LOCATION AND ROUTES
Location : On the outskrits of Bhanvad, approx. 50 km north east of Porbander. The Ashram is opposite Kileshwar Gate.
By Car : From Rajkot, take NH8B towards Porbander. Bhanvad is on the way.
By Bus : From Rajkot bus stop, take a bus to Bhanvad.
By Rail : The Saurashtra Express from Mumbai to Porbander stops at Bhanvad railway station. From there, take an auto to Kileshwar Gate.
By Air : From Porbandhar airport, take an auto to Probander railway stations and follow directions “By Rail” or take a bus to Bhanvad.
ISHWAR KRIPA ASHRAM
RAJKOT DIOCESE – SYRO – MALABAR RITE
(Founded on 11.07.1984)
This Ashram is the first foundation of Shanti Nilayam Abbey. It was blessed by Rt. Rev. Gregory Karotemprel, Bishop of Rajkot. It has adopted Indian traditional customs of dress, food and living, in an attempt to dispel the misconceptions that non-Christians have of Christianity. Hindus and Muslims of the locality are regular visitors.
The Ashram’s activities includes the holding of inter-faith dialogue, dairy farming and cultivation.
Sr. Marial Monteiro 21.12.1940 08.12.1977
Sr. Maria Ambuja Puthrappa 30.07.1950 20.11.1987
Sr. Magadalene Macwan 23.12.1974 03.07.2000
Solemnly Professed Sisters - 3
History of the Ashram
The parish priest of Porbander Rev.Fr.Romuald CMI, informed us about a few people in Bhanvad being interested in the Christian religion. He wanted somebody to go there and help them out. Mother Abbess of Shanti Nilayam Abbey Bangalore, was requested to start the ashram.
On January 23rd 1984 Bishop Gregory laid the foundation stone of the Ashram. Sr.Maria Monteiro supervised the building of the Ashram which was ready by the end of June. Ishwar Kripa means God’s grace. The Ashram was blessed by His Grace Gregory Karotemprel CMI Bishop of Rajkot on 11th July 1984. Solemnity of St.Benedict.
Life in the Ashram
Life in Ishwar Kripa is very simple. We have adopted a life style according to local customs. The sisters have the bare essentials, for external poverty and simplicity is considered to be the essential marks of ascetical or Sanyasa life in India and it makes a deep impression on people. Also adopting of Indian traditional customs in matters of dress, food and standard of living helps to counteract the very wrong impression many Indians have about Christian religion i.e. they think it to be a foreign religion that cannot be accepted by the Indians.
On April 11th 1994 we had the blessing of the new temple, dedicated to Christ the Divine Guru. It is erected and expressed in Indian symbols, art and architecture, as a witness to a genuine effort to create an indigenous Church, a bold venture of rooting the mystery of the Church in the religious and cultural reality of India. At this historical moment, architecture becomes an important medium in the Church’s effort of insertion into the life and tradition of the Indian community, and the vision and hope of its people. When you open the door of the Mandir and enter, at once you have the darshan of Jesus the Divine Guru in Contemplation, sitting in Padmaasana with his right hand held up in Jnana Mudra or teaching gesture. The marble statue of Jesus is placed in the center of the sanctuary, and at the right side is the Tabernacle in the shape of a coconut, carved from wood. It is placed on the kumbam with mango leaves, which are considered auspicious, and are a symbol of prosperity. To the left side of the statue, the Holy Bible is placed on a stand, in the form of a wheat plant sprouting from a seed. This brings to mind the parable of the seed in the Gospel. The altar is in the shape of a lotus with two leaves. It is low so as to enhance the celebration of the Eucharist whilst squatting on the floor. The Hindus and Muslims of the locality come to the Ashram to share their spiritual experience and also take part in the prayer life of the Ashram. The Ashram is open to all for retreats.
Ishwar Kripa Ashram, Outside Kileshwar Gate, Bhanvad, Gujarat 360510,
Phone: (02898) 32956