Dharma Sevak Course
Silently hear everyone. Accept what is good. Reject and forget what is not. This is intelligent living.
The Dharma Sevak Course is a short-term Vedanta Course aimed at giving knowledge of Vedanta and training to sincere seekers and devotees and set them firmly on the spiritual path. The course gives clarity in the understanding of intensive spiritual practices. It is only when the inner personality of an individual is properly trained that hidden abilities and energies get channelised in a constructive way. Such a person leads his or her own life with a balanced mind, intellectual poise and courage; such a person is able to contribute positively for the benefit of society. The Chinmaya Dharma Sevak Course covers different texts and as in any Chinmaya Mission scriptural course, students live the disciplined life of being in a modern gurukula. Eligible candidates should be below 65 years and in sound health. They should have a strong desire to study the scriptures and live a spiritual life, with sufficient grasp of English. Knowledge of Sanskrit is not a must.
The popular Sanskrit word “dharma” is explained and interpreted in numerous ways.
• The overall meaning is, “that which upholds, nourishes, sustains, and integrates.” The most popular example of dharma is ‘the essence or substratum of a thing,’ as in, sweetness is the dharma or substratum of sugar, for without sweetness it would not be called sugar.
• Dharma is also used synonymously with values, since values uphold our character, nourish our actions, sustain a purposeful life, and integrate society.
• On a more profound level, the supreme Lord is called Dharma, for He is the essence, sustenance, and nourishment of the universe and all its names and forms.
A sevak is one who does ‘seva’. Seva refers to selfless service.
“A social worker who serves society with the attitude of serving God need not do separate idol worship. On the other hand, one should not have any insistence on not performing such worship either. Social service will purify the mind, qualifying one for the path of Knowledge.”
– Swami Tejomayananda
The Dharma Sevak Course is thus for the spiritual aspirant who ardently seeks the Lord within, courageously lives noble values, and humbly serves humanity as a worship of the Supreme.
“The Dharma Sevak Course helps us refocus on the goal and purpose of life. It prepares us to rightly absorb Vedantic knowledge and live in solitude internally, no matter what duties we are fulfilling externally. Age is not a criterion here. It is all about an individual’s spiritual unfoldment.”
– Brahmachari Prabodh Chaitanya, Chinmaya Mission San Jose
The Dharma Sevak Course is conducted in a Chinmaya Mission ashram at various times and places. Unless otherwise indicated, the course is taught in English. During the course, students live the simple, stress-free, and serene life of a disciple in a gurukula. In the ashram, students learn Vedanta through the integral practice of:
Jnana Yoga: the study of the Upanishads, Shrimad Bhagavad-gita and introductory Vedantic texts.
Bhakti Yoga: the study of devotional texts such as Ramayana or Shrimad Bhagavatam.
Karma Yoga: service in the ashram and growth in one’s vision of dedicated service to the world.
“Study the scriptures seriously. Once you have their ideas in your mind, start putting them into practice through the various yogas of bhakti, karma, jnana, and so on. By all these methods, the mind becomes subtle. The subtler the mind, the greater and deeper is the study of the scriptures.”
– Swami Chinmayananda
Other course highlights include:
• Guided meditation
• Group discussions on spiritual topics
• Vedic chanting
• Basic or advanced Sanskrit language classes and Spoken Sanskrit
• Guidance on how to be firmly grounded in spiritual practices like Meditation, Japa, Puja and Homa
• Celebration of auspicious occasions like Ganesh Chaturthi, Janmashtami and so on
• Advice on being a Chinmaya Mission sevak for Bala Vihar, Yuva Kendra, or Study Group
• Bond with the Global Chinmaya Mission Family through various activities
A brief but very significant part of the six-week Dharma Sevak Course is the opportunity to listen to discourses of Swami Tejomayananda, Head of Chinmaya Mission Worldwide. The scriptures point out that the company of Saints is unfailing.
The daily schedule starts with morning meditation, followed by lectures, breakfast, Vedic chanting, Sanskrit classes and discussion groups. The evening includes personal walk time, arti, and inspiring satsangs with different acharyas speaking about their spiritual journeys.
“We started in earnest. A motley group of sadhaks from all walks of life — ages of fresh thirty-year olds to the graceful dignity of eighty years. Everyone picked up the discipline overnight and the enthusiasm was contagious.”
– Indu Narinder Singh, Student, 1992 Dharma Sevak Course, Powai, Mumbai
During the entire period, there are no holidays and the students are not allowed to leave the campus. Accommodation consists of comfortable twin-sharing rooms with attached bathrooms. Wholesome, saattvika, vegetarian food is served.
“But living such a lifestyle does not feel austere or difficult. It just feels right, and it conserves your energy in such a way that you are able to serve and act with full attention and sincerity each day. Age becomes irrelevant; as a group we ranged from age twenty to sixty-six, and we all felt completely bonded. We laughed, studied, and reflected in an intensely saattvika environment for six weeks; it was impossible for us not to feel deeply connected by the end.”
– Vishva Sondhi, student, 8th Dharma Sevak Course 2010, Coimbatore
Siruvani Address: Administrator Chinmaya Gardens Nallur Vayal Post Coimbatore – 641114. Quick Contact: Tel/Fax: +91-422-2615637/2613493. Email : firstname.lastname@example.org Mobile: +91-9360461566