Swami Bodhatmananda was in London for ten days in May conducting a series of truly inspiring events which enriched our lives in every dimension.
We started our journey with this erudite teacher by receiving training and guidance on the optimal way to conduct study classes. Over 50 of us, who were either already study-class facilitators or who had a keen interest in helping to spread this timeless knowledge, came together for half-a-day to comprehend the depth of our roles in study classes. Expounding on Gurudev’s rational for creating study classes, coupled with his own personal experiences, Swamiji emphasised that self- transformation is not possible without clarifying our doubts and proper reflection. Study classes provide an avenue in which to conduct this reflection and also provide us with an opportunity to serve by sharing what we have learnt with others. This after all is our duty!
Swamiji then led us to the heights of meditation through a six-day discourse on Chapter Six of the Bhagavad Geeta, entitled “The Yoga of Meditation”. Using his logic and wit, he weaved together the essentials of meditation with pristine clarity. We had a full hall of over 140 people each evening and over 30 more watching via live stream. By the end of the six days, Swamiji had made sure each of us could answer the following questions: Who is a meditator? What is meditation? What is the process of meditation? What are the obstacles and how do we overcome them? What is the result of meditation? How do I live in this world with the knowledge and wisdom of meditation? The feedback received from the event was phenomenal!
Swamiji ensured he spent quality time with as many people as possible and held a number of informal satsangs including a special one with our Chinmaya Vanaprastha Sansthan (CVS) group and a delightful outdoor question-and-answer session in Regent’s Park with around 20 CHYKs (members of our Chinmaya Yuva Kendra wing). Swamiji also conducted an outreach event in South London, entitled “Path to Peace: Meditation Revealed”, which again had an overflowing hall with over 100 in attendance.
Surrounded by the beautiful greenery of our retreat centre in Oxford, Swamiji concluded his trip by taking 65 of us as close as he possibly could to taste the nectar of immortality, via study of the Amritabindu Upanishad. On this special three-day retreat at Chinmaya Vidya Nagari, Swamiji explained the nature of truth and showed us the means by which we all could attain our birthright! Our days were filled with deep reflection, stemming from questions Swamiji had designed himself for each of us; chanting sessions led by Brni. Shripriyaji and devotional bhajans, a few of which were sung by Swamiji himself!
The Chinmaya Mission UK family felt extremely privileged to be able to interact with and study under the teacher of the Residential Vedanta Course. Swamiji’s devotion and passion for the knowledge is contagious. It has left us all with a heightened aspiration for wanting to know our real self and also a greater sense of wonder, love and gratitude for all our teachers.