Sinai Mount Kurisumala


Vagamon, Vagamon






Kurisumala Ashram is a community of spiritual seekers who have become one in the spirit. The spiritual light of Kurisumala is the Acharya, the leader of seekers. The history of Kurisumala Ashram is the history of Acharya. It was in 1955 that John, at baptism, a Belgian by birth, but brother Francis as a Cistercian monk, and an Indian citizen since 1968, reached Kerala. He was prompted by an inner call, a call to a new life.

     He had travelled all over India to have a direct knowledge and experience of Her people. He felt, as by touch, the spiritual nature of India through learning, travelling and spiritual seeking. He visited and stayed in most of the great Ahrams of India.

     In 1950, Abbe J. Monchanin (Swami Parama Arubi Ananda), a French missionary priest and H. Le Saux(Swami Abhishiktananda), a Benedictine monk, had founded the Christian way of life on the bank of river Kaveri, near Trichy (Tiruchirappally). Saccidananda Ashram, Shantivanam, was a Christian Ashram, based on Indian spiritual tradition. Br.Francis joined them and studied with them for a long time. He was specially interested in the Ashram life-style. John had come under the influence of Mahatma Gandhi when he was studying in London in1931.  Gandhiji who had come for the Round Table Conference of the British Dominions had been contemptously spoken of as a half-naked fakir, yet it was in his simple Inidan dress that he led the delegates into Bucckingham Palace for an audience with Queen Mary. The nobility of his character and the simplicity of his life deeply touched John's heart. This influence promoted John to study the ancient culture of India to which he was from now on looking as to the land of Promise for him.

     It was in 1955, after clebrating Chritmas night in a small village at the fiitgukks if tge mountains, that Zacharias Mar Athanasios, Bishop of Tiruvalla, a Syrian Catholic Church, invited Fr. Francis to make a monastic foundation in his diocese. It was therefore quite procidential that a few months later a gift of 88 acres of virgin land, in the Sahya Mountains was offered to him by Shri. K.V. Thomas Pottenkulam.           Fr. Francis was then still alone but there was no delay in the fulfilment of his dream. Soon an English Benedictine monk offered to help him and, when they had settled on the land and built a small monastery for some twenty monks, in spite of the isolation and quasi-inaccessibility of the place, within three years, the community counted 15 members. At present they are 20; 16 'sannyasis', 1 'brahmachari' and 3 'sadhkas'.