Oblates of Shantivanam

Summer 2016


On the 21st March 2013, the 63 rd anniversary of the opening of Shantivanam, the website Oblates of Shantivanam went officially online. The site was created for friends and oblates and for all those who follow the teachings of the Founders of Shantivanam. Fr. George said in his message “On this occasion I am pleased to announce that we have opened the website for oblates of Shantivanam to be in communication with each other and with our community. I am sure that this website will help us to deepen our spiritual pursuit and promote the communication between Shantivanam and oblates.”

“Our ashram’s mission is simultaneously spiritual and social, encompassing 100% love of God and 100% love of neighbor”.
(Extract from a message from Br. Martin taken from the website of Oblates of Shantivanam)

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, 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 Abhishiktananda 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.” http://oblatesofshantivanam.yolasite.com/

Fr. Bede welcomed people from all walks of life and from all corners of the world who wished to be connected to the spirit of Shantivanam. This was the spirit of the Founders of Shantivanam and Fr. Bede continued as the Spirit led him. Some were accepted as oblates, as brahmacharis and sannyasins and he was instrumental in bringing many of us together.

We had a wonderful gathering of friends and oblates at Shantivanam in December 2015 and there will be another gathering taking place in December 2018 – still a long way ahead but we have already begun discussions, which will be shared on our website for those interested.

Tina Goodchild (oblate of Shantivanam living in Cape Town, South Africa)

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