Vedanta camps are intensive retreats for a few days with the aim being to provide a calm and contemplative environment away from the hustle and bustle of city life. These camps focus on the unfoldment of a Vedanta text along with equipping the student to face life cheerfully and effectively.
A camp also focuses on psychological approaches and meditative practices in an indepth manner for the participant to discover the meditator as well as focus on select aspects of their personal and interpersonal growth.
Blessed by Lord Medha Dakshinamurti and established by our beloved Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswatiji, Arsha Vidya Gurukulam is an institute for the traditional study of Advaita Vedanta and Sanskrit located in the picturesque Nilgiri Mountains of Tamil Nadu. An intensive Vedanta camp is an invitation to discover the completeness that we truly are in the vision of Vedanta. Your life stands transformed.
Our Vedanta camp will be held in the wonderful setting of the gurukulam which is in a forest reserve, where Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati ji taught five long term courses from 1990 onwards. The students will live an intense yet relaxed and focused schedule, free from distractions and away from the city.
Adults keen on self knowledge and committed to participate in the entire camp only need attend. Participants are cautioned that this is an intense camp with intensive meditative practices and awareness exercises for building emotional maturity.
Topic for the camp:
Vedanta and emotional maturity
The classes will be unfolding the vision of Vedanta and will include sessions to enhance the preparedness or adhikaritvam of a student. The camp will include meditative work and chanting of the Bhagavad Gita which you may bring with you.
The texts to be taught in the camp will be provided to you or you will be requested, in advance, to bring the text with you.
|5.30 – 6.45 am||Puja at the temple||12.45 -1.30 pm||Lunch|
|7.00-7.45 am||Meditation||3.00 pm||Tea|
|8.00 – 8.30 am||Breakfast||3.15 – 4.00 pm||Chanting/Seva|
|9.00 – 10.00 am||Class||4.15 – 5.30 pm||Class|
|10.30 – 11.15||Activity||
5.30- 6 pm
6 – 7 pm
Evening Arati at temple
|11.30-12.30 pm||Class||7.15 – 7.45 pm||Dinner|
|8 – 9 pm||Satsang|
Location and accommodation:
The Gurukulam is about 25 km from the City. For more information visit www.arshavidya.in. Accommodation will be made available only on twin sharing basis. Since this is away from the city and there are no shops in the immediate vicinity, kindly carry other items of personal use. Blankets, linens are supplied by the Gurukulam. The following items may be useful during your stay:
- Yoga Mat
- Light woollens
- Flashlight: The Gurukulam is in a forest and therefore a good flashlight (Torch) will be very handy at night
- Insect repellent
- Medicines for personal use
- Chappals (Sandals)
- Walking/Running shoes
The only mobile phone network which functions reasonably well at the Gurukulam is BSNL – you may not get a signal for other mobile networks.
Since this is a forested area, it is better to travel to the ashram before 8 pm. Taxis charge around Rs.700 to 800 for a ride to the Gurukulam from the Bus stand and Railway Station. A trip from the Airport will cost about Rs.1000/-. There are buses from Gandhipuram Town bus stand to Anaikatti which start plying very early in the morning – first bus at about 4:30 AM. You may request a ticket to ASHRAM at Anaikatti. The bus stop is very close to the main gate. You can also request for a taxi through Request a Taxi page here – http://arshavidya.in/request-transportation/
The suggested donation of Rs 4250 per participant includes accommodation on a twin sharing basis and three vegetarian meals for the entire camp from 27th January – 2nd February 2018. The transportation to Coimbatore and the travel by road to the gurukulam is to be arranged by the participants.
In case anyone is not able to afford the suggested donation, we would still want to offer this life transforming teaching. Kindly write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, for us to look for sponsorship.
The payment may be made in either of the two ways:
- By netbanking to ‘Aarsha Vidya Foundation’, SB:000401143148, IFSC – ICIC0000004. Or
- Cheque payable to ‘Aarsha Vidya Foundation’ and sent to G.Balakrishnan, No.8, Gautam, Plot no.29, Road No.2, Sion (East), Mumbai – 400022. Ph: 9821018227
Participants should arrange to arrive in the gurukulam preferably by 26th January, 6pm. The first session will begin on 27th Jan, Saturday at 8.30 am and the last session is expected to end on 2nd Feb, Friday by lunch time. Participants can book their tickets accordingly.
There are some beautiful temples in Tamil Nadu and if anyone wishes to avail of the opportunity to visit them, kindly do so before or after the camp.
To ensure your place in the camp, register soon by sending an email to email@example.com with the following details: Name, Age, Address, Phone numbers, Phone numbers of next of kin, a small paragraph of your exposure to Vedanta and what specifically you hope to gain from this camp. After you receive a confirmation email, you can contribute the suggested donation. The last date for registration is 7th January 2018.
