A B  O  U  T       U  S

Param Pujya Swami Tapovan Maharaj

Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda

Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayananda

Mukhya Swami: Swami Swaroopananda

Chinmaya Mission Worldwide

Chinmaya Mission Pledge

Chinmaya Mission Tampa

Chinmaya Bala Vihar

Chinmaya Yuva Kendra (CHYK)

Chinmaya Study Groups /Jnana Yajnas

Chinmaya Mission Tampa Acharya

 


Param Pujya Swami Tapovan Maharaj
"No amount of penance or ritualistic worship can take us to the Goal. The ego can be rooted out only on the direct perception of Reality resulting from right thinking. Until this is done, there cannot be real peace and freedom from suffering. Escape from ego is called moksha. Attaining this is the highest purpose of life."

His Holiness Swami Tapovan-ji Maharaj of Uttarkashi is the renowned spiritual master from whom Pujya Swami Chinmayananda acquired the wealth of Vedantic knowledge.

Swami Tapovanji set before himself the ideals portrayed by Lord Krishna in Shrimad Bhagavad Gita. He was a virakta mahatma and the embodiment of the ideals of sannyasa, endowed with supreme renunciation, profound wisdom, austerity, and compassion.

Born in 1889 in Kerala, Swamiji was also a poet, and had a deep love for Mother Nature's canvases of rare beauty--the unfrequented Himalayan peaks and valleys.  He wrote his travels in two splendid volumes, Himagiri Viharam and Kailasa Yatra. Swamiji's masterpiece is the rich Sanskrit volume, Ishvara Darshan. This autobiographical sketch is a garland of spiritual thoughts, revealing the fragrance of the life of a man of realization.

Swamiji lived for 68 years as a monumental expression of an ideal Vedantic Guru in the ancient rishi tradition. He attained mahasamadhi in 1957.



Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda
"The secret of action is to get established in equanimity, renouncing all egocentric attachments, forgetting to worry over successes and failures. Every action motivated by egocentric desires thickens the veil of ignorance and permits not even a single ray of our essential Divinity to peep through us."

His Holiness Swami Chinmayananda (Pujya Gurudev), founder of Chinmaya Mission, taught spirituality as a way of life. He was born in Kerala on May 8, 1916. Through the path of jnana yoga, or the spiritual path of Vedantic knowledge, he emphasized the balance of head and heart, pointing out selfless work, study, and meditation as the cornerstones of spiritual practice.

Not satisfied with his literature and law degrees or other worldly aspirations, Balakrishnan Menon pursued the spiritual path with austere practices for nine years in the Himalayas, under the guidance of Pujya Swami Sivananda and the tutelage of Pujya Swami Tapovanji. He eventually chose to share his direct experience of Vedantic knowledge with the masses, and roared forth like Mother Ganga in the form of the dynamic spiritual master known as Swami Chinmayananda.

Pujya Gurudev is renowned worldwide as one of the foremost teachers of Shrimad Bhagavad Gita. He is credited with the renaissance of spirituality and cultural values in India and with the spreading of the ageless wisdom of Advaita Vedanta, as expounded by Adi Shankaracharya, throughout the world.

Pujya Gurudev attained mahasamadhi on August 3, 1993. His legacy remains in the form of written, audio, and video publications; social service projects (schools, hospitals, rural development programs, and more); and the missionaries who carry on his vision to this day.


Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayananda
"A life of dynamism is one where there is a combination of great vision and action--a life that comes from quietude, contemplation, and inspiration. All great masters have lived a great part of their life in solitude."

His Holiness Swami Tejomayananda (Pujya Guruji), Head of Chinmaya Mission worldwide 1993-2017, continues to fulfilling the vision that Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda charted. As he puts it, “I am not in Swamiji’s shoes; I am at His feet.”

Born as Sudhakar Kaitwade on June 30, 1950, Pujya Guruji joined the ashram at the tender age of 19 and became one of the foremost disciples of his Guru. He later served as acharya, or dean of the Sandeepany institutes of Vedanta (gurukulams of Chinmaya Mission) in India, and as acharya in Mission centers in India and the US. He has written countless books that include commentaries on scriptural texts and translations of Pujya Gurudev’s commentaries, as well as over 100 original poems and songs with lyrics and music compositions. One key contribution is Hindu Culture: An Introduction, a text acclaimed for its clear description of the basics of Hinduism; it has been adopted as a reference text in some American high schools.

