A pastel flower-shaped building rises from the ground, its pink petals stretching upward against its blue walls. The larger-than-life lotus looms above the end of a reflection pool in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. It’s a sacred spot, one teeming with a spiritual energy that aims to transcend the boundaries of the world’s many religions.
The Light Of Truth Universal Shrine (LOTUS) is a temple dedicated to interfaith understanding and the light within all faiths. The building’s unique design and inspiration stem from the vision of Sri Swami Satchidananda, a prominent yogi who brought Integral Yoga to the West and devoted his life to fostering worldwide religious harmony.
The shrine was dedicated in 1986. It’s a place for reflection and meditation, where people of all backgrounds and beliefs are welcome. Inside the temple, neon lights highlight the individual altars representing and honoring the different world faiths and spiritual paths.
Many aspects of the building’s design have spiritual symbols. While arriving at LOTUS visitors must drive on the left side of the road, which is supposed to reflect the need to leave behind habitual patterns. The outside of the temple takes the shape of a lotus flower, a sacred symbol in eastern religions like Buddhism and Hinduism. Its measurements center around the number 108, which is sacred in numerology.
LOTUS is located in Yogaville, a spiritual community near Buckingham, Virginia. Visitors can pop in for a day visit or stay for longer stints at the ashram.
Update: As of September 2018, the main shrine is under construction, and as such the upper deck is closed. The fountains are also being refurbished, so they aren’t operational.
Know Before You Go
Visitors are welcome and encouraged to experience LOTUS in person.