If you wish to become an oblate of Shantivanam please read this page.

Becoming an oblate is an offering (oblation) of one's life to God - a seeker - a sadhaka.

The procedure is as follows:-


To become an oblate of Shantivanam please write a spiritual/religious biography of yourself and send to the Prior Fr.Dorathick. Contact Fr. Dorathick at dorathick@yahoo.co.in mobile no.  +91 7902463938

 After communicating with Fr. Dorathick an oblate commitment form may be obtained from shantivanamoblates@gmail.com 

Fr Dorathick will correspond with you and give you a period for reflection before you make your commitment.

Your Oblation day would be celebrated with prayer (see oblate ceremony suggestions towards the end of page below). 

If you wish to be placed on our mailing list and if you wish to participate in the General Sharing Page on our website you may send an e-mail to shantivanamoblates@gmail.com 


"An oblate  is a person, man or woman, married or single, lay or cleric, who offers himself or herself to God in a life of prayer based on, the threefold life of the rule of St. Benedict, uniting prayer or mediation, study and work. But the centre of this life is the self-offering to God of one's whole being, which in India we call Sannyasa. This is also the essential nature of our life at Shantivanam." Fr. Bede Griffiths


Message for Oblates from Fr Dorathick 


Dear Sisters and Brothers

Being an Oblate in Shantivanam is a Call to become conscious of the Divine Mystery as love yoking the world.

Oblates of Shantivanam can be, lay or ordained, who, committed to the living of their faith and continuing to live their state in life, desire to make their own the values expressed by Shantivanam Ashram. It can be individuals or families who have associated themselves with the Shantivanam Ashram community to enrich and enlighten their spiritual life. Oblates shape their lives by living the wisdom of Christ and seek God in the spiritual tradition of Shantivanam Ashram: Fr. Jules Monchanin (Swami Parama Arubiananda), Fr. Henry Le Saux (Swami Abhishiktananda), and Fr Bede Griffiths (Swami Dayananda). By integrating their prayer and work, they manifest God's presence in the place wherever they live and live for the wellbeing and harmony of all in the Universe. Oblates embrace values of Indian spirituality and Christian spirituality, such as Lectio Divina, spending time for daily meditation on the Sacred Scriptures; Bible, Upanishads and other sacred texts, cultivating an awareness of the presence of God in prayer, silence, meditation, and contemplation, inter-religious dialogues and by practicing they grow in the love of God and neighbour.

For the Oblates of Shantivanam, there are 5 key points so important Fr. Bede had given to become an Oblate of Shantivanam ashram you can check in an extract from The Golden String Vol.1No.1 also in our Oblates website:

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

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

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

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

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

An oblation is a free act of self-offering to God, no titles you will be given, it is not sannyasa too because Sannyasa is a life of total renunciation. I request you not to use this term until you are renounced! The act of oblation is a true offering, and brings about a true belonging, though it is different from that bond which unites a monk to his community, and it does not bring about a change in the individual's status in the Church too. The role of the Oblates is to live in the world, to become holy in the world, and to do what they can to bring the world to God's experience by being witnesses and sharing the life with the world with wisdom and the spiritual tradition of Shantivanam. This means they will grow in openness and as well as rootedness in listening to the voice of God in the world. The Prologue of the rule of St. Benedict reminds us to let us open our eyes to the light that comes from God, and our ears to the voice from heaven that every day calls out this charge. The Oblates are identified with the Shantivanam Ashram community. They share the aspiration of the monks and the way of life. Oblates should always look to do their work with wholeheartedness in whatever work they can do. In this way, the oblates will make of it an act of worship of God. They will use their gifts and abilities for the service of others according to their skills and circumstances.

Oblates of Shantivanam share in the life of the ashram family through union with mediation and prayer and the vision of the Ashram.

The Shantivanam community is glad to help those who are in quest of God following the spiritual life of Shantivanam ashram and the simple life by actively partaking in the life of Shantivanam. Oblates can also have a chance to help our social works especially to the poor and needy around the ashram. Some are confused with the difference between being an Oblate and being a Friend of Shantivanam. The difference is that the Friend of Shantivanam does not make a commitment and promise to practice the vision and life of the ashram as the oblates do but they are free to do so. In Br Martin's invitation to be Friends of Shantivanam he says: "This is a friendship that will be cultivated around the spiritual vision and mission of the ashram with benefits extending to the many poor and needy..." It is also an invitation to " join us in this mission, to be peacemakers in the world, fostering better understanding among the world’s religions while living out of our own mystical depth and peace." Friends of Shantivanam are also associated with our ashram especially in our social projects and help the socio spiritual dimension of the ashram. When possible, they stay at the Ashram for periods of retreat. They may also offer spiritual assistance and advice. The ultimate purpose of being an oblate of Shantivanam is to be in spiritual union with the Shantivanam community in their spiritual journey by actively participating in the life of Shantivanam where ever you live. The Oblate of Shantivanam should be a person who cultivates love and joy where ever he/she lives. They should cultivate a quest for God and should go beyond cast or race or any divisions! An oblate always works as an instrument of peace and harmony through deep prayer, meditation, inter religious dialogues and brings unity and love all over the universe.


