Gyan Ashram is committed to promote dialogue, peace and harmony among different religious communities and cultural groups through the channels of Music.Dance,Communication,Yoga and Meditations.
It aims at presenting the cultural treasures of our land, training the younger generation in the divine arts of music and dance and promoting dialogue, peace and harmony among all people through music, dance, dramas, folk songs, and other fine arts.
Fr.George Proksch,the Founder Director of Gyan Ashram,arrived India in 1933 from Germany. He studied Urdu and Sanskrit in the Oriental InstituteofLanguageinLondonandlearnedclassicalmusicinLucknow professionally. In 1955, he founded Gyan Ashram, on a hillock in Andheri (E), Mumbai and took an Indian name for himself—Guru Gyan Prakash.He gathered a troupe of singers and dancers to present God's message of love and service to all,particularly to the poor and the marginalized as the unique' sadhana' to attain 'moksha'. The finest moment of his dream of presenting the noble message of Jesus in the Indian style arrived when he staged 'Anuttam Prem' (No Greater Love), a ballet at the International Eucharistic Congress in Mumbai 1964, in the presence of His Holiness Pope Paul VI and 50,000 spectators, Christians and non- Christians with an impressive cast of 300 dancers, a choir of 1000 singers and an orchestra of 100 musicians. If today the idea of inculturation is accepted without much resistance,it is the fruit of the vision of a pioneer like Guru Gyan Prakash who was born in Germany a century ago but made India his home.Ever since, this Centre tries its best to keep alive the original ideology and spirit of late Fr.George Proksch through dialogue, music and dance.
Gyan Ashram was founded in 1955 by Fr George Proksch as a centre for music and dance. He gathered troupe of singers and dancers to present Jesus’s message of love and service through Indian Dance forms. The finest moment of his dreams of presenting the message of Jesus in the Indian style arrived when he staged "Anuttam Prem", a ballet at the International Eucharistic Congress in Mumbai 1964, in the presence of His Holiness Pope Paul VI and over 50,000 spectators, Christians and others, with the impressive cast of 300 dancers, a choir of 1000 singers and an orchestra of 100 musicians. Ever since, this centre tries its best to keep alive the original ideology and the spirit of the Fr. Proksch (who later took the name Guru Gyan Prakash) through dialogue, music and dance.
A Word about Music and Dance Music and Dance when viewed in the traditional perspective is fundamentally a spiritual art,an integral yoga and a science of harmony. Pythagoras,the ancient Greek philosopher,taught that hehuman soul was basically formed of harmony,and that music could restore the pre- existing harmony to a mind tormented by contacts with the lowe rworld. Anthropology suggests that art had its origin in ritual. The study of ancient cultures and medieval history shows that the arts are closely associated with religious practice and worship ofthe gods. Chanted aloud the Puranas become a reaffirmation of life.They foster the values and nurture the bonds of the entire community.The oral epics were not read,but performed before an immediate audience.They enacted the desires, hopes, aspirations, failures, sorrows and pathos of human condition. 80 too were dance and music. There were refrains in which the listenersjoined inactive participation. Indian Music and Dance are rooted in religion and they have evolved over an extensive period oftime. Itissaid to have originated from the Vedas and music is considered as one of the best forms of worship. Many ragas are named after gods,and it is believed that each god has a favourite raga.
Staff of Gyan Ashram, Music and Dance
Ronald D’ Silva (Superior & Director)
Mahakali caves road
Mumbai - 40093
Tel : (022) 2832 5046
Email :[email protected]