Pujya Guruji excels in deftly expounding a wide spectrum of Hindu scriptures, from Ramayana to Shrimad Bhagavad Gita to the Upanishads with clarity, devotion, and profound wisdom. He conducts discourses around the world and his easy manner and devotional rendering of Vedantic texts has drawn many newcomers into the spiritual fold.


Swami Swaroopananda, Global Head of Chinmaya Mission

Swami Swaroopananda is a rare voice that blends authenticity with accessibility, theory with practice, and logic with heart. Formerly the Regional Head of Chinmaya Mission Australia, United Kingdom, Middle East, Africa and Far East, and presently Chairman of the Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth Trust (University for Sanskrit and Indic Traditions) and Director of the Chinmaya International Residential School in Coimbatore, Swami Swaroopananda was appointed as the Global Head of Chinmaya Mission on Jnauary 19, 2017.


Chinmaya Mission Worldwide

Chinmaya Mission Statement
To provide to individuals, from any background, the wisdom of Vedanta and the practical means for spiritual growth and happiness, enabling them to become positive contributors to society.

Chinmaya Mission Motto
To give the maximum amount of happiness, to the maximum number of people, for the maximum amount of time.

Chinmaya Mission® was established in India in 1953 by devotees of the world-renowned Vedanta teacher, His Holiness Swami Chinmayananda, a disciple of the revered Himalayan master, His Holiness Swami Tapovanam. Under his guidance, these devotees formed the nucleus of a spiritual renaissance movement that now encompasses a wide range of spiritual, educational, and charitable activities, ennobling the lives of thousands in India and outside its borders. Administered by Central Chinmaya Mission Trust in Mumbai, India, the Mission was headed by His Holiness Swami Tejomayananda from 1993 to 2017. The present Head of Chinmaya Mission is now Swami Swaroopananda.

Following the Vedic teacher-taught tradition (guru-shishya parampara), Chinmaya Mission makes available the ageless wisdom of Vedanta, the knowledge of the one Reality, and provides the tools to realize that wisdom in one’s life. “To give maximum happiness to the maximum number for the maximum time” is the tenet that drives Mission workers to uplift humanity beyond selfish and sectarian attitudes and activities. Each person’s gain is manifold: personal growth, heightened efficiency, contentment, and the ability to live with others in peace and harmony. For more information, see Chinmaya Mission: Transforming Lives.

There are over 325 Chinmaya Mission centers in India, and over 80 outside of India. The Mission’s various activities and projects include:

• Jnana Yajnas (Vedanta public lecture series), Seminars, Workshops
• Chinmaya Bala Vihar (Vedanta forum for children and youth)
• Chinmaya Yuva Kendra (Vedanta forum for young adults)
• Chinmaya Study Groups (Vedanta forum for adults)
• Devi Groups (Vedanta forum for housewives)
• Spiritual Retreats and Camps
• Sandeepany Sadhanalayas (institutes for Vedanta Courses and Intensives)
• Publications
• Regional Centers
• Temples and Shrines
• Schools and Colleges
• Medical Services and Training
• Rural Village Development Projects
• Pitamaha Sadans (senior citizens’ home)
• Home-Study Vedanta and Sanskrit Correspondence Courses
• Research in Sanskrit and Indology

       

     


Chinmaya Mission Pledge

We stand as one family, bound to each other with love and respect.
We serve as an army, courageous and disciplined,
ever ready to fight against all low tendencies and false values,
within and without us.

We live honestly the noble life of sacrifice and service,
producing more than what we consume,
and giving more than what we take.

We seek the Lord’s grace to keep us on the path
of virtue, courage, and wisdom.
May Thy grace and blessings flow through us
to the world around us.

We believe that the service of our country
is the service of the Lord of Lords,
and devotion to the people is the devotion to the supreme Self.

We know our responsibilities.
Give us the ability and courage to fulfill them.
Om Tat Sat


Chinmaya Mission Tampa

Chinmaya Mission® Tampa (CM Tampa) is a center with old beginnings. Inspired by the teachings of Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda, Radha Majumdar and Padma Pillai began the first Chinmaya Study Group in 1986 with 12 members. A few years later, they organized a jnana yajna by Swami Shantananda (CM Princeton). The successful event was well attended, marking a time of growth for Chinmaya Mission activities in the Tampa Bay area.

