The Light Of Truth Universal Shrine (LOTUS) is a unique temple dedicated to interfaith understanding and the Light within all faiths. Individual altars represent and honor the different world faiths and spiritual paths. The vision, design and inspiration of Sri Swami Satchidananda, LOTUS was dedicated in 1986. It demonstrates, “Truth is One, Paths are Many.” In the peaceful countryside of Virginia, the doors of LOTUS are open to welcome people of all backgrounds and beliefs.

Welcome to the official website of LOTUS. Explore LOTUS through two virtual tours:  a Custom Virtual Tour and The Google Tour. Have an introduction to the concepts behind LOTUS and the importance of interfaith cooperation in our world today. Read about the purpose of LOTUS and discover the beauty of the shrine through the virtual tours, video galleries, and slide shows, including the annotated “At a Glance” visual overview of historic photos. Learn about the founder of LOTUS, a pioneer in the interfaith movement. Discover the unique architecture and construction of LOTUS and recall the 1986 dedication ceremonies. Explore the faith traditions through scriptural quotes, photos, and sacred objects displayed in the All Faiths Hall of LOTUS. Find out about the LOTUS Center for All Faiths, visitor information, Integral Yoga links, and interfaith organization resources.

News Alert

Atlantic Coast Pipeline Threatens LOTUS

LOTUS, the Ashram and the surrounding Yogaville community face a serious concern: A high-pressure natural gas pipeline to transport fracked gas from West Virginia to North Carolina is planned by Dominion Resources to cut across our county, Buckingham. The current plan shows that a powerful compressor station will be built within five miles of the Ashram.

Repairs Needed on LOTUS

Due to the natural wear and tear of time and weather, this sacred symbol of Universal Light is in need of urgent repair. Therefore, we invite each and all of you to join us in the privilege of becoming a part of the repair of LOTUS now and its continuous upkeep throughout the years to come.

Our goal is to cover the cost of necessary repairs estimated at $350,000 and to inspire a commitment from friends, family, and supporters to gratefully fund the ongoing yearly upkeep in the amount of $40,000, in order to maintain and preserve the LOTUS for the benefit of all for generations to come.

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Swami Satchidananda

Swami Satchidananda

“More people have died in the name of God and religion than in all the wars and natural calamities. But, the real purpose of any religion is to educate us about our spiritual unity. It is time for us to recognize that there is one truth and many approaches. The basic cause for all the world problems is the lack of understanding of our spiritual unity. The need of the hour is to know, respect, love one another and to live as one global family. Our humble aim in building the LOTUS is to spread this message.”

—H. H. Sri Swami Satchidananda, founder of LOTUS

The Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama

“I believe all religions pursue the same goals, that of cultivating human goodness and bringing happiness to all human beings. Though the means might appear different the ends are the same.”

—H. H. the 14th the Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso

The Very Rev. James P Morton

The Very Rev. James P Morton

“Every human being under the sun is graciously welcome at the LOTUS.”

—The Very Rev. James P Morton, The Interfaith Center of New York

Rabbi Gelberman

Rabbi Gelberman

“Words cannot express the uplifting feelings I have experienced in visiting this shrine. The LOTUS celebrates the unity of all faiths, the many paths but one God.”

—Rabbi Joseph Gelberman, the New Synagogue; Founder and President, All Faiths Seminary International

Dr. Karan Singh

Dr. Karan Singh

“The LOTUS stands as a living monument to the interfaith ideals.”

—Dr. Karan Singh, Member of Parliament (India); International Chairman of the Temple of Understanding

Sun Bear

Sun Bear

“I appreciate the LOTUS which promotes understanding among all people and among all religions. May we all come to the path of unity that will allow us to overcome the enemy of separation that is now trying to destroy all of the earth.”

—Sun Bear, Founder and Medicine Chief of the Bear Tribe Medicine Society

Yogi Bhajan

Yogi Bhajan

“The LOTUS is a ‘Statue of Spirituality’ equal to the Statue of Liberty. It unites spirituality into the reality of the Oneness of God and Light and gives everybody unity in diversity.”

—Yogi Bhajan, Sikh Dharma Chief Religious and Administrative Authority for the Western Hemisphere

Prabhasa Dharma

Prabhasa Dharma

“The LOTUS is a visual testimony to interfaith understanding and stands as a beacon of Truth and Peace.”

—The Venerable Prabhasa Dharma, Founder of the International Zen Center; 45th generational heir of the Vietnamese Lam Te (Rinzai) Zen Lineage

Br. David Steindl-Rast

Br. David Steindl-Rast

In the Self we are all one and yet each Self is unique and irreplaceable. Each spiritual tradition knows this great Self by a different name. The world we long to see is built on nonviolence, collaboration, and sharing. This is the message of the LOTUS.

