An ashram is a religious retreat, usually run by a Hindu sage or guru, living in an isolated area, instructing a group of disciples.

The term comes from a sanskrit word, srama, meaning 'religious exercise'.

Ashrams are popular stopping off points for Western youth, lugging their backpacks across India, searching for their souls, their meaning, or simply something to do in the year before going to college (hoping to learn to meditate and impress their fellow students with hints of tantric sex secrets).
(Hinduism) (Sanskrit)

  1. a hermitage or dwelling place for spiritual shelter; a refuge for those who nave abandoned the material world -- also spelled ashrama; or
  2. one of the four spiritual orders of Vedic society, viz.:
    1. celibate student (brahmacari);
    2. householder (grihasta);
    3. retired (vanaprastha); and
    4. renounced (sannyasa).

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