Spiritual Tours

lots of valuable information for those who plan to visit our yoga ashrams in India and worldwide

ByVrinda Kunja Ashram

Ever wonder how Indian incense is made?

Incense has been used in religious rituals since time immemorial. Recently we had an adventurous experience with incense on our Indian spiritual tour, that we would like to share with you. Many people burn incense during daily meditation and relaxation as well as for many other purposes, so there is a huge demand for incense all over the world. Unfortunately large industrial producers are not careful enough about all aspects of their product. Read on to find out about a significant difference between natural and synthetic Indian incense, that can even affect your health.

 

Life is a spiritual journey

Life is a journey that often takes you away from your planned route. We were visiting some Hindu temples in South India when we had a nice surprise. While touring among amazingly beautiful  Indian sacred sites, we just happened to meet a nice family making Indian incense or agarbattis. It was amazing! Can you believe that they were rolling them one by one? A skilled agarbatti maker can actually produce about 5000-6000 incense sticks a day!


Agarbatti is an essential element for performing puja in a Hindu shrine at home or temples, ie. offering special objects to the deities while reciting Vedic mantras. Customs of making incense have changed over time. Since ancient times, only naturally fragrant resins, oils or woods like sandalwood and patchouli had been used for making incense.

Nowadays,for the purpose of lost cost mass production of incense, manufacturers are using industrial fragrances composed of synthetic ingredients. So watch out what you buy the next time you shop for incense!. One thing is for sure: all of the black varieties of agarbatti are 100% synthetic!  

Incense as rolled in India

Many studies have been done to determine the health risks of burning agarbatti. Recent findings indicate that synthetic incense can be more dangerous to your health than cigarette smoke! But even when burning high-quality hand rolled natural varieties of agarbattis, it is recommended to keep a window open, and not to burn too much of it.

In fact just burning half of a stick at a time might be a good idea. Probably after watching this video you might thinking about making your own “Indian agarbattis”. Not a bad idea! Going chemical-free and all natural is better for your health and certainly more pleasing to the deities on your altar.

It is amazing to see how Indian incense is hand rolled. We made this video on our spiritual tour of South Indian Hindu temples. Source: Leveles Zoltan

Hindu puja is unimaginable without Indian incense. Of course, it must be natural. No black colour!

 

 



 


 




 

ByVrinda Kunja Ashram

Volunteering in India

Volunteering in india Volunteering in India presents a unique opportunity for inner personal growth while performing meaningful service to those in need.  The holy lands of India are in dire need of protection; Mother Nature is calling you to help restore her rivers, soil, forests, jungles and of course her dear people and animals. Your helping hands are needed in so many areas, so how does one decide where to go and whom to help?  To help you determine where you might fit in best, we are presenting some of our favorute volunteer projects in India. We wish you well in your efforts and thank you in advance for your sacrifice and commitment. Here you will get the list you needed. Best tip: stay in Tree house in India while doing volunteer service.

Help those in need – Volenteering in India


Volunteering India project

Volunteering India is a project dedicated to promoting wonderful volunteer programs in India for the betterment of local communities. It is based in Delhi and offers opportunities for volunteering, internships and specialized volunteer and travel projects for international volunteers and interns in Delhi, Palampur in Himachal Pradesh and in different locations in South India.

The mission of Volunteering India is to help international volunteers from across the world to organize volunteer work projects in different parts of India and in turn benefit the local communities in India. For details about various programs, visit the website volunteeringindia.com.

Contact

10, Siri Fort Road

Ground Floor

New Delhi – 110049 , India

Phone: +91 – 124 – 4307993 (10:00 AM – 5:00 PM – IST)

24 Hrs: + 91 – 9716 235 166 / 9871 371 009

E-mail: info@volunteeringindia.com


 

Volunteering in India – Vrinda Kunja Ashram, Vrindavan

Volunteering at Vrinda Kunja, India is a good fit for someone interested in experiencing spirituality by being immersed in authentic Vaishnava ashram life. Just living in India’s sweet Vrindavan is a unique experience. Imagine lots of sadhus (holy men) walking and praying in the streets, doing their puja (worship ritual) on the banks of holy Yamuna River. And you can be an active participant by helping to clean the streets and river, practicing bhakti yoga, and learning about Vedic philosophy and culture. There is even an informative Imlitala blog containing great info on ancient Indian culture. Making it all happen is a young and talented dynamic team of committed bhakti yoga enthusiasts. For more information check the website vrindakunja.org

Contact:

  • Vrinda Kunja Ashram: Bhut Galli 169, near Gopeshwar Mahadev temple. Vrindavan, District Mathura UP – PIN 281121.
  • Phone: +919927888664 or +91 9690274444 – We speak Englsih and Spanish.
  • E-mail:
  • Vrinda Kunja Ashram on Google map

Serving as a volunteer at Mother Theresa’s Mission in India

Volunteering in West Bengal, Kolkata

When considering India as a place to volunteer, one cannot help but think about Mother Theresa.To get a good idea what goes on at Mother Theresa’s Mission in India, you must read this touching account  of a volunteer from England.:

“Many people have asked me what draws me to Kolkata, and it’s a difficult question to answer. For my confirmation, way back in the last millennium, I received a book with daily quotes from Mother Teresa [“The Joy in Loving”]. I remember reading one entry which described a young girl visiting Kolkata from Paris. Mother noted that her eyes weren’t smiling, and sent her to work in Kalighat, where she found Jesus.

