Divya Shakti Retreat for Women 2016


We are thrilled to announce the Divya Shakti Spiritual Retreat for women from October 7th to October 9th, 2016 in Laurel MD. The theme is ‘Finding your Courage’ and the retreat will be facilitated by Swamini Vimalananda, Acharya Vivekji and Acharya Vilasiniji. The topics that will be covered in the retreat are very relevant to our day to day life and include Harmony in Relationships, Handling Emotions and Devi Upasana. For more information, please see the flyer below and click on the “Register” Button to register for the event.

Message from Pujya Swamiji encouraging Devis to attend during Navaratri Festival:

Samashti Puja is greater than Vyashti Puja!

Many Families worshipping together is greater than each family worshipping separately.

Divya Shakti of all the Devis being together is itself a Noble Navaratri!

(For Example- India got freedom because 400 million Indians were behind Gandhiji’s Non-Violence movement.  Togetherness makes us stronger and better in every way)

Here are the Steps to Enroll for Divya Shakti Retreat:

Step 1. Register online at  https://cmwrc.chinmayadc.org/retreatforwomenoct2016/  and submit the registration fees of $175 by completing the steps at payment page.  Please note that Accommodation is not included in the Registration fees.

Step 2.  For Devis who will be staying at Hilton Homewood Suites, please email Vandana Bapna, Chetana Neerchal or Deepa Krishnan and  they will help you book your room at the hotel. If you already know if you will be sharing your room and who you will be sharing with, please include that information in your email.  For Devis who will be commuting to the venue, only Step 1 is necessary. Parking is free at Homewood Suites. Visit Venue and Lodging Tab for Details.

Step 3.  Come and Rejoice with Devis on October 7th!


Divya Shakti

Swamini Vimalananda

Swamini Vimalanandaji is a brilliant disciple of Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayanandaji. Swaminiji had her early education at Mumbai and graduated with honours from the J. J. College of Architecture with a B. Arch. Degree. She has traveled widely and has conducted many Gyana yagnas (spiritual discourses) in English, Hindi and Gujarati and camps for children, youth and elders all over the world. Her simple style of talking has captivated the intellectual and faithful alike. She has given talks in over 2000 schools, colleges and other institutions on various spiritual, cultural and socially relevant topics. She has also given talks on various management topics to corporate bodies and management institutions and in management seminars. [READ MORE...] [VIEW VIDEO...]


Acharya Vivek Ji

Having experienced much of what the world has to offer, from studying at the Ivey School of Business, to traveling to over 45 countries, Vivek Gupta sought more. Tired of the inconsistent peace attached to extroverted pursuits, he decided to say enough and turned his journey within. In 2005 Vivekji was accepted to the intensive residential Vedanta Course at Chinmaya Mission’s Sandeepany Sadhanalaya in India. There he studied and lived under the guidance of Pujya Swami Tejomayananda for over two years!. Discovering that the only purpose of life is to be infinitely, constantly and unconditionally happy, Vivekji continues to explore this purpose by sharing the same with others. Through his inspiring, innovative and insightful style, Vivekji makes Vedanta relevant, relatable and reachable.[READ MORE...]   [VIEW VIDEO...]


Acharya Vilasini Ji

Acharya Vilasini, of Chinmaya Mission Washington Regional Center (CMWRC), spent her teen years questing for the meaning of life, and found her answer in India during her Junior semester abroad as a comparative philosophy student. The greatest fortune of her life was meeting Swami Chinmayananda and beginning her Vedanta sadhana in 1975. She graduated from Tufts with a B.S in philosophy, and in 1978, she graduated from the Mission's two-year Vedanta course at Sandeepany Sadhanalaya in Mumbai. [READ MORE...]    [VIEW VIDEO...]

Chinmaya Devi Group, a study forum and support system for women, was established in November 1958, in Chennai, India. Gurudev, Swami Chinmayananda, blessed this event with this message centered on women’s role in the family: “When a mother is a true seeker, the whole environment of the house changes. Your family does not have to go out to hear a Swami. You are the mother, the model, the Guru. Women mould the future of the country. The caliber of the children will be determined by the upbringing given by their mothers. Indeed, women have been, and even today are, the real custodians of our country's spiritual culture.”

