Guru Purnima Weekend Retreat in Woodland Glen, Indiana
A special two day Guru Purnima weekend retreat organised by the Divine Shakti Foundation and Parmarth Niketan took place in Henryville, Indiana, USA. Devotees from many states in America joined with their friends and family to take part in this divine opportunity to be in the presence of HH Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji – Muniji, President of Parmarth Niketan, and Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswatiji, President of the Divine Shakti Foundation. The location was a beautiful picturesque countryside setting with greenery, woods and a beautiful lake surrounding the retreat site. It was specially selected to meet Pujya Swamiji’s inspired theme for the retreat, “Celebrating a Green Guru Purnima: Come to Nature, Be with Nature and Change Your Nature.”
The retreat included divine satsang on a range of topics including: practicing no reaction, silence, inner peace, dealing with emotions as well as answered a range of questions on how to live in the Western culture but staying true to Indian roots and traditions, as a number of participants were overseas Indians or first generation Indian Americans. A number of youth participating in the retreat asked questions on how Hindu values apply to their modern life, to which Sadhvi Bhagawatiji gave simple and profound solutions.
If you missed any of the LIVE satsangs, you can watch them by clicking on the links below:
No Reaction and Silence: https://www.facebook.com/ParmarthNiketan/videos/10155567897482698/?pnref=story
Emotions and Relationships:
They also participated in vedic mantra chanting, trekking, walking meditation, yoga, meditation, kirtan and Naad Yoga as well as other activities. There was also a very special Ganga Aarti that was organised by the lakeside.
The General Manager of the retreat centre, better known as Wooded Glen, Mr Shawn Garmon, was gifted by Pujya Swamiji and Sadhvi Bhagawatiji and a few of the youngest participants of the retreat a beautiful green tree sapling as a symbol of their green Guru Purnima celebration.
Pujya Swamiji and Sadhvi Bhagawatiji led a special pledge with everyone to encourage all of the participants to make every celebration a clean and green one and ensure that in their everyday lives they commit to making more sustainable and eco-friendly choices.
Pujya Swamiji blessed and inspired everyone saying, “As our Guru has brought us life, let us plant trees in the name and love of our Guru which will bring life to others. As our Guru has quenched our thirst for knowledge, understanding and light, let us work to ensure that all of our brothers and sisters on earth have safe and sufficient water to drink to quench the thirst of their bodies. As our Guru has brought us a new, divine life, let us work to help all of our family on earth – of all colors, all countries, all cultures and all creeds – have a life that is free from hunger, thirst and environmental degradation.”
Sadhvi Bhagawatiji shared, “The Guru is one who removes the darkness of ignorance and illusion from our lives and allows the true, divine light to come through. The Guru brings life and light into our lives and shows us the path to walk. On this Guru Purnima there could not be a better way to honour our Green Guru, Pujya Swamiji, than by planting trees, as trees also bring life to so many, today and for the future. Trees protect and preserve the Earth as our Guru protects and preserves us. Let us take this divine opportunity to recommit ourselves to making all of our holidays and celebrations green and also to making choices in our daily life that are filled with light and life for all of Creation.”
At the conclusion of the retreat a special thank you was given to the dedicated seva team for their efforts to put together an incredibly successful retreat, led by Rekha Mataji the team included but was not limited to Seemaji, Madhuji, Naval Bhai, Atul Bhai, Anar, Pushpaben, Sujal Bhai, Shyam and many others.
The retreat was followed by a major Guru Purnima celebration at the Hindu Temple of Kentucky 9 July, from 5-7pm EDT (2:30am-4:30am IST, 10 July) on the auspicious occasion of Guru Purnima.