Tips for Happy Living Camp In Uttarkashi by Chinmaya Prerana

When more than 120 Chinmaya devotees embarked on a journey this May, the only thought that recurred was that we were following Gurudev’s footsteps-from the plains towards the heights, tracing His path along the Holy Ganga and reaching that holy shrine for spiritual seekers-Tapovan Kuti. Thus, after winding our way through Haridwar & Rishikesh, after being a part of the famous Ganga aarati, after experiencing the holy vibrations of Sivanand Ashram, we reached the welcoming peace of our Chinmaya Ashram at Uttarkashi. It was a picture postcard perfect setting for a camp by two of Gurudev’s very own – Br. Ved Chaitanyaji (Navi Mumbai) & Br. Narayana Chaitanyaji (Vikarabad).

This camp was special because the campers were a mix of young and old, newcomers and veterans, youthful verve and sagely seniority. The main text of the camp was Guruji’s Tips for Happy Living, made startlingly simple for us by Vedji – Surrender to the Lord was the one sure shot way to experience happy living! On the banks of the Ganga, could anyone’s thirst remain unquenched? And so, it happened that those hearts which were seeking Vedantic knowledge were gratified when Tapovana Shatakam was expounded upon by Vedji in separate sessions. Is there anyone who doesn’t love a story? Narayanji caught the mood of the crowd and explained Ganga Stotram in the evenings with stories galore, bringing alive Mother Ganga with her manifold names and divine glories.

Daily meditation sessions and Paduka pooja conducted by Narayanji, evening Aarati, impromptu question-answer sessions, individuals seeking out Tapovan Maharaj’s kuti in their solitude, dips in the Ganga, youngsters staying up late for a game of cricket or some masti, meal time camaraderie, heart touching hospitality by Sw. Devatmanandaji and the entire staff of the Ashram……these were the sweet impressions imprinted on all our minds.

The camp days flew by in no time and it was that emotional moment when we knew that it was time to pack up – bags, memories et al. There was one last thing to keep us upbeat though….

A trek to Nachiketal and then the following morning, a trip to Gangotri. Spending the last few precious moments with our dear Chinmaya family made this visit all the more special. The carefree laughter and time spent in the pure and divine hills will echo for a long time to come. Gurudev, Uttarkashi is so beautiful, yet you left it and came down for us! Thank You!!!

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