Shanti Shanti Shanti

With prayers

Fr. Dorathick



Message for Oblates and Friends of Shantivanam

from Brother Martin


Our ashram’s mission is simultaneously spiritual and social, encompassing 100% love of God and 100% love of neighbor.     

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

Jules Monchanin’s mission was that the ashram be “fully Christian and fully Indian”. Since we cannot separate the spirituality from the culture of India, we are both Christian and Hindu in the deepest sense. This is no simple witness, but one that challenges us every day. Swami Abhishikthananda focused on us bearing witness to the “The Hindu-Christian Meeting Point”. This entails living the mystical depth of two traditions simultaneously. And our dear Fr. Bede Griffiths not only wrote extensively on “The Marriage of East and West”, he exemplified this harmony in every facet of his life urging us to follow suit.

We are grounded in the inspiration of the Gospel as well as the vision of the Upanishads. Our founders worked tirelessly to build bridges among the great world religions and we feel compelled to continue this mission.

We want to invite you to join us in this mission, to be peacemakers in the world, fostering better understanding among the world’s religions while living out of our own mystical depth and peace.


ON BECOMING AN OBLATE OF SHANTIVANAM 

BY FR. GEORGE


Oblates of Shantivanam

First and foremost is to explain to the candidates of oblate ship of Shantivanam about the purpose of being  an oblate of Shantivanam, the responsibilities,  and duties.

Saccidananda ashram Shantivanam’s founders, Fr Monchanin and Swami Abhishiktananda  called it  A Benedictine ashram.

Benedictine means, the life of the ashram is based on the Rule of St. Benedict and the ashram means to follow the spiritual tradition of India,  that is sannyasa life.

Beginning of lay monasticism or oblate ship

In the course of time, lay people asked to be associated with the work of the monks and nuns of the Benedictine monasteries without however leaving their homes, families, and occupations. So they were received as the Oblates of a monastery or convent, and promised to regulate their lives according to the spirit of the monasteries. They applied the teachings of the Rule of St. Benedict to their lives in the world, in their family circles, in their places of work, and in their civic and social activities.

Shantivanam community is happy to help those who are in search of God following the spiritual life of Shantivanam  and the simple life by actively participating in the life of Shantivanam. The life of Shantivanam is  based on meditation, simple life, interreligious dialogue, inculturation . etc.

The Oblates are mainly Christian individuals or families who have associated themselves with Shantivanam ashram in order to enrich their spiritual life and  shape their lives by living the wisdom of Christ. They seek God by striving to become holy in their chosen way of life by integrating their prayer and work, they manifest Christ's presence in society. So the purpose of being an oblate of Shantivanam is to be in spiritual union with the Shantivanam community in their spiritual journey.

 

What is an Oblate of Shantivanam?

The Oblates of Shantivanam are praying and working in spiritual union with our Shantivanam community and receiving spiritual strength and inspiration from their association as Oblates.

Their  role is to live in the world, to become holy in the world, to do what they can to bring the world to God by being witnesses of Christ by word and example to those around them.

The oblates prayer life will flow from this awareness that they are the temple of God. They do not take on a new set of religious practices and they do not live in a religious community or take vows. Oblates practice moderation. This moderation manifests itself in the use of the goods of this world, an increasing concern for their neighbor, and in the way they temper and direct their desires.

1.Oblates are requested to do regular meditation in the morning and evening according to the time available for each person.

2.They should deepen their knowledge by reading and meditating on the Holy Scriptures and should be open to the spiritual values of the other religious and cultural traditions.

3. They should work for peace and harmony in the world.

4. Live a life of detachment.

 

      

REGARDING BECOMING AN OBLATE OF SHANTIVANAM


QUESTION:  Are there vows to take?  What would be my obligations?  

FR. GEORGE: The oblates make only a promise to follow the spiritual and contemplative life of Shantivanam. It does not bind anyone with a vow.


QUESTION: Would I be entitled to use the OSB with my name?

FR. GEORGE:  There is no obligation to use OSB with your name. OSB means Order of St. Benedict. It is usually used by the monks and nuns of the Benedictine Congregation. 


QUESTION: Do I need to visit the Ashram to do so?

FR. GEORGE:To become an oblate it is better that you visit our ashram so that we can share about the oblateship. Though I suggest people who wish to be oblates of Shantivanam to visit us,  I can understand that all cannot come to visit us physically.  Of-course the spiritual presence and relationship are more important than the physical presence. So we can make possible to give oblate ship even without visiting Shantivanam and they can be united with us in the spirit of our founders and Shantivanam community.


