Vedant Course(15 March- 22 August 2011)

Report on Vedant Course

The Chinmaya Mission of South Africa launched it’s 6-month Vedanta course on the 15 March 2011. It was the first time in the history of South Africa where a course of this type was being held. Many devotees took advantage of this God-sent and rare opportunity to study the Hindu scriptures under the guidance of Pujya Swami Abhedanandaji. The yearning and thirst to know more about our scriptures were so strong that some devotees left their homes, others resigned from their jobs to experience the joy, peace and tranquillity of living in the ashram near the teacher in traditional Gurukul style.

Daily activities commenced early morning as students assisted in preparations for Rudrabhishek Puja at 5:30 am. The merits of past births must have fructified as students were privileged to witness the puja being conducted by Pujya Swamiji and chanted the glories of Lord Shiva. Shri Vimalji, who had studied Vedant in Sandeepany, Mumbai taught Vedic chanting at 7:00 am. Many Suktams including Medha, Durga, Narayan, Purush Suktams along with Ganapathi Atharvasirsham which have numerous udathas, anudathas and swaritas were taught in the syllabus. Sanskrit classes were taken by Vimalji which aided in Vedic chanting classes.

Pujya Swamiji, who is deeply established in the knowledge of scriptures was able to bring out the message of the Upanishads in a comprehensible and easy-to-understand manner without compromising the depth of it’s rich content The concept and ideas were clearly explained to the beginner of Vedantic studies. Pujya Swamiji poured His heart out to the students not holding anything back or leaving any stone unturned in the texts. The texts covered by Pujya Swamiji in the morning Vedantic classes from 8:00am to 9:30 am were Tattva Bodh, Upadesa Sara, Pramana Vicar and Ishavasya Upanishad. Each morning class concluded with a guided meditation session. On completion of each text, students were given written self-assessments.

Students were allowed to churn their thoughts and express their views in the interactive group discussion classes held from 11:00am to 12:15 pm. These sessions very useful as it cleared many of their doubts. Shri Bhagavad Geeta classes were from 3:45 pm to 5:15 pm. Every word of every shlok was elaborated in great detail. Students were allocated days to give a talk to the public on specific shloks that they had heard from Pujya Swamiji. Chapters taken by Swamiji were chapters 2, 3, 4 & 5. Arati took place every evening at 6:00 pm. There was also stotra chanting at 6:30 pm. Many devotees were mesmerized by Pujya Swamiji’s descriptions of Lord Krishna’s leelas in the satsangh from 7:00 to 8:15 pm. The section taken was the Tenth Canto of the Shrimad Bhagavatam Maha-Puran.

Students were taught how to conduct various pujas. These include Gayathri Havan, Vishnu Sahasranam and Guru Paduka Pujas. They were also given the opportunity to perform seva in various Hindu festivals, Seva –Day, Feeding Scheme Projects and organizing many CHYK and Bal-Vihar camps.The course officially concluded on Krishna Janmasthami-22 August 2011. There was a festive mood and devotees rejoiced in grand style with music and dance at the successful completion of the course and the birth of Lord Krishna. Students of the Vedanta Course will be forever indebted to Pujya Swamiji and the Chinmaya Mission for the wealth of knowledge and hidden treasures of the Hindu scriptures that was taught to them.

Categories: Special Events