Creating a spiritual sanctuary to inspire spiritual unfoldment
Siva Ashram is a 33-acre privately-owned Hindu sanctuary. It is a beautiful and one-of-a-kind destination on the banks of the Nosara river. Once the gardens are open, we invite people of all faiths to visit. We hope it will be a place for people to come to take respite from busy lives, and experience the spectacular biodiversity of Costa Rica while also exploring the life-transforming spiritual tools of our tradition.
Our goal is for visitors to leave the gardens feeling that the life-transforming insights and tools that they experienced in their visit will empower them, and that they may connect with the divinity within themselves and all around them. We hope that once people experience the gardens and tools, that they can go back to their lives with more purpose and joy.
Siva Ashram is our love letter to the future. We are creating it so that you, your great-great-great-grandchildren—and every generation in between—can visit and discover what unfolds, both within your mind and before your eyes.
Revitalizing an abandoned land
When we purchased the 33 acres of Siva Ashram, it was an abandoned pasture land overrun with invasive species of trees and weeds.
Shockingly, approximately 65% of Costa Rican rainforest has been clear-cut to create pasture for cattle ranching since the 1950s. Deforestation threatens the biodiversity of Costa Rica because it eliminates the natural habitats where native diverse species thrive. When rainforest is clear-cut, the stately native hardwood trees—which take decades to reach maturity—disappear. Even worse: Fast-growing, invasive plants and trees take over, making it impossible for native hardwood trees to regrow.
It is one of our greatest joys to restore this land and to restore the land into a spiritual botanical garden where nature may showcase its beauty and diversity once more. Since purchasing the land we’ve planted thousands of plants and trees and we like to think that some of these trees are now in their teenage years as their shape and beauty are starting to peek through; with maturity they are starting to bloom with flowers and bear fruits.
A glorious sanctuary is in the making, but there is much work to be done.
The Making of
16.5 acres of land was purchased in Nosara, Costa Rica, and Subramuniya Sanctuary was born.
In June, 119 trees were planted with the help of our dear friend Tim Davies in Siva Ashram’s Siva first official big planting. It was the most challenging planting we’ve done. Our vision started to take shape.
The northern fence line is redone and 110 more trees are planted at the start of the rainy season. We mark out the pathway that will run through the main part of the gardens.
The Palm Jungle and the Muruga Circle are designed and planted. The northern fence line is planted with red and white bougainvillea. In our largest planting to date, we plant 907 plants and trees. A service road is built allowing access to more remote parts of the property.
We design and build the path to the Ganesha Shrine and the Ganesha Garden. Our dear friends Nick and Tracey visit from Australia and train us in pruning trees. The majority of planted trees are tagged and cataloged.
An additional 16.5 acres of land is purchased extending Siva Ashram to 33 acres. The entire northern section is cleared and refenced. A section for a hardwood forest is established, the service road extended and new roads to the learning center landing are created.
Over 600 trees and plants are planted including the first hardwood trees in our hardwood forest. The Apsara Garden is designed and planted, and the very first bamboo plants are planted at Siva Ashram.
We move to Costa Rica and start to work full time on the development of our gardens.
We establish an office in Costa Rica, where we work as a team of 7 people whose knowledge and skills will bring Siva Ashram closer to its opening day.
The inspiration for Siva Ashram
Siva Ashram is more than just a spiritual botanical garden, it is a sanctuary for self-discovery and worship of God.
The seed for Siva Ashram started in the early 1900s in Sri Lanka. Dandapani’s great-grandparents were disciples of Yogaswami—a renowned guru and mystic in Sri Lanka—who was then the guru to Gurudeva. The teachings of Yogaswami and Gurudeva transformed generations of Dandapani’s family and Dandapani himself. After serving Gurudeva as a cloistered monk for 10 years, Dandapani went into the world to share the teachings of his families lineage and since then, many lives have been touched and transformed by the teachings.
