Pa. Hindu ashram draws people from around US

Hinduism-is-not-a-ReligionSHESHQUIN, Pa. (AP) – People from as far away as Canada, Chicago, New Jersey and Philadelphia gathered earlier this month at a Hindu ashram in Sheshequin Township, Bradford County.

They had come to the one-story building to participate in a ceremony to mark the 15th anniversary of the expansion to the United States of a Hindu organization called Vishwa Gayatri Mission, which owns and operates the ashram in Sheshequin Township.

Swami Alakhgiriji Maharaj, who established the ashram in Sheshequin Township in 2010, said the Vishwa Gayatri Mission founded its first center in the United States in Chicago, Ill., in 1999, and has centers in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Atlantic City and other locations in America.

Swami Alakhgiriji Maharaj, also known as “Swamiji,” is “very famous” as a yoga expert and yoga teacher, and is known for that expertise in countries such as China, Nepal, Tibet, the United States and India, said Pallavi Dave, who manages the ashram in Sheshequin Township.

Swamiji, who is from the state of Gujarat in India, said he founded the Vishwa Gayatri Mission organization in 1954 and established eight ashrams in India.

People gather on Sundays at the ashram in Sheshequin Township to pray and practice meditation, Dave said.

About 200 people regularly worship at the ashram in Sheshequin Township, and they come from Towanda, Troy, Athens, Sayre, Mansfield, Elmira, Allentown and other locations, she said.

When there are Hindu festivals, people from all over the United States and Canada come to the Sheshequin ashram, which is called the Vishwa Gayatri Yogashram, Swamiji said.

Source: Washington Times