Bali Retreat (8 – 12 Aug ‘2012)

“Ram – Know, Love, Be!” – Camp in Bali, Indonesia
Organised by Chinmaya Mission of South Africa 8 – 12 Aug ‘2012

In the most picturesque and scenic settings of the Bali island of Indonesia, surrounded by lush green paddy fields of Ubud village, a blessed group of 50 delegates spent 5 days of unforgettable time in the divine company of Swami Abhedanandaji. This was a unique and first-ever international camp of sorts, which was organized by Chinmaya Mission South Africa to support the fund raising activities for construction of Chinmaya Shivam Temple & Ashram expansion project in Durban.

Organized from 8 to 12 August, delegates from different countries including Kenya, USA, Singapore, India, Dubai and South Africa attended this wonderful spiritual retreat wherein Swami Abhedananda delivered soul-stirring talks on Kishkindhakand of Sri Ramcharitmanas. Swamiji’s talks were soaked in the depth of knowledge and nectar of devotion, as he unraveled the different types of “Sharanagati” (surrender) characterized in devotees such as Shri Hanumanji, Sugreev and Vaali. Swamiji elaborated on how the power of surrender is directly proportional to one’s ability to allow the Lord to become the doer and enjoyer in our lives. Having no sankalpa or insistence on situations, or towards people and objects around us, when one allows the Lord to take over the reins of one’s life, then such a person’s life naturally becomes extremely conducive, people and things around become favourable, and the person discovers unending peace and unconditional happiness.

During the mornings, Swamiji conducted meditation sessions in the midst of the pristine natural surroundings, after which everyone enjoyed reveling in the bliss and quietude as they traversed alone through the paddy fields and witnessed the beauty of sunrise everyday. Every evening, the group went out sight-seeing to enjoy the much-talked about Balinese temples, ancient architectures and traditional monuments. This included visits to Tanah-Lot temple, Tirtha-Empul (believed to be a point of appearance of 3 rivers – Ganga, Jamuna and Saraswati), Ubud Palace and a visit to the traditional art market in Ubud downtown area.

Sri Krishna Janmashtami coincided during the camp, and the resort was completely pulsating with Janmashtami celebrations as everyone was dressed in traditional attire and danced to the tunes of festive music while one of the small infants from the group was dressed up as Baby Krishna. Swami Abhedanandaji then led everyone to perform Vishnu Sahasranama Archana and Puja, which finally culminated in a wonderful satsang on the glories of the Lord. The last day of the retreat was memorably concluded with a photo-recap session reminiscing all the wonderful moments spent over five days, and with everyone thanking Pujya Swamiji for the elevating experience that he bestowed upon all through his loving presence and inspiring satsangs. The camp was organised successfully with active assistance from members of Chinmaya Mission Singapore, particularly Jay Ganapthy and Shiv Iyer. On behalf of Chinmaya Mission South Africa, the Trustee and camp-coordinator Pavan Maharaj expressed his heartfelt appreciation to them.

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Categories: Spiritual Retreats