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Visit to Mirtola Ashram
May 20, 2010 10:54 PM 17187 Views
(Updated Jan 07, 2021 07:58 PM)


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I am sure a few people know about this place and a fewer number of people visit this place. I read about Ashram in a book by Balaram Reddy, a devotee of Ramana Maharshi, in the year 2002. Moreover this place is associated with ‘Krishnaprem’ who was a close friend of Shri Dilip Kumar Rai of Pondicherry Ashram. I also visited Shri Dilip Kumar’s Samadhi at Pune. I did read the life of Krishnaprem(Mr. Ronald Henry Nixon). Krishna prem along with his Guru Sri Yashoda Ma built this Ashram in the year 1930. After Yashoda Ma’s passing away, Krishnaprem took charge of the Ashram. He was later on joined by Sri Madhav Ashish, another English man. The departure of Sri Madhav Ashish from the world brought the curtain down to the spiritual history of this place. The present incumbent is more like a landlord than a spiritual personality.

I was at Ramakrishna Kutir, Brightened Corner, Almora with my friend during the period April 30 to May 3, 2010. In the year 2004 when I visited Jageshwa with my family, I wanted to pay a visit to this place but I could not do so. So when two Ramakrishna Mission swamiji’s and a visitor from Pune said that they were visiting Mirtola, I jumped at the prospect and accompanied them.

The route to Panuanaula from Almora is quite a steep one, continuously going up. Little ahead of Panuanaula there is a left turn and you take that route and take a right turn(not a proper road but like a trekking route). Our driver knew the route so we arrived at the Ashram without much difficulty. The area is quite big could be about 100 acres of land, lot of farming has been down with flower beds around the temple area. We could also see a cowshed with a number of newly born calves. There is also a small temple like area where the ashes of Yashoda Ma, Krishnaprem and Moti Rani(daughter of Yashoda Ma) have been interned. While the visitor from Pune was taking a few snaps of this structure, the present incharge of this place told him point blank, ‘Don’t you think it is necessary to take permission for photography’? This statement made the group completely let down. Of course, the visitor from Pune did apologise for transgressing the privacy, but he too was shocked. We visited the Radha Krishna temple and offered our prostration. While we are seeing the beautiful flowers that bloomed around the temple, one of the swamijis went near right side of the temple, where a ferocious dog was resting. I was just clicking the cactus flower, this Swami ji was chased by this dog and he had to run to save his life. The Swamiji felt as if he got a new lease of life. Later on I noticed that this dog was attached with a long chain hanging from a wire tied across. It looked so ominous, that too in a place, supposed to be an Ashram. I was unhappy.

Later on I found the Pune visitor talking to the incharge about the Ashram. I also joined him in the discussion. There was another ferocious looking dog that circled us to take note of our presence. The in-charge with a perceptible glee was saying that there were many people staying at this Ashram, but after passing away of Madhav Ashish, all left one by one. It was not difficult to trace the causes why they left. While we were still talking with Mr. David, the incharge, we were informed that the Swamiji’s were looking for us to depart. So we headed towards exit gate. As the treatment was very formal conducting like office decorum, we also forgot to give any donation whatsoever.

I felt very sad that I had to leave this Ashram sanctified by Yashoda Ma, Goptada(Krishnaprem) and Madhav Ashish without being least satisfied. Most probably it was due to not having the spiritual atmosphere that once it used to have.

P.S. Mr. David since passed away.

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