Yoga Retreats

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Introduction to Vedanta & Meditation Retreat

5th – 9th February 2024

This phenomenal world of ours has innumerable objects of interest and desire to explore, to experience, to discover. And most of us, for all of our lives occupy all our given time in exactly that – discovering, knowing, exploring and experiencing all these myriad objects on offer. Some of these are available easily, some not so easily, but pursue them we do. That becomes our life’s aim – to obtain objects and experiences (which is absolutely fine!). With a misplaced sense of expectation placed on those objects, to fill a perceived inner void and make us happy (which is the crux of the problem of existence).

Some of us exhaust our lives chasing happiness through these experiences. And then there are some, who will pause, and have this intuitive notion that all is not as it seems, there has got be something more. That I’m looking in the wrong place, the chase doesn’t seem to be getting me any closer to what I’m looking for. Having reached this state of mind, questions of an existential nature begin to arise – What is all this? What is this world? What is this life? Who am I? Who is God? Is there a God? What is my connection with all this? What am I supposed to do? Humans have throughout the course of history had these questions, and “thinkers” in various civilizations explored them and provided ‘philosophies’, possible answers to them. In all of this, a lot of the world turned to what they called “eastern philosophy’ – a larger umbrella term they coined for the wisdom as passed down through ancient Rishis. Specifically, wisdom found in the Upanishads, or what is broadly called Vedānta, passed down by the Rishis – ancient seers, or knowers of the truth. What is this ‘truth’? That is what Vedānta expounds upon, and unravels the little knots of those existential questions, one at a time, by exploring them, and slowly brings the student to a place of understanding. Understanding the nature of the world as we know it (and don’t), understanding the concept of ‘God’, and understanding one’s own self.

If you have found yourself confronted with questions of this nature, the 5-day Meditation Retreat at the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Ashram, Gudur, is for you. The retreat will also include an introduction to Vedānta, where, apart from the AM and PM meditation sessions and talks, the afternoons will be dedicated to talks on Vedānta, briefly covering its fundamental principles. The talks will cover these essential concepts:

  • Indian scriptures Purushārtha chatushtayam: the 4 human pursuits
  • Āshrama chatushtayam: the 4 stages of human life
  • Sharīra trayam: the 3 bodies;
  • Pancha kosha: the 5 bodily sheaths
  • Avasthā trayam: the three stages of awareness
  • Prapancha trayam: the three universal bodies, analyses of creation
  • Karma: action and reaction

Accommodation & Rates:

Indian National Rates:
Dormitory: INR 4000
A/C Twin Share Room: INR 12,000
A/C Single Room : INR 18,000

International Rates:
Dormitory: USD 96 (INR 8000)
A/C Twin Share Room: USD 145 (INR 12,000)
A/C Single Room : USD 217 (INR 18,000)

Will these talks lead you to enlightenment? Probably not! But, it will be an excellent starting point to your spiritual exploration. These talks will provide good food for meditative thought and contemplation, for the meditation sessions during the retreat, and will help to put things in perspective for your time outside the retreat as well. An introduction to Vedānta, these talks will provide a window to peer into the world of spiritual introspection. And from there, the door will wait for you to knock on it, whenever you want!

Swami Tanmayi with a bird

About the teacher: Swamini Tanmayi Maiya.

I am a full time student of Vedānta and a yoga sādhaka since the last 5 and a half years. When not in studies or practice, under the instruction of my acharyas I teach the Bhagavad Gita, Vedānta and Vedic chanting. I have also been teaching asana-pranayama-kriyas as well since the last 8 years. Though I graduated university many years ago, I took up yoga studies again between 2016 and 2019, during which I completed an M.A and M.Phil. in Karma, Jñāna and Bhakti Yoga.

About the teacher: PC Kapoor.

Kapoor ji as he is affectionately known to everyone, is a Senior Teacher at the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Ashrams and Centres, India for the more than 20 years. He as looking after the the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Nataraja Centre, New Delhi and continues to be an integral part of the Sivananda TTC where he teaches Vedanta Philosophy and Bhagavad Gita. He has taken innumerable Meditation courses ranging from beginners to advanced levels for the every kind of practitioner.