10 day residential retreat with
The residential retreat offers the opportunity to spend 10 days/9 nights living an ashram life in the company of Gurudev Nityananda during Navaratra - nine nights of the Goddess. The Navaratra festival activities include chanting ancient mantras, making symbolic offerings and taking part in ancient fire ceremonies. All are invited to participate in this celebration and benefit from the energy it bestows.
Location and daily activities
The program format varies slightly each day, the daily schedule will be available on the What is Navratra page. We aim for the experience to be inspiring and enlightening for all who attend. The program includes:
Daily chanting of sacred texts and mantras
Performance of Poojas; sacred offerings and Havan; sacred fire rituals
All sessions in the company of Gurudev Nityananda
Daily Hatha Yoga
The good company of fellow practitioners
Seva (service); each participant will contribute to small daily house-keeping tasks for the benefit of all
Lord Somers Camp is located on Western Port Bay approximately a one hour drive from Melbourne, on the southern side of the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria. The camp venue is set the in spacious natural surroundings of the Coolart Wetlands and Somers Beach Reserve.
A large marquee tent will be set up to house the proceedings and accomodate the ritual fire ceremonies central to Navaratra celebrations. It is therefor vital that attendees bring plenty of warm clothing, wooly socks, sitting cushion and blanket to stay warm.
During the residential retreat afternoon private poojas (devotional ceremonies) conducted by the Brahmin priests accompanying Gurudev can be arranged and paid for separately. Two group poojas will also be held for those who wish to participate. Flowers and fruit are normally offered during the pooja and these will be available on site.
What's included and what to bring
Simple and warm shared accommodation with adjoining shower and toilet facilities is included.
Delicious vegetarian breakfast, lunch, afternoon chai and dinner are included as well as self-serve tea making facilities.
You can bring your own pillow, sheets, doona/sleeping bag OR you can hire a bedding pack ($20) when purchasing your ticket. We recommend you bring an extra blanket when hiring a bedding pack as it gets very cold at night.
You will need to arrange your own transport to the residential retreat. Lord Somers Camp is about a one hour drive from Melbourne and easily accessed by car or public transport, the bus stops right outside the gate.
To network with other attendees about travel and car-pooling go to the Shanti Mandir Australia Facebook page which has an event called 'Travel to Somers Retreat' where you can post a comment or question to offer or request a lift.
As parking is limited at the Retreat site, participants will be directed to park their cars in a nearby location.
What to bring
Bedding (if you have not paid for a Bedding Pack in your ticket choice then you will need to bring a pillow, sheets and doona/sleeping bag or blankets).
Extra bed blanket even for those paying for the bedding pack as it can get very cold at night this time of year.
Towel (not included in the bedding pack)
Clothing suited to cold weather
Warm shawl/blanket for sitting in the venue
Sitting cushion even for those choosing to sit on a chair
Loose, warm clothing (including clothes for hatha yoga)
Yoga mat (you need to bring all your own yoga equipment)
Walking shoes & warm jacket
Thongs (for the shower room)
Some of the chants recited as part of Navaratra are from ancient texts from the Vedic tradition - the Chandi Path and the Lalitasahasranam. We recommend attendees bring their own copy of these texts so they can be fully immersed in the chanting practice.
Go to the What is Navaratra? page to learn more about the books and find out how to buy them.