Chinmaya Mission Tampa officially incorporated with an appointed Board of Director in December 1998. Guided by Swami Shantananda, Radha Majumdar and Anu Durai organized Chinmaya Bala Vihar, which began with 45 students.

Ira and Jiwat Lalwani were instrumental in organizing CM Tampa's yajna yajnas and other programs. Under Hasmukh Gandhi's tenure as president of CM Tampa, Swami Swaroopananda’s jnana yajna on Hanuman Chalisa was highly acclaimed and well-received, becoming a milestone in the local community. During Narendra Sastry's term as president, in 1999, Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayananda graced CM Tampa with a five-day jnana yajna on select verses of Tulasi Ramayana.

In 2006, CM Tampa purchased a 1.5-acre, wooded property with a home in Lutz, Florida. Pujya Guruji named the ashram “Chinmaya Prasad” and inaugurated it on Dec. 21, 2006 with the installation of Lord Hanuman as the presiding deity. The inaugural event was celebrated with a staged musical on Pujya Gurudev’s life.

CM Tampa's Chinmaya Study Groups and Chinmaya Bala Vihar classes have continued to grow and benefit the community since since 1999. Visiting acharyas have included Swamis Shantananda, Ishwarananda, Prakashananda, and Sarveshananda; and Swamini Radhikananda.


Chinmaya Bala Vihar (CMBV)

Two of the greatest gifts from Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda to the younger generation are ‘Chinmaya Bala Vihar’ and ‘Chinmaya Yuva Kendra.’ Both programs provide spiritual and cultural orientation to children and youth of the modern age. Chinmaya Bala Vihar (CMBV) is for children grades PreK-12, and Chinmaya Yuva Kendra (CHYK) is for university students and young adults (ages 17-29).

      

Pujya Gurudev said, “Children are not vessels to be filled, but lamps to be lit. Children are the architects of the future world. They are the builders of humanity. It is the most sacred task of parents, as well as teachers, to mold their lives in accordance with the sublime Indian tradition. The seeds of spiritual values should be sown in young hearts and the condition should be made favorable for its sprouting and steady growth by the exercise of proper control and discipline. Cared for with the warmth of love and affection, such a tree shall blossom forth flowers of universal love, peace, beauty, and perfection.”

                     

The rationale behind this program, as elucidated by Pujya Gurudev in his talk on "March of the Future," is summarized as follows:

· To inculcate in our children and youth a reverence for our ancient culture, and inspire them to live up to it with correct understanding
· To create self-confidence so they are able to serve and act cheerfully
· To generate personal discipline, dynamic leadership, and true affection in all their contacts
· To mold their capacity to brilliantly express their individuality
· To bring out their dormant faculties and detect defects so they can cultivate and improve their creative abilities
· To help our children and youth develop a healthy resistance against temptations in the atmosphere in which they grow
· To provide an atmosphere of growth, filled with noble ideals, healthy emotions, and physical discipline.

CMBV classes include the Vedantic teachings of: Sanskrit stotrams and prayers, bhajans, Ramayana, Mahabharata, Shrimad Bhagavad Gita, and the Puranas. Also included are value-based and devotional stories that teach Hindu culture and basic morals, such as honesty, diligence, responsibility, valor, and integrity. Additionally, CM Tampa's special events enhance the growth of our community's children in the arts of puja, meditation, and community service.

Mission Statement:
To help children learn
Values with fun
To delight like the moon
And shine like the sun

Motto: Keep smiling!

View curriculum and register.


Chinmaya Yuva Kendra (CHYK)

Two of the greatest gifts from Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda to the younger generation are ‘Chinmaya Bala Vihar’ and ‘Chinmaya Yuva Kendra.’ Both programs provide spiritual and cultural orientation to children and youth of the modern age. Chinmaya Bala Vihar (CMBV) is for children, grades pk-10, and Chinmaya Yuva Kendra (CHYK) is for youth and young adults, ages 17-29 years.

