Ashram Ideals

Dr E Stanley Jones, one of the founders of Sat Tal Christian ashram wrote the following ashram ideals during the Summer Session of 1930.

  • A center that would be truly Christian and truly Indian.
  • Racial lines would be abolished and everyone in the ashram would live alike.
  • The dress, the food, the manner of eating would be Indian. As we expect Hindus to come and share life with us for longer or shorter periods the food would be vegetarian.
  • There would be practically no servants as each member of the ashram would take turns in serving the rest. Working with the hands would be respectable, for all would do it both in the fields and in some cottage industry.
  • In the ashram we would try to make the Indian spirit creative in art, in music and in Christian making.
  • There would be created a group that would study the Gospel, its relationship to India's heritage and to India's present religion and the national life of India. Out of this group thinking and group meditation we would hope to create a literature for both Christian and non-Christian.
  • The ashram would be a place to which Indian workers and laymen and missionaries would come for short periods for quiet meditation and prayer and the regrouping of the spiritual life for renewed touch with the soul of India.
  • When the ashram has found its own soul we would add a Christokul in which boys would learn to be Christian in an Indian atmosphere, where they would be taught by precept and example the way of service, of self-reliance, of love of the Motherland, of service to the country apart from employment by Missions. They will be taught work with hands by which they will go out to support themselves while serving the country. No salaries will be paid in the ashram. Those permanently connected with the ashram will receive food and cloths, both of which will be simple and India.
  • Temporary visitors will be supposed to contribute a voluntary contribution for their stay.
  • The breath of the ashram will be prayer.
  • There will be prolonged period of silence.
  • The devotional life will be emphasized and deepened.
  • The ashram will be Christian, not denominational. Denominational lines will fade out.
  • We trust the ashram will also be a place where Hindus and Muslims might come to study in an Indian atmosphere the meaning of the Gospel and where those who have just begun the Christian way may come to be established and get firmer grip upon the Christian spirit, outlook and way of life.
Source - Indian Church Problems of Today (1930) pp 49 by Brenton Thoburn Badley