An Ashrama is a spiritual and religious establishment of dharmic traditions. It is a place where saints and meditational practitioners following the dharmic code, living the life of meditation, quiet reflection, with the goal of self-realization. It is a vast and complex spiritual, religious, cultural and socio-economic entity.

An Ashrama is a dharmic monastery with a temple or many temples at its centre.

An Ashrama is a centre of learning. It is also a home for many saints and spiritual seekers who learn to practice meditation and study Shastras such as Vedas, Upanishads, Agamas, Nigamas and so on. It also serves as a centre for learning and propagating arts and crafts.

An Ashrama is a socio-economic entity. There are many cottage industries within an Ashrama, using the produce of its farmlands. The local people are engaged in this micro-economy. It combines agriculture, industry and trade, based on indigenous methods.

An Ashrama is a social welfare institution. Many Ashrama runs social welfare institutions like schools for poor children, for differently-abled and other marginalized sections of society, hostels for poor children, old age homes for the elderly, widows and orphans, hospitals, for the benefit of the poor sections of the society.

An Ashrama is a centre for the preservation of the cultural heritage of the country. Many Ashramas have temple at its centre. A temple combines architecture, sculpture and painting in one exquisite structure. It incorporates performing arts such as music, singing and dancing. Temples and Ashramas have been centres of cultural activities. It is also a centre for great literature.

An Ashrama is a centre of charity. It helps the poor people with the charity received from people or authorities. Thus the surplus wealth of the society is redistributed in the society through the Ashramas.

The Ashramas also function as a Social Security system. It helps the poor, the marginalized and the downtrodden. It also helps people when natural disasters like floods, famines etc. occurs, when epidemics outbreaks and in other emergency situations by providing relief work.

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