Perhaps I knew my eyes weren’t smiling either, because as soon as I finished school, I decided I would go to Kolkata to volunteer. Looking back I was certainly very young and innocent. I remember my journey from the airport, wondering if these people really slept on the streets, who owned the dogs and cows etc! It was akin to landing on another planet – many miles away from my all-girls school in rural England. However, I was soon captivated by the volunteer community; by the warmth and friendliness of the people and sisters. For the first time in my life I felt accepted for who I was, not for what I could do. I began working in a dispensary, and led a group of volunteers painting the park at Shishu Bhavan. It probably sounds cliched, but from the very beginning it became apparent that whatever we gave, we received much more.”

Contact:

Nirmala Shishu Bhavan (Home for Children),

78, A.J.C. Bose Road, Kolkata – 700016

Source: www.motherteresa.org


 

Amazing project of Dr. Vandana Shiva for volunteers

Dr. Vandana Shiva with Paramadvaiti Swami in Navdanya office, New Delhi, India

Bija Vidyapeeth (Earth University) is Navdanya’s learning center located at the Navdanya Biodiversity Conservation Farm in Doon Valley, Uttarakhand, nestled between the Ganga and the Yamuna, the Shivalik and Himalayan mountain ranges. Navdanya has created a biodiversity sanctuary for birds, butterflies, insects and soil microorganisms, through saving more than 1500 varieties of seeds and trees. Here, nature in its diversity and dynamism is the highest teacher. We draw inspiration from India’s ancient Aranya Sanskruti – of learning from nature and forests.

Contact:

Navdanya – Biodiversity Farm/Bija Vidyapeeth

Village Ramgarh / Shishambara

Old Shimla Road, P.O Sherpur

Dehradun, Uttaranchal click here for directions

Phone : 91-135-2693025 / 2111015

Email : dehradun@navdanya.net

Source: www.navdanya.org


 

Volunteering in India with GOABROAD.COM

Goabroad.com is an American project not only for volunteers but for anyone thinking about living abroad for a while for any reason: studying, teaching and of course volunteering. Our favorite offer was this volunteering opportunity in South India: “Gain the experience of volunteering at an orphanage in Southern India. ELI partners with orphanages in and around Bangalore, Chennai and Kerala. Orphanages that volunteers are sent to work hard to send their children to school and help them get an education, which is a rare opportunity for orphans in India. Volunteers tasks will include: playing games, teaching remedial classes, leading activities, assisting with after school tutoring, feeding, and other tasks around the center. Accommodations are provided by the orphanages and volunteers will have meals with the children. This placement requires participants to be flexible, capable and prepared for challenging living conditions.”

Source: www.goabroad.com


Volunteering in South India at Sadhana Forest

For someone looking for a well-organized, highly-committed community of volunteers, we recommend Sadhana Forest which is part of the international community of Auroville, 6km north of Pondicherry, in Tamil Nadu, South East India.

Their main mission is reforestation and water conservation, with an emphasis on permaculture. Sadhana Forest India has always tried to involve the local community with its activities before it initiates any change on the ground. They feel that it is very important to involve the community with any changes to the area, and to receive the communities’ feedback to better understand the challenges they face, and how to share their experience and knowledge to help with those challenges. This is a totally vegan community which really sets a great example of sustainable lifestyle.

For contact information click here


Volunteering on bank of Ganges – Jahnavi Kunja Ashram – West Bengal, India

Another wonerful ashram for volunteering in Mayapur, West Bengal, India

If you are looking to combine your volunteer efforts withan authentic Hindu spiritual experience, you should consider this Eco Yoga Ashram in Mayapur, West Bengal – India, a beautiful subtropical  island located right on the sacred Ganges river. This is one of nine islands, considered one of the holiest places in the world.

Here you will find a group of young enthusiastic bhakti yoga practitioners from different countries who live in this tranquil ashram in accordance with ancient Vedic principles.  You will be eager to wake up early in the morning to meditate, chanting mystic mantras, working in harmony with nature and interacting with people in the local community.

Contact: Volunteering in West Bengal, Jahnavi Kunja – India

 

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