We have heard a similar cross cultural message across racial, ethnic, religious, geographic and political horizons. The concept of our mother as an incarnation of goddess or Devi is an unspoken part of Indian culture. A famous phrase from the 1865 poem by William Ross Wallace is often used as a quote, "The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.” It is in praise of motherhood as the foremost Shakti for bringing about any change in the world. With the rapidly changing technological advances along with the associated challenges we face today, it is the women who are empowered to encourage grassroots innovation in the ways we think, feel and act to make the world a joyful and harmonious place. While fulfilling the multiple roles and responsibilities and giving unconditionally, many Devis today face unprecedented stress levels and overwhelming challenges not experienced by Devis of prior generations. Lost and muddled in this cycle, they tend to lose touch with their divinity, and fail to appreciate their own worth, the power to transform themselves and the world around them, their virtues of nurturing, compassion, unconditional love, and bringing joy to their loved ones.

The upcoming Devi Retreat will be a wonderful opportunity to connect with other Devis, share your stories and discuss ways to resolve some of the challenges. Most of all, it will be an opportunity to get back in touch with your own divinity and get recharged. From the depths of the collective spirit, paths will open up for making courageous choices and fresh attitudes...to fulfill all the roles with peace & acceptance, with cheer & love, with awareness of the Shakti (Divine feminine energy) endowed upon the Devis and with reverence and gratitude towards this precious gift within them.

We are fortunate to have the retreat this year on the second weekend of Navaratri (Nine nights dedicated to Devi). We will celebrate Navaratri with a Garba dance on Saturday evening.

The Devi Retreat will inspire you with the age old Vedantic culture, wisdom of our scriptures and their practical applications in all aspects life. We encourage all Devis to join in and gain an insight into the meaning of life, your special place in the cycle of life, and discover tips for strengthening your inner courage and blooming into your highest potential!

Message from Pujya Swamiji encouraging devis to attend during Navarathri festival:

Samashti Puja is greater than Vyashti Puja!

Many Families worshipping together is greater than each family worshipping separately.

Divya Shakti of all the Devis being together is itself a Noble Navaratri!

(For Example- India got freedom because 400 million Indians were behind Gandhiji's Non-Violence movement. Togetherness makes us stronger and better in every way)

Divya Shakti Retreat Venue And Lodging

Divya Shakti Retreat Venue And Lodging

1. What is Chinmaya Mission?
Chinmaya Mission is an International spiritual organization founded by Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda, in the early 50’s. Today there are hundreds of Mission centers around the world. The goal of the Mission is to share teachings from Hindu scriptures to all citizens of the world; young and old, men and women, of any cultural background. Through lecture series and satsangs, the teachers in the Mission help individuals to interpret the scriptures, and incorporate that which is meaningful into our lives.

2. What is a Divya Shakti Retreat?
This retreat is a weekend get-away for women 21 years and older to gain an enriching, holistic experience through spiritual discourses and group discussion, based on Hindu philosophy. From this retreat we hope women will get an opportunity to renew and rejuvenate one’s mind, and find a natural balance and confidence in managing the many activities of their daily lives.

3. What are the benefits I will gain from this retreat?
This is a weekend get-away from your routine responsibilities, where you will enjoy the company of other Devis, listen to learned teachers of Hindu philosophy, and understand ways to manage everyday pressures of work, family, and life mindfully, and with less stress.

4. Who is the target audience for this retreat?
Devis, or Women, 21 years and older, of any culture, denomination or religion are welcome to attend this retreat. There will be a limited availability so register at your earliest convenience.

5. Is it necessary to attend the whole weekend retreat, Friday through Sunday?
Devi registrants are free to attend as much of the retreat as they are able. Participation for the entire retreat is not mandatory. However, In order to gain the maximum benefit from this retreat attendance at all the discourse sessions, small group discussions, and activities held throughout the weekend is recommended. Additionally, the full registration fee must be paid whether you are attending some or all of the retreat.

