WHO WE ARE

Navadarshanam is a small community founded in 1990, located in rural Tamil Nadu adjoining a reserve forest about 50km from Bangalore. We have been exploring alternatives to the modern way of living and thinking, seeking both ecological balance and inner peace. We have experimented in the areas of eco-restoration and wilderness preservation, alternative energy, sustainable organic farming, water harvesting, health and healing as well as in promoting healthier and traditional foods.

We have also helped create and continue to guide the activities of a food initiative operated by the villagers that offers organic, wholesome food choices to urban consumers while supporting rural livelihoods and preserving traditional skills and farming ecosystems.


 

Our Foundational Elements:

  • Spiritual Harmony  – inner work that ensures that our thoughts and actions emanate from a sense of
                                        centeredness
  • Ecological Balance – outer work that respects the natural cycles and interconnectedness of all things

 


OUR VISION AND AIMS

Navadarshanam is the collective effort of a group of concerned professionals who, after a decade of study, introspection and dialogue, had come to realize that:

  1. people all over the world today are caught in the dangerous, swirling, currents of the materialistic, urban industrial way of life
  2. alienation of the individual from self, nature, and the Creative Power is going hand in hand with societal disintegration and ecological destruction

The Trust was formed in 1990 to provide the facilities and a forum to come out of this cycle of disintegration and alienation by changing our thinking , actions and lifestyle.

Our Aims

  • Exploring and adopting holistic and natural ways of fulfilling our outer and inner needs.
  • Rediscovering our relationship with the creation and the Creative Power.
  • Giving up a path of development which fans consumerism, profiteering and growth measured purely in material terms.
  • Striving towards the transformation of self by reaching out to that Creative Energy which gives rise to all physical and mental phenomena.
 

The ND Story

Once upon a time, the Navadarshanam team members were young and idealistic. Through explorations of Gandhi's new science, which recognized…



THE COMMUNITY AT NAVADARSHANAM

Given that we are a land based community we try and cultivate most of the food for the community kitchen and so have farming related activities like preparation of IMO solutions, managing nursery and starts, planting, mulching, weeding, harvesting, seed collection as well as any on going experiments. Also with a large part of the land dedicated to wilderness preservation, a number of our activities are in the area of land and forestry management including trail and fence maintenance, fire control measures, tree planting, erosion control measures, security watch to prevent traps and poaching and cattle management. We also tend to any ongoing experiments in the area of buildings, energy, water and waste systems in the campus . We also have a number of administrative and accounting tasks related to the managing of the trust as well as the activities of village food co-operative.



Our Community Kitchen

 

The community kitchen acts as the key gathering node and brings members of the community together three times a day. The community kitchen is guided by the following principles:

  • Preparation of organic, wholesome, healthy, satvic and tasty food
  • Use of seasonal and local fruits and vegetables
  • Zero waste of food
  • Responsible use of water

We are currently trying to instill the practice of eating silently and mindfully. We also have a stated objective of becoming self sufficient in vegetables, grains and pulses.

The community kitchen acts as a field trial for new food item introductions as well as sampler for each production batch. In order to be able to plan and avoid wastage, food is served to visitors only by prior arrangement and not for casual walk-ins.

 


Governance and Financing

Governance 

Legally and structurally, we are a public charitable trust engaged in exploring, educating and advancing alternative ideas in the area of food, energy, water, building construction, and waste and creating social programs to help better the life of local small and marginal farmers. In order to live by and implement the ideas enshrined in the vision and values framed within this legal structure, a group of people has assembled and expanded over the years to form the Navadarshanam community. In the years since inception, the greater Navadarshanam community has extended far beyond the campus and can be thought of as all those folks that have touched and been touched by the vision and values in a deeper sense.

Our governance reflects this blend of institution and community. The aims and objects of the trust are framed within the trust deed and there is a board of trustees that has overall responsibility for the management of the trust. This is a mature group of people that have sought out the values, the way of life which in many respects is simple and have embraced the idea of seeking each in their own way the spiritual underpinnings for their actions. So we function in a simple and informal way when it comes to sharing the workload and the day-to-day operational responsibilities. As any given specific situation demands decisions are made either by the executive committee or by the entire community through a consensus process.

Ownership 

All the land and property is held by the trust and there is no individual ownership of land or property within the campus.

Financing 

Contributions from residents as well as visitors, guests and friends of Navadarshanam enables the trust to sustain itself.