Date : 15 Jul 2019
A unique 6-week Foundation Course of Vedanta, conducted by Swami Abhedanandaji at Chinmaya Mission Durban, from 1st June t0 15th July 2019.
The Chinmaya Mission of South Africa conducted a unique first-time-ever 6-week Foundation course in Vedanta called as the Self Unfoldment Program which provided a wonderful opportunity to all sincere seekers to go through an in-depth study of our scriptures, under the most able & inspiring guidance of Pujya Swami Abhedanandaji (Incharge of CMSA). This residential course was conducted from 1st June till 15th July 2019 and it attracted seekers from all walks of life and varied age groups.
Total of 24 seekers from South Africa and India had the blessed opportunity to delve into this life-transforming program as they studied the sacred texts such as Kathopanishad, Bhagavad Gita, Tulsi Ramayan and Valmiki Ramayana.
While thoroughly enjoying their stay at the serene ashram, the students drank the nectar of scriptural knowledge each day through each discourse of Swamiji. By 5.30 am each day, all students were seated in the temple and had the blessed darshan of the beautiful Lord Shiva in the sanctum sanctorum. This auspicious start was intensified by Rudri Chanting by Pujya Swamiji which set the divine course for the day ahead and continued till the evening Arti and Ramayana chanting.
Pujya Swamiji compassionately and effortlessly expounded on the profound text of the Kathopanishad. Whilst revealing the essence of each mantra, Pujya Swamiji revealed the answers to innumerable questions of the seekers. Each of the student’s incorrect notions and insistences were broken down as Swamiji patiently repeated each important point till it was clearly understood by all seekers.
To further explore the new-found knowledge and to solidify the understanding, students engaged in group discussions which were conducted daily by the Brahmacharins. Chanting class was conducted by Br. Abhijit Chaitanya. Students who had no prior experience of Samskrit chanting were able to chant Guru Stotram, Medha Sukhtam, Gita Chapter 15 and many other stotras by the end of the course. Every Monday and Thursday, Gayatri Havan and Guru Paduka Puja was conducted.
Due to Pujya Swamiji’s great vision of nurturing devoted and holistic seekers, the students had the great fortune of learning Samskrit. The advanced Samskrit class was conducted by Br. Abhijit Chaitanya and the beginners class was conducted by Ruchir Madaree. These classes provided the fundamental knowledge which enabled students to read and write in Samskrit and better understand our Vedantic texts.
After in-depth exploration and contemplation of the Kathopanishad, Pujya Swamiji focused on chapter 12 of the Bhagavad Gita and expounded on Upasana and the qualities of a Gyani-Bhakta.
The students were in awe of the tremendous depth of knowledge and compassion in Pujya Swamiji. The SUP course may have ended but Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayanandaji’s vision will surely blossoms in these participants as they continue their journey with the glorious Movement of Chinmaya Mission!