Teachings

Bhakti & Ahimsa – Life is sacred

A short film honouring the sanctity of all life at Skanda Vale Ashram.

The sanctity of all life is one of the core values of Skanda Vale. Our founder, Guru Sri Subramanium, was passionate for life in all its glorious forms. As such, he ensured that celebrating, honouring and caring for all creatures, plants and trees was at the heart of the daily work of the Swamis, monks and nuns.

On his birthday each year, Guruji loved nothing more than to go out and find some animals in need and offer them a lifelong home within our Community. He would regularly visit livestock markets and relieve some of the animals there from their imminent fates. This continues today, not only on special occasions but wherever we have space and capacity to provide lifelong sanctuary for creatures in need.

Come rain or shine, Community members and regular devotees work tirelessly to care for all these beings, with the same devotion we approach the Divine in the temples. Their every need is provided for to the best of our ability and resources, until their last breaths. We strive to learn, refine and constantly improve the standards of care we provide, with the support of many excellent professionals from near and far.

We do everything in our power to ensure that no life is ever taken, for any purpose. Guruji also instilled a rule that all pilgrims must have been vegetarian for at least three days before being permitted to enter our temples. This is to help encourage visitors to experience some expansion of this sensitivity and respect for life as part of their pilgrimage.

As human beings, we have evolved to a level where we can understand and discriminate. We can cry out when in pain, seek the assistance of doctors, get clothing, shelter and food. But these lives outside of us are evolving too and it is our responsibility to assist them on their journeys; to care for them wholly as long as they live and right to the last breath. All life is given by the Divine and it is not ours to take away from anyone. That is where loyalty comes into being.

This short film is an intention and prayer to capture, share and transmit but some small hint of this crucial aspect of our work and values. It has been lovingly created in devotion to the countless beautiful creatures who have graced Skanda Vale with their incredible presence. They are some of our greatest teachers and surround us with Divine reflection in every moment if we are open and willing to listen.

The film is also dedicated to you; to the seeds of divinity within you that it may water… So we invite you to take this short opportunity to watch, listen and receive this sacred offering. Enjoy, and be blessed by the indescribable wonder of life’s infinite forms!

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