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.

Welcome to our online Vedanta camp.

FAQs 

  1. What is the schedule for the camp?

Online schedule (IST) for all the days of the camp (Aug: 29- 30, Sep 5 -6)

8 – 9 am Puja and Meditation

10 – 11.15 am Vedanta class

11.30 – 12.30 pm Vedanta class

4 – 6 pm Vedanta class (including Q&A in the last 30 minutes)

  1. What do I need for the camp?

You require an internet connection and Zoom application downloaded on your phone or laptop. Please save the link for the Zoom classroom which will be used for all classes. If you have limited privacy at your home then please use headphones.

  1. Any further instructions for classes?

It is recommended that you keep your video on because the teachers require to see you while teaching. However if you have intermittent connection you can keep the video off from time to time. Strictly mute yourself for the entire duration of the class. If you have a question please type in the chat box or raise your hand (virtually) at the end of the class.

  1. Will the classes be recorded?

All the classes will be video recorded and uploaded on the respective you tube channels (Aarsha Vidya foundation and Discover Atma) in an unlisted category (available only to those who have the link). The link to the playlist will be sent to the ones who register for it.

  1. What will be different in this camp?

It being an online camp the responsibility for scheduling the time between classes for home chores rests with the participants.

It is recommended that you have simple, easy to digest meals during the camp.

  1. Which will be the Vedanta text covered in the camp?

These will be sent to you by email, a few days before the camp

  1. I don’t live in India. Can I still attend?

Since the time zones are likely to be different, you can attend what is possible and catch up with the recordings during the week between part 1 and part 2 of the camp

  1. I can attend only one weekend. What should I do?

You can register for the camp and catch up with the recordings. If you are relatively new to Vedanta it is better you attend the first weekend of the camp (29th-30th Aug)

  1. How do I register for the camp ?

Please send an email to vedantacamps@gmail.com with your name, phone no. and location (country)

  1. What are the charges for the camp?

As earlier there are no charges for the camp. In the tradition, a guru dakshina (respectful offering) is made via netbanking. Bank details of the Acharyas are –

Name – Brahmavid Ananda Saraswati

Savings bank account no 62280236477

Bank – State Bank of India

IFSC SBIN0020408

Branch – Shanti palace, 1st Road, Near Municipal office, Chembur

Name – Swamini Brahmaprajnananda Saraswati,

Savings Ac no – 06681000006094

Bank Name – HDFC Bank Ltd Mumbai

IFSC code: HDFC0000668.

Branch – National House, Sahar Road Junction,Vile Parle East

Or contribute securely via paypal  – paypal.me/SwaminiB

 

REPORT OF JAN 2020 CAMP

Far from the hustle and bustle of Mumbai is Keshav Srushti, amidst the lush greenery, a quiet and an ideal place for camps and workshops. The Vedanta Camp from 24th to 26th January, 2020 drew around 50 participants from Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Chennai, London and Sydney. Three topics, namely Meditation, Tejabindu Upanishad and Conflict Resolution, were unfolded in the camp. 

The camp began with a simple puja, followed by Swamini Brahmaprajnananda ji guiding the students through meditative work.  Our relationship with the mind evolves through three stages. The first stage being – My mind is a problem, I need to manage it”. Second stage – My mind is an instrument, I use it as and when required.  It is a vibhuti or glory of Ishvara. Stage three – I illumine my mind and do not judge myself on the basis of the conditions of my mind. This is the journey an individual makes. Beginning with relaxation as a preparatory step, she gently guided the participants to visualize and re-parent those fragmented parts that were hurt.  The inner child work helped us to see ourselves as acceptable. Can we see ourselves without judgments and reactions?  Generally known as ‘mirror work’, we looked at our own faces on the mobile phone on selfie mode. We observed ourselves without any reaction, without judging and bringing ourselves to accept and love our faces just the way they are. This is first step in developing a healthy relationship with our own mind. Vedanta is a word mirror to discover what is already achieved. Swaminiji took us through the guided mediation sessions with much expertise. Japa dhyanam is mainly for steadiness and to be with oneself. While chanting the different names of Lord Ganesha, each one of us mentally offered flowers at his feet.  In Vishvarupa dhyanam, one could see that everything is pervaded by Isvara just like one sustains the whole dream.  Sakshi dhyanam helped us to see ‘I’, the conscious being illumines everything. In the nidhidhyasanam, we took at word from the Tejabindu Upanishad and contemplated on it.

