Murtis and Vedanta

Timeless Teachings from the Traditions of India


Jai Ganesha!


Murtis & Vedanta for the 21st Century

$108 total fees

Murtis = Archetypes of Hindu/Buddhist deities

Vedanta = non-dual philosophy

   With Dr. Manoj & Jyothi ChalamManoj & Jyothi

  4th Annual January Retreat:

Jan 17-20th, 2019

       Begins Jan 17th 5-8pm , Jan 18-20th 7:30am-6pm

$108 includes gourmet Sattvic lunch, snacks, coffee& chai

Adventure to the Realm where Mythology and Murtis meet

Get Inspired in Your Hero’s Journey by Uncovering your Yogic Archetype along with Shared Storytelling

with Manoj Chalam

Explore Texts:  Vedanta Dindima

Verses 8-16 and 

Bhakti Compositions of Tyagaraja 

with Jyothi Chalam

Each Verse we contemplate and practice on is a hologram of the whole. 

Ashram style teaching:               

  • 7:30-8:30        Morning Puja – Meditation
  • 8:45-9:50        Yoga Asana     
  • 10:30-12:30    Murtis – Archetypes   
  • 12:30-2:30      Lunch, Nap, coffee/chai
  • 2:30-4:30        Proclamations of Vedanta
  • 4:30-5:00        Snacks, Coffee/Chai 
  • 5:00-6:00        Murtis – Archetypes    

To Sign Up:   PayPal or Venmo $108 to Manoj (use family and friends) and email address;, or Paypal Here

Retreat Address:  Unique Arts Temple 7868 Silverton Ave, Suite J, San Diego, CA

“Some thoughts on our Retreats”  Retreat News and Logistics:

Blessed Bhens and Bhais (sisters & brothers):
Jai Ganesha! 
I’m attaching the retreat flyer. And would be honored by your presence in our temple in San Diego. Retreat is about 1/3 full as of now.

Jyothi and I are humbled that many of you have come to our retreats over the years. As the Vedas teach us: “Athiti Devo Bhava.” – Become the One that considers Guest as God.

The title our Jan 2019 retreat is “Murtis & Vedanta for the 21st century” Total $108, includes gourmet lunch, snacks, coffee and the bomb chaiTo jack you up.
The retreat is about 3 pillars:
1) Intellectual Jnana philosophy of Advaita Vedanta. 
2) Bhakti devotion 
3) Sadhana practices, includes team exercises with yogic archetypes
Can you handle a 10 hour intense day with fellow practitioners? Can you be at our temple for Puja by 730 am? Because we can all get into a group flow state when we do this intense 3.5 day retreat. Lots of laughter and crying and releasing. And that affect and effect lingers.
– I’m already working on new jokes. When you are fat, brown and with an Indian accent, you can get away with a lot of stuff.

SCHEDULE (Ashram style teaching, that is, get up early in the morning!)     

Thursday Jan 17 5-8 pm

5-6 pm Group Introductions with mango lassi, samosas, snacks, chai, coffee

6-8 pm Teachings, Team exercises

Friday Jan 18 to Sunday Jan 20730 am to 6 pm

  • 7:30 – 8:30      Morning Puja – Meditation
  • 8:45 – 9:50      Yoga Asana     
  • 10:30-12:30    Murtis – Archetypes   
  • 12:30- 2:30      Lunch, Nap, coffee/chai
  • 2:30 – 4:30       Proclamations of Vedanta
  • 4:30 – 5:00       Snacks, Coffee/Chai 
  • 5:00 – 6:00       Murtis – Archetypes    

Unique Arts

Jyothi is taking us all into powerful group flow states through Vedanta Sadhana of non dual philosophy. It involves Shravanam (listening), Mananam (contemplation) and Nidhidhyasanam mediation of Abiding in the Self. Also will have Puja and traditional yoga asana every day – Vivekananda Kendra spiritual yoga asana as practiced by Jyothi. Questions are strongly encouraged during the philosophy sessions in a Satsang format.
Murti / Yogic Archetypes Flow State practices led by Manoj are about aligning with the source energy. Includes 21st century team practices such as Liberating structures & hero’s journey (Joseph Campbell & Carl Jung).  Along with ancient practices such as mythology, meditations on archetypical symbols and shared story telling. Many team exercises.


My wife Jyothi and I will co teach. Our Bios are at the bottom of this email. You already know me as a murti wallah/scientist/story teller that illuminates archetypical and synchronistical living in samsara with a lightness of being.

These days people call me a spiritual stand up comedian but I often fall flat on my face and that keeps my ego in check.

Jyothi is a Maha scholar and teacher of Advaita Vedanta philosophy (and my teacher) as well as an accomplished South Indian classical music singer. Many people end up studying Vedanta and Puja from Jyothi by Zoom after the retreat. All at no charge.


I’m still getting emails from people who shifted deeply from the one week retreat in August. Including someone who couldn’t come but got a Darshan hit by talking to an attendee who had a massive transformation.

Face to face group energy is very much needed today. Because  interconnectivity and spiritual sadhana lead to spiritual Intersubjectivity.

Consciousness research shows that spiritual Intersubjectivity happens when our subjective experiences co-mingle and gets escalated to flow states and to transformations that persist.

