SURFING SWAMIS { 90 images } Created 29 May 2009

Located in the coastal town of Mulki, just north of Mangalore, the "surfing ashram" is growing in popularity. City dwellers hole up in the ashram for a few days to enjoy the quiet and catch some waves.

In the ashram's courtyard, at the base of one tree sits a pile of coconuts, ready to be chopped open with a
machete for drinking. A painted surfboard hangs above the entrance to the dining area, reading "Om Sweet Om" on one side, with a quote attributed to Lord Krishna from the Bhagavad Gita on the other: "Of bodies of water, I am the ocean."

Guests are asked to refrain from smoking and alcoholic beverages, no non-vegetarian food is permitted on the premises. There's no pressure to chant mantras or accept Krishna consciousness, but guests are fairly likely to catch the surfing bug.

So the very idea of "surfing swamis" might seem comical or even outlandish to some. It's not. One need not be a devotee of Krishna or study the Bhagavad Gita to learn something at the Kaliya Mardana Krishna Ashram - something more than surfing,
even. On these stretches of white sand, or beneath the shade of palm trees, one finds nothing more and nothing less than a simpler
way of life.
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