           

The purpose of CHYK, as given by Pujya Gurudev, is to harness dynamic potential. Gurudev said that today’s youth are not useless; they are used less. And that youth are not careless; they are cared for less than they should be. CHYK strives to unite youth and young adults by providing a forum to explore, discuss, and practice Vedanta while strengthening their lives in every endeavor. The objectives of CHYK include:

· To provide a spiritual forum and introduce the philosophy and message of Vedanta
· To unite members spiritually and professionally through satsang and community service
· To build and develop future leaders

CHYK classes include the Vedantic study of: Sanskrit stotrams and prayers, bhajans, Shrimad Bhagavad Gita, and the Upanishads. CM Tampa's special events help purify the mind through sadhana (spiritual means) such as meditation, japa, puja, and community service.

CM Tampa CHYKs function under CHYK West, Chinmaya Mission West's national youth wing in the US. CHYK West functions under Global CHYK.

Mission Statement: To empower youth with the vision, values, and dynamism for success in all fields

Motto: Harnessing Youth Potential through Dynamic Spirituality


Chinmaya Study Groups / Jnana Yajnas

Inspired by the vision of Vedanta, thousands of spiritual seekers across the world meet in groups to study and discuss Vedantic texts. Setting aside blind beliefs, they discuss scriptural teachings, deepening their personal philosophical understanding. Study Group members are those who study the scriptures because they have a thirst to imbibe and benefit from the perennial wisdom of the rishis. The followed systematic Study Group Scheme has been developed and prescribed by Pujya Gurudev himself, after testing its validity over the years. Today, there are over 1,000 Chinmaya Study Groups worldwide.

What is read or heard, in order to take root, must be thought over (tat chintanam) or reflected upon. The test of clear thinking is in the ability to express our thoughts clearly (tat kathanam). Again, whether our understanding is correct and proper, is brought out in the rational and mutual discussion of the Study Group members (anyonya prabodhanam). Thus, the sincere and diligent student gains a better perspective of our scriptures through this process. Additionally, this forum, in the atmosphere of satsanga, also fosters and develops brotherly understanding and cooperative thinking among the members, and affirms the wisdom of Oneness.

Chinmaya Adult Study Groups follow a study syllabus that includes introductory Vedantic texts, Shrimad Bhagavad Gita, and the Upanishads. These weekly classes for adults are free and follow the Chinmaya Bala Vihar (spiritual classes for kids) calendar. CM Tampa’s weekly classes and special events are conducted by resident acharya, Swamini Akhilananda. View weekly classes.

Mission Statement: To provide to individuals, from any background, the wisdom of Vedanta and the practical means for spiritual growth and happiness, enabling them to become positive contributors to society

Motto: To give the maximum amount of happiness to the maximum number of beings for the maximum amount of time

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Jnana Yajnas (spiritual discourses on various Vedantic topics and texts) are specially coined and formulated by Chinmaya Mission to teach Vedantic scriptures and topics to all interested spiritual seekers. CM Tampa continues to anually invite various CMW acharyas from across North America to conduct jnana yajna for all South Floridians. Jnana yajnas are always free of charge, open to the public, and 3-7 days in duration. CM acharyas in India and outside its borders are also adept in conducting classes and jnana yajnas in regional languages, including Gujarati, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and Malyalam, Marathi, and Kannada, to name a few. CM publications are also available in regional languages. View calendar of events.

         


CM Tampa Acharya

Swamini Akhilananda first met Pujya Gurudev, His Holiness Swami Chinmayananda, at a Chinmaya Mission spiritual camp in Canada. Inspired by his life and teachings, she continued to seek his presence whenever chance permitted. With his blessings, she joined Chinmaya Mission's intensive two-year Vedanta Course at the Sandeepany Sadhanalaya ashram in Mumbai, India in 1993. She was initiated as Brahmacharini Aparna Chaitanya in August 1995. On Mahashivaratri Day in 2013, she received sannyasa diksha from Pujya Guruji, His Holiness Swami Tejomayananda, and was initiated into the monastic order as Swamini Akhilananda.

She has lived and studied in the U.S. most of her life, and has been conducting Vedanta classes, camps, and workshops for all age groups for nearly 25 years. She has also served as the Executive Secretary of Chinmaya Mission West (CMW, the guiding body for CM centers in North America) and as the Editor-in-Chief of CMW News, CMW's former bimonthly newsletter.

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