6. How will the theme of “Finding Your Courage” be addressed during the retreat, and what does that mean?
The theme of the retreat “Finding Your Courage” will be woven throughout the discourses led by learned Acharyas of the Chinmaya Mission, as well as in discussions and activities held among the Devis. Women often have the wisdom to meet life’s challenges, but need the confidence and support to live up to it. Gaining Vedantic insight through Discourses and Activities will help take us out of our comfort zone, strengthen our conviction and confidence, and therefore increase our joy and ease as we meet what life brings.

7. Where is the retreat being held this year?
The 4th Annual Divya Shakti Retreat will be held in the Homewood Suites Hotel in Laurel, Maryland. It is hosted by Chinmaya Mission Washington Regional Center. Click here for additional information about the venue

8. Who will conduct this retreats?
The Divya Shakti Retreat will be conducted by three inspirational teachers of Chinmaya Mission: Swamini Vimalananda, Acharya Vivek and Acharya Vilasini. All three teachers are well known for their wonderful talks and immersive retreats. Swamini Vimalananda, who is a senior Swamini from Chinmaya Mission Coimbatore, is joining the annual Divya Shakti Retreat this year and is a very inspiring, motivational speaker, not to be missed.

9. What does my registration fee include?
Your registration fee of $150 pays for all the discourses, workshops, activities, retreat materials, vegetarian meals, and Acharya expenses. The late registration fee, after Sept. 7th, will be $175. There are no reduced rates for attending only a part of the retreat. Payment can be made by Check to Chinmaya Mission Washington Regional Center, or by credit card or e-check at the website. Payment by credit card will include the processing fee. If you want to mail a check, please make it payable to CMWRC and mail to Rema Piratla 2322 Putnam Lane, Crofton, MD 21114

10. What is the cancellation policy?
Registration fees are refundable up to Sept 1st. There will be a processing charge of $50 for any cancellations after Sept 1st.

11. Where can I stay if I am coming from out of town?
Please note that Accommodation is not included in the Registration fees.

Below is some information on the accommodations during the Divya Shakti Retreat.

Out of town Devis can stay at Homewood Suites. Local participants are also encouraged to stay there along with the Acharyas. Complimentary breakfast is included for Devis who will be staying at Homewood Suites. All rooms come with fully equipped kitchenette, king-sized bed, pull out full-size sofa-bed, and dining table. Devis are free to share rooms to reduce costs.

For Devis who will be staying at Hilton Homewood Suites, please email Vandana Bapna, Chetana Neerchal or Deepa Krishnan and they will help you book your room at the hotel. If you already know if you will be sharing your room and who you will be sharing with, please include that information in your email.

12. Which airport do I arrive to, if I am flying in for the retreat?
Baltimore-Washington International airport is the closest airport to the hotel, but you can also fly into Washington Reagan or Washington Dulles airports. If you are coming into BWI, please send us your flight details and our transportation coordinator can help arrange a group shuttle. For other airports we suggest you use super shuttle. More details can be found at the following link: Click here
We recommend that your flight arrive at BWI by 4 pm Friday and depart after 3 pm Sunday.

13. What should I bring to the retreat?
Comfortable, casual clothing for the weekend, yoga clothes, and suitable dress for dancing Garba on Saturday night.

14. Is there childcare available at the retreat?
There is no childcare available for the retreat. The retreat is solely organized for women.

15. Who do I contact for more information about the retreat, lodging, etc….?
Please contact the organizers at divyashakti@chinmayadc.org OR you can call one of the following: Deepa Krishnan @ 202.471.0987 or Vandana Bapna @ 443-791-7776 or Aparna Durvasula @301.351.5759.

Divya Shakti Retreat Schedule


For queries and further details, please contact divyashakti@chinmayadc.org

Hari Om!
Divya Shakti Team