Camp in Drakensville Mountain Resort

Devotees of Chinmaya Mission South Africa culminated their summer vacation at a soul-stirring spiritual camp conducted by Swami Abhedananda. The 3 day camp was held at the scenic Drakensville Holiday Resort, amidst the breath taking Southern Drakensberg Mountains from 16th to 18th January 2009. The camp was beautifully organized after weeks of meticulous planning and preparation and was well attended by 45 delegates.

After reaching the venue on 16th evening, everyone gathered at the seminar hall for the inauguration of the retreat. Swami Abhedanandaji together with Mr. Pravin Haripersad (Chairman, Committee of Chinmaya Mission Durban) and Mr. Jai Bhagawan Din (Committee member) inaugurated the camp by lighting lamps before the photo of Sri Gurudev and Lord Rama. After the opening prayer, Swamiji lovingly welcomed all the participants to the retreat and began with the discourse on Shri Ramcharitmanas. Swamiji’s unique life enhancing approach in explaining the ancient Hindu text left everyone enchanted with an inner craving for more.

During meal times devotees sat and ate in the peaceful vibrations of chanting of chapter 15 of the Bhagavat Geeta. After dinner, devotees sat with Swamiji on the lush lawn under a starlit sky for soothing bajans and kirtans. Mornings started with guided meditation through which Swamiji taught to still the mind and get into contact with the eternal peace of the Divine within our own hearts. The afternoons went by in an inter-active session on the topic, “What is the importance of spirituality in our lives” conducted by Mr. Vimal Singh.

Swamiji’s captivating talks on Shri Ramcharitmanas transformed the entire atmosphere of the holiday resort into a spiritual sanctuary. Devotees were enthralled with Swamiji’s dynamic yet easy to grasp explanation of the Ramcharitmanas which enlightened on the relevance of values enshrined in the Scriptures and how to utilise them in the modern times. The theme of the camp was “Think rightly, Enjoy wisely” This was brought very beautifully by Swamiji in his discourses. The different aspects of Ramji’s character were discussed and how His behavior was with his parents, his guru and the common village people. The smile on his face never wavered even when he heard that he was to be banished to the forest for 14 years. His character was described in great detail, the way he walked, talked, ate and how his interactions were amongst people and surroundings. This provided a clear example of how we should strive to be in our own lives.

The differences between love and attachment were elaborated and the talks equipped the listeners to on how to make good decisions and how to tackle the various situations that we come across in our daily lives. Swamiji described the Pushp Vatika prasang in detail and emphasized on how one should intellectually, mentally, spiritually and emotionally prepare for puja. The talks provided useful information on how to develop better, closer and more fulfilling relations. Swamiji stressed on the sacred duty to uphold the high spiritual ideals set out by Sri Ramji and Mother Sita. The discourses inspired each one to take complete refuge in the Divine Name.

In the evening time, there was a question and answer session which helped devotees to get some clarity on many issues. There was also a presentation of Hindvani Radio. Most people enjoyed a pleasant evening walk with Swamiji before retiring to their rooms. The camp delegates also enjoyed a cultural programme which included music, dance and drama. A thought provoking play called “Manthara Prasang 2009” was rendered by senior devotees above the age of sixty.

The camp concluded on a high vibrational note at the closing ceremony on Sunday 18 January. Swamiji in all humility paid respects and thanks to Sri Gurudev and Pujya Guruji for giving us this divine platform of Chinmaya Mission to develop our seekerhood. The camp delegates expressed their hearfelt gratitude to Swamiji for his mentally inspiring discourses. Devotees then bid farewell to Drakensville, each one spiritually charged to dash ahead in the year 2009!


Categories: Spiritual Retreats