Paras-param bhaavayantah 
Shreyam param avaapsyatha 
Nurturing one another 
You will attain the highest Good.
Bhagavad Gita, Ch. 3:11

by Br. Shankara

You may have heard talk about how desirable it could be to have an organized retirement community for Vedantists in America. You might even have taken part in one of those conversations, they’ve been going on for many years. What if your discussions, thoughts, and wishes could finally bear fruit? 

It may be possible to start an intentional spiritual community — let’s call it Sisters and Brothers of America (SABOA) — in Athens, Georgia, as soon as the spring of next year. Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Ashrama of Georgia (Ashrama), a tax-exempt non-profit, is willing to serve as incubator for this project. Click here for more information about the Ashrama. For more about Athens, click here and also here.

Athens, Georgia

Athens’ “Boulevard” neighborhood has been suggested as a suitable place for our community. Click here for a local realtor’s description, including listings for sale or rent.

Three reasons for this recommendation: 1) a Vedanta devotee has a home in the neighborhood and she finds it very livable; 2) rents and home prices are moderate; and 3) the Healing Arts Centre (HAC) is there. HAC is home to the Ashrama’s activities in Athens (click here to visit their website).

Healing Arts Centre, Athens GA

About a year ago the Centre welcomed our weekly Vedanta classes, which had been offered in Athens for several years at other locations. This September, a monthly Sunday talk will be added. And, if any SABOA member wishes to become a resident minister at one of the private Vedanta centers* in the U.S., we can start training classes next spring.

Are you at all interested in this project? Then please do two things: 

  1. Send your comments, questions, or concerns to We will answer you and, with your permission, include your contribution in a “synopsis of responses.” That summary, along with a discussion of how the project is evolving, will be published in November of this year (American Vedantist #76).

  2. Forward this issue of American Vedantist to friends and fellow devotees, who you think might also be interested in Sisters and Brothers of America. That will be appreciated!

*A private center is a Vedanta congregation, usually started by its members, which is not an official center of the Ramakrishna Order of India. Such a congregation meets regularly and may be under the supervision of a RK Order Swami, but does not have a resident minister. The Vedanta Center of Atlanta also is a private center, but is unusual in that it has a resident minister (Br. Shankara), who was appointed to that position in 2010 by the late Swami Swahanandaji. Br. Shankara will offer training in resident ministry to interested SABOA members.

Br. Shankara founded the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Ashrama of Georgia in January of this year. He also serves as resident minister of the Vedanta Center of Atlanta GA (since August 2010). Previously, he was an active member of the Vedanta Society of Southern California for 37 years. He can be reached at

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