The Tejabindu Upanishad, from the Atharva-Veda was simultaneously unfolded by Swami Brahmavidananada ji in his characteristic eloquent style, spicing it with humorous jokes, anecdotes and illustrations. He began with saying that the source or the core of everything is the bindu; the tejas. Tejabindu refers to Brahman, which is of the nature of all-illuminating consciousness, which is Me. To appreciate this one needs 3-fold initiation to prepare the mind to contemplate on the tejabindu.  One gains this knowledge and mastery of the mind by viveka, vairagya and guru bhakti.  When one commands such a mastered mind, he/she can go along with the words by the Guru which will eventually help in seeing that I alone am the tejabindu.

The third topic of the camp showed active participation by all present. There were many role-plays of conflict situations that most members face in their daily lives. The topic was ‘Conflict Resolution’, facilitated by both Swamiji and Swaminiji, which highlighted the need for empathy and assertiveness in handling conflicting situations in a mature way. To summarize, here are the steps involved in conflict resolution:

  1. Clarify what the disagreement is.
  2. Establish a common goal for both parties
  3. Discuss ways to meet the common goals.
  4. Determine the barriers to meet the common goals.
  5. Work out the best way to overcome the barriers and resolve the conflict.
  6. Have clarity on the solution that is agreed upon and on the responsibilities.

Students fondly shared their insights,

The camp was very well organised in terms of the venue and staying facilities. The sessions were well structured, spaced and timed and very engaging. The subject matters focused were very dear and useful to me – both meditation and the workshops.  –  Prashanth Mohan, Sydney.

I took back valuable insights from all three topics covered in the camp. From the Upanishad classes I got more clarity in my understanding of myself. The journey to understanding the truth of myself as limitlessness is a process of knocking off concepts that I have built up which are now in the way. Swamiji stressed on the importance of developing a contemplative mind and on shravanam (and then mananam and nidhidhyasanam) as knowledge is gained in shravanam – I understand that these will help me progress in my journey. Swaminiji’s theory and practice lessons on meditation helped me understand how a contemplative and focused mind can be mine. I also go back with a renewed sense of commitment to both developing karma yoga buddhi (for neutralizing the mala of raga/dvesha) and to regularly practice mantra japa dhyanam (to deal with vikeshepaha which are the distractions of the mind). The conflict resolution workshop sessions gave me practical tools to better handle conflicts in my life. As my children grow up, I feel these tools will be very useful. With a focus on empathy and assertiveness, conflicts can be handled without anyone feeling like a victim.   –  Varsha Shankar, Bengaluru.

Meditation class by Swaminiji is of immense pleasure. Swamiji appropriately choose Tejabindu Upanishad completely new which is short and sweet having profound meaning. Workshop would definitely help us in different roles we play. Specific to say that the learning from workshop is to give human touch in every behaviour.   –  Nanda Kishore, Mumbai.

Being an online student for couple of years, this is my 3rd camp and has been one of the best experience learning live in the classroom. I was amazed at the complete harmony by both teachers on the topic of meditation. The interactive workshops on “Empathy” and “Assertiveness” benefitted me a lot when I was asked to role play with a few other satsanghas who encouraged me. It also helped build my confidence in knowing how to communicate better to my students as I am a Yoga teacher. The kinds of meditation was an eye opener. I look forward to this camp on my annual vacation visiting from London. The venue is very scenic and a great spot for long walks in between the classes. My takeway from Swamiji: “Knowledge can take place only through Sravanam. Complete surrender to the teachings is a must.” My takeaway from Swaminiji: Saakshi Dhyaanam – “Watch your thoughts for 5 minutes a day and you will be centered.”    –  Nirmala Iyer, UK.

Enjoyed different types of meditation, concept of Prasada buddi, being empathetic and responding in an assertive manner.  – Jyoti Mahesh Patil, Mumbai.

Ishwara is all pervading. We have to keep on increasing our love for Ishwara through nama japa, nidhidhyasana.  This will help us control ahamkara, mamakara, raga dhvesha and build objectivity towards love. Shravana is very important. The words are all pointers to infinite. Omkara bindu is the I,  our atma is all pervading. I am Ananda.  – Sudha Ramachandran, Mumbai.

The Vedanta camp was all about knowing your Mind and making it your friend by developing healthy relationships with our mind. For which we went through many types of meditations. Which helped in paying attention to the voice and accommodating the voice. The workshop on conflict resolution was very hands on and pragmatic. The discourse on Tejabindupanishad was all about self the Bindu.

-Sowmya, Bengaluru

Swamiji’s worldly wisdom and Swamini’s expertise in human psychology very much enhanced our experience. We learnt that empathy and assertiveness are important to get a win-win solution. At the end, all of us fully understood the application of these principles. This will help us resolve conflicts in our daily lives.  – Ganesh Pai, Mumbai.

Our humble pranams to Swami ji and Swamini ji who made the knowledge very simple and clear. It was indeed a very wonderful and fulfilling weekend towards one’s inward journey!!

Article by Rashmi Kaikini

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