Murti Flow State is about aligning with the source energy. Includes 21st century team practices such as Liberating structures and hero’s journey.  Along with ancient practices such as mythology, meditations on archetypical symbols and shared story telling.

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new sights, but in looking with new eyes.  -Marcel Proust

His actual quote was

“The only true voyage of discovery, the only fountain of Eternal Youth, would be not to visit strange lands but to possess other eyes, to behold the universe through the eyes of another, of a hundred others, to behold the hundred universes that each of them beholds, that each of them is.”

This is Murti Dhrishthi. Myths and Murtis point us to infinite eyes.

Seers of Reality. Rishis are the Seers.

So we have a great community of students/friends/yoga teachers/corporate burnouts and general seekers, that attend the retreats and we have a great time connecting with like-minded people and building community and friendships.


Lots happening. Despite the face to face emphasis, we are reluctantly entering the digital Bhav. What to do.

  • About 108 hours of podcasts and videos of Jyothi and I are going to be filmed.
  • Web site with e-Darshan of Murtis and Vedanta teachings is here!
  • People are called to serve and doing all this as part of Seva.
  • To bring out the teachings in the digital age. All in the Bhav.

Our intent is for the digital to spark an interest in people to attend our face to face retreats in our temple as well as workshops when we travel. Let’s see what happens. We can make all the plans we want but Ganesh decides.

Name of the web site is

Please keep in mind that as far as web site goes, we are transitioning metaphorically from the ancient Sarasvati civilization to the 21st century.

As most of you know, we have never had a functioning web site nor social media presence during the 18 years we have been doing this.  It’s been created with great devotion by our Seva leader, Sierra.

The Podcast will be interview style – created/filmed/edited by Sierra and her team of Jeanette and Kurt. A lot of really useful information on Murtis & Vedanta will be posted, on the upcoming podcasts and videos.

A “Find your Ishtadevata” Online course developed by Sierra.  With some high quality murti pictures by Jeanette.  Check it out, great for Teacher Trainings, yoga students and anyone interested in how to Work with your Archetype/Ishta Devata and How to deal with Bhav Busters!  Preview Course Here

I’m also trying to persuade our daughter Janita (a techie) to develop Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning bots for Murtis and Ishtadevatas. That’s going to really jack me up. Stay tuned.

“The real AI is Archetypal Intelligence living our hero’s journey.” -Manoj

Ram Dass Foundation interviewed me on their podcast in September 2018.  If you are on our mailing list, you will receive a message when it is available.  To be added: Sign Up Here Sierra will add you to the list.

And finally, love to you all – we have a heart connection. I love our chats at various events or by texts. And I’m wonderstruck by your humility, intellect, grace and above all, Bhakti.

Anam Cara…Gaelic for Soul Friend

Jai Hanuman!


Please come with an open heart. To get the most benefit of Vedanta Sadhana practices, hit the reset switch in your mind and make it a beginners mind with minimal prior conditionings. Especially important when you are a yoga or spiritual teacher.PAYMENT
PayPal (or Venmo) to my email the fees ($108/person).  Please use the friends and family option for PayPal payments  Paypal Here PayPal email is


Retreat will be at our temple in San Diego.
Unique Arts
– You can search online at Expedia and other sites such as Airbnb. A couple of hotels are giving lodging discounts to us. Can split room with 2 beds.Inn By the Sea. 12 mi, About 23 min drive. Beautiful sea side location in La Jolla. Lots of stores and restaurants around.  7830 Fay Ave, La Jolla CA 92037 phone 858-459-4461Discounted rate $134/night+tax for room with 2 beds.  Maybe slightly different for Jan.  Free parking. Ask for room block under “Manoj”

Quality Inn. Off the freeway. 2.2 mi, 7 min drive. Inexpensive but decent. Very close to temple. Can’t walk around to stores or restaurants. Breakfast included. $89/night+tax for room with 2 beds. Maybe slightly different for Jan.  9350 Kearny Mesa Rd, San Diego CA 92126 Phone 858-578-4350. Ask for room block under “Manoj”

Parking near my temple: Our temple is in a business park and there are quite a few parking spaces around as well as on the street. Please don’t park in an illegal spot and pray to Ganesh and make him a co conspirator. Because Ganesh will not get the ticket, you will.

Manoj’s Email

Cell is 858-735-4869

Manoj is the Murti Wallah, somebody who schleps and sells Murtis (statues of Hindu & Buddhist deities), teaches their symbolisms, archetypes, philosophy, mythology and a story teller who combines science, popular culture, psychotherapy and whatever I can get my hands on. I’m a scientist by training (Ph.D. In chemical engineering from Cornell) and try also to keep the whole thing real with a healthy dose of humor.

Many of you know my wife Jyothi as a scholar of Advaita Vedanta (non dual philosophy) and South Indian classical music singer. Jyothi is my teacher when it comes to sadhana and Vedanta philosophy. Jyothi’s guru is Swami Tattvavidyanandaji from Arsha Vidya Gurukulam in Pennsylvania. Jyothi spends 3 months every fall at their ashram studying the Vedantic scriptures of the Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita and Brahma Sutras.


%d bloggers like this: