is above all good reason that reinstates us in God's grace so that Christ was raised from the dead. So we, too, might walk in the newness of life as Christ rose from death. The good reason comprises both victories over the death caused by sin or ignorance and a new partaking in grace. It brings about final adoption so that we become Christ's brethren, as Jesus himself called his disciples after his Resurrection: "Go and tell my brethren." This gives us a very firm conviction that life is eternal when we remain with God and surrender to God, even if we die for truth and goodness. Life becomes everlasting with joy. Today let us celebrate Easter with Christ! He is alive! Today, too, in our midst, he walks with us. He changes us and sets us all free from the bondage of ignorance and sins. Thanks to Him, He showed us a way to new life. For with Jesus, the Risen Lord, and no night, no suffering will last forever; and even in the darkest night, in that darkness, the morning star continues to shine.
May the resurrection of Jesus Christ bring you renewed hope, faith, and love.
Wishing you a blessed and holy Easter.
Alleluia Alleluia

with love
Fr. Dorathick


Greetings and peace from Shantivanam

Dear brothers and sisters, soon we will begin the blessed season of Lent with Ash Wednesday, the first day of the Lenten season.
On this day, we mark this special occasion with the sign of ashes on our forehead, as a very symbolic act of recognizing our own impermanence and the fragility of our existence. And as we impose the ashes on the crown of our heads, it represents our willingness to embody God’s love and mercy, with repentant hearts and open minds, desiring to follow Him once again and walk in God's presence.
Whether we are on the Lenten journey of the liturgical year or we are going through a Lenten season of our life, Lent calls us all to recapitulate our relationship with God and move closer to Him, returning to Him and our fellow beings with our whole hearts. Lent is often a time of purification and atonement, just being aware that we are all the children of God, calling us to reckon where we are with the Lord.
Lent is a good time to take a long look in the mirror of our hearts and come to terms with what’s working in our lives and what’s not.
It’s time for a change of heart. 40 days before Easter to take that long look in the mirror together. We’ve gotten rather good at it. Our Lenten practices are a proven method to renew our interior lives.
Most of us know there are three things often we hear about what happens in Lent: it begins with Ash Wednesday, we fast from meat, and we think about something to give up. Those are tangible fundamentals, but it goes a little deeper.

Three disciplines, in particular, have proven to be very effective in helping us in renewing our relationships: 1. Fasting sharpens our will and helps us to evaluate things we might be attached to in a very unhealthy way; 2. almsgiving a service, and charity which opens our eyes to those in need; and 3. prayer it simply deepens our relationship with God.

Pope Francis recently reminds us to reach our goal of personal and ecclesial transformation or conversion. He proposes two paths inspired by the Transfiguration of Jesus.
The first is to listen to God’s Word and our brothers and sisters. Pope Francis reminds us that listening to Christ often takes place in listening to our brothers and sisters.
The second path involves facing the actuality of the daily struggles of life, without getting caught up in extraordinary events and experiences. We’ll walk through these six weeks to Easter together with new hope and grace.

Shanti Shanti Shanti

Fr. Dorathick


When anxiety ends, the heart and mind blossom

Dear Oblates and friends

Anxiety is one of the major issues in modern society. Anxiety is our body's natural reaction to stress. The mental and physical state of anxiety is both negative. Mentally, it is identified by increased arousal and apprehension tormented into distressing worry and physically by unpleasant activation, whether real or imagined. It's a feeling of fear or worry about what's to come in the future. Anxiety is a destructive force capable of eating into the very vitals of our system. Like the roots of the sandalwood tree eaten by white ants, an individual affected by anxiety will lose the powers of discrimination and right judgment and will fall into the abyss of destruction. We often forget that immense power is latent in ourselves. We can lament I am dull, I am weak, incapable, invite lethargy to be our companion, move in the shadow of material pleasures, become a slave of senses, harbor feelings of anger and hatred, and unleashed violence on his fellowmen. In today's world, there is bloodshed in the name of God, religions, politics, power, relationship, and wealth. We, under the guise of modern men and women, have been afflicted by anxiety, fear, and other impurities of the mind and have become very selfish, narrow-minded, and mentally unstable. Our fear can typically create violence and war in us and with others.

On the other hand, the calmness of the mind is one of the beautiful gems of wisdom. It is a result of long and patient effort in self-control, one of the most important fruits of the Holy Spirit to possess. The calm man or woman, having learned how to govern them, knows how to adapt him or herself to others. Today, what we need the most is not the fear of anxiety, but the courage of brotherhood and sisterhood. This feeling of fraternity, generosity, and unselfishness should root in the hearts and minds of all men and women, lest human civilization should move to the brink of disaster. When we become authentic, our minds are free from anxiety, and simply harbor love, friendship, and cooperation, and there will be the fragrant breeze of contentment, peace, happiness, and welfare everywhere. This is what we require now for the growth and happiness of society and our world.

Fr. Dorathick


Dear sisters and brothers,

Peace on Earth Christmas

Today we celebrate the Incarnation of God in the person of Jesus, the Good News of great joy. The message of peace is at the very core of the Christmas story. Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom god is pleased. (Luke 2:14).
We live in a time of threat of war and violence every day. Despite this, God became incarnate in humanity. The birth of Jesus gives us hope for everybody. However, there is turmoil between nations and cultures, between people and families. We experience darkness, and This Christmas day reminds us God gave light to the darkest parts of our world. God made Himself small and seemingly weak as a child and as a man like us, so that through Him, and His sharing of our human nature and existence, He may bring unto us the perfection of love. Christ could have come as a conquering King and Mighty One, just as many believed or thought that He would have, but He came to us in this way, because He wants to be the bridge between us and our God almighty, He became man so that by uniting our human nature to himself, we may see and receive the fullness of redemption and glory, collectively with him.
God had a reason and a meaning for telling the shepherds. Proclaim the Messiah had been born, and that it was good news for all people, not simply only for a selected few people. We must proclaim it to the young and old. Rich and needy, religious and non-religious. Everyone must hear the message of hope and peace that comes from God. The letter of James beautifully reminds us all that ‘wars and battles between the people ’ start ‘inside your own selves’ (James 4:1-)
God’s way does not show His power. On the other hand, He has kindness, compassion, and love.
During this Christmas, we celebrate peace on earth, but some cannot find peace in their own lives. Many of us and many nations have a peace crisis. As we celebrate Christmas, we are all responsible for promoting peace by raising awareness of all we know about personal relationships with Christ within us and among us. Every day we have opportunities to arise, situations to give this peace within the family, work, social, competitive, or other settings.
May this Christmas bring Peace with God, peace with others, and peace in our hearts and minds.
Merry Christmas to all.
Fr. Dorathick

17th December 2022 -
116th Birth Anniversary of Fr. Bede Griffiths

Greetings and Peace from Shantivanam

Dear Oblates and friends of Shantivanam,

Today we remember the birth anniversary of Father Bede Griffiths.

As we are in the advent season, the Advent season is a preparation for two comings: the second coming of Christ and the incarnation when Christ became flesh. And preparation is the grace to delve deeper into these mysteries. There are tons of ways we can practically prepare for Christmas during the Advent season. One of the symbolic ways we prepare is by lighting a candle for 4 weeks. Three candles are purple, signifying penance, preparation, and sacrifice; the pink candle represents the same but highlights the third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday, when we rejoice because our preparation is now halfway finished and Christ will soon come. Christ entered the world to scatter the darkness of evil and show us the way of righteousness. The progression of lighting candles shows our raising readiness to meet Our Lord. As we remember the birth of Fr. Bede we can learn some ways to prepare for Christmas from him, and ways to prepare our hearts for Christ. Fr. Bede often talked about compassion and he was fully compassionate; he preached about harmony, and he showed how it could be carried out; he also taught simplicity and lived a simple way of life. Father Bede’s kindness, openness, and spirit of inquiry were the things that ultimately brought meaning to us all today. To prepare for Christmas, let us light our hearts today with compassion, kindness, and peace.  

Shanti Shanti Shanti

with prayers

Fr. Dorathick

49th Death Anniversary of Swami Abhishiktananda

7th December 2022


Dear Oblates and friends of Shantivanam

Today we celebrate the 49th death anniversary of swami Abhishiktananda.

We are in the season of advent. The first part of the Advent season encourages us to prepare for Christmas by uplifting us not only to look backward in time to our Lord’s first coming but also to look forward to his coming again in glory and majesty, to a day when all is, at last, made manifest. The season of Advent is a period for devout and joyful expectation. This period of Advent is a time of grace for us. It is a time of grace offered to us to prepare our hearts so that we are ready to receive Christ at Christmas. That is what Christmas is all about, Jesus. Advent is a time of grace that points out to us that Jesus is the reason for Christmas.

Advent is about seeking God, the noblest of all pursuits. The search for the Divine is a journey to every person's steps at some level. Everyone seeks the perfect happiness which is found in God alone. The vital discovery in life, the essence of understanding the life journey itself, is this: that total satisfactoriness and fulfillment are found in God alone.

In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, it says The search for God "Let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice." Although man can forget God or reject him, He never ceases to call every man to seek him, so as to find life and happiness. But this search for God demands of man every effort of intellect, a sound will, "an upright heart", as well as the witness of others who teach him to seek God (ccc 30)

We need to prepare for Christ’s coming by letting him to be reborn day-to-day in our lives: Advent is the time for us to make this preparation by repenting and renewing our lives through prayer, meditation, penance, and the sharing of our blessings with others.

As Swami Abhishiktananda beautifully reflects: Whether I want it or not, I am deeply attached to Christ Jesus and therefore to the koinonia of the Church. It is in him that the ‘mystery’ has been revealed to me ever since my awakening to myself and to the world. It is in his image, his symbol, that I know God and that I know myself and the world of human beings. Since I awoke here to new depths in myself (depths of the self, of the ātman), this symbol has marvelously developed. Christian theology had already revealed to me the eternity of the mystery of Jesus in the bosom of the Father[1] May This advent invite us to realize this truth and act accordingly. It is full-time now for you to wake from sleep.

Shanti Shanti Shanti

Fr. Dorathick

[1] Letters, 23.7.71, pp.331-2. (Sadguru: “real guru” or, sometimes, “root guru.”)


Dear Oblates and Friends of Shantivanam

Awakening Christ Consciousness

Christ consciousness is a mystical term for a spiritually evolved state. When we look at the life and message of Jesus Christ, we see the attributes of love, devotion and courage that are at the heart of his teachings and example. The term “Christ Consciousness” therefore refers to the embodiment of these qualities in our lives. Christ Consciousness speaks of the awakening of the mind and the integration of opposites. The divine union of spirit and flesh, inner and outer, light and dark - it is very non-dual and unified. Christ Consciousness is the state of being aware of our true nature, our Higher Self, and our birthright as children of God the highest level of intellectual development, emotional balance, and spiritual maturity. Jesus achieved this during his human life. Christ Consciousness is, therefore, the path of heartfulness.  Paramahansa Yogananda explained that Christ Consciousness is the spiritual essence hidden in the core of every individual, in fact in every atom of creation. Christ has already permeated us and is gently calling us beyond judgment and expectation into the Divine Presence that already exists within our hearts. Christ can be seen as that knowledge of the moment of action when you make a beneficial choice, as that secret of knowing that consciousness is more than just the human body. When the time comes, it is the realization that it is our inner responsibility to shape our attitudes, actions, and ultimately the responses we receive through our commitments. Jesus said, “kingdom of heaven is in you." He points out that spiritual endeavor has an inner orientation to that essence that is already within you and each of us... Christianity tends to emphasize a special quality of connection that instills warmth and connection with all, even in non-dual states of oneness. There is love, the universal solvent that dissolves our separation. This unique blend of cultivating love within and emptying the heart. Christ's teaching was not just a word of wisdom but was pure consciousness. It is the seed of consciousness that we already carry within us, and through the process of embracing both new spiritual realizations and meditation practices, this Christ Consciousness becomes the All-Great Christ of Ever-Present Love and Light. All of the attributes can grow and develop from our being in us.

Integrate your inner workings into your daily life In the Gospel of St.Thomas,

Jesus says: If you create what is within you, what you create will save you. If you don't let out what's inside you, what you don't let out will destroy you. These words perfectly emphasize the need for inner working, the practice of shining the light of consciousness into your inner landscape for self-inquiry, self-understanding, healing, and spiritual transformation. We all need to start this process now and plant the seeds in our hearts of Love, Compassion, Patience, Forgiveness, Generosity, Peace, Faith, Divinity, Charity, Oneness, Humility, Non-judgment, and Gratitude…

Contributing to the creation of a more equal society a respect for Mother Earth is all about directing our own energy and consciousness where it is needed most. The minds of those who have forgotten the beauty and simplicity of the teachings of the Christ Consciousness, the very hearts that can transform not only our lives, but the lives of others, into something truly graceful and full of greater meaning to the world.

Shanti Shanti Shanti

With prayers

Fr. Dorathick


Inner Light

Dear Oblates and Friends of Shantivanam,

We are all on a journey of life. Every day brings a new sparkle. Every event propels us to the next level of spirituality. As the morning sun shines through, each day's activities start to look brighter than yesterday. Light has a huge influence on life, it is a basic source of energy that maintains the ecosystems.

What is the function of light? To see and illuminate hidden areas. When you turn on the light in a dark room, you can immediately see everything in the room. We often metaphorically assign light functions to the mental and moral levels. For example, talk about the light of conscience. When our minds are so disturbed that we cannot distinguish between right and wrong, we say that some kind of darkness blocks our minds. You need an inner light to show you the way. We call it conscience. Like light, it dispels shadows of chaos and calls for clear action. Similarly, we can say that love is light. Life is really dark when a person is lonely and has no one to take care of them. But when someone who understands and cares about them appears, the darkness disappears. With renewed hope and joy, the world instantly becomes meaningful with the light of love. The function of light is to reveal. All parts of knowledge are actually a kind of light. There are countless dark rooms in the mind. Those who have never studied biology have dark areas in mind as far as biology is concerned. Chambers are more or less enlightened as they study this subject. Knowledge of astronomy can also be another chamber of enlightenment. All the knowledge we acquire is a kind of progressive but partial enlightenment of the mind. But self-awareness is full enlightenment. Mundaka Upanishads explain, when we know the Self, nothing remains unknown. When you reach the innermost light, you will know that there is no more darkness  or separations!

We can think about the light of compassion, the light of truth, the light of peace, the light of knowledge. In each case, certain difficulties comparable to darkness are removed, creating positive experiences of hope, joy and fulfilment. These inner lights are more powerful than physical light. Our world may be dark when it comes to material possessions, but a moral and spiritual light has been kindled within us so that our life can shine with joy and peace. The most important inner light is the light of consciousness. The Upanishads call it our true self. It is the central light at the centre of our being and illuminates all experiences, including physical light. We are constantly experiencing consciousness, but understanding its essence is very difficult. Consciousness is the true essence of all beings. It has no beginning and no end. It is eternal, infinite, and always shining. The light of the sun and the moon, the light of lightning, the light of the stars, and all that we call physical light are “illuminated”  (i.e., illuminated) by our innermost light, consciousness.

Chapter 6 of the Bhagavad Gita explains the basic method for finding this inner light. Through the practice of concentration, we must draw our minds away from distracting thoughts and focus them on the Atman, the radiant self within us. It takes a little faith because at first you don't know how to reach this inner light. However, when we have perseverance and dedication to our ideals, the mind develops inwardness and transparency, slowly allowing us to get in touch with our inner spiritual reality. Self-awareness can be achieved through reflective thinking and Vichara. The Kena Upanishads begin with the question: "Who can make the mind think, operate the prana, hear with the ear and see with the eye?" It is found by distinguishing between the seer and seen The senses and the mind are in constant motion, but the self is the constant witness. Brain activity is possible only with consciousness, not vice versa. Consciousness is knowledge without objective content. We are finally compelled to understand that all objective knowledge has its origin in the Self, the innermost light of consciousness.
This new light enters our lives and reveals the true motives of our lives. This inner light acts as a guide leading us to the Supreme Almighty God. Our soul is the light that develops our path because of our hearts and actions that we achieve to carry out our daily actions. Inner light is also called our perception, awareness, focus, attentional reflex, etc. Your inner light is a reflection of yourself.  Mystical and religious texts often use words such as light, fire, radiance, to describe the soul. Similar metaphors are also often used in connection with God. The word "light" is often used by Christians as a metaphor for Christ mentioned in many places in the Bible. For example, Luke describes him as: “For the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other” Luke 17:24. St. John says” The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world” John 9:1. God is the universal light who abides in all our self as an inner light the source of wisdom, the inner peace, the righteous life for all. Because this light is the energy of love that has created and sustained us and the universe, those who turn away from it are doomed to live in darkness and misery. Those who look to the light can experience peace, joy, and contentment some Christians call it 'salvation' or 'holiness', others simply 'wholeness.

Shanti Shanti Shanti

With love
Fr. Dorathick

11TH JULY 2022

Dear Oblates and Friends of Shantivanam,

Today we celebrate the solemnity of St. Benedict of Nursia, Founder of Western Monasticism. St.Benedict was born in 480 in the town of Nursia in Umbria, and he was sent to Rome to be educated. However, he soon left the world to live a solitary life at Subiaco. After living alone in the cave for two years, he had become well-known and many people came to join him. He then set up a form of monastic life in twelve small monasteries. Under his leadership, the monks vowed to seek God and devoted themselves to work and prayer. A few years later, St. Benedict left the Subiaco area to found the great abbey of Monte Cassino on the heights of Campania. There he wrote his Rule, in which the Roman genius and the monastic wisdom of the Christian East were miraculously combined.

Today, the Rule of St. Benedict continues to serve as a guide for those who seek God individually and in community. Brief, written in clear language and translated into many languages, it combines the practical rules of life with pages of sublime spirituality. Fifteen centuries after it was created, the fundamental values ​​inherent in the Code are consistent with ordinary life. Suggest ways to find and praise God in daily life, The Code of Listening, Hospitality, Humility, Acceptance of Change, Respect for People, Learning, pray and work. It envisions a community that works to support the growth of each person's relationship with God and others. Members live and work together, seeking God by living the Christian life.

Hospitality is one of the most important parts of Benedict's lifestyle. There is no Benedictine spirituality without welcoming guests. St. Benedict states in his rule: One day he would say, "I'm a stranger and you welcomed me." In other words, monastery hospitality is essentially based on gospel values. For visitors, individuals or small groups. They come for a variety of reasons. Some come for quiet time, personal prayer, or to join in the Liturgy of the Hours, while others come to seek advice and support in difficult situations, simply "return to the source." Some people come for it. In a turbulent and hectic world, or in any need the monastery, with its reflection and prayer space, gently draws visitors to God, the source of peace.

Living in a community can help us seek God. We do not find God alone, but with and through others. And surprisingly, people like us aren't the only ones who are like us. The monks and nuns find God in each of his members, especially those who are not easy to live with. In the world, we find God in the people we meet every day, our family and friends, the people we work with, and the strangers in the streets. God calls us to love them, and through that love we find God. The Benedictine motto is PAX, "Peace". In principle, St. Benedict repeatedly emphasizes the need for peace, harmony and reconciliation. This is the only way many people can live together in a limited space. And the monastery soon became the centre of peace and sanctuary.

May the Inner peace of God within us radiate the external peace and serenity to all the Universe.

Shanti Shanti Shnati

With prayers

Fr. Dorathick

13TH MAY 2022


The Sacred Call


Dear Friends and Oblates of Shantivanam

Today we celebrate the 29th death Mahasamadhi anniversary of Fr. Bede Griffiths. We remember him today with great reverence for his life’s witness.  Fr. Bede immersed himself in the culture of India. Living as a sannyasi. He established a bridge between Hinduism and Christianity. He was aware of the significant differences between the two religions but nonetheless tried to identify the points of convergence. Especially the fundamental question – the Call of the Divine Mystery – how was he going to get the answer? The basic thing then to do is, first define what is Mystery in the Hindu context. Fr. Bede did extensive studies on Hinduism and found it to be in striking contrast to Christianity. It is not based on historical events but on revelation of God in the cosmos and in the soul of religious people.

Hinduism exists in a mythological time. Fr. Bede gave up the Biblical word mystery in favour of the word myth. Myth helps to go beyond the narrowness of the historical critical method. Hinduism developed rich mythology from which profound philosophy of life is extracted. In Jesus myth and history already coincided. ‘Jesus reveals man in the moral perfection for which he was created and at the same time he reveals God as the perfection of life…’ He belongs to the historical revelation, the revelation of God in the history of particular people.

The Mystery is not different in Hinduism or in Christianity. It is the interpretation that is different. In his own words, Fr. Bede says, ‘All religions are different expressions of the one Truth of revelation, each with its particular insight. They are not just rays of the truth that brightens all people but conversely that they have their own highly valuable truth.

Why is it so mysterious though? It is simply because it is an Unknown. It is Undecipherable. It is All- encompassing. It is the Truth.  Now, spiritually speaking, the inevitable translation of Mystery is God. Fr. Bede thinks that all religions share the same experience of the unknowable and inexpressible Sacred Mystery, explained as Luminous Darkness. His essence, being Infinite cannot be fully understood by human thought. Therefore, God always remains incomprehensible and inexpressible. But instead of putting a fixed frame by calling it God, Mystery offers it a broader vision. Every religion and walk of life, can absorb it. So, we do not need to redefine Mystery. What was Myth in Hinduism is going to be Mystery going forward.

To understand Call of the Mystery where the human sits in the larger scheme of things. Simply put, the whole world is divided into three components – Material, Psychological and Spiritual. The Material is the physical world and includes humans. The Psychological is the next higher plane that covers minds of all living things. The Spiritual is the highest plane, where the spirit exists. Obviously, all three are interconnected and interwoven. Fr. Bede says, ‘…these three were seen to be inter-dependent, every physical reality having a psychological aspect and both aspects integrated in a spiritual vision.’

The Material and Spiritual planes are the most well-defined. For example, one knows the Spiritual plane is the highest and is an embodiment of Truth. Truth is singular. There is no confusion. Similarly, the Material world is well-defined. Nobody can question my existence or your existence, simply because both of us exist in this world. The psychological plane, however, is extremely random. And yes, it is where the human mind lives. One can never determine or predict, how the mind operates. It cannot be quantified. The simple fact that you are reading this is the result of so many decisions that multiple human minds have made. The permutations are mind-boggling. Because of this randomness, the ways to reach the spiritual plane from the psychological plane are so few and far between. The paths are limited. Every path is a Call of the Mystery. It is the call from the Spiritual Plane to the Psychological Plane – one that asks you to leave the Material and embrace Spirituality.

Shanti  Shanti Shanti

With prayers

Fr. Dorathick


Dear brothers and sisters,

Today we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Resurrection of our Lord brings to us a deep message of rebirth and renewal. It is very appropriate that Easter comes in springtime, a season marked by the blossoming of life when the dark winter ends and the sun radiates bright again. We can witness the workings of nature with the death of the old and the new. St. Saint Paul reminds us so clearly that the Resurrection of Jesus is the central point of our faith. The resurrection is the sign of life and hope for all of us.
Today we see turmoil in this world, whether interpersonal or among political, cultural, or religious groups because we don't treat one another as Christ has treated us. So we had lost peace in us and outside. This Easter, we will reflect on peace. The gift of peace is indeed central to the Scripture readings for the season of Easter. When we dwell in peace, we can extend the peace with others. When Jesus died and rose from the dead, we can see in scripture: That he appeared to the disciples in the upper room. His first words to them were, “Peace be with you!” They had deserted Jesus. Most of them went away and were scattered when Jesus was arrested. Peter, the “rock,” was crushed under pressure and denied Jesus three times. Judas betrayed Jesus and took his own life. Scripture says only one of them was present with Jesus when He died. They knew a terrible injustice – the murder of an innocent man who was the Messiah – had taken place, and they felt helpless to do anything about it. Their relationship with God and the community was shattered. They needed God’s peace. Peace in Hebrew is “shalom.” We often think of peace as a feeling. But the peace of Christ is much more.
God’s gift of shalom would signify that the person has come into a right relationship with God, with themselves, with others, and even with nature and the things of the earth. Shalom symbolizes well-being, and harmony between ourselves and all things When this harmony and well-being exists, God’s shalom will come to us; and yes, with it comes a deep feeling of goodness, wholeness, well-being, and inner peace. When we grow in harmony with the order God has created. Peace comes when we reconcile with each other and treat each other with justice, love, and compassion. In a heart-to-heart talk. The shalom of God will be restored. God wants us to experience His peace. Jesus said, “My peace is my farewell gift to you.”
With the resurrection of Jesus, a new life is beginning. St. Paul says, “we have been buried with him by baptism into death”. Because of that, just as Christ was raised, we too have been called to walk in the newness of life.
In this Easter season, we will do an examination of conscience, it helps us to become aware of our various relationships and how we conduct ourselves in them. Shalom comes when a wrong relationship is made right. It comes through acting justly, seeking what is good, and walking humbly before God and others. In my relationship with God.
May the essence of Easter reflect in your life and you along with your family experience the renewal of love and joy. May the joy of the Lord's Resurrection overflow abundantly in your heart today.


Fr. Dorathick

Fr. Jules Monchanin  (Swami Parama Arubi Ananda)
10th April 2022

Dear Oblates and friends of Shantivanam
    Today is the 127th birth anniversary of Fr. Jules Monchanin. This year we celebrate Palm Sunday on this day. Palm Sunday the paradox of victory and death,  joy and suffering. On the one hand we rejoice in Jesus who triumphantly enters Jerusalem. The long-awaited messiah has arrived - the promised saviour has finally arrived! salvation is near - the shouts of hosanna, the word that originally meant save us.
Palm branches are ancient symbols of victory. Historically kings returning from a victorious war have been received in the same way with palm branches so on a donkey, another symbol of victory - the kings used horses for war and when they rode a donkey into the city it was also a sign of victory - a sign of peace.
As the time of war and turmoil we face today, this coming of Jesus brings a lot of peace among us. In the time of Jesus people understood the symbolism - the victorious king is about to enter but the opposite is that the kings triumphant entry into Jerusalem will lead to a final victory - a war against sin, ignorance and evil which can be accomplished through Jesus suffering death and resurrection by which he redeems the world - the earthly kingdom - but his eternal kingdom this week is important for all of us. We enter the sacred time of Christ. The apparent defeat of Christ is his victory - the victory of eternal love.  His suffering and death undoubtedly prove that his love for us is infinite.  No one has greater love than he who lays down his life for his friends John 15:13. Jesus taught not only by his words but above all by his actions. He was and is motivated only by love, love for us even if it means dying.
The Lord invites us this week to be with Him in a very conscious way, to leave our ordinary life and to enter into the mystery of this love. In the story of St. Mark we hear Peter followed from afar. We also heard when Jesus returned he found them asleep. Sometimes we are like Peter and we follow Jesus from a distance. We don’t want to be too close to him.
The mystery of Christ's Easter night on the other hand does not remain only in the past because by his death he cancelled death and all that Christ did and suffered contributed to divine eternity. The event of the cross and resurrection continues and brings everyone to life  (The catechism of the Catholic Church 1085).  But above all by his death on the cross and his resurrection he will fulfil the coming of his kingdom not only in eternity but also in our lives as individuals. And when I am exalted from the earth I will draw all men to me, all people are called in this union with Christ (The catechism of the Catholic Church no 542).
In his apostolic letter the joy of the gospel, Pope Francis offers us a provocative challenge "I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this time to a new personal encounter with Jesus Christ or at least open permission to meet with them. I ask you all to do this unfailingly every day. No one should think that this invitation is not for him or her because no one can be excluded from the joy that the Lord brings." Joy of the gospel on holy week celebration is part of accepting this invitation.
On the first holy week two thousand years ago Jesus declared victory over sin, ignorance and evil. In this holy week he wants to extend this victory into our lives, into the parts of our lives that still need it, that have not yet learned to live the Palm Sunday paradox. Jesus knows what he wants to say to each of us this week - unique and individual - so we can’t follow too far like Peter. By inviting us to come to him, Jesus wants each of us to share the good of the cross and as we do so, we will experience that the crosses we carry are not empty burdens of little value, but that every cross we carry can be carried in the world of salvation. Love God and receive grace with meaning and hope. We can never fully understand or comprehend the depth of Christ's love for us but every time we enter this holy week in response to his saving love we experience more and more the benefits of this mystery - the love - he transforms the sin in our own lives that leads us to participate in his paschal mystery that is why holy week is a gift for us to open and open every year. If we always live according to the paradox of Palm Sunday we can always find joy from the infinite love of Christ even amid the deepest sorrow. Let us give Jesus the time and attention he deserves because whatever he wants to tell us is exactly what we need to hear.
Happy holy week.
Shanti Shanti Shanti

With prayers
Fr. Dorathick

21st March 2022
 72 years of Saccidananda Ashram

Saccidananda Ashram, Shantivanam: A place of Contemplative Dialogue

Dear Oblates and friends of Shantivanam

On the commemoration of the 72 years of Saccidananda Ashram - of its existence and service.
Today it’s important to remember the vision of this Ashram and the founders of the Ashram. Fr. Jules Monchanin was keen on founding an ashram in India under the rule of Saint Benedict. He wrote to his mother: ” I think the essential point of my mission to India will be to promote the contemplative life there…” contemplation incarnated in Indian forms seemed to Fr. Monchanin to be an absolute necessity. He wrote:” Everything I see around me, whether among Christians or Hindus, convinces me more and more about the necessity of contemplative monastic life in India. Contemplation means Contemplative Dialogue. Saccidananda Ashram is a place of prayer and contemplation deeply rooted in the mystery of the Holy Trinity. Swami Abishiktananda and Fr. Bede Griffiths came to India with a rich and ancient Benedictine background. But they came as a seeker of God to India. Swami Abishiktananda later went into deep consideration of the subject in order to build bridges between non dualistic philosophy and the Judeo Christian revelation of God” One, unifying, living meeting point between being and becoming. Fr. Bede says My conviction is that everything ... depends on the meeting of two traditions. There is something in the linear tradition which is unique but there is equally something in the cyclic that we do not realize. “I think that the westerner has placed salvation too much in time and we have got too little use of the eternal reality which is always there. This is where the meeting is so subtle, really. It is not simply exchanging one for the other, it is a real meeting and a discovering on both sides, the other, it is a real meeting and a discovering both sides how the linear can be related to the cyclic and the cyclic to the linear. Perhaps the key to it would be a spiral. A spiral is always going around in cyclic but it is moving towards a point. This is where the real dialogue is: we are each discovering the other, we are discovering another dimension. It is not very easy and not very many of us are ready for it. I think the church will grow with the discovery of another dimension in the approach to God and equally the Hindu and Buddhist will have to discover this dynamic move. The experience of contemplation will help us to move beyond time, beyond history and we discover the one reality which transcends all and that is common to other religions and culture”. Bishop Mendonça wrote, The Indian Benedictine Ashram (Saccidananda Ashram) is the first step in the direction of bridging the gulf between the Christian culture as it exists today in Indian culture proper.
Even after 72 years, it is so relevant today. The Ashram movement got encouragement from the Vatican II Council, which took place more than 60 years ago. The Vatican Council in its various documents expressed a new self-understanding of the Church in the modern world. How can the Church exist and grow in the changing times? Among many of its findings, one was the need for a positive approach to the cultures and religions of the world. In tune with the Vatican Council’s teachings, the Church in India realized the need of becoming a Church, rooted in the Indian cultural and religious context. The establishment of Ashrams was an effort to found the Church in India based on an authentic Indian Christian Spirituality. It has to be developed through Inculturation and Inter-religious dialogue.
Saccidananda Ashram fulfills the historical necessity for the growth of an authentic Christian Faith in India. Saccidananda Ashram embodies the values, such as simplicity, austerity, generosity, hospitality, kindness, reconciliation, peace, support for the poor and needy, sensitivity to the environment, nature, and life.
The Ashram space is a space of communion. The energy working in it is very powerful at its center, holding everything together in unity. It is also a space for communion – it draws all to it, making a home for all. It realizes the ideal of a “world-family”- Vasudhaiva Kudumbakam. It is a phrase of wisdom from the Maha Upanishad. This world view, which expresses an authentic Indian mentality, emphasizes the notion: “earth as the single home for all”. It is a verse of Wisdom very much relevant in today’s world, where the sense of belonging to a single human family is fading (Fratelli Tutti, 30). Pope Francis’ effort is to awaken in the world a universal aspiration for fraternity. The Church’s role in this effort is to become a space with open doors, by breaking down walls and building bridges of reconciliation. It must be a space for encounter and dialogue. The Ashram atmosphere draws the inmates closer to nature. The simplicity of the Ashram lifestyle raises a serious challenge to the contemporary culture infected by materialism, consumerism, and utilitarianism. The Ashram space has a vibrant center, which is its heart. Heart means also home, a fireplace. It is the place of ardent fire, the fire of sacrifice, the fire of the Holy Spirit. When you come to visit this space; you have to carry within you the effects and the qualities of this space. Thus wherever we go, we become the extensions of this boundless Ashram. Let us remember with gratitude once again all those who have, given life and energy to Saccidanada Ashram.

Shanti Shanti Shanti
With prayers
Fr. Dorathick


God In Silence and Word
Dear Oblates and friends

Sometimes it can be helpful to talk openly and completely with God about what we are going through in life. You may feel compelled to talk and talk and talk. And God will listen. But there are other times when words just don't seem to be enough. There are times when words seem to reverse. In these moments, the biggest blessings come from silence. We must realize that silence is a language. Communicating with God, in silent moments, is much deeper than words that cannot bring us. Don't be afraid to live silent with God. Don't feel as if you have to say or even listen to what it says. Simply silent, in your presence, know that he can do exactly what your soul needs in these moments.

Though many religions emphasize silence and word. That means God is both Sound and Silence. Maitri Upanishad says: “By Sound, we go to silence the sound of God is OM at the end of Om there is silence it is a silence joy”. Sound, Silence, Joy thus becomes an important triplet that binds the theology of silence and word. Therefore, the Taittiriya Upanishad says: From Joy, all beings have come, by the joy they all live, and unto joy, they all return: The Divine joy is thus presented not only as of the end of silence that follows the Word but it precedes the word and becomes the cause of the creation of the beings. We can see in Jn1:1-2,14 St. John gospel says “In the beginning was the Word and Word was with God, and the Word was God… He became flesh. In John's gospel, the Silence and Word are often implied in Jesus constant reference to listening to his Father. And he is filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit to Speak to the father even in Silence. Further, Jesus spoke with authority the words of the eternal life, as he said” The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life” (Jn 6:63) because they like his whole being are form the eternal silence from Mary, his mother, for she spoke out of Silence. It is she who said as she heard the call:” let it be with me according to your word” (Lk 1:38).

The voice of the son in the bosom of the being springs forth from Silence and goes to Silence. St.John of the cross so beautifully says:” The Eternal Father spoke only one thing in the following word. He spoke it in Silence, only in silence can it be heard and it leads us back to Silence. Swami Abhishiktananda says: None will be able to hear or penetrate to the Silence from which the voice is born unless he allows himself to be immersed at first in Silence which proceeds from that Voice. Therefore, we are expected to sit still as Mary at God's feet and gaze upon him in Silence. For it was from that Silence of the womb of Mary was born Word Incarnate, Jesus the saviour. Thus, both Word and Silence contribute to an individual deeper experience of liberation.
In the Silence of the mind, the heart and the soul descend and dwells the Divine, who meets the human in the innermost being liberating and transforming us and then transcending us to the eternal Silence of joy, peace, tranquillity, and love.
Shanti Shanti Shanti

with prayers
Fr. Dorathick



Dear Oblates and friends of Shantivanam

Interreligious dialogue for building Peace

Interreligious dialogue is not merely an explanation of one’s religious rituals or practices. Nor is it an intellectual exchange of ideas regarding either the doctrines or codes of the different religions. Much less is it a debate venting all kinds of prejudice or bias against the views of other religions. Neither is it a religious controversy carried on for the purpose of polemics.

Interreligious dialogue is really an intercommunication among truly religious men and women. They are committed to their own faith but still, being conscious of the fact they are only at the level of seeking, they like to share in the experience of others and thereby get enriched in their own experience of God.

No specific matter or content is important for the interreligious dialogue. It may be about rituals, doctrines, or about a social issue. What is important for interreligious dialogue is the attitude and approach of the participants to the problem in question The required attitude consists primarily of humility. That is, each of the partners in dialogue realizes that none of them has the full grasp of Truth. Truth has multitude dimensions so there must be openness to see and understand different perspectives.  In Fratelli Tutti, Pope Francis confirmed the teachings of Vatican II as presented in Nostra Aetate, The Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions: “The Church esteems the ways in which God works in other religions, and ‘rejects nothing of what is true and holy in these religions.’ In other words, one of the partners is willing to learn and receive from other religious traditions, its values insights and experiences. Receptivity is still another component of the attitude required for dialogue. When one is fully open to the experience of another religious partner, he or she will be ready to enrich and perfect his experience of God, rather than imposing his or her knowledge or experience on others.

Interreligious dialogue trains us to be humble, open to learn from the riches of other spiritual traditions and thereby enables us to prune our imperfections and the excrescences that may have affected our tradition in the course of years. Likewise, the other will learn from the riches of our faith. Thus, is affected a sort of sharing in the riches of different religious traditions. It helps religious communities to become aware of their responsibilities for the good of humanity to cultivate peace. Interreligious dialogue in general involves clear thinking, rational arguments, a variety of perspectives and the contribution of different fields of knowledge and points of view.  The goal of dialogue is to establish friendship, peace and harmony, and to share spiritual and moral values and experiences in a spirit of truth and love. Which opens a new way of life with collaboration and loving each other with inner peace and external peace.

Shanti Shanti Shanti

With prayers and love

Fr. Dorathick 

A Christmas Message 

Light that radiates through the darkness, we can see Love in the birth of a child

Peace and joy be with each of you this Christmas! 


Dear Oblates and friends of Shantivanam,


We can feel as though hope is in scarce supply at the moment. We move from one crisis to the next, hardly catching our breath between each one. The simple task of keep going is so challenging. However, Christmas is a powerful reminder for all of us that hope does glimmer around us. It just doesn’t seem like we expect it to be. This shouldn’t surprise us. Jesus, hope for all the world, certainly didn’t look like the people of his day expected him to look. There are both bright and dark moments in life. If we love God and our sisters and brothers, we walk in the light. But if our heart is closed, if we are dominated by pride, deception, self-seeking, then darkness falls within us and around us. “Whoever hates his brother is in the darkness; he walks in the darkness, and does not know the way to go, because the darkness has blinded his eyes” (1 Jn 2:11). Jesus is Love incarnate. He is not simply a teacher of wisdom.  He is the true meaning of life and history, who has been in our midst.


The Latin word, credo, has been normally translated into English I believe, but the Latin roots could be better translated as “I give my heart to…”. Believing is determining what we give our hearts to. Choosing what will shape our vision, our responsibility, and our values. Integrity is a precious gift needed by the Church as a whole and by all of us. Integrity points that we are everything we affirm to be, that there is no hidden agenda, total transparency. “What you see is all there is.” Today for many, a great problem is the failure by modern society to provide a sense of deep meaning, of belonging, and purpose in our lives. Many no longer feel part of a community or a family. Hence, many are left without hope or optimism. The Christmas account, however, lifts our aspirations. In it, we find a reason for hope and optimism. Christmas radiates with a special kind of light and joy. The significance of this light, is a child and we are drawn, irresistibly, to this light. Christmas is rightly called the Feast of Emmanuel: God is with us. Today is born to you a saviour announced the angels to shepherds. St. Paul says He is the firstborn of all creation. He become man to be with us human beings, He took upon himself all that is human to show his solidarity with us. We have a reason to celebrate this because God is with us and for us who gives us hope and joy. Christmas is not just an event in past but more to be celebrated all the time. Christ should be reborn in the heart of each one of us every day. He has established his presence in the heart of each one of us by His birth.  Sometimes It can take a long time, to cross the darkness to the light, to truly accept that we are to admit that the barriers in our way are not of God but of human brokenness, corruption and  ignorance, to know this truth on this Christmas and embrace the divine love, who is born in our hearts today who brings hope and joy of all our years as a gift for the one who is himself the greatest gift of all. With the light that radiates through the darkness, we can see Love in the birth of a child within. 


May I wish you all a very peaceful and joyful Christmas. May God bless you and all your families now and in the coming New Year.


With love and prayers

Fr. Dorathick

48th Death Anniversary of  Swami Abhishiktananda
7th December 2021

Peace and Joy from Shantivanam

Dear Oblates and friends of Shantivanam,

Today we celebrate the 48th death anniversary  of  swami Abhishiktananda. As we are in the time of Advent season, approaching Christmas, everywhere we see lights, everywhere houses are decorated with lights and in churches with advent candles reminding us that light is a symbolic image of God coming to us. The vision of light is  found in many  mystical experiences. The highest mystical realization is generally referred to as "illumination'' "enlightenment". Swami Abhishiktananda says, "Light is the sign par excellence of the Presence of God. His time in the caves, swami Abhishiktananda also experienced a greater closeness to God. After several months in the cave, he wrote, This Arunachala is strange-Never in my life have I felt so much at peace, so joyful, so near to God, or rather one with God, as on this mountain. Although he felt peace and joy, he regarded even this peace and joy as a hindrance to achieving the inmost depth: In my own innermost centre, in the most secret mirror of my heart, I tried to discover the image of him whose I am, of him who lives and reigns in the infinite space of my heart. But the reflected image gradually grew faint, and soon it was swallowed up in the radiance of its Original. Step by step I descended into what seemed to me to be successive depths of my true self-my being, my awareness of being, and my joy in being. Finally nothing was left but he himself, the Only One, infinitely alone, Being Awareness and Bliss, Saccidananda. In the heart of Saccidananda I had returned to my Source. Tat tvam asi. (Saccidananda, p. 172.)
Advent journey is exactly the same as swami Abhishiktananda experienced in the cave of his heart. Today we are all reminded by Swami Abhishiktananda’s mystical experience as an inspiration Advent as a profound inner journey of hope and joy where we meet Christ in our heart and minds.

Shanti Shanti Shanti

With prayers
Fr. Dorathick


Dear Friends,

Diwali, also known as Diwali or Deepavali, is a five-day festival in Sanatandharma celebrated throughout India by people of many religions, including Hindus, Sikhs, Jian, and Buddhists. Also known as the "Festival of Light. It is a festival that illuminates both the earth and the sky and brings joy to this world. It is a festival that transforms the whole of India into a country of countless lamps. Deepavali, a festival of light, has all the charm, splendor, that can enlighten our hearts and even our hearts while promoting the coveted peace, harmony, and brotherhood of society. The light of Diwali also represents the time of inner enlightenment. Hindus believe that the light of light constantly shines in the heart chambers. Sitting still and fixing your mind to this supreme light illuminates your soul. An opportunity to nurture and enjoy eternal bliss. It is a festival that connects all religions, all homes, and all hearts. The Diwali Festival has a deep spiritual meaning, which essentially means an inner consciousness of light. In a sense, it is a celebration of the awakening and awareness of the inner light, which has the power to shine the darkness and remove all obstacles in life. The light shines in the lamp (Rev. 21:23) Christ said Himself as the light of the world has also told us, you are the light of the world.
The light of God is shining inside and outside of us. Let this Diwali bring an abundance of joy and happiness to all of us by dispelling the darkness of ignorance and many other evils that devastate mankind.Happy Diwali to all
Fr. Dorathick

International Day of Peace - 21 September 2021
A message from Fr. Dorathick

Dear friends,

The International Day of Peace

International Day of Peace, World Peace Day, is commemorated every year on September 21. This day reminds people of all races and all nations to think about universal peace. The theme of the UN is "recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world''.
Today, we live in the world of advancement and science with all possibilities, and humans are hailed as rational, social, and more sophisticated beings. little has happened in the early years of the 21th century to mitigate the concern of human values for the future of humanity. Moral vision has been lacking among leaders and us too. Unfortunately, we become so selfish. Today the other side when we look, we can notice fear, insecurity, inequality, violence, war. One of the greatest threats today for the whole of humanity is terrorism and war. What is it that makes people make war? Many people are ready to point the finger too quickly at some alleged basic trouble that is responsible for all violent conflicts of the present and the past be it religion, capitalism, or the alleged aggressiveness, and greediness of human nature. Really, there is no easy answer to the question of the causes of war. Violent disputes can have many causes. In the history of humankind, there is probably not one case where war was made based on one single cause. All these causes are different, but all these affect the peace of the Universe and oneself.
The road to peace takes much more effort and time to bring about. Peace needs to not only be strongly set as being a desirable value and state of being, but it must also be something that has an active tangible relationship and emotional bond with humankind. We need to teach and impart to every person the value and wider positive effects of peace, rather than how to hate and conquer. One of the possible paths to doing this is to illustrate the consequences and the results of war and peace. We are responsible to restore peace and harmony to the Universe one of the ways which we can fix them through inclusiveness, and cultivating dialogues beyond our ideas and accepting others, respecting others, other traditions and religion. For many of us war or violence are often remote from direct experience and daily life. It is true that where ever in this Universe the peace is disturbed unconsciously it affects you. So where ever we live try to cultivate peace in our thought’s words and actions. We all part of one world. Once we understand this Universal truth, we can easily realize that we all are sharing one universe.
In 2021, as we are healing from the pandemic, we are encouraged to think creatively and collectively about how to help everyone to recover better, how to build flexibility, and how to transform our world into one that is more balanced, more impartial, equitable, inclusive, sustainable, healthier, peaceful. Celebrate peace by standing up against acts of hate online and offline too, and by spreading compassion, kindness, and hope within the face of the pandemic and as we recover.
Shanti Shanti Shanti
Fr. Dorathick



111th Birth Anniversary - 30th August 2021

Greetings and Peace from Shantivanam


Dear Oblates and Friends of Shantivanam,

Today we commemorate the Birth Anniversary Swami Abhishiktananda. On this day let us ponder on his thoughts of microcosm/macrocosm. One reason that the acosmic in his or her solitude can help the whole world is by the idea of microcosm/macrocosm. Swami Abhishiktananda says that there is a relation between the Self in us and the Self in the world. We are a microcosm, and what we do is reflected in the world as a macrocosm. "Man is a microcosm, and only by opening up in man the foundation of his being can the Spirit transform and spiritualize the cosmos to its depths." Swami Abhishiktananda says that the parts of a person's body relate to the five elements and five cardinal points." Humanity is so constituted that the whole race is summed up and comes to fulfillment in the individual, while at the same time the individual can only reach his fulfillment in the whole. Because the sannyasi is a microcosm, his presence need not be known to other people to have an effect on the macrocosm: Even if he were unknown, his mere presence before God in the name of his people at this holy place [Arunachala] is enough. Swami Abhishiktananda says that because of the essential connectedness of all human beings when you awake, you awake with and on behalf of all. Salvation is therefore not just individuals awaken to Self. In so far as we are all interrelated, and in so far as the Self is in everything and everyone, salvation is related to the whole temporal world. Advaita should result in the total integration of the whole person and the integration of each person in the totality of mankind.

Shanti Shanti Shanti...

with prayers
Fr. Dorathick

11th July Feast of Saint Benedict 

Dear Friends

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Benedict. St. Benedict was regarded as the Father of Western Monasticism. Most of what we know about Saint Benedict of Nursia comes from the Dialogues of Pope Gregory the Great, written about sixty years after Benedict’s death. This work is a combination of biographical sketches and miracle stories. One of his greatest contributions to us is his rule. His rule was regarded as very balanced and moderate. It was a good alternative to the existing strict and lax way of life in those days. St. Benedict suggests to his followers a way of life divided into eight hours of prayer, eight hours of sleep and eight hours of work. Prayer and work are the two basic pillars of life and spirituality, rule the Benedictine monk’s life. Benedict’s Rule is a reflection immersed in Scripture that describes a way to live in a community. It is a human journey into the heart of God. It called for a community where all had the same access to all equally. Those who have given up everything and entered monastic life have done so in order to fulfil one goal: to seek God. Prayer, work, obedience, simplicity of life, and stability guide the daily living of monastic life and thus guides the monk in his solitary goal of life.

Let us ask God’s grace to grow more and more every day in the inspiration of St. Benedict to seek God as He says Let them prefer nothing whatever to Christ, and may he bring us all all together to everlasting life. Rule of Benedict 72:11-1

Fr. Dorathick




Dear Friends,

Today we celebrate the solemnity of the Holy Trinity. The feast of our Saccidananda Ashram. The Holy Trinity. It is the foundation of all Christian belief and teaching. How can we understand the meaning of the Trinity? This is the same question as to how can we understand God? We cannot with our intellect alone because God is infinite. So it is so beautiful to keep God as a Mystery. Sceptics may say that this is an excuse but I think it is marvellous that understands wonderfully and lovingly, he has revealed himself to us through nature, the works of God, and the Scriptures, the Word of God. However, because we only see in part, we must seek to see the invisible part with the eyes of faith (Heb 11). In doing so we can fully enter into a relationship with Him. The prophet Jeremiah, 29:13 says “When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart”. This is a heart exercise through our daily devotions and corporate worship aided by searching the Scriptures, our knowledge Apostolic teachings, and the guidance of the Church. The Christian family is an icon of the Trinity. “The Christian home is the place where children receive the first proclamation of the faith. For this reason the family home is rightly called “the domestic church”, a community of grace and prayer, a school of human virtues and of Christian charity.”(CCC 1666). The Mystery of the Holy Trinity is the Mystery of God’s Love. We live in this Love, the Love of the Father who creates and sustains us, the Love of the Son, the Merciful One, who became one of us and who overflows with compassion for each of us, and the love the Spirit, the One whose presence within us gives us the ability to love ourselves and others as God loves. Fr Bede Griffiths says: “The Trinity is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Interpersonal relationship in love – Communion in love. That is the end of human existence, the end for each one of us. So that’s where I feel we have to move today. All of us of a particular faith or church or whatever, are being called to go beyond all these limitations and awake to the one Reality that can unite humanity today and nothing else can”.

May the shared life and love of the Trinity be reflected in us – the real meaning of the Most Holy Trinity in our lives. And may God bless us all in the Name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Shanti Shanti Shanti

Fr. Dorathick

Taken from Saccidananda Ashram Shantivanam Facebook 


Message from Fr. Dorathick
On the 28th death anniversary of
Fr. Bede Griffiths
13th May 2021

Unity of religion brings peace to the world

Dear Oblates and friends of Shantivanam,

Today many people's lives are highly influenced by religion. Many people's decisions are influenced and guided by their religious practices. Religion can frequently help people to improve themselves and improve the lives of others. Religion, on the other hand, appears to have the opposite effects, causing people to be violent. Religion is frequently blamed for violent acts such as suicide, martyrdom, and terrorism. Every religious tradition has either been victims of or sanctioned violence for millennia. How is it that religions, which intend to preach peace, love, and harmony, are so frequently associated with intolerance and violent aggression?
Just in recent attacks people have been killed as tensions rise in Jerusalem!
  it is so important to understand today the core problem of religious violence and bring the true essence of religions and cultures.

Dialogue often is a casual matter, but the deeper, more substantial type is governed by an intrinsic commitment to finding the point of unity between the two traditions, finding the common ground that allows them to be related in a direct way. Fr. Bede Griffiths describes this deeper type of dialogue, which he refers to as existential dialogue: The primary goal of inter-religious dialogue is mutual understanding, but this needs to be understood from within, that is, by sharing the other person's religious experience. This is accomplished not only through shared conversation but also through participation in religious rituals and prayer.' Existential dialogue is characterized by an inner openness to the other built on mutual respect, dignity, and sympathy. However, existential convergence is more profound.

  Fr. Bede Griffiths is convinced that a meeting must take place between the different religions of the world. Everywhere religions are a source of conflict and violence. The only way we can overcome this is when we go beyond the limits of each religion and realize the transcendent mystery which is manifest in all of them. It does not mean, of course, that we simply ignore the differences. Unfortunately, that is a danger in India, where they tend to say that all the religions are the same, that differences do not matter. [1]

Fr. Bede, says how to “transcend dualism … is our problem,” since “these religious divisions stem from the philosophy of dualism.” Yet Fr. Bede’s theological conclusion is not monistic Advaita so much as an integrative synthesis, accommodating for the distinctiveness of creation, the individual, and the Trinity. Instead of referring to religious plurality, Bede speaks of opposites which he seeks to reconcile through the notion of Advaita, which is conceived not as “non-dual,” but as complex. Hence the paradox: while Fr. Bede sees dualism as insufficient, the “non-dual” is perceived as important just because it allows for nuances—nuances that are often present in what Fr. Bede presented as “dual” to begin with. The notion that “all the religions are the same” is emphatically not valid in the Vedantic discourse, in which Bede seeks to engage, and which he identifies as “the orthodox tradition of Hinduism.”[2] Within the Vedantic discourse, it would be difficult to hold that religious “differences do not matter,” even if some Hindus may use such an expression. Sometimes Fr. Bede would be based on his notions of the perennial philosophy and “the cosmic revelation” see one single truth reflected in all religion, a truth which it is equally valid to describe in personal as impersonal terms, such differences do matter in the Vedantic discourse, just as they do in Christian theology. Fr. Bede so beautifully brings a path to unity and communion with God through nature as well as other people. This has been reflected in his writings on nature, love, Trinity and he says “We are made ‘partakers of the divine nature’ …. The world is not divided; there is no separation between God and world” Through this shared religious experience, a kind of osmosis occurs, and each person begins to see his or her own religion in a new light. A Christian, for example, may begin to see Christ in a new light after sharing with a Hindu or a Buddhist. In this way, one can bring true peace to the world.

 Shanti Shanti Shanti

With love and prayers

Fr. Dorathick

[1] Bede Griffiths, Vedanta and Christian Faith, 92-93.

[2] Brockington, Hinduism and Christianity, 1.

Fr. Jules Monchanin  (Swami Parama Arubi Ananda)
born 10th April 1895

Dear Oblates and Friends of Shantivanam

Fr. Monchanin was a great gift for us all. Today as we commemorate his birth anniversary, we thank God for giving us a great Mystic and a great intellectual for all. One of his lovely understandings of Christian mysticism and Yoga is profound in his life particularly with the dark nights explained by John of the cross. Where Fr. Monchanin sees God as formless and transcends every concept, created intellect cannot reach Him except as in “a ray of darkness”. In this one goes into the emptiness or void, Indian sense fullness: Sat- Chit- Ananda – being, consciousnesses, joy. Buddhists would say the three-fold embodiment of transformation, beatitude, and essence. Katha Upanishad 6,12 would say Not by speech, not by mind, not by sight can He be apprehended; how can he be comprehended, otherwise than by one’s saying ‘He is? The mystical experience is prior to every theoretical explanation. So in true mysticism is the way where one loses his or her self with the Divine beyond names and forms.

Shanti Shanti Shanti

With prayers
Fr. Dorathick

MARCH 2021- Message for Holy Week

Dear Oblates and friends of Shantivanam

Repentance a way to new life

Throughout Lenten season we may often hear about repentance. For many Christians, repentance means, like most of us, to understand, feeling that you are sorry for something bad or wrong that you have done. In the old testament, many times, the prophets preached about repentance for the Kingdom of God. This repentance is not the regret for our actions; it is more than that. If we want to understand the true meaning of repentance, we must understand the Greek word metanoia to ‘change of mind’.  For what we need, the change of mind or change of oneself?

 In old testaments, most of the time, the prophets preach about repentance. Repent and turn away from sins are the invitations of prophets. So first, we have to understand what sin is? Sin is the absence of goodness. CCC 1849 says  Sin is an offence against reason, truth, and right conscience; it is a failure in genuine love for God and neighbour caused by a perverse attachment to certain goods. It wounds the nature of men and women and injures human solidarity. It has been defined as "an utterance, a deed, or a desire contrary to the eternal law." Krishna says sin is ignorance. When we live in ignorance, we can easily sin, bringing violence externally, hatred, hurting, anxiety, narrowness, lack of understanding, feeling imprisoned with emotions. Catechism of the catholic church beautifully says in  1431; Interior repentance is a radical reorientation of our whole life, a return, a conversion to God with all our heart, an end of sin, a turning away from evil. Repentance means the change of mind and heart ultimately. Repentance is an absolute joy, a refreshing return to life in its abundant fullness. To repent is to awaken from the sleep of ignorance and to rediscover the soul.
As we are in the holy week, it is the right time to repent from our sins. On the way to Calvary is a real journey to oneself, not simply we remember Jesus' passion. As Jesus said, "take up your cross and follow me." He did not say take up His cross. It is a great reminder the journey to Calvary is our journey of repentance, and we die with Christ and reborn with eternal life. Through the resurrection of Jesus, one finds the real meaning of repentance.

Shanti Shanti Shanti
with prayers
Fr. Dorathick


Dear Oblates and friends of Shantivanam
Lent: A Journey Inward, outward and Upward

We all know the season of Lent is a time of prayer, fasting, penance and almsgiving that leads us through the forty days to Jesus resurrection. Symbolically the forty days remind us of Jesus spending forty days within the desert fasting and praying. We imitate Jesus withdrawal into the wilderness for forty days a time contemplating his suffering, death, and resurrection. It’s a time for prayerful introspection, reflection, and meditation. This is a time for stillness within the presence of God as we contemplate the meaning and reality of Easter for us here and now. During this time of Lent, we too are called to look at our temptations, those things which separate us from God, and our true selves. We are called to rework and grow in response to God's loving compassion, which surrounds us all. This is often a time where we will grow fruitfully, but like all growth spurts, they're tiring and take emotional and physical energy. Lent isn't a time of self-criticism and self-hatred in an effort to emotionally hate ourselves, but a time for us to continue those things we discover about ourselves before God, prayerfully and openly, within the knowledge that of ourselves. And, being a part of ourselves, are forgiven, accepted, and are even beloved of God.

This Lenten season gives us an opportunity as a journey towards three different directions, namely, inward, outward, and upward. It’s a journey inward, that is, to the self, as we look and examine our selfishness and stubbornness of hearts and turn to selflessness and kindness like true children of God. It’s outwards because it should be a journey of our selves towards others also. The efforts that we exert shouldn't only be towards personal gains but also should have a fruit in helping others. Finally, it's an upward journey- a journey of the self towards God. In journeying towards God, Lent must be a chance to be reconciled with Him. Many spiritual writers will say that we don’t do the Lenten sacrifices in order that we'll have better come Easter time. Lent itself should be the very opportunity to repent and undergo the transformation and thus a time for us to be reconciled with the Lord here and now.
Shanti Shanti Shanti
Fr. Dorathick


As we are preparing to celebrate the coming of Christ our Lord, we are reminded that Christmas is also a time for us                   to celebrate, to give thanks, and to prepare for the reunion with our families and loved ones. It is also a time to look back and remind ourselves about the many blessings we have received.  Though we may be far, you and your families are always in our thoughts and in our prayers. 
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a joy-filled Christmas season.
With love and prayers
Fr. Dorathick 

Christmas Brings a New Light and New Hope

Peace and Joy to you all

Dear Oblates and Friends of Shantivanam,

As we are preparing to celebrate the coming of Christ our Lord, we are reminded that Christmas is also a time for us to celebrate, to give thanks, and to prepare for the get-together with our families and loved ones. It is also a time to look back and remind ourselves about the many blessings we have received. This year most probably our Christmas will be very different. Lots of travel restrictions, lockdowns and quarantines, physical distance and wearing a mask etc... it will be quite harder and maybe impossible to get together with our family and loved ones. We miss all our Oblates and friends in Shantivanam this year. People have lost their jobs, Christmas without someone close to us - all these make us feel like losing hope! But this Christmas once again brings back hope to humanity. Indeed God has given us the greatest Christmas present we could ever hope for. The nativity is not simply just a symbol of the Christmas season, it represents God’s plan of redemption. In this apparently ordinary birth we find hope for the world.  The gospel of Matthew says “God is with us” certainly; and it must be a faith-inspired, a faith-moved and faith-filled celebration.

Prophet Isaiah reminds us: “The people who are walking in darkness have seen a great light”. The light of God’s unconditional love- the very light of creation itself has come to walk midst us. To show us what it means to be loved as God loves. This love can never be taken away from the world. Through His incarnation God proved that God has brought divinity into humanity. Ultimately it is pure gift for us. For me the birth of Christ is one of the greatest messages for each one of us when we lose hope in our life to remember Christ promised I am the light and life too in spite of all our chaos. We have heard the words Christ, our Redeemer so repeatedly that we sometimes don’t really recognize the true significance. The problems of our lives can blind us to the reality of the true Christmas message. The fear and inhumanity of man can prevent us from experiencing the joy of the gift. Despite the human condition, here we are, once again this Christmas makes us recognize that God has become Man. The good news will never change. But our response to the message needs to be an essence of continuous change. Our continuous growth in holiness is the foundation to celebrate Christmas every day of our lives. Christmas brings us the greatest joy, a historical reminder for humanity that we are not far from God. We are close to God and God is close to us! We often fail to realize this truth because of our human tendencies. Christmas is certainly the great feast of Divine Mercy. Christmas says to each one of us today: God cares for us, loves us how ever even when we go away from God, God is always with us because He loves so unconditionally who we are. Often we judge ourselves and others that we are not worthy or not good enough, sometimes harder than even God judges! Pope Francis so beautifully says God’s joy is in forgiveness. God loves us despite of our weakness and fragility.  Not even the fragility and the weakness separate us from the Divine union but rather the birth of Christ in our hearts brings a joy and hope today. Let us bring His light, and His mercy, and His peace to our world and to our sisters and brothers, our families, and where ever we live we bring a new hope to this Universe.

Though we are far, you are always in our thoughts and in our prayers which unite us this Christmas

 Wishing you all a  Merry Christmas!

With prayers

Fr. Dorathick



17th December 2020 -114th Birth Anniversary of
Fr. Bede Griffiths

Greetings and Peace from Shantivanam

Dear Oblates and friends of Shantivanam,

Today we remember the birthday of Father Bede Griffiths.
As Christmas is approaching we are all busy with many preparations to receive Christ in our hearts.
Fr. Bede gives a different dimension to receive Christ - not only through the historical Christ but transcends us into the Cosmic Christ. The cosmic Christ that Christ himself goes beyond space and time is totally one with the Father, the creator-God, and so is also present in all creation. Fr.  Bede elaborates in The New Creation in Christ, on some of St Paul’s most famous words: “‘In him and through him and for him all things are created and in him all things hold together.’ The whole universe holds together in Christ: that is the cosmic Christ. It needs to be said that Christ is present in all religion.” Fr. Bede Griffiths says the movement from a mythological to an historical understanding of the world is one of large significance. Because God acts in the history of his people, if children, widows, and the poor are rejected, God is rejected.
This start of history leads to a completely different conception of time. Time is linear, moving towards an end, the eschaton. The God of history involves himself in the history of his people in order to lead them to their final bliss. This understanding of God as the God of history breaks through the whole idea of samsara, which is  death and rebirth to which life in the material world is bound. Time is not something from which humans have to escape; it is a means to salvation. The Lord is inspiring us and calls on us to respond to His call, every moment of our life. Let us all respond completely and enthusiastically to this call. This makes a profound difference in our understanding of life.
We are moving towards the final fulfilment. With the coming of Christ we encounter this finality.

Shanti Shanti Shanti

Fr. Dorathick

47th Death Anniversary of  Swami Abhishiktananda
7th December 2020

Dear Oblates and friends of Shantivanam

We live in a world of diversity with disunity and as a result we often end with war and violence with nations, religions, and in our own families. 
There is a unity too in this Universe which connects diversity and if we are able to discover this unity we can really bring harmony to this universe. We can easily accept the differences and admire the differences too.
One of the essential methods we can practice is dialogue. Abhishiktananda wonderfully says in the introduction to the English edition of Saccidananda : Dialogue may begin simply with relations of mutual sympathy. It only becomes worthwhile when it is accompanied by full openness . . . not merely at the intellectual level, but with regard to the inner life of the Spirit. Dialogue about doctrines will be more fruitful when it is rooted in a real spiritual experience at depth and when each one understands that diversity does not mean disunity, once the Center of all has been reached.[1]

As we celebrate the death anniversary of Swami Abhishiktananda let us ponder on dialogue is the tool which can bring us unity to God and creation.

Shanti Shanti Shanti

With prayers
Fr. Dorathick

[1] Abhishiktananda, Saccidananda A Christian Approach to AdvaiticExperience,iii

 "...we are fine and reopened the ashram from this month!..."





Dear Brothers and sisters,

Today we in India celebrate Diwali. Diwali is also known as Deepavali, the largest festival in India. Millions of Hindus, Jains and Sikhs celebrate it all over the world. Diwali is a happy time, sharing sweets, lights, crackers, with one of its main themes being of course, the triumph of light over darkness, and good over bad. The word Diwali is a two-word mix. Deep, means light, and Awali, means line. Lights in a row. Light represents the vulnerability of power and darkness. This year gives us hope, particularly during the dark season, and that’s when we really need light. There are many stories of Diwali. The most popular in the Hindu belief is the story  of the return of Rama, the king of Ayodhya with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana to his capital city after a fourteen year of exile and a war in which he defeated the demon king Ravana, a story recorded in the Ramanyana. It recalls the people of Ayodhya, who lit oil lamps along the streets to light the returning king’s path in the darkness of a new moon night, and welcome them back, finally to their home. Another story regarding Diwali in South India: A giant called Naragashur once lived there. Narag stands for hell, and Ashur for giant. So he was a horrifying giant. He caused a lot of damage, to both the nation and the sages. They all cried out to the Lord for redemption. The Lord was incarnate and the Lord killed the giant one fine evening. With happiness holding light in their hands, people came out of their homes. So it became a tradition and the generations followed it and that’s why the generations followed each year.

If people decided to celebrate a day because of the death of a giant, then the whole life would not be enough for a person to celebrate because there are so many similar stories in the Puranas. So what do people feel today? There are lights around us, but we are engulfed in darkness inwardly. We think the giant (Satan or demons) has been destroyed, but we don’t realize that the giant or demons still live in us and hold us under slavery like sorrow, illness, hate, hunger, etc., Purenic tales have been written to make us understand that God has to come in flesh to save people from the slavery of this giant, who is called devil. Who’s the demon? Who is the incarnation of God embodied in flesh? The Giant is sexual immorality, impureness, idolatry, hate, conflict, envy, evil thoughts, stealing, murder, greed, malice, deception, pride, slander, vanity, etc. Such a giant still lives in the minds of people and spoils everyone? His life, and also the lives of others. The giant is called the darkness of the universe too. He darkened the eyes of us so that we could not see the light.

Light is a symbol of God. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness”(made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of god’s glory displayed in the face of Christ (2 Cor 4:6,7) The light of God, which is the true knowledge should shine in the minds and hearts of us. Jesus says “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”(John 12:46) In truth, God is invoked and worshiped as light in all religious traditions. For God is light not only because He is the source of light, but because the entire universe is illumined by His own light. Chandogya Upanishad so beautifully says “There is light that shines beyond all things on earth” “This is the light that shines in our hearts (Ch. Up. 3,13.7)

As we light the lamps today, we remember the light of the world, the evil of the world. And we light them as lights, an invitation to the Spirit of God to come into our hearts, and to bring about the triumph of good over evil, of light over darkness in our life. All the lights of the universe cannot be compared to a ray of the inner light of the self. Merge our self in this light and rejoice in the festival of lights. May this Diwali bring joy and Peace.

Happy Diwali.

Fr. Dorathick.

63rd Death anniversary Fr. Jules Monchanin 

 (Mahasamadhi - 10 October 1957)

Dear Oblates and friends of Shantivanam,

Today we celebrate the death anniversary of our beloved founder Swami Parama Arubi Ananda  (Jules Monchanin). Swami Parama Arubi Ananda, the founder of the Shantivanam ashram, came to India in 1939 as a French Catholic priest. His life in India was dedicated to integrating the Hindu tradition, particularly its sannyasi contemplative practice, into the life of the Christian Church.

Swami Parama Arubi Ananda tried at a deep and total adaptation of the contemplative life of  sannyasi  who dedicated himself to the Quest of the Absolute and hence opened the way to the inmost form of spiritual union between Christianity and Hinduism. He was convinced that the best means of meeting the Hindus is by the life or sannyasa dedicated to the adoration of the Trinity. Convinced of contemplative life as the best Hindu-Christian meeting point Monchanin says, "It is in the inviolable sanctuary of the contemplating mind that the encounter between India and Christianity will occur". He saw contemplation as the supreme need of the Church in India. Monchanin was an adorer of the Trinity and he called India "The Land of the Trinity".

Monchanin affirms that Christian mysticism is Trinitarian or else it is nothing. His sannyasi life was centred on the Trinity. "Monchanin was a magnetic personality who could radiate God and attract people. People could feel God's presence in him and he led many to God although at times his bold steps to integrate Christianity with Hinduism by living a life of sannyasa in an Ashram were criticized. No one ever dared to doubt the depth of his religious life"[1] Monchanin was one of the pioneers of ecumenism first with Christians, Jews and Muslims in France and then with the Hindus in India. He was not only a scholar and a theologian of exceptional insight, but also a very holy man, who sought to encounter Hinduism at the deepest level in the sphere of prayer and contemplation. Monchanin in his last letter to his Bishop he wrote:” I offer my life to God on behalf of Shantivanam and my death also if it be His will”. The Lord had already made His choice. “Unless the seed fall and rot within the earth it shall not germinate and bear fruit”. Today as we commemorate the death anniversary of Swami Parama Arubi Ananda. Let us remember the great witness to India.
Shanti Shanti Shanti

With prayers
Fr. Dorathick

[1] Jesu Rajan, Bede Griffiths and Sannyasa, Bangalore, Asian Trading Corporation, 1997,90.


Greetings and peace from Shantivanam

Dear oblates and friends of Shantivanam,


Mystical contemplation is filled with spiritual interior experience of union with the mystery of God. Normally It cannot be grasped with our faculties. We use a lot of means to understand but often we stop at our intellectual level, which does not satisfy ourselves! What we need is knowledge through experience, through realizing and assimilating it into our very being. Contemplation is fundamentally an exclusive as well as an inclusive progress, in which one withdraws one's own mind and senses from the disturbances of the world and contemplates upon individual will and transcends to Gods will in which the mind and the body is brought together to a harmonious whole.

In Christianity we are familiar with theological virtues of faith, hope and charity. We need to have a deeper understanding of these virtues in contemplation. A virtue is a habitual and firm disposition to do the good. It allows the person not only to perform good acts, but to give the best of himself. The virtuous person tends toward the good with all his sensory and spiritual powers; he pursues the good and chooses it in concrete actions. The goal of a virtuous life is to become like God.[1]

Every believer is given the gift of faith but every believer is not mystically enlightened by faith. Faith is a passive theological virtue infused in us. It Implies revelation from God and the response of obedience from us. We can express this faith response through our faculties especially the intellect or rising above the capacity of the intellect. In the first case we have the ordinary response of faith. But we need a mystical enlightenment of faith because contemplation is enlightenment in faith.

Theological virtue of hope brings fulfillment to our possessive desire.  The possessive instinct operates from our childhood till death giving us semblance of strength and security in the midst of our imperfections, limitations and insecurity. Usually we hope to be happier when we gain possession of the object. This happiness does not last long. We desire to possess beyond our needs, even our possessions become a problem and a threat. Yet we do not stop possessing. On the contrary, mystical experience of hope gives us in anticipation a direct experience of the infinite divine mystery. But since in our possessive faculties we do not have the capacity for infinite possession, we may feel empty and void. Our empirical joy in possession is always related to creatures. When we are given the possession of the mystery of God, we may feel empty and void in our faculties yet have the joy of possessing everything. Having nothing yet possessing everything.

Like faith and hope, the theological virtue of charity also can be practiced at two levels, ordinary and mystical. At the ordinary level, we love God and our neighbour. This love is imperfect, because often it is measured by the capacity of our faculties. It is often self-centred and calculated, seeking our own benefit. Love is the most sublime power in us and when it is perfect, it should make us really blissful. Since this love is now measured by our power, it is imperfect and cannot make us fully happy. In contrast, mystical love is a blissful passion for the Divine Beloved and creates in us a feeling of self-annihilation  and a complete self-surrender to God. In Bhagavat gita  18:62 so beautifully says “Surrender exclusively unto him with your whole being, O Bharat. By his grace, you will attain perfect peace and the eternal abode”. The more the love the more we forget ourselves, in giving ourselves to God this in turn invites divine self- giving. On the part of God and the mystics there results a total mutual self- surrender, possession and joy. Here the mystics who are created in the image and likeness of God look God- like through participation. Here one realizes the original plan of God and we become blissful.


Shanti Shanti Shanti

With prayers

Fr. Dorathick

[1]  THE VIRTUES1803


Dear Oblates and friends of Shantivanam

Greetings and peace from Shantivanam

As we commemorate the 110th Birthday of Swami Abishiktananda we reflect on

Sannyasa a call to beyond

The very word Sannyasa in Sanskrit means renunciation. A Sannyasi, is one who is initiated into Sannyas diksha and becomes part of the Holy Order of Sannyasis. Sannyasis bear the title of Swami, or, in the case of women, Swamini. Swami means one who has mastered himself. This is our common understanding of sannyasa. Sannyasi is a Hindu monk, not a priest. But certainly, sannyasi does not belong to any religion, and at the same time, he belongs to all of them. Sannyasa begins where formal religion with all its boundaries ends. For a sannyasi, all temples, churches, synagogues and mosques, traditions, and rituals are equally close to him, and equally far. He is in search of a personal realization of the truth. The tradition of sannyasa can be seen in all of the world's traditions and cultures. People, who have left worldliness and devoted themselves entirely to a greater spiritual life, and helping others in their spiritual progress,. In different places, they have got different names - sadhus, saints, sages, mystics, ascetics, monks, hermits, philosophers…

A true sannyasi is one who chooses to explore the truth always. Truth is not just a fact as we think. It’s beyond. It’s something that liberates us from pain, suffering and delivers us to bliss. It’s not something merely to read, chant, worship, or venerate. It’s to recognize and, then, to realize. Some might even know this Truth apparently yet fail to benefit from it within, because it’s one thing to know, another thing to understand and completely different to be able to apply. Sannyasa, therefore, is a path of remaining in this Truth, full of bliss. Almost all spiritual seekers require that first; you have to die to be born again. Jesus says in John chapter 3 Jesus replied, "Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again." Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons and daughters of God (ccc 1213). In Indian tradition, Sannyas diksa or initiation to sannyasa where one, after performing all of his life samskaras, symbolically receives a new life.

In modern days sannyasis characterise sannyasa to be an extremely difficult task. On the other side many of them take sannyasa but don’t renounce! Today many are attracted to sannyasa because they don’t want to face challenges in their life and are just wearing kavi, and having dikshas too. In the early Indian tradition only after fulfilling one's duties in the world he or she is eligible to take sannyasa . The sannyasi takes vows, the vow to renounce the ego, worldly riches, and the vow of simplicity. Secondly is the vow of obedience, where one gives the promise to follow the tradition of sannyas dharma and the word of the Guru, and accepts obedience to the spiritual lineage to which he belongs. The third is the vow of chastity, purity of mind, emotions, actions and speech, non-violence. Essentially for sannyasa - no self-centred attachments, becomes free from worldly life. It is important not escaping from the world, leaving worldly desires or attachments. But an authentic Sannyasa is a lifestyle that is abundant in wisdom, and bliss. Rather than suppressing their desires, authentic sannyasis seek transcendence through wisdom and meditation. So he or she lives a life without fear and full of bliss. In ashrams, sannyasins should become an inspiration to others. Then they can spread the light and the teachings of the guru. The idea of the sannyasin of the Upanishads very well reminds Abhishiktananda of the passage of the gospel where Jesus, the sad guru, invites his disciples to renounce everything for the sake of the kingdom of God. (The further shore). The Bhagavad Gita beautifully synthesizes all by saying that action should be performed as a sacrifice. Swami Abhishiktananda says about diakonia, a form of service to mankind. Modern sannyasins, many are degree holders in various areas of philosophy, literature, science, today it is necessary to introduce the selfless service into sannyasa life. Sannyasins need to aim at giving a definite direction to humanity. If a sannyasin is a teacher, an engineer, a scientist, a doctor, let him proceed to be so in the framework of sannyasa. If everybody were to renounce all actions, then there would be disorder in society. The sannayasi not only has full control over himself, but also, being liberated from all self, ego and desire, he recognizes the Universal theophany of God everywhere and in everything and is ready for the service of humanity and the building of a new world. Swami Abhishiktananda sings a beautiful poem in the Further shore:

“ Man passes to the further shore of his heart in the great sacrament of the Universe and of Humanity.

 Everyone that he meets and every being that he touches, act as his Ferryman;

and all that he experiences in the events of the world, in the history of mankind and in his personal history, whether outwardly or within his own mind,

all this carries him across to the further shore of the self….”
Shanti Shanti Shanti

With love and prayers
Fr. Dorathick


JULY 2020

Dear Oblates and friends of Shantivanam

God Speaks through Nature

God has surrounded us with wonderful things of nature to keep us busy and interested in life. Gods wish would be that we should connect the beauty of nature with His goodness. God uses many ways to make Himself known to us and bring us into fellowship [closeness] with Him. Nature speaks to our senses about God without stopping. Our attitude to nature has varied in the course of history. Some of us see God as the creator who stands apart from the Universe. It is like a clock maker and the clock. The Universe may have had an origin and an originator. But now it is on its own. It is a secular reality. Others identify the universe with God. They see nature itself as divine. They divine natural forces like the sun and the moon, the wind and the rain. The advatic tradition in India asserts that God and the Universe are neither one nor two, not one - but also not two. Nature is not God, but it is dependent on God. Ramanuja a great Indian philosopher saw nature as the body of God: dead by itself, but animated by God. Nature is neither secular nor divine, but dependent on God.

If we say that nature speaks to us about God, we somehow reduce God to the dimensions of nature, even if we keep asserting that God is infinitely more than our affirmations. The truth is that God speaks through nature. But then God speaks, not about God self, but about us and about our life in the world, about our relationship to nature and through it to God. We look at nature, not to know more about God, but to listen to God speaking to us through nature which God is present. God teaches us through nature about life. What could be the lessons?

The first lesson is that life is dynamic. It is moving towards a consummation which we are not too clear about. We do not know what form it will take. Scientists say that the Universe started with a big bang and the scattered parts are racing outward in space at unimaginable speeds. What we call space is being constantly extended. Energy is being transformed in various ways continuously. Within the Universe and in its solar system the earth has moved in a different direction. Its climatic conditions changed in such a way as to make possible the emergence and evolution of life.  Life has evolved to the level of the humans. While the evolution of the body seems to have reached a level, it is now the turn of knowledge and communications.  We are able to do things now that we did not dream of twenty years ago. We do not know where this evolution is taking us. But we can understand that the world is moving, humanity is moving, and life is moving.

The second lesson that God is teaching us through nature is that life is always inter dependent. The more the scientific discoveries and what the scientist says about the law of nature, we see how everything is dependent on everything else. The whole universe is a network. The world has existed without life. It may still do so if we succeed in annihilating life by our destructive activities. But we cannot survive for a moment without the world: The air, the heat, water etc… At the same time, we can destroy nature by the way of exploitation and consume it. We do not realize that by destroying nature we are destroying life and also our own. Ecologists are trying to be today sensitive to this dependence. The inter dependence between nature and humans.  We often think of ourselves as individuals. We look on the human community as a collection of individuals. But history has been a story of mutual influences, taking, sometimes, conflictual forms. It is time to realize that human destiny is one and inter related. The plan of God is to gather all things into unity. But often our spirituality and rationality promote individualism and do not dwell on the implications of this inter dependence. God also reminds us that life is not smooth through nature - many times we feel that nothing is in our hands like the present pandemic - scientific knowledge and technologies become powerless. God keeps upsetting our plans, reminding us of our dependence, not only on God, but on the broader unity of both at the human and at the cosmic levels. The more we come to know God the more there is a joy within us an adoration and appreciation for His creation. Romas 1;20 would say “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse”. So may we continue to take care and love Gods creation. May we take care of His direction in our lives in the ways He teaches us through the nature around us. So constantly try to listen to nature with mind and heart so we can see miracles happen in every moment of life. Ultimately we become instruments of God.

Shanti Shanti Shanti...

With prayers
Fr. Dorathick

JUNE 2020

Greeting and peace from Shantivanam

Dear Oblates and Friends of Shantivanam

Resting in God

Rest is a fundamental human need. It is as important as air, food and drink a basic for living healthy. Not only our bodies but also our minds and souls need rest. Today we live in a world where everything is rapid, busy and unfortunately many of us today can’t rest a while. Illness and pain caused by lack of rest in modern men and women more than ever before, caused by a lack of sufficient and regular bodily and mental rest. Today often people suffer a lot due to the lack of mental and spiritual rest than physical rest. Rest for the body, mind and soul is essential because all human activities make us tired. So our bodies and minds need to be constantly revitalised for healthy living. Morden psychologists of behavioural science tell us that mental exhaustion and psychological depression precede even cause physical tiredness. More than physical exhaustion, it is mental stress that leads us into restlessness. Our mind needs more rest than the body. Today it is challenging by our technology controlled world. Our minds are often under greater strain than our bodies. So we need mental rest more than ever before. In many ways, we do rest today like listening to music, yoga,relaxation, Meditation, going out etc...

Rest is equivalent to peace. Naturally, we associate rest with sleep. When we are so tired, we think of sleep and rest. After that, we are renewed and energized to move out again. We feel sound and happy. In the Biblical tradition to rest is rest in God Ex 33:14 will tell us” My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest”. Psalmist says “Fresh and green are the pastures where he gives me repose” (Ps 23:2). Jesus invites us with most consoling words: “come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28). In the letter to the Hebrews 4:4 we can read “God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” What is God's rest? The rest God is expressing about is not resting from your daily work or physically wearied when we have worked hard. It is that profound peace that God gives to all of us regardless of circumstances. It is a fathomless peace that does not affect whether you are wealthy or poor, intelligent or unintelligent, black or white. It is a rest that restores and makes you whole. Rest and peace are equal. I will use both terms here. It is a rest that calms your fears and gives you a sense of confidence to face the future with conviction, regardless of what is happening around you. In the Gita Shree Krishna so beautifully says the necessity for surrendering to God to receive his grace. Know that as the mighty wind blowing everywhere rests always in the sky, similarly all living beings rest always in Me BG 9:6.

The spiritual discipline of rest in God is a focused time to enjoy and invest in our relationship with God. The world offers endless distractions, temptations, and challenges.  God offers Himself. Make your time concerning rest time for the Lord. Authentic and fruitful prayer, meditation is transforming rest in God. When we rest in God we are radically purified and fundamentally transformed. Many of us are frightened by this possibility because to surrender and change is a very risky process. That is why people are afraid to rest in God. To rest in God is to admit our insufficiency, our limitations, and our weakness. Committing oneself to deep authentic prayer or contemplation calls for the courage to look deeper into oneself. This allows the unconscious to rise to the surface so that the Lord can heal us. Rest is healing par excellence. Rest in God, we become total oneness with Him. And this oneness will make us a profound joy to God. At present COVID-19, has become the central focus of the whole world, making so much fear the uncertainty of what’s ahead. Everything feels chaotic and uncertain. When life feels out of control and fear and anxiety seems to overwhelm you, where do you find your hope, peace, joy? Remember where you find your strength during times of uncertainty is when you truly rest in God.

Shanti Shanti Shanti.....

with prayers
Fr. Dorathick


Dear Oblates and friends of Shantivanam

I hope all our Oblates and friends are safe! We keep you all in our prayers during this time of Pandemic. We continue to pray for the whole world. This year is very unexpected for all of us.  (Here the Ashram is closed for 3 months - no visitors - and the lockdown will continue to June 30th with lots of restrictions. We are safe in the Ashram. But it is a hard time for all of us especially the poor people around us and all over! We are doing some relief for the villages around us - distribution of rice, a medical charity, and other essential too on the lockdown. 
As you all are aware of our next Oblates and friends gathering some of you already asked about it. This year we will not have it because of currently facing an unprecedented global challenge and countries are rightly focusing their efforts on saving lives and fighting COVID-19. Instead of having this year we will postpone our gathering for next year the same dates. 

11TH - 18TH DECEMBER 2021




Shanti Shanti Shanti
With love and prayers
Fr. Dorathick

27th death Anniversary - Mahasamadhi of Fr. Bede Griffiths.

Dear Oblates and friends of Shantivanam,

On May 13th 2020 we celebrate the 27th death anniversary of Fr. Bede Griffiths.

Today as we are experiencing - COVID-19 cases continuing to rise across the globe, stress and fear around us, attention about the virus and its risks is becoming palpable in many workplaces.
Between event cancellations, travel limitations, personal concern about infection, and more, almost every business will undergo the effects of this public health crisis in some way. We are in lockdown, we become more anxious of self-quarantine at home, during such an unprecedented time, stress on the body and mind is inevitable. It is very important to keep good physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing and keep positive during this COVID-19 pandemic.
So we can be generous, compassionate and show love in various ways. Today people are in need.

In this challenging time Fr. Bede Griffiths' thoughts on meditation are so consoling for us and a great inspiration for practicing meditation.

Fr. Bede Griffiths says “to enter deeply into meditation is to enter into the mystery of suffering love. It is to encounter the woundedness of our human nature. We are all deeply wounded from our infancy and bear these wounds in the unconscious. The repetition of the mantra is a way of opening these depths of the unconsciousness and exposing them to light. It is first of all to accept our woundedness and thus to realize that this is part of the wound of humanity. All the weaknesses we find in ourselves and all the things that upset us, we tend to try to push aside and get rid of. But we cannot do this. We have to accept that “this is me” and allow grace to come and heal it all. That is the great secret of suffering, not to push it back but to open the depths of the unconscious and to realize that we are not isolated individuals when we meditate, but are entering into the whole inheritance of the human family.”- Father Bede Griffiths, The NewCreation in Christ.

Shanti Shanti Shanti



125th birth anniversary of Fr. Jules Monchanin

Dear Oblates and Friends of Shantivanam

On this April 10th 2020 we commemorated the 125th birth anniversary of Fr. Jules Monchanin. Jules Monchanin was born on 10 April 1895 in France. He became a Catholic priest and was ordained on 6 February 1922. He was attracted by India. In May 1939, he came to India as a missionary. Monchanin was engaged in pastoral work in India. These were years of social deprivation, physical hardship, and acute loneliness, preparatory to the contemplative life for which he craved. At last, In March 1950, he co-founded, along with Fr. Henri Le Saux the Saccidananda ashram Shantivanam. Fr. Jules Monchanins quality of humility, gentleness, peace, and poverty of spirit, these saintly qualities were recognized and attested to by Christians, as well as Hindus. In the letter of Bishop Mendonca he beautifully says the ashram planned by Fr. Mochanin, was to be but the beginning of a new era in the history of the religious orders in India.  Fr. Mochanin writes in one of his letters “A Christian India, completely Indian and completely Christian, may be and and will be something so wonderful. To prepare it from afar, the sacrifice of our lives is not too much task”. Fr. Monchanin is a great Intellectual. To compare Christian and Hindu mysticism for him the challenge in India was when he discovered that Hinduism was not what he believed it was. Hindu Thought so deeply focused on the Oneness of the One. In the quest of the absolute one of his lectures he concludes so wonderfully giving us all hope to continue the dialogue with India “meanwhile, our task is to keep all doors open, to wait with patience and theological hope for the hour of the advent of India into the church and the fullness of India. In this age long Vigil, Let us remember that very often Love alone enters where the intellect must stand at the door.

Shanti Shanti Shanti....

With prayers
Fr. Dorathick

Easter 2020 Message from Fr. Dorathick

Easter which gives us hope and encouragement in this world of pain, sorrows, and tears.

This year Easter is very unusual for most of us. The whole world has been affected by the COVID 19 pandemic.
Today many of us are experiencing fear and uncertainty, as well as trauma, separation, isolation, loss of members or even death in their families or their church communities.

Many of you are celebrating, in your homes by a virtual way, behind closed doors, with people present by, television, smartphones and social media.

But the message of Easter is the same as from the beginning, Christ is Risen, Alleluia.

If we look back from the time of Jesus’ betrayal, suffering, death, and burial, his disciples quarantined themselves and locked themselves away, “social distancing” from other believers gathered in Jerusalem at that time.
The one they had imagined to be Messiah and saviour of the world had been arrested, punished, crucified, and was buried.They were shocked. Their hopes were smashed and they were afraid they could suffer a similar way. So, the disciples were hiding and quarantining themselves.
This year is a great opportunity for everyone of us to meditate more on these great mysteries of Christ. He remains a mystery. The scripture says that Christ is the mystery of God (Col. 2:2). If you know Christ, you will know God, but if you do not know Christ, you do not have the key to understand God. Moreover, if you do not know Christ, you do not know yourself, for Christ is the key both to you and to the universe.
In these days it is a proclamation of hope amid restrictions, hope amid fear and hope during illness and death. Today we have great hope in the risen Jesus Christ, He is with us, to encourage, to strengthen and to be with us in all our difficult times.
Today, the suffering of the cross gives way to the glory of the Resurrection. Just as we share in the cross of Christ in this life, we hope to one day share in Christ's glory. Without cross and death there is no resurrection.  On the third day of his death, Jesus was raised to a new life.. As St. Paul says in 1 Corinthians, if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is futile (1 Cor 15:1”).

Our faith in Jesus Christ on this Easter is our resurrection too!  But often we miss to understand the true resurrection and the deep meaning of Easter. If we want to understand Easter we must understand passion, death and resurrection. Without cross and death, the resurrection will not happen. Jesus guaranteed Martha at the tomb of Lazarus: “I am the Resurrection and the Life; whoever believes in Me will live even though he dies” (Jn 11:25-26) . There is a saying you may be familiar with that, everyone wants to go to heaven but no one wants to die. Similarly, we all have a thirst to have a resurrected life but we don’t want to die. Because the physical death is often understood as the separation of physical body and soul. This separation causes great distress in us because our physical body becomes lifeless. Now coming to the psychological death, it is more to experience in our present life and a very practical way. We may even have to die to our desires and selfishness. It is the hardest part of our life once we surrender our will to God’s will, this is the death we can experience in everyday life. When we die this way we become truly free and joyful so that our lives become fully lived.

Resurrection is all about seeing our world in a new way. Each time we reveal our love of others, we share in the Resurrection. Each moment we face a betrayal of trust and, with God’s grace, forgive the betrayer we share in the Resurrection of Jesus. Whenever we fail in our attempts to turn away temptations–but when we keep on trying to overcome them, we share in the Resurrection. Each time we continue to hope, even when our hope seems to be unanswered, we share in the strength of Jesus’ Resurrection. The message of Easter for us is that nothing can destroy us. Not the pain, sin, rejection, betrayal or death because Christ has conquered all these, and we, too, can conquer them if we put our Faith and trust in Him. Our faith in Jesus Christ on this Easter is our resurrection. Our COVID-19 distress brings us daily news of suffering, pain, and death; Easter reminds us that love and life are greater than pain and death.

May the Risen Lord bring each of us abundant blessings of new life.

Christ is Risen, Alleluia

Shanti Shanti Shanti…

With prayers

Fr. Dorathick


21ST MARCH 2020


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Today we are celebrating The 70th Anniversary of Saccidanda ashram, Shantivam.
Remembering with a thankful heart to all our founders the great vision of this ashram and all who supported the ashram.
Our ashram is always a place of meeting point between God and people;
Shantivanam is a unique place where two traditions, eastern and western bring spiritual life together in our own experience of prayer and contemplation.
Contemplative life does not mean sitting around and thinking about God all day long. Rather, contemplative life for us, is the Ashram life of a monk joyfully lived in silence, prayer, work and contemplation. It is the challenge of remembering God in all that we do and say during the whole day.
Shantivanam Ashram is a lighthouse for those who truly seek God. The atmosphere of the Ashram gives inner peace and harmony enabling everyone who visits this Ashram to find joy and love. Today in a special way, we thank and pray for all the oblates, friends and well wishes of shantivanam ashram for the kind support for the growth of the Ashram.
In a special way at this moment, we pray for also those who are affected by Coroa virus and the fear of this illness. Our prayers to the whole world.
May God protect and heal us.
Shanti Shanti Shanti

Fr. Dorathick

Prayer for all affected by the Coronavirus
My prayer for all who are affected by the Coronavirus.
I request all our Oblates and friends to pray for all who need our prayers in this time of suffering, fear and pain;
Lord, sustain us by your grace, give us Lord strength and courage. It is very stressful for people and communities. In addition to fear the risk of the disease itself, voluntary social isolation, churches, temples, mosques and schools closing, and shifts in working situations.
At this time, Let us draw closer to one another in our love, and rediscover the things that truly matter in our lives. It is time to be looking In and slowdown our life rather than looking at our life with busy and hectic days earning and spending and at the end we are more anxious and stressful and create violence and disharmony within us and out. Within a few days, the advancement of science, wealth, medicine, culture, caste, creed, business, economy, religion, all challenged by invisible Viruses. It is a great lesson for us today - all these walls are broken down to this Coronavirus -here we humans feel one humanity exist. Despite the loss of beloved people, economy and the normal life something good happens, mother nature is restored by less pollution and people have time to spend with family etc… social isolation, churches, temples, mosque and school closings, and workplaces are closed. However, it gives time to open our hearts to love of God and to Love of neighbour and surrender our self to almighty God.
Almighty loving God, you are the only source of health and healing. In You, there is calm, and the only true peace in the universe. Grant to each one of us your children an awareness of your presence, and give us perfect confidence in you. In all pain, fear, and anxiety your love and power surround us, trusting in your wisdom and love to give us health, strength, and peace.

With prayers,

Fr. Dorathick



The Joy of Reconciliation On the Season of Lent

Greetings and peace from Shantivanam

Dear Oblates and friends,
Lent begins on ash Wednesday and continues until Holy Thursday afternoon when we begin the great triduum. the “40 days” (not including Sundays) of fasting, prayer, and penitence before Easter reflect Jesus’ forty days in the wilderness. the historical roots of lent also included the reconciliation of penitents: individuals dressed in sackcloth and sprinkled with ashes who dedicated themselves to penance for the season, a practice that was constant, severe and public. interior life through spiritual exercises and practices. in the early church, new believers were baptized into its fellowship once a year on Easter. leading up to their baptism a period was set aside for their formation in the faith. in their baptism, it would signify their death to the power of evil and their call to rise into the new life in Christ, who overcame the power of death on the first Easter. today rather than being seen as a forty-day endurance test, or a miserable and restricted time, lent is a quality season. it is a time of rediscovery, a golden chance to open ourselves more deeply to the beauty and power of the dying and rising to a new life in Jesus. it is a time to ponder the reality of the death and resurrection and to allow it to soak into our deepest parts.

During this season of lent, we have the joy, once again, to open ourselves to God for forgiveness and healing for his light to shine through us. it is a time to reflect on the darkness and uncertainties within and seek forgiveness, understanding and mercy. Christianity many times emphasize sin and that we are sinners so we need forgiveness. often when we hear this we are sinners, we need forgiveness from god this makes it very difficult to understand and hard to accept the concept of sin and forgiveness. the traditional way of understanding sin and forgiveness does not satisfy ourselves much today. as the result today even many Christians are turning away from church and they have a bitterness towards the church and Christianity. today we need a different perspective to understand forgiveness and sin.  The catechism of the catholic church gives us the definition of sin. sin is an offence against reason, truth, and right conscience; it is a failure in genuine love for God and neighbour caused by a perverse attachment to certain goods. it wounds the nature of man and injures human solidarity. it has been defined as "an utterance, a deed, or a desire contrary to the eternal law. For me, sin is the total denial of one’s own being and denying the truth that God created us in His own image and likeness male and female. This truth can be denied easily in our own life.  The second one is when we try to see bad in God’s creation. Where God sees all of His creation is good. But humans see good and bad - when our reason is limited in a certain way this will happen, we make an offence against reason, truth, and right conscience; it is a failure in genuine love for God and neighbour - this is sin. So we need forgiveness to reconcile.  forgiveness is nothing but when we look at the root of the word we can understand better. Forgive is the Latin word that gives us a beautiful understanding of forgiveness “perdonare” meaning “to give completely, without reservation". This is pure God’s grace which given through Christ to us to forgive our sins means Gods invitation to eternal life.   Forgiveness is the bridge which links between us and God.  Whenever we stop with our self-centeredness. God intervenes with humankind with love and forgiveness.  “If you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins”. Matthew” 6:14-15. It is so important to forgive others too. Reconciliation is a joy because as we forgive others God forgives our sin. again sin is just the state of Ignorance of oneself and others.  Forgiveness helps us to transcend self-centeredness to God-centeredness.

As we reflect, we may find many areas in our life where we have not been faithful, honest, loving, self-less or generous in relationships with God, family and others. we can see where we have avoided responsibilities as citizens, neighbours, employees, parents, partners, sons or daughters. when we genuinely ask for forgiveness on these, God in his mercy provides forgiveness and healing. God pours out his healing love when we take the time to reflect and repent. 1 John 4:9-10. The season of Lent is a time of spiritual renewal. lent is the time for new life and hope. In the Lenten season, self-examination is crucial. An individual's response to the call for purposeful reflection on one's need for God. Lent became characterized by practices which symbolize the meaning of this season. One of these is prayer. Lent invites us to step aside from the busyness of our daily life, the many things that mess and crowd our life in order to get in touch with the self and at a deeper level, with the Spirit of God within. Essentially, prayer is attention to God; it places us in a posture of listening. Amidst all the noise and turmoil of our daily life, Lent encourages us to experience a new depth of prayer, an authentic attentiveness to God through which we learn to be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. the second practice associated with this season is fasting. Fasting signifies a willingness to free ourselves from the desires, ambitions and pursuits that centre on the demands of the self. It points to a willingness to be freed from the self-centeredness that drives so much of our life in order to experience more fully the liberating power of Christ. Fasting reminds us of the truth that the deepest hunger in our lives must be the hunger for God. third practice is almsgiving. True hunger for God leads to the giving of ourselves to others. Lent calls us to greater compassion for others, especially the poor and needy. It invites us to examine ourselves honestly on how subtly we have accepted society’s addiction to possessions, to material comfort.

In the Gospel of St. Mark, Jesus calls: “Turn to God and believe in the gospel.” Yes, during Lent we would like to turn to God for his forgiveness. By his constant forgiveness, God allows us to renew an inner life. It is to a conversion that we are invited: not to turn towards ourselves in introspection, but to seek communion with God as well as communion with others. And the conversion to which we are invited also concerns the link that unites us to all creation. Wonder at creation leads us to more respectful behaviour towards our environment.

 Shanti Shanti Shanti...

with prayers



Dear Oblates and friends of Shantivanam

How Important Silence and solitude in Today's life!

When we hear the term Silence and solitude we may think that it is only for monks or nuns. Today we live in a world full of a busy and hectic life. Silence and solitude seem to be irrelevant in today’s life. Thomas Merton so wonderfully says that not all men are called to be hermits, but all men need enough silence and solitude in their lives to enable the deep inner voice of their own true self to be heard at least occasionally. When that inner voice is not heard, when a man cannot attain to the spiritual peace that comes from being perfectly at one with his true self, his life is always miserable and exhausting. For he cannot go on happily for long unless he is in contact with the springs of spiritual life which are hidden in the depths of his own soul. If a man is constantly exiled from his own home, locked out of his own spiritual solitude, he ceases to be a true person. He no longer lives as a man. This is so true because somehow we at a point of life search for this silence and solitude in different new ways today.
Many of us think of silence simply, as just an absence of noise, or not speaking words. But silence, like life itself, is more complex and subtle than that. We all seek silent moments, islands in the sea of sound, to reflect upon and gather the lessons from life's experiences. Usually, our quest for peacefulness is an outer search. We go on vacation to hike into the hills to escape the daily activities etc... While Hindu saints and scriptures do emphasize the importance of serene surroundings as an aid to introspection, they stress more the cultivation of silence within. Outer peace is simply a means to help us find inner silence. Ultimately, we learn to maintain and enjoy innate serenity regardless of the disharmony that surrounds us. This is the basis of the Hindu practice of mauna, the vow to remain silent, and it is why some subdue speech altogether. According to the Bhagavad Gita, mauna is about training our minds, not just our mouths, to be silent. It is deeply transformative because it helps us silence our thoughts and, more significantly, acknowledge the background of Stillness that is our Real Nature.

The monastic teaching on prayer is without images or thoughts, prayer as pure silence before God. Silence is, first of all, help to be able to pray at all, to lift one’s spirit to God. To listen to God. The highest degree of prayer for monastics is contemplation- gazing on God, being seized by God. Here images, thoughts and imaginations vanish. Here, God is encountered directly in pure silence. Swami  Abhishiktananda’s emphasis on the value of silence is vital; He tells us that it is from ‘eternal India’ that the West can learn the value of the apophatic way, the way of emptiness and quietude: India has taken with utter seriousness this word that tradition has adopted from Psalm 64: Thy praise is silence. The Christian of the West and of the East, whom temporary acculturation has all too often cut off from the well-springs of his prayer, must re-learn the silence of the soul before God from eternal India …[1] Only when the soul has undergone the experience that the Name beyond all names can be pronounced only in the silence of the Spirit, does one become capable of this total openness which permits one to perceive the Mystery in its sign. In Silence and solitude we no longer hold on to our thoughts, but relinquish ourselves completely, we plunge into the mystery of God which sustains us. We do not prescribe to God how God is to meet us but become open to God. Today let us not forget this beauty of silence and solitude which will make our life more beautiful and make openness to God. So even in our hectic life if we can make some space for solitude where we can simply remain silent before God. We hold up our empty hearts to God’s presence to be filled with God’s unspeakable and inexpressible love.

Shanti Shanti Shanti….

With prayers

Fr. Dorathick





Greeting and joyful wishes from Saccidanda ashram, Shantivanam

Dear Oblates and Friends,

      Merry Christmas, dear brothers and sisters, what a joyful day of celebration of the gift of love, the gift of peace and the gift of light and life for us. Christmas always reminds us about light, Christ is the Light of the world. When Christ said "I am the light of the world," possibly the first that flashes through our mind are that God is the creator of light. Genesis 1 tells us that, in the beginning, "God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light . . . God separated the light from the darkness" When Jesus said, "I am the light of the world," Jesus also wanted to convey the idea that God and Christ themselves are the light. We can see this metaphor in 1 John 1:5--"God is light; in God, there is no darkness at all." In the book of Isaiah chapter 60, we can see another description of God as light. Giving hope to a nation that had suffered horribly from war, destruction, and exile, the prophet Isaiah told his people that the day was coming when their mourning would be over. "The sun will no longer be your light by day, nor will the moon shine for illumination by night." Instead, "the Lord will be your everlasting light."
On the night of His birth, the choirs of angels sang “Glory to God in the Highest and on earth peace to men of God will”. This gift of peace is a part of the Christmas story. The Lord desires to give us His peace. This peace is not the same as the world gives peace. For Christ, peace is not merely the absence of war or violence but rather a profound sense of well-being that comes from knowing that we are loved unconditionally by the God who created us and called us to live. It is a peace that is experienced when we realize that God is holding us close to Himself and that He will not abandon us even in the most challenging moments in our life. Another gift that we obtain from the Lord at Christmas is the gift of joy. During the season of Christmas, we are called to reflect on this most wondrous gift. The Lord points out that we will receive this gift if we abide in His love. To do so, He asks us to keep His commandments and the most important commandment He gives us is that we love one another. He has told us this according to His words so that “My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. “ (John 15:11). Jesus, the visible manifestation of God’s love. Christ’s birth is the concrete expression of God’s love. God came to us. This love joins the two extremes of divinity and humanity.

One of the significant aspects of Christ’s birth into the world was to share the joy of God’s forgiveness and love. Christmas is not only a season of rejoicing, we no longer have to walk in spiritual darkness. God has provided us with Light through Christ. Immanuel "God is with us"; during this Christmas season, we can rejoice like the Magi, opening their hearts and see the light from far and begin their journey. We should also open our hearts to Christ to Christ the Lord who is born to one another in genuine love, every time we forgive, it’s a real Christmas. Loving others is what Christmas is all about.

May the light of Christ radiate our heart to see God is love and "God is with us". May the love of our Lord, Jesus Christ, surround you all the days in your life Merry Christmas to you and your family.
With love and Prayers
Fr. Dorathick

17th December 2019
On 113th Birth Anniversary of
Fr. Bede Griffiths



Dear Oblates and friends of Shantivanam,

Today we remember the birth anniversary of Fr. Bede Griffiths. On this day we reflect on his vision towards All-Embracing, Generative Love in contemplation. Fr. Bede Griffiths considered contemplative experience is a necessary dimension of Christian life, and, indeed, all human life. Contemplation, he understands to be a non-rational means of acquiring knowledge, equally authentic as rational thought. His approach had a special urgency in that he considered the great religions of the world to be in a state of stagnation, and in urgent need of renewal. A prime source of renewal would be through the cross-fertilization on the level of contemplative dialogue. In fact, he considered interreligious dialogue in our era to be a vital duty, not an option. Christianity as a religion, he says, “cannot grow today . . . unless it is willing to abandon its Western culture and its rational masculine bias and learn again the feminine intuitive understanding that is characteristic of the East.” [1]

He would go on to insist that all religions need to return to their originating experience if they are to contribute to a common contemplative journey. There are then three aspects of the fr. Bede’s “complementary theology.” The images he employs are directed not only to serve a contemplative awareness of God but also presuppose an appropriate community experience while asserting fidelity to a particular historical religious experience — Christian and monastic in his own case. These three aspects illumine the different phases of his journey as it moves forward in an awareness of the acute spiritual crisis experienced in the present global era. Contemplative experience in Christian tradition Griffiths sees as evidence of unique insights into the Triune God informing the kind of holistic grasp of cosmic unity that balances disintegrative or deviant tendencies due to fear of or focuses on surface differences. The divine generativity of the Triune One brings forth in lavish, infinitely creative love, the difference that is yet profoundly connected through its one birth-source. Fr.Bede describes the current of mystical theology that had remained constant throughout the history of the Church. His primary source is John 17:21-23: That they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

The apophatic darkness of Gregory of Nyssa, Fr. Bede Griffiths compares with death. Which is “the process” of the Resurrection. “Resurrection is, precisely going through death.”[2]Jesus went through the darkness into total love. At that moment he became total love because he surrendered everything. Body and soul have been totally surrendered in love. Then he is taken up in the life of the Spirit. This experience of death is wholly purifying because it is none other than “the darkness of love.” Jesus didn’t say ‘I am the Father’, but rather ‘I am in the Father and the Father is in me, who sees me, sees the Father, but I am not the Father.’” This is not an identity, but a communion in love which is communicated in the Holy Spirit. This “Christian calling . . . into the intimacy of love” in the Godhead is the basis for the image of the divine Host. All are called to share in the banquet, the communion of love. The mystical Body of Christ “embraces all humanity in the unity of the One Person of Christ.”[3]
On this advent season let us close the door of hate and open the door of love all over the world.
Shanti Shanti Shanti...
with prayers
Fr. Dorathick

[1] Bede Griffiths, The Marriage of East and West: A Sequel to The Golden String, 2nd ed. (London:

Fount Paperbacks, 1983), 198, 199.

[2] Bede Griffiths, “Cosmic Person and Cosmic Lord,” Human Potential, 8.

[3] Bede Griffiths, The Marriage of East and West,93.

46th Death Anniversary of  Swami Abhishiktananda
7th December 2019

Dear oblates and friends of Shantivanam

 In the quest of God, we can no longer exclusively follow either the Western or the Eastern philosophical tradition alone. Humans always change the understanding of God.  Swami Abhishiktananda One could call it an experiment.  Swami Abhishiktananda remains as a dialogue between two traditions in his life. One cannot ignore an approach of this type in the Hindu-Christian encounter. Such experiments cannot be measured in terms of success or failure.  Swami Abhishiktananda was “one of the most authentic witnesses of our times of the encounter in depth between Christian and Eastern spiritualities.”[1] swami  Abhishiktananda himself came to embody and to live this ideal. There can be no more fitting epitaph for Swamiji than one of his favourite Upanishadic verses, to which he returned again and again: I know him, that great Puruṣa Of the colour of the sun, Beyond all darkness. He who has known him goes beyond death. There is no other way. (Śvetāśvatara Upanishad, III.8.).

Swami Abhishiktananda was absolutely convinced that the advaitic experience is ineffable and he often speaks of this difficulty of expressing the ineffable. For him, any description of the ineffable is in the realm of namarupa [names and forms]. Going ‘beyond’ concepts, myths and archetypes was, for him, the same as a return to the original intuition of ‘Immediate Experience’. Swami Abhishiktananda emphasised that Advaita should not be seen as an idea, for advaitic experience goes beyond all ideas: Advaita is not an idea. It is! The lightning flashes, the eye blinks, as says the Kena [Upanishad]. Then? You have either understood, or you have not understood … If you have not understood, too bad! says the same Upanishad. If you have understood, you keep quiet, says the Mundaka [Upanishad].[2]

Swami Abhishiktananda  insists that beyond Advaita there is a further experience, which he called ati-Advaita, or Advaitatita. In this state, one experiences the mystery of the Three in One and the One in Three (Unity and Trinity). This is a trans-advaitin mystery of the Father, Son, and Spirit, the mystery of God in Godself, of the Self of God and of Being which is supra-personal and tri-personal. But Abhishiktananda also says that to speak of any numbers such as ‘three’ or ‘one’ is not possible when we go beyond Advaita. The sages of India were correct to say neither one nor many, but just to say, not-two, Advaita, and not-one, aneka. He says that beyond Advaita, the mystery of the Trinity is revealed.[3]

When we celebrate this 46th Death Anniversary of  Swami Abhishiktananda let us contemplate more on his vision on Christian advitic experience not with our intellectual understanding alone but with the more contemplative experience we can discover the real experience which Swami Abhishiktananda had.

Shanti Shanti Shanti

With prayers

Fr. Dorathick

[1] Panikkar quoted in J.E. Royster, “Abhishiktananda: Hindu-Christian Monk,” 308.



Dear Oblates and Friends of Shantivanam

Life is a sacred gift

"Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains for ever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end. God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end: no one can under any circumstance claim for himself the right directly to destroy an innocent human being." Ccc- 2258. The fifth commandment says “you shall not kill”. A positive way of saying this will be “Respect life” To this duty corresponds a right life. The Christians take for granted that this refers to human life. Hindus and Buddhist, especially in Jain traditions would tell us animals and plants also have life. Even we accept the cosmic law that life feeds on life we can make two observations. Ecological reflection discourages malicious destruction of life systems in the cosmos. It would affect unfavourably the quality of life for everyone. Secondly, non-vegetarians would not today approve cannibalism. Human life is considered something special. The reason is humans can live with freedom and consciousness. The Bible tells us; every human being is created in the image of God Gen 1: 27. We humans have intelligence we learn and develop our personality. We search for and find meaning in our lives. We try to make our life worth living. This may involve struggles and sacrifice. Humans do not live alone but in community. We are born in a family, shaped in society with culture, languages etc... Human life is not a mere individual, but social. This also means that we are responsible for each other. We cannot be selfish. Thich Nhat Hanh beautifully says “interbeing” to ‘be’ is to inter- ‘be’.

Human life is not easy. We have to overcome obstacles that come to us from cosmos, like diseases and natural calamities of all kinds. Then there are difficulties caused by other people, like social oppression, war, violence. We can group them under the rubric, the problem of evil and suffering. Most of Indians would say as karma or fate but to understand life and suffering even karma or fate is not something to suffer, but to be overcome. All the religions and great people will teach us how to overcome and live and see the sacredness in life. When we discover that our life is sacred. Life becomes cosmic and divine. This is the vision of Advaita. St. Paul says “But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit since the Spirit of God dwells in you”. Romans 8:9.

To respect human life is not merely to refrain from killing and to tolerate it or to live it egoistically, but to promote it as a meaningful, cosmic, communitarian, free, active and divine project. Martin Luther King so wonderfully says in a sermon titled, “Loving Your Enemies.” “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”  Jesus told the disciples: "Love one another; as I have loved you". Love one another the commandment of Jesus which help us to see the sacredness within us and in all human beings.

Shant Shanti Shanti...

With love and prayers

Fr. Dorathick


Dear Oblates and friends  of Shantivanam

Diwali a joyous celebration of light, hope and goodness around the world.

Today in India we celebrate Diwali one of the festivals celebrated all over India. Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains not only in India but also in South Asia and various parts of the world. for Sikhs, it is a remembrance of "the day of freedom" when one of their adored masters, guru har Gobind Ji was discharged from imprisonment. Jains observe Diwali stamp the remainder of the Tirthankara (illuminated one) Mahavira's moksha (edification). For Hindus the celebration is the sign of a new year, a period for success and new pursuits, a festival of the sibling sister relationship and the predominance of truth over deception and light conquering the obscurity. The festival celebrates new beginnings and means light over darkness. Diwali comes from the Sanskrit word Deepavali or Diwali, which means “row of lamps,” and one of the festivals involve the lighting of many small lamps to display the victory of good. During the festival season, the illumination of oil lamps represents also the inner light, or atman, which exists in the soul. it is believed that the atman of each person is an extension of the supreme spiritual being, Brahman himself. For Hindus, one's atman consciousness leads to liberation from religious misery, victory over evil, and of ignorance that hinders true self-knowledge, devotion, and joy.
In many other spiritual traditions also have the same expression with darkness and light. In the tradition of Christian rituals and sacraments, the lamps and lights have great importance according to Moses law, the Jews use six branches of golden candle lampstand. there are seven lamps on the lampstand. the lamps are set to shine to the front (ex.25, 31-37). the seven lampstands is a symbol of Jewish religion. The jews are burning lamps at their temple altar. at the feast of light. in Christian tradition, lamps and lights have a special meaning. From Genesis, We can see God's first words are, "let there be lights" “in new testament john 8:12 we see “I am the light of the world. whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” In Matthew 5:14-16, Jesus compares his followers to light, saying we "are the light of the world," on this Diwali when we light the lamp we light lamps of love in heart; the lamp of abundance generosity, the lamp of harmony to bring peace; the lamp of dialogue to build relationships; the lamp of compassion to serve others; the lamp of forgiveness to bring about reconciliation; the lamp of sympathy to heal hurts; the lamp of knowledge to dispel the darkness of ignorance, and the lamp of gratitude for the abundance that God has imparted on us. wishing you a festival of light, colors, and joy in your life. Light is beautiful mystical and mysterious like God! Let the God, Light of the world, illumines Us, so that, we, in turn, may light up the lives of others.

Shanti Shanti Shanti...

with prayers

Fr. Dorathick

Death anniversary of our beloved founder Swami Jules Monchanin

10th October 1957


10th October 2019

Dear Oblates and Friends of Shantivanam ashram,

Today we commemorate the death anniversary of our beloved founder Swami Jules Monchanin, who took the name of Parama Arubi Ananda (the bliss of the Supreme Spirit)  Jules Monchanin (1895-1957), the founder of the Shantivanam ashram, came to India in 1939 as a French Catholic priest. His life in India was devoted to integrating the Hindu tradition, especially its sannyasi contemplative practice, into the life of the Christian Church. Bede Griffiths comments about Monchanin that "His knowledge of Indian culture and philosophy was profound, but at the same time, he sought to embody his ideal of a meeting between the Hindu philosophical tradition and the Christian faith in a community which would be rooted in the culture of India.[1] The goal of the ashram for Monchanin and Abhishiktananda:  We would like to crystallize and transubstantiate the search of the Hindu sannyāsī. Advaita and the praise of the Trinity are our only aim. This means we must grasp the authentic Hindu search for God in order to Christianize it, starting with ourselves first of all, from within.[2]

Monchanin explored the mystery of the Trinity as Saccidananda for he believed that in it the monism and pluralism, personal and impersonal, are reconciled. He felt that India was specially destined by God to contemplate the mystery of the Trinity.[3] He proposes that Christian mysticism can only be Trinitarian. The personal union that we seek in Christian mysticism must always share in the tri-personal inner colloquy of Saccidananda. Monchanin was guided by an intense theological vision of a world already being understood, purified and transformed by the Spirit of Christ. This seems to be the key to his thought. He was not interested in making converts, nor was he concerned with what we have become accustomed to calling dialogue. He wanted to evangelize the religious culture of India, to change it from within through the witness of personal holiness. He was not, therefore, trying to Christianize Hinduism but to develop a more deep awareness of himself as Christian and to make present that personal witness to Hindus. He led a contemplative life of prayer and study, sharing the customs and culture of local people in the manner of an Indian ascetic. Monchanin was a pioneer in the Catholic Church of an inclusive view of the relation between Christianity and Hinduism, Monchanin Bede Griffiths said, "he has left behind him the witness to an ideal, like that of de Nobili and Brahmabandhav Upadhyaya, which it seems to me can only grow in its significance as the years  go by." The Indian tradition should not be rejected but integrated into the Church.[4] Something of Monchanin's contribution may be seen in the fact that after his death this view became the official position of the Catholic Church at the Second Vatican Council. Monchanin Bede Griffiths said, "He has left behind him the witness to an ideal, like that of de Nobili and Brahmabandhav Upadhyaya, which it seems to me can only grow in its significance as the years go by."[5] The ashram which he founded remains as a witness to the ideal of a contemplative life which he had set before him, and his life and writings remain to inspire others with the vision of a Christian contemplation which shall have assimilated the wisdom of India, and a theology in which the genius of India shall find expression in Christian terms.[6]

Shanti Shanti Shanti

With prayers

Fr. Dorathick



 [2] In J.G. Weber, In Quest of the Absolute, 73.

 [3] Abhishiktananda, Swami Parama Arubi Anandam, 1033.

 [4] Jules Monchanin, Pioneer in Hindu-Christian Dialogue, 73.

 [5] Jules Monchanin, Pioneer in Hindu-Christian Dialogue,64.

 [6] Quoted in J.G. Weber, In Quest of the Absolute, 3.


September 2019

Climate Change:  A call to Protect and Promote Peace throughout the World.

Dear Oblates and friends of Shantivanam,

Today we often
see and hear about two things that are threatening us all - War and climate change. The UN Secretary-General António Guterres says “Today peace faces a new danger: the climate emergency, which threatens our security, our livelihoods, and our lives. That is why it is the focus of this year’s International Day of Peace.” Human beings are blessed with peace and protected by nature and that is why we call Mother Nature. Mother of all living beings which exist on this planet. Now Mother Nature is in such grave danger that it threatens us in many ways in our life. The human and health influences of climate change are becoming increasingly hard to ignore. Extreme weather events are disrupting more and more lives.  Nature and natural resources are much in trade, for instance, we can see the 5 elements (Pancha Mahabhuta) are in the trade as well as in crisis, Water: We are in crisis, Air: we are in a condition by pollution and we need to get an Air conditioner, Fire: The natural gas, Earth: sand and soil, Space: Aurora Station, the world's first space hotel will be soon. All this makes us reflect whether it is connected to spirituality or any individuals? Yes definitely to spirituality and each individual is affected by this environmental crisis and  climate change. Spirituality means the way we think in order for us to function fully; all aspects of ourselves must be balanced. Our mind, body, and spirit have to be in harmony with each other. It is so important always and that is why all the religions will emphasize the spiritual life. We have a gift of life when we live spiritually, that means beyond religion our life becomes spiritual life, that is the response to our life and our existence in this Universe. It is time to reflect on climate change and take action to bring harmony. “The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change.”- Pope Frances in  Laudato si.  How do we act towards this threat?  not with fear and anger because fear and anger are always destructive. We only react to this problem but start with the present - that is with intelligence - then we will respond to the problem and it will always be productive. To take action does not mean that you have to join in some organization to protect nature or should plant many trees etc… if you do, it is well, but rather we can all start with something very practical - things we consume in day to day life that we use. What is needed is not more than that and makes a lot of difference!  Start with a simple life. In  Genesis 1:28  we see: And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Many times we misunderstand that and we think we have all the control over the world dominion and with this selfishness we act. Dominion also means that we human beings are responsible to protect mother earth and promote peace and harmony to all.  Remember Peace is our natural state. Men and women are essentially soul or Atma which has three essential qualities which are SAT, CHIT, ANANDA or Truth, knowledge, and Bliss.  When we realize this we go beyond all the turmoil humankind has created and we protect nature and promote Peace in the whole universe. It is time to unite together with all the nations, religions, Cultures together to Protect and Promote Peace throughout the World.

 Shanti Shanti Shanti…

With love and prayers

Fr. Dorathick



Sannyasa beyond Religion


Dear Oblates and friends of Shantivanam,

Today, 30th August, we commemorate the birthday of Swami Abishiktananda. We reflect on Swamis vision of sannyasa beyond religion. In one of his last writings on sannyasa, an article published as a series in the divine life, the journal of Shivananda ashram Rishikesh, Swami Abishiktananda offers a more radical vision of sannyasa.

In every religion and in every religious experience, he says, there is a ‘beyond’ and in sannyasa is the acknowledgement of such a beyond of all symbols, all possibility of being adequately signified by rites, creeds and all signs. It is paradoxically the sign of what is beyond institutions. Expression like Christian sannyasa or Hindu sannyasa has value on the phenomenological level.  The call of complete renunciation cuts across all dharmas and does not mind any frontier. It is therefore normal, affirms swamiji from his own experience, that the monks of all dharmas discover themselves as brothers across the frontier of their respective dharmas in that very transcendence of all signs to which all of them bear witness. A true sannyasi is “the man beyond the realms of signs whose function here below is to remind everyone that the ‘eschaton’ is already present”.[1] One might wonder whether there could be a rite to go beyond rites? And whether there could be a sign to realize what is beyond signs? It is in answering these questions that swamiji shows his deep understanding of the ideal and the real in sannyasa.

The sannyasi, says he, live in the world of signs; and this world of manifestation is in need of him, the ‘beyond – sign to realize the impossible bridging between the two worlds keeping them apart and yet linking one with the other. Besides, there is also the need for society itself of the presence of formal sannyasis in the midst of it. Now, with regard to the type of diksha, he believes that it is normal that the official initiation be done within the religious tradition in which each individual is born and has grown in spirit. For, as long as we remain at the level of signs, the best signs are generally those amidst which we woke up as men and as men devoted to God, even if later on those signs have to be purified and freed from limitations and particularism.  Integrating deeply his experience as a Christian monk with his experience of sannyasa with its upanishadic insights, swamiji presents a kind of ecumenical diksha- a monastic profession of which both a Hindu sannyasin and a Christian monk would be witnesses. The first would transmit to the candidate the initiation he himself received and co-opt him into that mystery of sannyasa which manifested itself all along the centuries by the numerous mahatmas and sadus; the other will initiate him to that no less numerous mass of witnesses who heard the invitation of Christ to leave everything for the kingdom. Then,” beyond the double vamsa, both of them, indivisibly, in advaita, will lead him to the spirit, the unique things which calls that inner light which shines in the heart of all those who are called.”[2]

Shanti shanti shanti..

With prayers

Fr. Dorathick


[1] Divine life, nov.1973,450-451.

[2] Divine life, feb. 1974,63.

JULY 2019

Dear Oblates and Friends of Shantivanam

Greetings and Peace to all

Prana- The life Energy and vital force


Prana is a Sanskrit word constructed of the syllables praandan. 'An' means movement and 'pra' is a prefix meaning constant. Therefore, prana means constant motion. This constant motion begins in the human being as soon as he is conceived in his mother's womb. Prana is therefore energy responsible for the human life. Prana in a simple term we can understand our breath.  In the Christian tradition Breath of God, revealing God to the world and giving life, not only to humans, but also to the whole of creation. The very first verse of the Bible speaks of the Spirit as a mighty wind which moves over the face of the deep, drawing aside, as it were, the veils of darkness to allow the beautiful earth to emerge (Gen 1:1). Human beings were not a "living being" until God breathed into Humans. The word for breath in Hebrew is ruach which also means Spirit, so man or women only becomes a "living being" when God gives him His Spirit . When God takes back the breath, life disappears: ‘When you take away their breath they die and return to the dust’ (Ps. 104:29).

In Upanishads we can see Prana next to the Self and the Supreme-Self, the most important entity which is frequently mentioned in the Upanishads is prana. The Chandogya Upanishad compares the pranic energy in the body with the energy of the sun. It declares that what is in the sun is the same as what is in prana. The sun is the sustainer of all. The energy in the body is actually similar to the energy present in the sun. Hence in the austerities (tapas), the body is able to generate heat. According to the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, the breath not only protects the organs in the body, but also keeps them free from evil. In the past, it carried all the organs to the ends of the quarters and freed them from the impurities of evil. Thus, as long as prana is present in the body, the organs are safe and the body remains pure. prana keeps the body alive and free from evil. While the body can survive without the presence of other organs, although it may lose some functionality in the process, without the breath it dies. Like the Self, prana is also invisible and subtle. It remains veiled behind names and forms. While the Self is indivisible, the breath is divisible. It divides itself into various kinds and flows in the body in various directions. prana is superior to the organs in the body, including the senses, the mind and the limbs, it has a great significance in the practice of yoga, in the purification of the mind and body and in stabilizing them.

 The most ancient spiritual text of India, the Rig Veda, says about the breath. In the great Hymn of Creation (10:129:2) it says of the Absolute: “That One Thing, breathless, breathed by its own nature.” Before creation the Cosmic Breath was fully internal, becoming external at the advent of the universe. It is the same way with us. In the depths of meditation the breath becomes internal so that we, too, breathe inwardly and perceive that inward movement which is a manifestation of our own essential nature. This is why Breath is so important in our life we can see in many religious traditions and meditation techniques are based on awareness of breath because essentially you know when you are aware of your prana (breath) then you will know how the life is happening in you. Unless we do not know what is our life? We may not know how to respond to our life. So for me it is so important to know the basic what is life then it is easy to respond to life. Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.7  says beautifully “When one breathes, one knows him as breath”. This implies that through breathing specifically through observing the breath – God can be known. Two things happen when you know about Prana first you know yourself second you come to know God. As a Christian we can even understand well the prana in John 20:22 Jesus again reminded all his disciples “When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit”. The Prana which we share is the same, so the importance of the prana is to be cared for in our life.  When we are constantly aware of the prana, we will be connected with the creator - this is the link and key for your life. Let us feel that every moment and every breath we take is a Gift of life and feel that it is God who works evidently within us throughout our life.
Shanti Shanti Shanti

With love and prayers

Fr. Dorathick

JUNE 2019
Greetings and Peace from Shantivanam

Dear Oblates and Friends of Shantivanam,

Sit in the cell as in paradise

 As we celebrate the Solemnity  of St. Romuald on 19 th June, his beautiful little rule comes to my mind. The beginning of Romuald’s brief rule “Sit In your cell as in paradise”, touched me a lot when I read it for the first time.  This is the advice normally given to Hesychast.  Hesychast is one who lives in golden solitude.  Abba Moses gives a similar command “Go, sit in your cell, and your cell will teach you everything”. In the scripture we read “The Kingdom of God is within you”  Luke 17:21. “You are the Temple of the living God” II Corinthians 6:16. One of the fundamental truths emphasized by Jesus is the immanence of the Kingdom of God, the fact that it is within each and every human being. The Adi Grantha beautifully says “The temple of God is the body, from which comes out the rubies of knowledge”  When we sit in the cell as in paradise in solitude and silence, cast all our thoughts of the world behind. This is fundamental for meditation, then observe within. Then we discover the inner dynamism of love in the depth of our heart.   This Divine mystery represents a dynamic unity in relationship.  The Christian revelation evokes, according to Fr. Bede Griffiths, a unique awareness of the correspondence between the life of the Divine Mystery and of human consciousness. Specially, the movement of human consciousness in returning to a non-dual union with its source, is seen in the person of Jesus Christ and in its symbolic re–enactment through liturgy and theology in the church. Thus, following Christ, the individual and human consciousness itself, may undergo incarnation, death (self- transcendence) and resurrection through its participation in the life of Christ. This process of self-realization culminates, for a Christian, in the experience of the Kingdom of God  in which all the created reality  serves as reflection of the divine reality. To identify the inner dynamism and power, within the Divine mystery, as Love. It is this love which moves the human consciousness towards full integration and full fulfillment. Realizing this Love within us helps us to empty ourselves completely as a brief rule of St.Romuald ends:” Empty yourself completely and waiting content with the grace of God …”. This emptiness frees the mind and allows Gods grace within us. Thus we experience here and now Gods love within us.

Shanti Shanti Shanti

 With Love

Fr. Dorathick


Greetings and peace from Shantivanam

Dear Oblates and Friends of Shantivanam

Today we commemorate the 26th death anniversary of Fr. Bede Griffiths. We give thanks for the great gift of God to us. Last week a sister from FMM congregation visited our Ashram after many years. She shared her experience with Fr.Bede Griffiths - after meeting him her life was transformed. She was there at the time of Fr. Bede’s funeral - she witnessed the change of nature as she was telling me how much Fr. Bede is connected with nature. This reminded me of the first time I read The Golden String before coming to Shantivanam: When he was in his last year at Oxford, Griffiths had a powerful experience of the numinous, which is often quoted in the secondary literature as pivotal in Griffiths’ spiritual journey:

A lark rose suddenly from the ground … and poured out its song over my head, and then sank still singing to rest. Everything then drew still as the sunset faded and the veil of dusk began to cover the earth.  I remember now the feeling of awe which came over me.  I felt inclined to kneel on the ground, as though I had been standing in the presence of an angel; and I hardly dared to look on the face of the sky, because it seemed as though it was but a veil before the face of God.[1]

These mystical experiences in his early years are crucial as we can see them retrospectively as pre-figurations of his later engagements with Eastern Spirituality. Later Fr.Bede Griffiths came to the realization that a relationship with God is a two way process; that God was searching for him, just as he was searching for God. He saw that Christianity ‘was not just a doctrine to be preached but a life to be lived.’[2] God had brought me to my knees and made me acknowledge my own nothingness, and out of that knowledge I had been reborn. I was no longer the centre of my life and therefore I could see God in everything - Bede Griffiths.

Shanti Shanti Shanti

With prayers

Fr. Dorathick

[1] Bede Griffiths, The Golden String (London: Harvill Press 1954), 9.

[2] Bede Griffiths, The Golden String, 119.



Dear Oblates and friends of Shantivanam…. A warm greeting to you all. Let His joy, peace, and love ascend into your home this Easter and through the years. Truly, He has risen!

On Holy Saturday one of the workers went to clean the chapel. Soon she rushed to me with tears in her eyes. I just asked her what happened. She with tears in her eyes in a feeble voice said that God is not there and there is no light in the lamp! She is a Hindu lady but she did not know that we empty the tabernacle and no light will be there until Easter. But I could see that her belief in God and her feeling towards God is something very profound and meaningful. It is almost the same as when Mary Magdalene went to the tomb. Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.  So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” John 20:1-3. When friends and loved ones die, when we are broken, and when God seems so far away and it seems as though we are left with nothing but to sit in silence and contemplate that brokenness -  Do we do as Judas, who killed himself in great sorrow and despair, or do we do as Mary Magdalen who set out in her great sorrow to visit the grave of Jesus and witness the Resurrection? 

The extract below from an Easter homily by Fr Eugene Lobo, SJ  is taken from the following website:-

Mary Magdalene went in search of Jesus even after the disciples went away. She loved her master and was much devoted to him and wanted to remain close the tomb. She was upset with the events that the stone was removed, the body was missing and she thought that someone had deliberately stolen it. She wept at the loss and with the inner burning desire to be near him, to follow Him, to hear Him, to feel loved, to be understood and to be forgiven of sins. In the tomb she sees two angels who ask her the reason for her crying. At that very moment Jesus too is present and he too asks her the reason for her crying. She thinks that he is gardener and looks for his help but Jesus presents himself to her and calls her by name. Only then she understands who he was and worships him. Jesus indeed accepts her presence but gives her the mission. She was asked to go and tell all, starting from the disciples that Jesus is raised from the dead and she has seen him and he has the good news for everyone. He also tells her that he has to ascend to the Father but she has her task to fulfill here and now, namely to be his messenger.

For Peter and other disciples this was the moment of growth in their faith in the resurrection of Jesus. Immediately after the visit to the empty tomb they may have been shocked. This will soon be clarified to them about the resurrection of Jesus perhaps through Mary Magdalene. Later it is further clarified as he encountered the disciples on the way to Emmaus where he explained the positive meaning of the sufferings of the messiah as found in the Old Testament.

The resurrection of Jesus brought a new hope in the disciples and transformed their emptiness into a fullness of light. The word, “Jesus is alive!” or “I have seen the Lord!” were enough to instantly create a great spiritual hunger in their soul the worldly minds of the disciples suddenly became alerted to the truth. Faith was being reinstated in the Words that Jesus had spoken while He lived on earth. They could now understand what it really means to be raised from the dead. In this resurrection is the new creation by the Father. In the book of Genesis we hear of God creating the Universe. Now in the new creation God creates something more than that. He raises his own Son from the dead and gives him to the Humanity as a new gift and commissions him to remain with human kind forever.

To the Disciples the Resurrection was a new experience. It was something totally unexpected and new. It gave them a new vision of life. They were persons totally transformed with the presence of the Resurrected Jesus. They had seen his suffering and during that time most of them had remained hidden out of fear. For them as it is for us the celebration of Easter Sunday totally reverses the image of Good Friday. It tell us what Good Friday is about; It tells us that what took place on the cross on Good Friday was not just a simple death but a real sacrifice, it was not a defeat but a triumph over sin and death, and it was not an end but a great beginning.

Jesus accepted death in total obedience to his Father. He tells the Father that he is ready to do his will and sacrificed himself for the salvation of the world. His death was not a defeat but a triumph over sin and death. His death in reality was a passage to new life and hence it is no end in itself. Ultimately the Easter is the celebration of the total unending love of the Father for the sake of Humanity. He gave back his son to us for human kind with greater love and with the resurrection Jesus will stay with us forever. The resurrection of Jesus, and later the Pentecost brings change in the disciples. They knew of his presence and Jesus worked many miracles through them. People in Jerusalem too once they saw their work held them in high esteem. The result of their work was that the community increased in numbers.

Today on Easter Sunday the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus reminds us that we have the same mission as Peter and Mary Magdalene and the other disciples of Jesus. This requires as the first reading of today tells us that we need a radical conversion, a radical change on our part.

In the celebration of the Pasch, the Jews used to throw out all the leavened bread they had and replace it with freshly baked unleavened bread. Because of the fermentation process that leavened bread undergoes, yeast was regarded as a corrupting agent. So Paul tells us that we, too, as we celebrate our Christian Passover, are to become “a completely new batch of bread, unleavened as you are meant to be…having only the unleavened bread of integrity and truth.”Further, Peter emphasizes the importance of Jesus’ disciples not only experiencing and enjoying the joy of their Risen Master and Lord but also of sharing that experience and joy with as many people as possible. It is something we must do also to live joyfully in the close company of the Risen Lord. For the true Christian, in fact, every day is an Easter Day lived joyfully in the close company of the Risen Lord. “He has ordered us to proclaim this to his people and to tell them that God has appointed Jesus to judge everyone, alive or dead, that all who believe in Jesus will have their sins forgiven through his name…”

On this day Jesus calls us to be his messengers of peace. We pray that this peace will remain in our hearts always to make us his messengers in the world of today. The celebration of Easter is a call for us to change – and perhaps change radically – as Jesus’ own disciples changed. I wish you all to celebrate this day with peace, love and bliss. Have a blessed and holy Easter.

Shanti Shanti Shanti…..

With Love

Fr. Dorathick


Greetings and peace from Shantivanam

Dear Oblates and friends of Shantivanam

Today we remember the birth anniversary of Swami Parama Arubi Ananda ( Jules Monchanin).

The Call of Swami Parama Arubi Ananda is so beautiful to reflect on in this lenten season as we are close to Easter.

He became fully aware of his vocation to India during his serious illness on 26 march 1932 on Passion Sunday. His condition of health was so bad just near to death. He promised God that if he recovers, he would dedicate himself to the salvation of India. When his health was restored he just dedicates himself to learn Indian philosophy, culture etc... Swami once wrote “I had always been drawn by India. If you look at the development of a vocation, you will find its roots in the earliest years of childhood. You discern signs which were found in mysticism. As in Heidegger’s concept of time in future which draws the present and the past so there was always within me this attraction of India. At first it was primary intellectual, and it had not yet taken shape in a definite vocation…  The working out of a person’s destiny is always a great mystery. The graces received are bound to many others. There are incarnate graces which make you go from intellectual level to level of life.” In him the intellect found redoubtable strength in the extraordinary strength of his spirit. Right up to the end, with calm, humble, simplicity, he followed the call, so hard, so gentle, which resounded in him. More precisely, his call was inseparably a call to the mission  to communicate the vision of the Holy Trinity , Of Christ  and of the church  a call to the monastic life and a call to India. An Ashram (monastic order) dedicated to contemplation is needed in India. It is needed as  Swami Parama Arubi Ananda often said,” that Christianity be rethought as Indian, and Indian as a Christian.” Today  Swami Parama Arubi Ananda‘s call gives us a great inspiration to move from the intellectual level to a life level experience in our Spiritual journey.

Shanti Shanti Shanti

With love and Prayers

Fr. Dorathick


Greetings and peace from Shantivanam

Dear Oblates and Friends …

Today we celebrate our 69 th anniversary of our Ashram.  On the feast of St. Benedict in the holy Year 1950, the mass was celebrated for the first time in a hermitage, Shantivanam, newly erected on the bank of river Cauvary, near the small town of Kulittalai .  Two priests Parama Arupi Ananda and Abhishiktananda  were then permitted by his Excellency the Rt. Rev. Dr. Mendonca, Bishop of Tiruchirapalli, to enter that hermitage and, dressed in the traditional garb of Indian ascetics, to dedicate themselves to the quest of God and salvation through a life of solitude, prayer and silence, after the manner of so many Indian pioneers – but in the light of the teaching of Christ and the examples of Christian monks. Anticipating the second Vatican council and the all Indian seminar – to show that they sought to identify themselves with the “Hindu search for God” the quest of the absolute, which inspired monastic life in India from the earliest times; they also intended to relate this quest to their own experience of God in Christ in the mystery of The Holy Trinity. The ashram is dedicated to the Holy Trinity.

The aim of the ashram is to establish a way of contemplative life, based on the traditions of Christian monasticism and Hindu sannyasa, renunciation of the world in order to seek God or in Hindu Terms - liberation which goes back many centuries before the birth of Christ and continues to the present day.   Our aim at Shativanam is to unite ourselves with this tradition as Christian Sannyasis. Fr. Bede Griffiths led the development of dialogue between Christianity and Hinduism as part of the Christian Ashram Movement. His belief in the brotherhood of all mankind and his attempt to bridge religious differences with interfaith dialogue.  His spiritual understanding transcended many people. The ashram is attentive not only to spiritual seekers but is also conscious of the poor and the needy neighbors in the surrounding villages. Though the ashram’s primary call is to discover “the kingdom of God within,” it is also deeply proactive to the cry of the poor in their milieu through the words of Jesus “whatever you do to the least of my brothers and sisters that you do unto me.” 

Shantivanam Ashram is a mother of all other catholic ashrams. Today we must ponder the vision of our founders for ashram .  Ashram must above all be a place of prayer and contemplation, where those who feel a call to a life of seclusion from the world and total commitment to a life of prayer in poverty, chastity and obedience may find the opportunity which they seek. But at the same time we want this spirit of prayer to radiate outwards, so that those who are engaged in the world may be able to come here and discover something of the reality of the presence of God in their lives. It is our belief that no economic or social development can be of any lasting value, unless it is based on a deep awareness of the reality of God, of that infinite transcendence which is known in prayer and meditation, which alone gives any ultimate meaning to human life. We believe that it is such centres of prayer and meditation, which are the greatest need of the Church and the world today.

Shanti Shanti Shanti

With Prayers

Fr. Dorathick

Message from Fr. Dorathick February 2019

Blessed are the Peace makers

Dear Oblates and friends of Shantivanam,

Our world today is not a place of peace and tranquility. Evil in the world is becoming increasingly aggressive and hostile like recent Pulwama terror attack and in many other attacks in other parts of the world. The result is hate and violence exists in our world. In John 15:18 Jesus warns us about this, If the world hates you, know that it hated me before it hated you. The greatest challenge for the peacemaker is to reflect the nature of God in an environment dominated by evil. If we ask What is the purpose of this Universe? What is the goal of life? The Indians suggest peace- Shanti. The Chinese evoke harmony. The Christans dream of fullness- pleroma, the terms may be different, but the vision is the same. We can think of other terms like communion, advaitic or non- dual oneness, “ God , All in all”(1 Cor 15:28), “ That they may be all one”(Jn 17:21) Jesus’ proclamation is set in the horizon of peace. At the very beginning of his life he proclaims: “Blessed are the peacemakers”( mt 5:9).

There are 3 steps towards true and lasting peace:

1. Peace with God – peace I leave with you. In Greek the word for peace is the word EIRENE  and comes from the root verb EIRO which means to join together. In this context, peace is not the absence of something but the joining together of something. Peace is not the absence of conflict but the presence of grace. Peace is not the absence of trouble, but the presence of God. Before Jesus went away he comforted His disciples by promising that His peace would remain – “Peace I leave with you”. He was leaving them in right relationship with himself. This relationship would last beyond the cross to eternity. When we ask Jesus to come into our hearts He gives the same promise to us – that through justification the relationship which we began will continue. Rom 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through ignorance we were separated from God. That separation leads to a longing in the human heart. People try to fill that God shaped void with many things, but nothing will satisfy. Without justification it is impossible to have real peace. Conscience forbids it. Ignorance is a mountain between a man and God, and must be taken away. The sense of guilt lies heavy on the heart and must be removed. Unpardoned sin will murder peace. The true Christian knows all this well. His peace arises from a consciousness of his sins being forgiven, and his guilt being put away. ... He has peace with God, because he is justified. Gen 3:9 says But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?"  He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid." And he said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?" The man said, "The woman you put here with me -- she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it. Sin severed our relationship with God. The result was shame. Sin caused Adam to try to hide from God, and sin has been causing mankind to run from God ever since. The results of this broken relationship with God lead to fear (feeling naked) and blame (the woman YOU put here…) It all started with a broken relationship with God, so peace must begin with a restored relationship with God.

2. Peace with ourselves – my peace I give you When we have peace with God then we are able to make peace with ourselves. Feelings of insecurity, guilt and unforgiveness are all dealt with in the cross. It is only when we see ourselves through the eyes of God that we can truly understand who we really are. Paul understood the inner war of the soul that we all have within us: Rom 7:22 For in my inner being I delight in God's law;  but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. Jesus gives us His sense of inner peace – “my peace I give you”. As people we are not “good nothings” but “fallen somethings”. We need to understand that God made us good and that He loves us despite our wrong choices. Peace rules the day when Christ rules the heart and mind. If there is righteousness in the heart, there will be beauty in the character. If there is beauty in the character, there will be harmony in the home. If there is harmony in the home, there will be order in the nation. If there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world. -- Chinese Proverb First put yourself at peace, and then you may the better make others be at peace. A peaceful and patient man is of more profit to himself and to others, too, than a learned man who has no peace.

 3. Peace with others – I do not give to you as the world gives There are so many people today that are talking about peace, but the problem is that peace with others is impossible until you have peace with God and peace with self. Peace is not the absence of conflict, it is the presence of grace in conflict. Peace does not mean or avoiding all differences and ideals. It is not appeasement, or pretending conflict does not exist. It is not religious tolerance in saying “you believe what you want and I’ll believe what I want”.

John Stott writes in The Message of the Sermon on the Mount, Peacemaking is a divine work. For peace means reconciliation and God is the author of peace and of reconciliation… It is hardly surprising, therefore, that the particular blessing which attaches to peacemakers is that "they shall be called sons of God." For they are seeking to do what their Father has done, loving people with his love. Making peace makes us God's children— which means we are related to each other as family. Peacemakers actively work to bring about a spiritual wholeness and healing between those who are away from God by their ignorance.  Peacemaking requires time and effort. We must pursue and produce it. God approves and blesses the peacemakers. Paul concludes his letter to the Thessalonians by saying, ―Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in all ways.‖ That is the very best blessing for those who want to be called the children of God.

Shanti Shanti Shanti

With prayers

Fr. Dorathick


Message from Fr. Dorathick January 2019

God revealed in Creation  

Peace and Joy be with you all

Dear Oblates and Friends of Shantivanam

How do I know God?  This is a quest we can see from long ago in the history and traditions until today. Obviously there are many different traditions, cultures, religions languages, art, etc.. that God has revealed to us. Creation is one of the best and easiest ways to know God. The scriptures are clear that God’s presence can be found in Creation. This in fact, seems to be one of God’s best dwelling places. Psalm 19 testifies to the revelation of God through His creation: The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat. Bhagavad-Gita 9.19 says I radiate heat as the sun, and I withhold, as well as send forth rain. I am immortality as well as death personified, O Arjun. I am the spirit as well as matter. The Puranas describe that when God first created the universe, He manifested the first-born Brahma and entrusted him with the work of further creation.  Brahma was bewildered by the task of creating the materials and the life-forms in the universe from the subtle material energy. Then God revealed knowledge unto him. There is nothing apart from Me. Shree Krishna reveals that He is the Vedas, the sacrificial fire, the syllable “Om,” the clarified butter, and the act of offering.  No matter what the form and sentiment of our devotion, there is nothing apart from God that we can offer to Him.  Nevertheless, it is the sentiment of love that pleases God, not the material of the offering. God, therefore, reveals Himself to us in the natural world of creation and through the use of our natural reason. We can observe the world around us and draw a logical conclusion that God exists. This is called natural revelation because we are using our native power of reasoning about creatures to "perceive from them how much more powerful is he who formed them" (Wis 13:4).

The creation itself tells us about the existence of God the Creator just as the human person reveals to us God’s existence through the human soul, that “seed of eternity” that can originate only in God (CCC 33). When we look at the created world around us, we have the natural ability to learn about God. As St. Paul tells us, "Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made" (Rom 1:20). When he listens to the message of creation and to the voice of conscience, man can arrive at certainty about the existence of God, the cause and the end of everything. No amount of unaided thinking or observation could lead to comprehension of God CCC 52 …By revealing himself God wishes to make them capable of responding to him, and of knowing him, and of loving him far beyond their own natural capacity.  The Nature is God's gift to everyone. There are people who see and love God’s wonders in creation, but some stop seeing God in it.  There are also people who worship the created world and serve creature rather than transcending from the creation to the creator. God made his Creation in such a way that we could see Him reflected in its beauties, and He wants us to find Him there. This is how Solomon put it “For from the greatness and beauty of created things comes a corresponding perception of their Creator”(Wis 13:5). The first revelation of God is in the creation it is clear for us.

Today it is a great challenge for us to preserve nature and to keep it alive. Because it has been polluted and maltreated in different ways out of our ignorance. Let us be aware that it is our own responsibility to keep nature safe and clean.  Nature will always be a part of our lives . It's up to us to make the environment clean and safe for future generation. Imagine a world without Nature . Without trees. Clouds . Season . Snow . Green grass . Beautiful flowers and everything that nature is. What would the meaning of life be? Nature is very important for us because  humans have needed to survive and thrive, was provided by the natural world around us: food, water, medicine, materials, for shelter, and even natural cycles such us climate and nutrients etc. We have to  use this wonderful gift of God to unveil the revelation of God in nature. When we love nature we come to know that we are the co creators who have to keep nature safe and make this nature a place for others to see God’s  revelation here and now in this world. As we participate in the creation let us rejoice at every moment of our life, manifesting Gods love for us in nature. 


Shanti Shanti Shanti


With Prayers

Fr. Dorathick





Peace and Joy to all

Today we remember the birth anniversary of Fr. Bede.

As we are preparing our hearts to celebrate Christmas we reflect on one of his letters on Renunciation which began the night of his conversion, before his monastic commitment.

He wrote: I have been telling Mary that my prayer has undergone a revolution through my discovery of the meaning of sin. Of course, I have known it in general before, but this has been a deep, interior experience renewed from day to day. It will take a long time for it to sink in, but I do believe it is what I have been seeking. I have always felt an obstacle between myself and my deepest being, and I am sure that the obstacle is pride. I feel that Jung’s psychology and oriental methods of prayer tend to make me overlook this fundamental matter of personal sin. This seems to be the essential work of Christian prayer. For sin is the offence against God in the sense  that it is an offence against the ultimate law of being. It seems to me that it touches the depths of one’s soul. Only when we have realized this deep, interior sin and repented of it with all our will, can our interior being be open to God. Then God is experienced as love, reaching down into the depths of our being and drawing us to itself. This again seems to be a peculiarly Christian experience - God is known as absolutely other than ourselves, giving himself gratuitously to us, more deeply present to us than we are to ourselves, but still absolutely other. It is a union of love - two really distinct beings united in one. But one must keep one’s mind on the reality of one’s personal sin. One must recall the incidents of rebellion, selfassertion, self-will etc. which have occurred in the past and recognize one’s sin and repent. It must be a completely personal act of acknowledgement and reparation. One must realize that pride, anger, hatred, jealousy, lust and sloth are perpetually active in us and only the grace of God can save us at any moment. This may not mean as much to you as it does to me, but it has to become an interior experience, a grace which needs to be renewed day by day, until the hard shell of pride begins to be worn through. I feel sure that this is the obstruction which keeps one back all the time. Isn’t your desire to be above everything all the time probably due to this? The way lies in exactly the opposite direction. One has to learn to place oneself below everyone and everything. The inmost centre of the soul is the lowest point of our being: it is where we become nothing and God everything. But to reach it one has to go back and back, beyond each point of self-assertion by which the wall of pride has been built up, until one reaches childhood, - then beyond that, because there is sin latent in childhood, until one realizes that there is no good in oneself, and that every particle of good comes not from ourselves but from God, and that it is only by grace that we do not pervert every good thing we find in ourselves.B.G letter to Mary Allen 11/1/53.

Let us take up the inspiration of fr. Bede’s life and his message on this day and make our Christmas very special.

Om Shanti ShantiShanti

With prayers

Fr. Dorathick


Dear Oblates and friends of Shantivanam

A Happy and blessed Christmas to each one of you. My prayer for each of you this year is that you may be touched and renewed by the message of joy and hope which this special season brings. 

Christmas is a joyous season for all. The very word ‘Christmas’ brings joy and brings out real goodness, in our hearts. It is the feast which touches the hearts like no other feasts. To live Christ is a celebration of God’s regard for this world and our flesh. God became so close to each of us by taking the form of a simple human child in flesh and blood. When the fullness of time came, God sent forth his son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children (Gal 4: 4-5). We all become the children of God. God became human. The greatest moment of human history is when God became man. Incarnation is when divinity bent low over us in love to lift us up Himself. The mystery of the Incarnation empowers us. It teaches us the virtues that generate life and compassionate love. God in Jesus becomes a servant God who washes the feet of his disciples. He identifies himself with every human suffering and complete self gifting love for us.

 Christmas is the bridging of two realities reminding us that God is not just the God of heaven but Lord and Creator of the universe. The Incarnation is not just to save the world, but to bless the world, to bless being human, to sanction being human, to join us in our humanness. Jesus invites us to come to him as a child.  When we look around, and see the children in their many Christmas presentations, that excitement and thrill goes a long way in helping to lay aside, even for a moment, the realities of daily struggle. For children, all the experiences of life are new and thrilling adventures. They take them in and take them on willingly and eagerly. Adults will do well to adopt this attitude of childlike innocence at Christmas, and allow the gift of this sacred birth we celebrate a chance to fill us with peace! joy! and love!

In this Christmas, we open the door of our heart to receive Christ in us.  It is the result of an encounter between two hearts: the heart of God who comes to meet us and a human heart. Our hearts of stone become hearts of flesh capable of love despite our weakness. I come to realize that I am truly a new creation: I am loved, therefore I exist; I am forgiven, therefore I am reborn; I have been shown mercy, therefore I have become a vessel of mercy. Jesus’ coming made it possible to reconnect ourselves with God and with each other. He gave us the tools to break the barriers of separation and division. He wants us to be one family living as brothers and sisters. Obviously, we have a long way to go. There is still division, hatred and discrimination. We are called to overcome the temptation of isolating ourselves from our families or fostering division among God’s people. We are more alike than we are different. We must find and affirm what we have in common rather than what is different. Christ is our peace. He broke the barriers of hostility that kept us apart. “The pleasure of belonging to one another leads to seeing life as a common project, putting the other’s happiness ahead of my own”  (Amoris Laetitia #220).  May the New-born Lord touch the heart of every one and abide in the soul of every human being, so that He blesses and enlightens all of us together with the radiance of the Star of Bethlehem. May He grant us a blessed New Year of salvation illumined by the light of the knowledge of God. Such that the forthcoming Year 2019 may be filled with mutual love, peace and harmony, we invoke upon all of you the blessing and grace of the Holy Night of Christmas, joyfully exclaiming from our heart: GOD'S PEACE – CHRIST IS BORN! INDEED HE IS BORN!

Christmas celebrations are often full of sound. It would be good for us to make room for silence at this time, to hear the voice of Love.”      Pope Francis

Shanti Shanti Shanti…..

With love and prayers

Fr. Dorathick



45th death Anniversary of  Swami Abhishiktananda
7th December 2018

Dear Oblates and friends of Shantivanam ,

Peace and Joy to all

As we are in the advent season, preparing our self joyfully to celebrate Christmas in a meaningful way. Today we remember the death anniversary of Swami Abhishiktananda. Swami Abhishitanada immersed himself into God experience in himself and He gives us a better understanding to know Christ on this day to prepare our hearts to receive Christ.

In his final illness he had experienced “an inner apocalypse”, “an awakening beyond all myths and symbols” (Baumer-Despeigne, 1983, 327-328), returning him to one of his favourite Upanishadic verses (of which we can find echoes in many mystical works of both East and West): I know him, that great Purusha, Of the colour of the sun, Beyond all darkness. He who has known him goes beyond death. There is no other way. (Svetasvatara Upanishad, III.8.) The knowledge (vidya) of Christ is identical with what the Upanishads call divine knowledge (brahmavidya). It comprises the whole of God’s self manifestation in time, and is one with his eternal self-manifestation. Step by step I descended into what seemed to me to be successive depths of my true self—my being (sat), my awareness of being (cit), and my joy in being (ananda). Finally nothing was left but he himself, the Only One, infinitely alone, Being, Awareness and Bliss, Saccidananda (Abhishiktananda, 1984: 172).

On this day we contemplate and let’s all be inspired by his life and total dedication for the love of God!

Let Swami Abhishiktanda’s Spirit and his wisdom live forever and ever in us.

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti….

Fr. Dorathick





Dear Oblates and friends of Shantivanam,

Peace and joy be with you all

Today as we are celebrating the 61 death anniversary of our beloved Fr. Jules Monchanin. On this day we contemplate on his own words, a strong conviction and faith in God which made a great transformation in his life. He is a great inspiration for us today.

He wrote to his mother "… God has transplanted me… I want to sink myself into this silence, to be only adoration and praise. I have said goodbye to the west and I have come to an unknown land. I am filled with praise for this land that God has chosen for me. I don’t have any idea what I will do, but I have faith in Spirit. How I wish that from my life and from my death, a contemplative life in the Trinity might be born which will assume, purify and transfigure all the thought, all the art and all the millennia of India’s experience!.... I know, I feel, that nothing must be rushed, and I am waiting in patience, for my thought lives almost always in the future."

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti…..

With prayers


30th August 2018 - 108th Birth Anniversary of Swami Abhishiktananda

Peace and Joy be with you

Dear Oblates and Friends of Shantivanam,

As we are celebrating the 108th birth anniversary of Swami Abhishiktananda - The number 108 is a very important number in Indian culture, Hindu and Buddhist traditions too give it great importance. The number 108 is 1+0+8 =9, and number 9 is related with God. That is why, traditionally, malas, or garlands of prayer beads, come as a string of 108 beads always leading towards a God experience or union with God. 
Today we are called to remember Swami Abhishikananda's life and vision and the God experience in our life today “…To realize the mystery of God in the deepest recesses of our heart, beyond all thought, all imagination, beyond every possible manifestation of His glory. God is indeed present in every one of His signs, and yet He remains for ever beyond all signs, beyond everything through which He manifests His Presence, beyond everything in the mental or material world….Everything through which God reveals Himself to us is a summons to go further, to go beyond.”*(Prayer, pp.50-51) "All that we know or think we know of God is false. There is only one thing to know of God—and that transcends the understanding, it takes place at the sources of being—namely, that this knowledge is a total commitment. It is in the abandonment of reliance on yourself that you know God, existentially. That is faith and brahmavidya (the knowledge of Brahman)."*
(Ascent to the Depth of the Heart p.500)
To have a deeper understanding and to grow towards God is a call on this beautiful occasion and gives us an invitation to be in union with God in our own life.

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti…

With love and prayers

Fr. Dorathick

* "The Message of Swami Abhishiktananda - Selected Quotations"

The Vocation of Being an Oblate is a Call to Holiness in Today’s World

Peace and Joy be with you all

Dear Oblates and friends of Saccidananda Ashram, Shantivanam

Today we live in a world which is rapidly changing and we are busy with lots of work, busy schedules etc. Despite all our busy schedules we have to remember that we are all spiritual beings as well as social beings and are called to grow in holiness and share our love towards God and our neighbor. Holiness is a gift that is offered to everyone, no one is excluded; it constitutes the distinctive character of every Christian. To be saints, Pope Francis said, “we do not necessarily have to be bishops, priests or Religious”, or like those who are able to “detach themselves from ordinary matters, to dedicate themselves exclusively to prayer”.

In today’s World the Oblate ship will help us to remind and help us to grow towards holiness. Are you called to the consecrated life? Be holy by living out your commitment with joy. Are you married? Be holy by loving and caring for your husband or wife, as Christ does for the Church. Do you work for a living? Be holy by laboring with integrity and skill in the service of your brothers and sisters. Are you a parent or grandparent? Be holy by patiently teaching the little ones how to follow Jesus. Are you in a position of authority? Be holy by working for the common good and renouncing personal gain. You will find everything you need to grow towards holiness. The very meaning of the word oblate is for the service of God and neighbor by our life. Oblates are not vowed members of the Benedictine Order. But they are committed by their oblation to a community and seek to adopt its spirit and share its charism. Benedictine Oblate life is primarily a spiritual life. The key to this life is found in the Rule of St. Benedict: "That God may be glorified in all things" (RB 57:9). For the oblate, "all things" encompasses prayer, work, studies, recreation, family, friends and even enemies.

The 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. The oblate truly seeks God in every aspect of life.  Oblates of Shantivanam have to know and revere traditions other than their own and respect all who seek God. Work for the Unity of mankind, promoting inter- religious dialogue and inter religious harmony and to know the Spiritual Vision and mission of Shantivanam is to live a life of the fullness of the love of God and fullness of the love of neighbor. It is also a call to be a peace maker following the exhortation of Jesus, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the Children of God.” 

Pope Francis beautifully ends his apostolic exhortation on holiness document proposing five great expressions of love for God and neighbor: Perseverance, patience and meekness. For example, he laments that Christians use verbal violence on the internet, or that media is an outlet for defaming and slandering others. Joy and a sense of humor. Boldness and passion to encounter others in community. In constant prayers. It is precisely by living with love and by offering our Christian witness in the daily occupations that we are called to become the children of God. It is an invitation to share his joy, to live and to offer joyfully every moment of our life, making it become at the same time a gift of love for the people around us.

"I extend my warm greeting and wishes to all the Oblates and friends. I look forward to meeting them in Shantivanam soon."
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti
God Bless you with love and prayers
Fr. Dorathick



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