The Sri Vidya Shrine serves as the spiritual heart of the Himalayan Institute’s Honesdale campus.
The Sri Vidya Shrine reflects our deep commitment to group spiritual practice and stewardship of sacred space for all who seek to experience their full potential. Group spiritual practice has been a cornerstone of the Himalayan Tradition for thousands of years. The shrines of the Tradition have served as sanctuaries for aspirants seeking to immerse themselves in a spiritually-awakened sacred space that is ideally suited to meditation and group spiritual practice.
The Sri Vidya Shrine in Honesdale is the twin of the Sri Vidya Shrine at the Himalayan Institute’s Khajuraho campus in central India, and is the first shrine of the Himalayan Tradition to be established outside of India.
Rooted in the Himalayan Tradition, the Sri Vidya Shrine is a sacred space dedicated to meditative practice, open to seekers from all spiritual traditions. The Shrine’s consecration on July 16, 2019 marked the opening of Year Long Meditation, a year-long group practice and yajna (tantric group practice of sacred fire) undertaken to celebrate this momentous occasion.
Originally envisioned by the Institute’s founder, Sri Swami Rama, the Shrine’s consecration on July 16, 2019 was the culmination of decades of profound effort.
The Sri Vidya Shrine in Honesdale is located about 500 feet behind the HI Retreat Center, on the former site of the yajna shala (sacred space for tantric fire ceremonies) where group spiritual practices has been undertaken since 2001. The sacred architecture of the Sri Vidya Shrine is inspired by the ancient shrines of the Himalayan Tradition, and houses two key spaces: the Sanctuary and Meditation Hall.
Another element that draws its inspiration from many ancient shrines is the parikrama (circumambulation) path that rings the Shrine. At the threshold of the Shrine area, you cross a decorative archway, and find yourself at the juncture of the parikrama path and the main entrance to the Shrine.
Enjoy your meditation time in the Shrine on the cork floor with the included props. Chairs are also available.
Many seekers enjoy taking one or three clockwise circumambulations around the Shrine to quiet the mind and draw it inwards before entering the Shrine. To the right of the Shrine is the havan kund (ceremonial fire pit for tantric practices of sacred fire). The havan kund and its canopy are the same structures that sat on the site of the Shrine, until being shifted intact to their new location!
The meditation hall is the focal point of the Shrine, and is a space that is traditionally referred to as the mandapa, literally “the canopy for seekers to gather.” Enclosed by a 36′ diameter, 22′ high monolithic concrete dome, this grand circular space is designed for silent, seated meditative practices, which are the primary focus of the Sri Vidya Shrine.
The Sanctuary is the heart of the Shrine. It is a space that is traditionally referred to as the garbha griha. Literally meaning “spiritual womb,” it is the sacred space in which the most sublime, transcendental aspect of Divinity is invoked and invited to radiate its shakti throughout the entire Shrine. This space is open for a limited period each day, for a brief darshan.
Shrine Project Timeline:
Himalayan Institute was founded
First year-long group meditation in Honesdale, PA.
Second year-long group meditation in Honesdale, PA.
Sri Vidya Shrine2013
Establishment of Sri Vidya Shrine in Khajuraho, India
Ground breakingMay 30, 2017
Official ground breaking for the Sri Vidya Shrine in Honesdale, PA.
Sitework and foundation
Construction & Landscaping2018
Construction & landscaping
Guru PurnimaJuly 16, 2019
Group MeditationJuly 2019–2020
Year Long Meditation group practice in Honesdale, PA.