Shaktodaya Retreat was a unique spiritual experience offered by IndicA Moksha, an organization dedicated to spreading the teachings of ancient Indian wisdom and practices. The retreat focused on the practice of mantra sadhana, a powerful technique that involves the repetition of sacred mantras to achieve spiritual growth and enlightenment.
The Shaktodaya Retreat was a three-day residential program held at IndicA Ritambhara – perfect idyllic place for contemplation and self discovery amidst serene and peaceful surroundings on the outskirts of Bengaluru. The retreat was designed to help participants connect with their inner selves and achieve a state of deep inner peace and harmony. The program combined the practice of mantra sadhana with dhyana, and other spiritual practices to create a holistic and transformative experience. In this report, we will explore the various aspects of the Shaktodaya Retreat and its significance for spiritual seekers.
The retreat was led by Sri Ramchandra Roddam ji who guided all the participants through the various stages of the mantra sadhana. He provided individual attention and support to each participant, to help them deepen their practice and overcome any obstacle that may arise during the japa sadhana.
The practice of mantra sadhana
Mantra sadhana is a powerful spiritual practice that has been used for centuries to achieve inner peace and enlightenment. The practice involves the repetition of sacred mantras, which are believed to have transformative effect on the mind and body. The mantras are recited in a specific rhythm and tone, which helps to focus the mind and create a sense of inner calm.
The practice of mantra sadhana is based on the principle of sound vibration, which states that all matters are composed of vibrations of energy. By chanting the sacred mantras, we can tune our minds and bodies to a higher frequency of vibration, which helps to create a sense of harmony and balance within us.
Overview of the Shaktodaya retreat
The retreat commenced on February 10, 2023 in late afternoon by lighting of a lamp and devi avahanam which was done by Sri Ramachandra Roddam ji followed by an elaborate devi shodasha upachara and lighting of sakshi deepam. After a brief informal introduction of all the participants, they were given the Durga ashtakshara mantra, as an upadesham. This was followed by a sankalpa of Laksha japa whereby all the sadhakas were supposed to collectively complete the goal of one lakh japas of the given mantra.
(Figure 1: Sri Ramchandra Roddam ji explaining about Mantra Sadhana)
Sri Ramchandra ji took all the efforts of giving individual attention to each sadhaka for the mantra uccharan. He personally saw to it that every participant got his uccharan perfect as correct pronunciation of mantras is essential for their effectiveness. Mantras are sacred sounds that are believed to have a transformative effect on the mind and body. These sounds are made up of specific syllables, tones, and vibrations, and when chanted correctly, they can create a powerful resonance within us that helps to harmonize our energies and bring us closer to our true nature.
Incorrect pronunciation of mantras can hinder their effectiveness and even have a negative impact on our spiritual practice.
After the first day of japa sadhana we all had sumptuous homely satvik food prepared from freshly plucked veggies from the nearby farm. Dinnertime was also a great bonding time with wholesome discussions on upasana and sadhana. The volunteers from IndicA Moksha took special care of all of us.
Day two started early morning with performing the nitya anushthana which included abhisekha of the Durga yantra followed by puja and other upacharas which were done by Sri Ramchandra Ji. This was followed again by mantra sadhana.
As Durga is seen as a very embodiment of Agni, Sri Ramchandra ji made a point to take breaks whenever needed in between the japa kala, in which we were said to sit and meditate. Late afternoon we all were served with hot kashaya (ayurvedic drink), followed by sumptuous lunch. By the time it was late evening we had already completed the desired number of mantra japas. Adding to the environment of Satsang, what made the second day even more special was the Natyanjali by Smt Ramaa Venugopalan Ji where she performed on devi brova samayamide, a beautiful carnatic krithi. The dance was full of bhakthi rasa.
Day three started with the usual nitya anushtana which included panchamrita abhisheka to Sri Durga yantra followed by pushpanjali by all sadhakas followed by “दुर्गाद्वात्रिंशन्नाममाला” prayana. A special one-to-one session was conducted by Sri Ramchandra ji with each sadhaka about their doubts and experiences about the sadhana kaala, which was helpful in enhancing the spiritual growth. During the Udvasana Sri Ramchandra ji did all the necessary anushtaana required.
Takeaways of the Shaktodaya Retreat
The Shaktodaya Retreat offered numerous benefits to spiritual seekers who wished to deepen their practice and achieve a greater sense of inner peace and harmony. Some of the benefits of the retreat included;
- Deepening of the mantra sadhana practice: The retreat provided the participants with an opportunity to immerse themselves in the practice of mantra sadhana and deepen their understanding of this powerful spiritual practice.
- Connection with nature: The retreat was held in the stunning natural surroundings of Kammasandra Village, at Ritambhara which helped all participants to connect with the natural world and experience a sense of oneness with Prakruti devi.
- Individual attention and support: The retreat was led by a very experienced spiritual teacher who provided individual attention and support to each participant, helping them to overcome any obstacles and deepen their practice.
- Transformational experience: The retreat was designed to create a transformative experience for participants, helping them to achieve a greater sense of inner peace, clarity, and harmony.
- Community support: The retreat offered all the participants, an opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals who are also on a spiritual journey, creating a sense of community and support.
(Figure 2: Sri Nithin Sridhar ji offering Dakshina to Sri Ramchandra Roddam Ji)
What made the retreat even more enriching and memorable for me were the everlasting bonds that I forged with some of the seniors in this field, like Shri. Nithin Sridhar Ji, BhimaShankar Ji, Dattaprasad Ji. My conversations with them will always be a part of my most cherished memories.
The Shaktodaya retreat provided the participants an opportunity to connect with nature, receive individual attention and support from an experienced spiritual teacher, and create a sense of community with like-minded individuals. Overall, it was a beautiful program for anyone seeking to deepen their spiritual practice and achieve a greater sense of inner peace and enlightenment.
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