For further queries kindly write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Audio links of camps in 2016 and 2017 are below
Audio link of Camps :
Learning and takeaways from participating in the Feb 2015 Vedanta camp, by Unnati Prashant Parikh:
A great opportunity I gifted myself a week before, was being part of an intensive Vedanta retreat camp, at Lonavala. Having just wet my feet into the path of understanding reality, this camp knocked my door at the right time. The camp was organized at a beautiful, well-equipped and serene place, Manghnani elder’s home, run by a Sindhi trust, which breaks the pre-conceived notions of any home for elders out there. The main differentiating factor between this Elders Home and others is the emotional and sensitive approach towards their guests. We all were fortunate to experience their hospitality throughout, making it feel like a home away form home.
For four days, a small group of dedicated students immersed into the teachings by Swami Brahmavidananda Saraswatiji, who standing in the illustrious Guru-Shishya parampara of the rishis, is extremely gifted and charismatic teacher of Vedanta. Much loved by his students for his unique style and humor, Swamiji is a rare jewel of integrity and truth. Swamini Brahmaprajnanda Saraswatiji, who has studied in Arsha Vidya Gurukulam, under the guidance of Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswatiji, accompanied him. She is an epitome of knowledge, with a dynamic style of teaching. Luckily I am also attending her Bhagavad Gita classes few steps away from my home every week. With such great teachers around, we started our learning. The topic dealt was a small text called ‘Laghu Vakya Vritti’ a commentary comprising of 18 verses, by Adi Shankaracharya.
Mornings at the camp greeted us with the gentle chirping of birds, something hard to find in a city like Mumbai. The routine started with an early morning puja and aarti of Lord Dakshinamurti, at the temple in the premises of the home. Seeking the blessing of the Lord, we started with the meditation class by Swaminiji, which was rejuvenating followed by a session with Swamiji on the text. There was a second session too after a delicious breakfast. The main highlight was the discussion round, where we were divided into groups and were given some Sanskrit terms to reflect and share our understanding on it. This was a very enriching exercise for all, as we got more clarity, the more we shared our insights with each other. Both the teachers moderated the discussions and our concepts were polished during that time.
Sometimes these discussions were so engrossing that we almost forgot about lunchtime. A variety of sattvik delicacies served with deep love and compassion by the staff were ever so tempting and satisfied our hunger pangs to the fullest. A short nap in the afternoon was relaxing, charging us up for the rest of the day. There was one evening session after which everyone went for a refreshing walk. Amidst nature, we engaged into some more personal interactions with each other. Thereafter, we all gathered for a satsanga, trying our hands on some chanting of Shanti mantras and Dakshinamurti Stotram, guided by Swaminiji, who is so eloquent and has a musical connotation making it easy to follow. While some people were well versed with these prayers, I was in a preliminary stage trying to catch-up with their pace. Intuitive questions at the satsanga revealed that all the participants were attentive in the sessions. Swamiji answered all our doubts with ease and left us for further contemplation. On some days, during satsanga, we had specific topics addressed by Swamiji on request of some participants. The day ended with a scrumptious dinner and a light walk before we rested ourselves.
One of the major take-away was an activity conducted during one of our meditation class, where we had to make symbolic representations of the different roles each one plays on day-to-day basis and how have they helped in shaping our lives. The next day we all had to gather in an open space where we saw bowls filled with blue colour lying on the table along with paintbrushes. All of us were excited, as we were told to give a light blue wash over our paper filled with symbolic role representations. Eager to know the underlying meaning behind this activity was expounded by the standpoint of Ishvara’s role, representing the blue colour, which is substantial over all other roles and it is in his presence we carry out other roles comfortably. This shift in paradigm made us take a step back and introspect our lives more significantly.
Over four days, all of us experienced a deepened connection with the self, and with others in the group. In between breaks throughout the day was a bonus as I got to spend quality time with the Gurus and know more about the way sanyasis live their life along with lot of useful guidance essential to lead a right kind of life. Profound discussions on social, political and current issues with everyone were fun as well as illuminating. I also got a chance to interact with a humble elderly couple residing there. The last day arrived quickly then I thought, an overwhelming moment where we conducted the ceremony of offering aarti to our Guru and sharing our experiences. Mixed feelings arose amongst all of us as it was time to bid goodbye.
After taking a few clicks for memories, we all parted, inspired and charged, taking a sankalpa to continue this journey with utmost dedication. It was a real pleasure to meet and interact with so many multifaceted people. Like minded and inspiring, all in their journey towards fulfillment, knowledge, and understanding the ‘Absolute’. Overall this experience has left a profound impression that will be etched in my memory for long and help me shape my life hereafter. I render special thanks to Swami Brahmavidananda Saraswatiji and Swamini Brahmaprajnananda Saraswatiji for being so compassionate and a great support throughout. My heartfelt gratitude to Manishaji, my roommate at the camp, for whom I have deep regard, Madhuji, in whom I found a friend and all others who made this camp a memorable trip altogether. I will forever be grateful to Prashant, for planting the seed of seeking this knowledge, in me and look forward to assimilate as much as I can with Ishvara’s grace and the blessings of my teachers. Om:)