Sunday, 1 January 2012

a two day retreat to vedanta academy


 Practical steps to spirituality- section 2  part 38

 A  two day  retreat  to the  Vedanta  Academy. 

The  Vedanta  Academy  was founded  by  swami. A. Parthasarathi, who is an  internationally  acclaimed  philosopher. . The  academy  is  situated  in  the  Malavli hills  108  km  from  Mumbai.. The  academy  offers  a three years  residential  course  on vedanta.   Students  between  the  age group  of  18 to 35  are  given  admissions by  swamiji.  There are  foreign  students  in the  campus.

A two day  retreat  to this  place  from 27th dec  to 29 th dec 2011  proved  to  be a wonderful experience  for  me, my son  ,karthik, and  my sister  sulochana. . The  day  at the  institute  starts  at 4.15 am.  when  a  big bell rings  and  after a few minutes  the  students  assemble  here near  the bell and  chant  three verses  from  the  Atma  Bodha,  a text  composed  by  Adi  .Sankaracharya. . The  Atma  Bodha's  main  idea  revolves  around  the  theme  that  I am not  an  assemblage  of my  mind, body and  intellect,  but   I am  the  Self ,the  Atman.

The  students  get back to their  rooms  to study from  4.30 to 5.45. , the  sattvika  time  when  the  mind  is  fresh and  is at its  best  in  understanding  and  learning  the  vedantic  scriptures. . At  5.45 tea is served in the  canteen  and  after which  one  can  go to the  gym ,or walk, jog or  do yoga  or play  cricket  ,or basket ball or football. .Swamiji also plays  cricket  even though he  is  around 85 years  of age and  quite often he  is  the  man of the  match.

After freshening up they are  at the canteen  at 8. 15 for   breakfast. Before breakfast  two  verses   from the  Bhagavad Gita  are  chanted loudly.  The  verses  are  from chapter   four verse 24  and  chapter  fifteen  verse  14.  .Each   one of  us can learn these  two slokas  and chant  them  before breakfast , lunch and dinner.The  first verse  says  everything is  Brahman  and  the second  that  the Lord  becomes  the fire of digestion  in the bodies of all living beings. . These two slokas when chanted before food  will remind us  of the  Divinity.

to be continued......

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