~Br. David Steindl-Rast, OSB, Co-founder, A Network for Grateful Living

To virtually tour the LOTUS on this site: Use the navigation wheel in the upper left to change perspective. Zoom with the + and - buttons. You can also drag on a track pad or scroll a mouse. Click on the arrows to follow available paths. After looking around the main sanctuary, pass through the glass door by double clicking on it. Traverse the gardens and fountains, and cross LOTUS Road to ascent the stairs leading to Chidambarum. Then, return to the LOTUS by turning around with the navigation wheel, or with two fingers on a trackpad, and proceed down the hill. Be sure to turn left to visit the exhibit in the exhibit hall. You can zoom in to see the exhibit photos. Then go across the courtyard to the gift shop, before progressing back to the lower level of the LOTUS to visit the All Faiths Hall and explore the sacred objects there in. 


Visit our Facebook Page or read news from LOTUS in the latest posts from Facebook here.

The Chinese New Year is celebrated by Buddhists, Confucians and Taoists. The Buddha summoned all the animals to visit Him before He departed this world. Twelve animals came, and in appreciation, a year was named after each of them. This is the year of the Dog, symbol of loyalty and honesty.

Sri Swami Satchidananda told the story of a man wishing to see God. In a vision, he was told to prepare a feast. God would come at noon on Friday. No expense was spared. Tables were set with the best food and drink. Invited guests waited impatiently, grumbling about not being able to go in until God arrived. The man pleaded with them to be patient, and went to check on the preparations. There on the table was a large black dog, eating all the food. The man cursed and beat the dog, chasing it away. He cried out to God that now everything was ruined. God responded:

"“Are you sure nobody was eating your food?”
“Well, yes, there was a black dog.”
“Who is that, then, if not me? I really wanted to enjoy your food, so I came as a dog.”

See? Everything is God. Don’t look for God only in heaven or on the altar. Serve your dog. Serve your pigs. Serve the sick, serve the poor, serve the needy. God made everything in God’s own image."
~Sri Swami Satchidananda, Beyond Words
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On February 11th, Christian, Catholic and Orthodox faiths honor the Transfiguration of Lord Jesus. The Holy Bible describes Lord Jesus going to a mountaintop with his three closest disciples, and becoming radiant with Light, as the Prophets Elijah and Moses appeared with him, and a Heavenly voice declares Him "My Son, in whom I am well-pleased."

The Transfiguration is a special, privileged spiritual experience meant to strengthen the faith of witnesses. The word itself means to be transformed into a spiritual state. Moses and Elijah experienced transfiguration, as did the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Buddha is said to have transfigured twice, at His enlightenment, and His death. The Prophet Mohammad experienced the Miʿrāj, in which He was swept up to Heaven by the archangels Jibrīl and Mīkāl. One of the most famous Tamil Saints, Ramalinga Swamigal (1823 – 1874) is said to have obtained 'an alchemized Light body'.

"People who have controlled their inner nature can allow their true light to shine outside. That is why you see something special in them and call them holy people. It’s not that they alone have holiness—everyone has—but when we do not have this kind of control, our light shines out in different, distorted ways. Purification and control of the prana can be attained in several ways. Whatever method we use, the ultimate goal is to control our inner nature, to make it clean and calm, so that the divine light within can be seen by everyone."
~Sri Swami Satchidananda, Beyond Words
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At Shinto shrines across Japan, there are celebrations for Setsubun, marking the end of winter and beginning of spring, according to the East Asian solar calendar. It is considered a time when the spirit world comes close to the physical world. Priests and celebrants throw roasted soy beans to symbolically cast out demons and invite in good luck.

“The world is a training place where we learn to use the world without getting attached. Instead of saying, “To one of discrimination, everything is painful,” it becomes, “To one of discrimination, everything is pleasurable.” A person with such an understanding has the magic wand to convert everything into happiness. ”
~ Sri Swami Satchidananda, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, 2:15
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This coming week is Tu B'Shevat, the new year marking a tree's life for the purpose of tithing. In the Jewish faith, fruit from trees may not be eaten during the first three years; the fourth year's fruit is holy and offered to the Lord, and from the fifth, the fruit can be eaten (Lev. 19:23-25). Significance is attached to this observance because man is compared to a tree: by developing deep roots of faith and commitment, many fruits are produced.

"When a fruit is still green, it clings to the branch of the tree. If you try to pull it off, it refuses to come. That means it’s not ripe yet. It still wants to be with the tree. So, imagine you are a fruit like that. As long as you are green, you want to stick to the tree of life. You can’t jump off; you can’t even allow somebody to pull you off. If by any chance you are pulled, you get hurt. If somebody pulls you off prematurely, even at your request, you are not fit to eat.

Instead, stick to the tree. Gather all the nourishment that you can get from the tree, because the tree of life is there to give you experience. When you get everything and are fully ripe, even before you think of it, you just drop off. The tree pushes you off instead of you pushing the tree. That means you are a dropout from the tree of life. Such a person will never fear the experiences of life."
~ Sri Swami Satchidananda
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Blessings of Love and Light to Konchog Pema (Ramanan Schultz), who was ordinated as a Tibetan Buddhist monk this past October in India. He has been associated with Integral Yoga since 1966. ...

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