Dandapani and his wife Tatiana are always working to find ways to continue to honor, celebrate and share this vital work with the world and because of this mission they are creating Siva Ashram. Siva Ashram is where spiritual seekers can come to connect with God outwardly and inwardly, because it is being developed as a place of learning and self-exploration for those who are serious about personal growth, self-transformation, progressing on the spiritual path, and the ultimate goal of Self-Realization.Learn more about our gardens
Mystical Teachings Rooted in Self-Transformation
A simple and practical Hindu philosophy
People often say they are on the spiritual path, but most are unable to outline the philosophy of the path, the path itself, or its goal. To make progress on the spiritual path, these three aspects must be clearly defined.
Siva Ashram is dedicated to fostering the “Path of Spiritual Practice” – known as the Sadhana Marga – via the philosophy of Saiva Siddhanta. That philosophy is rooted in the timeless teachings of the Hindu Vedas and Agamas.
As Gurudeva put it, “The path of Saiva Siddhanta is worshipping God on the outside and realizing God on the inside, and when the two come together – transformation!”
This path of self-transformation gradually unfurls through personal effort, spiritual discipline, and consistent inner work. At Siva Ashram we are committed to sharing these teachings through digital and physical means. Our online courses, upcoming book, gardens and shrines are all an opportunity for seekers to learn insights and tools to help them discover God within themselves.
On this path, there should always be a sense of urgency but never a feeling of rush.
A spiritual hermitage for the soul
We often get the question, “What does “Siva Ashram” mean?”.
“Siva” (sometimes spelled Shiva) comes from Sanskrit and is the name of the Hindu supreme deity/God. The literal translation of the word Siva is “The Auspicious One.” “Ashram” is defined as “a spiritual hermitage” or spiritual sanctuary. Therefore, Siva Ashram can be translated as “God’s Spiritual Sanctuary”, or even “God’s Abode.” And contrary to what many believe, an ashram is not necessarily a place that people come to live at. It is a space that is dedicated to self-reflection and learning.
Siva Ashram will one day open to the public as a botanical spiritual garden where people can come and meander through the gardens during the day and take time to reflect on their lives and the bounty of nature. We welcome people from all faiths and beliefs; this is a spiritual sanctuary for personal spiritual unfoldment through self-effort and can be enjoyed by people of all faiths.
Our wish is that all who come to visit will also come to “know thyself” — a central teaching of Dandapani’s guru and spiritual lineage.
A 300-Year Plan
Pushing the horizon to change our perspective and make wiser decisions
What is the bigger picture? The is the most important questions we should be asking ourselves: What are we doing to ensure that our generation and coming generations have clear air, water and food? How are we working towards creating a healthy thriving planet that allows future generations of people, animals and plants to live their life to the fullest?
All the beautiful things that we are creating on this planet are for nothing if we do not have a healthy planet to live on. Most people are so absorbed in their own world and engrossed in the day-to-day running of their lives that they hardly have the time nor ever consider looking at the bigger picture. We spend so much time, energy and money caring for our children yet simultaneously destroying the only home they have to live in.
Siva Ashram is working to create a 300-year plan, and the point of it to prompt people to think long-term about this project and about their impact on this planet. If you were blessed enough to hold your unborn great-grandchild in your arms would you love him or her? The answer would probably be yes. Now, the subsequent question is, “What are you doing to ensure that they have a healthy planet to live on?”
Many people have lost the critical ability to think long-term, and the importance of thinking beyond the short-term cannot be overstated. The goal of Siva Ashram’s 300-year plan is to help people vision beyond their lives, to gain a mountaintop perspective on life on this planet and as a result shift their perspective and make wiser decisions to create not only a sustainable planet, but one that is healthy and thriving.
Siva Ashram is committed to this mission of asking people to think long-term about their choices and how their actions impact this planet. We hope you will support us in this endeavor by asking yourself how you can do more to keep our planet healthy for all living things.
“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”