Retreat: Learn Authentic Vedic Mantra Chanting in the Himalayas

Classes in May 2024 , daily availability, Dharamshala , India
Norbulingka Institute at Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh

BDIPoC intersectionally informed, ADHD and ASD informed, LGBTQI informed, PTSD informed

Teacher: Swami Dhyānānanda

Helpful for Yoga teachers, to fully learn the proper chanting of the mantras which you use in your classes.

But you don’t need to be a Yoga teacher to participate and experience great joy and benefits.

  • In English language

  • Suitable for Indian and Western students (and Western Indian. And from the West Indies. And from all Diasporas…)

The month of May I am scheduled to be in Dharamshala and available for learning Vedic Chanting. There are no set dates yet – who wants to come, contact me and we will schedule it as per your availability (minimum 4 days, max 30 days).


Learning proper chanting of ancient Sanskrit mantras has been a life changing experience for many who took it up. Chanting can be an excellent way to approch spirituality in a straightforward and hands-(or voice-)on way, and offers many benefits. It could not be done in a more conducive environment than the Himalayas, from a  Vedic lineage in a monastic setting.

Being „a good singer“ or having „a good voice“ is not necessary. (But could be the result.)

According to chanting rules of the Vedic tradition, this is a rare oportunity to learn the rules of mantra chanting and arrive at excellent pronunciation. You will then be able to use mantras in daily life for your own practice, as well as in your classes if you are a Yoga teacher.

Sanskrit follows strict rules of pronunciation which are rarely fully understood or mastered. Popular mantras are more often than not being chanted in ways which are not in keeping with their Vedic original. In this retreat, you will easily learn proper Sanskrit pronunciation and mantra intonation. There are only 3 basic notes and I promise that you are able to learn them. Proper chanting is much more about knowing what you’re doing than it is about talent or ‚a good voice‘.

More often than not, beginning a well-informed chanting practice has profound and lasting effects. You will most likely leave with more self confidence, having found your authentic voice (on various levels) and come to embrace it, be more clear in your expression, have made connections with people you met, and be equipped with a new way to nurture or begin your spiritual practice in an enjoyable way.

We will learn universal peace mantras which are applicable for any faith or belief system and don’t mention particular Divine entities.

To be eligible for this retreat, you need to

– be interested in correct mantra chanting
– be open to (re-)learn it
– be gentle and supportive with yourself and with coursemates if there are any
– be ready to study from a monastic teacher with according norms of clothing, conduct and timing
– be ok that the first four days are a full time course with no touristic activities
– be aware that if you want to continue after the initial four days, the course will be for four hours daily. Optional satsang / q&a  temple chanting, pranayama and yoga will add to this in case you want to do any of these (which is all very beneficial and would be a smart move, but no obligation)
– be ok that ayurveda treatment or other courses/retreats during the course is not possible nor helpful

– be respectful of people regardless of their religion or non-belief, and have no hate towards a particular religion or their members. Islamophobia, antisemitism or any kind of religion-supremacist attitude is not welcome

– be knowledgeable about systemic oppression and bias unless you are the only student in your batch
– have some experience having traveled to the global South, or be without fixed expectations towards culture, living standard and other factors. Please read about staying in India and Dharamshala in case you have never traveled there yet. Many people from the West come to love it, especially those who are well prepared.

The following is NOT necessary to be successful at mantra chanting:

– good singing voice
– music talent
– enjoying singing or performing for other people
– prior knowledge of mantras
– prior knowledge of Sanskrit
– being a Yoga teacher

Sample Video: Chanting Class for intermediate student

Video Thumbnail

click opens Vimeo

download the mantra script in Roman and Devanagari here (pdf download)

Some sample practice recordings for Matra Chanting as a beginner:

Download them for your convenience. Klick below opens Soundcloud.

In Our Himalaya Chanting Course you will learn:

– differences between chanting and singing and according do’s and don’ts
– to understand the power of mantras and different types of mantras
– mantras for personal practice

– proper Sanskrit pronunciation
– learning to read the accents from Roman transliteration (e.g. „mūḍha“ vs „mudā“)
– Vedic chanting notation

– understanding and preventing cultural appropriation in Vedic Chanting
Advanced / experienced learners are welcome to come check their pronunciation and intonation and can get guidance for taking up an advanced hymn like Viṣṇu Sahasranāma

All your questions will be answered and we will adress how chanting can be implicated in your daily life, sādhana or yoga classes.

° For people who read Devanagari script, we will use it. You can also learn the main differences between Sanskrit and Hindi, Gujarati or other Indian languages‘ pronunciation. Everyone is welcome to use the roman transliteration of course.

° yoga teachers: we can check and update the mantras you use in your yoga class

° we can go through precise pronunciation of your personal mantra if you like

Course Fee

In Vedic teachings there are no fees. Traditionally, students who found a teaching to benefit them give daksina, a token of appreciation, to the teacher, and a donation after a course.
How much that is, is at the discretion of everyone individually, according to their income and the value they have for the teaching. Donations received will not be commented upon.
German donation receipt can be issued. Donations are tax deductible as per law concerning German registered nonprofit organisations.
There is no organisation or ashram paying for any part of the course or teacher. Students‘ contributions sustain course offers and allow for future courses. This principle of solidarity has been working since ancient times and we can use it in the West as well.

The Vedas are an ancient oral tradition.

They have intricate and in-built systems for ensuring that their content is passed on exactly as it had been received. Usually we can’t even pass on a message to a chain of three people over a span of a week verbatim and unchanged. The Vedas however succeeded over thousands of years and millions of people. This is of especial importance because the Vedas are considered apauruṣeyam, channeled by sages and seers, not stemming from human knowledge or insight (instead, bringing knowledge and insight). According to that tradition, the Rishis only noted down what came from Divine source. In Vedic Sanskrit, notation and pronunciation cannot be changed without changing the meaning and result of the mantras. Therefore everybody who likes chanting mantras, and all yoga teachers who use them in their classes, should learn them properly. Youtube is not suitable for this; even the channels stating „100% correct pronunciation“ get small details wrong. It is not possible to assess that which we haven’t thoroughly learned yet.

Traditionally, learning chanting comes before the study of the Vedas and Sanskrit. In the retreat(s), we will focus on chanting.

Chanting Teacher and Qualification

I’m Swami Dhyānānanda, learned and studied Chanting for seven years in Uttarakhand (although Kṛṣṇa Yajurveda) and chant in monastic training, temple pujas, homas and other rituals every day. I had excellent teachers some of whom were very particular allowing for no single mistake. It took years of multiple hours of daily practice before I became confident and authorised to teach.

My upbringing was with classical and popular musicianship. Before I committed fully to spiritual life, I had worked as a vocalist, voice artist and producer, and was given some talent all of which I can not take credit for. Bottom line, I had much help for practicing and teaching chanting with joy and precision, and am happy to pass it on.

Contact me for any questions

Please leave a comment under this page, so that other people who have the same question can see the answer too. I’ll see and answer every comment, and you can also contact me per e-mail.


The retreats are spiritual, not commercial, and remain informal. While I call it „retreat“  for convenience, it is not a booked ‚package‘ and no responsibility or liability can be held, including for the venue, accommodation, food, culture, etc. Participants book their own flight and room. Rooms are not hard to find and are at very affordable rates for Western comparison. If you are currently in Europe: Finair seems to offer good flight rates atm. I expect very few people to take this up on such a short notice; if you are considering it you will likely get a highly personalized class for your convenience and benefit. 

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