Last December, I spent six days in the presence of my family Archarya, his entourage of vedic scholars and about a hundred other devotees. He spoke, we listened, he taught, we attempted to learn, and on the occasions that he allowed public debate, he provided a forum in which we could rid ourselves of conjecture and form an understanding of our rich vedic traditions and history.
Although mainly a religious camp, it allowed us to meet new people from around Australia, share ideas and philosophies, and most importantly, allowed Swamiji to speak to all of us in the one location. He gave a detailed commentary on Thirupaavai, expounding the meaning behind the famous poems written by Andaal, and gave many discourses on various topics, ranging from the Bhagavad Gita to the importance of temples and their place in Vedic culture, which sparked a somewhat heated debate amongst the disciples which lasted well into the early hours.
Not only did we listen and learn from Swamiji, we also learnt various asanas to keep the body healthy, clear and regular. We learnt various slokas which we now recite upon waking, learnt their meaning and significance, and gained a greater understanding of our mothercountry's history, culture and traditions. It was, without doubt, a great way to spend 5 days amongst the tranquil surrounds of nature.