FR GEORGE:

The important question to be asked to the candidate of oblateship:

1. What is the expectation for being an oblate of Shantivanam?

2. Why do you want to become an oblate of Shantivanam?


QUESTION: Fr. Bede answered me as follows regarding becoming an oblate:- "It is a sign not so much of adherence to any particular church, but of a communion in the Spirit which extends not only through different Christian churches but also through different religious traditions. It is a sign of the future union of all humanity in the worship of the Father in Spirit and in Truth."
I would like to know whether this is still the position regarding people wishing to become oblates of Shantivanam. Do you have this same vision of Fr. Bede.

FR. GEORGE:  I too agree with the vision of Fr. Bede



 Oblate ship ceremony suggestion for places other than Shantivanam - Fr. George

1. It is advised to do the ceremony in the morning before the sunrise.

2. Rite of purification: Take a bath as a sign of purification of body and soul.

3. Light a candle or oil lamp in the room or place where you do the initiation ceremony.

4. Do a reading from the Bible and a passage from the Upanishad.

5. A brief meditation

6. As a sign of oblate ship the candidate can receive a Saccidananda Cross.

 

Our Father in Heaven

hallowed be your name

may your kingdom come,

may your will be done on earth as in heaven.

Give us this day the bread we need,

and forgive us our sins and offences,

as we have forgiven those who have offended us .

Do not lead us into temptation,

but deliver us from the evil one.

For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever and ever. Amen

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

 

Readings

1. According to the convenience a part of this reading can be used

2. Gospel John 15,1-10

The Chandogya Upanishad

You Are That

This is the teaching of Uddalaka to Shvetaketu, his son:

 

As by knowing one lump of clay, dear one,

We come to know all things made out of clay –

That they differ only in name and form,

While the stuff of which all are made is clay;

 

As by knowing one gold nugget, dear one,

We come to know all things made out of gold –

That they differ only in name and form,

While the stuff of which all are made is gold;

 

As by knowing one tool of iron, dear one,

We come to know all things made out of iron –

That they differ only in name and form,

While the stuff of which all are made is iron –

 

So through spiritual wisdom, dear one,

We come to know that all of life is one.

 

In the beginning was only Being,

One without a second.

Out of himself he brought forth the cosmos

And entered into everything in it.

There is nothing that does not come from him.

Of everything he is the inmost Self.

He is the truth; he is the Self supreme.

You are that, Shvetaketu; you are that.

 

When a person is absorbed in dreamless sleep

He is one with the Self, though he knows it not.

We say he sleeps, but he sleeps in the Self.

As a tethered bird grows tired of flying

About in vain to find a place of rest

And settles down at last on its own perch,

So the mind, tired of wandering about

Hither and thither, settles down at last

In the Self, dear one, to whom it is bound.

All creatures, dear one, have their source in him.

He is their home; he is their strength.

There is nothing that does not come from him.

Of everything he is the inmost Self.

He is the truth; he is the Self supreme.

You are that, Shvetaketu; you are that.

 

As bees suck nectar from many a flower

And make their honey one, so that no drop

Can say, “I am from this flower or that,”

All creatures, though one, know not they are that One.

There is nothing that does not come from him.

Of everything he is the inmost Self.

He is the truth; he is the Self supreme.

You are that, Shvetaketu; you are that.

 

As the rivers flowing east and west

Merge in the sea and become one with it,

Forgetting they were ever separate streams,

So do all creatures lose their separateness

When they merge at last into pure Being.

There is nothing that does not come from him.

Of everything he is the inmost Self.

He is the truth; he is the Self supreme.

You are that, Shvetaketu; you are that!

 

From the Chandogya Upanishad, chapter 6. The refrain “You are That” (in Sanskrit, Tat tvam asi) is one of

the “great utterances” that encapsulate the teachings of the Upanishads. Translated by Eknath Easwaran


The Chandogya Upanishad: You AreThat | BlueMountain Center of Meditation &Nilgiri Press

http://www.easwaran.org/the-chandogya-upanishad-you-are-that.html


Some recommended mantras from Shantivanam - Fr. George

 

1.Om Nama Christaya, Om Nama Christaya
Om Nama Christaya, Om Nama Christaya.
(Praise to the Lord jesus Christ)

2. Yesu Abba( One can recite the name of Jesus according to the rhythm of breathing.
Breath in Yesu breath out Abba. Normal breathing.

3. Khrista Jaya Jaya, Khrista Jaya Jaya
Khrista Jaya, Namo namo.
(Praise the Lord Jesus Christ)

4.Yesu Yesu Jaya Jaya Namo
(Praise to Jesus)

5. Maranatha( This is aramaic
Come Lord Jesus Christ)



 

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