"Organic Farming & Permaculture -- Seasonal Festivals -- Spiritual & Devotional Retreats -- Mantra Meditation -- Kirtan Yoga"
Karuna Bhavan is home to a residential spiritual community of over 30 people, made up of both monastic and lay devotees: full time monks, families that live next to the temple, volunteers and an extended community in Scotland and North of England. Monks, volunteers and local families interact on a daily basis. While the extended community visit on weekends and festival days. It is not a requirement to be a Vaishnava to live here, but residents are expected to live according to the Community Principles, which are: no intoxication (cigarettes, alcohol, drugs), no meat, fish or eggs, no sex life, no gambling. For information about living and working at Karuna Bhavan as a volunteer.
Spiritual activities are not a part of life, but a way of life at Karuna Bhavan that pervades all aspects of living. And these activities are joyfully performed. The joyfulness comes from performing regular spiritual practices such as bhakti yoga, karma yoga, kirtan yoga, mantra meditation, ecstatic transcendental music, dancing, feasting, celebrating festivals and the study of Srimad Bhagavatam and Bhagavad Gita - spiritual texts which are part of ancient Vedic literature. All these activities are available to community members, volunteers and visitors as part of the daily or seasonal programme.
The temple is the centre of the community life. Here community members gather for purposes of worship, prayer, meditation and service. At Karuna Bhavan, we believe that the Divine is everywhere, and He is also present in the temple in the form of the deities Lord Chaitanya and Lord Nityananda.
Work and Service
“Everything animate or inanimate that is within the universe is controlled and owned by the Lord. One should therefore accept only those things necessary for himself, which are set aside as his quota, and one should not accept other things, knowing well to whom they belong” Sri Isopanishad
The beauty of spiritual lifestyle is that it is not idle. Even ordinary work becomes a spiritual practice or yoga. Whatever abilities we have we can use in the service of the Divine. Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita: “Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer or give away, and whatever austerities you perform – do that as an offering to Me”. In such a way the work becomes Karma Yoga. And if it is done with love and devotion – it becomes Bhakti Yoga. By following the principles of “simple living, high thinking” one is satisfied with what comes by its own accord and does not over endeavour for things that are difficult to obtain.