Sheela Didi – Vinoba Ashram, Paunar
Sheela Didi had worked with Vinoba Bhave in Brahma Vidya Mandir, Paunar, Maharashtra, India.
Founded by Vinoba Bhave, Brahma Vidya Mandir is the temple (Mandir) where one seeks the wisdom and experience(Vidya) of the Absolute(Brahma). Women’s spiritual emancipation is the motto of Brahma Vidya Mandir. At present, in all, 28 sisters live in the ashram. they come from different states of India and one is from Japan. Without distinction of caste, creed, language, religion, and nationality they share their lives together. Brothers closely associated with Vinobaji also lived with the sisters.
Life in Brahma Vidya Mandir is the fusion of the three classic currents of sadhana, Karma (action), Jnana (knowledge), and Bhakti (devotion). This threeefold combination provides the means to meet the fundamental needs of the body, mind and spirit.
The members of Brahma Vidya Mandir are diligently committed to Samuhik Sadhana(collective spiritual pursuit for the realization of the Self). This collective spiritual sadhana is central theme of the ashram. In short, this means surrendering all of one’s capacities at the feet of the Lord, abiding in the group, and seeing the inter-union of all aspirants as different organs of one body.
There are 5 pillars of the community’s spiritual life, all grounded in satya(truth) and ahimsa (nonviolence). The pillars are Brahmacharya(celibacy), Samuhik Sadhana, Shrama(productive manual labour), Swadhyaya (self study) and Bhakti (devotion).