Childhood Born May 8, 1916, Ernakulam, Kerala Parents – Parukutti & Kuttan Menon Named Balakrishna Menon Lost his mother at an early age Brought up by his aunt Charming and intelligent A great sense of humor Learned English, Malayalam and Sanskrit at school
Early Meditation Technique Balan’s family gathered for long pooja and satsang, every evening Balan invented his own game during this pooja session Gazing at his favorite picture of Lord Shiva Repeatedly opening his eyes to look at the picture and closing his eyes to visualize the image in his mind Accidentally, Balan had discovered a technique of meditation In later years, this method helped him invoke the Lord in his mind, at will
Youth In 1940, Balan joined Lucknow University to major in English and Law Excelled in literature, participated in debates & plays held on the campus Got involved deeply in the Indian independence movement writing & distributing pamphlets, & delivering speeches This landed him in prison He became ill in prison & was tossed out on the roadside Helped by compassionate lady After graduation he became journalist at National Herald in Delhi
Spiritual Quest Balan (Balakrishnan) Decided to write an expose’ on “The bluff of the Swamis in the Himalayan regions” Travelled to Ananda Kutir, Swami Sivananda’s ashram in Rishikesh Was overwhelmed with the love, dedication & divinity and teachings of Swami Sivananda Balakrishnan’s journey to expose others ended up in exposing himself to his own spiritual revolution and evolution A striking inner transformation unfolded within Balakrishnan He began questioning & reflecting upon the purpose of life and the secret of permanent happiness..
Initiation Balakrishnan chose to become a renunciate himself Balakrishnan, initiated into sanyasa Mahasivaratri, Feb 25, 1949 by Sw. Sivananda Blessed with the name “Swami Chinmayananda Saraswati Chinmayananda means “Filled with the bliss of pure Consciousness” Swami Sivananda then guided him to renowned vedanta master, Swami Tapovanam in Uttarkasi, Himalayas Swami Tapovanam who rarely took on disciples, put forth strict conditions Swami Chinmayananda led an austere life and underwent intense study of vedantic texts
Visionary Gurudev sought and received his Guru’s blessings to spread Vedanta to the masses Conducted first jnana yajna in December 1951, at a small temple in Pune Teachings based on the authority of the Vedas, Advaita vedanta, and his direct experience Word spread and soon Swami Chinmayananda taught tens of thousands around the globe Teacher extraordinaire Famed for his depth, clarity, eloquence, wit & humor Conducted Gita jnana yagnas all over the world Attained Mahasamadhi on August 3, 1993 in San Diego Gurudev had conducted 576 jnana yajnas as well as countless family spiritual camps
Published Works Authored over 35 books, including commentaries on the major Upanishads and Shrimad Bhagavad Gita. The latter work has been acclaimed as one of the most refined, insightful, and practical commentaries ever written on the Gita. The collection of his video talks on the Gita is heralded today as one of Chinmaya Mission's most illustrious publications.
Legacy He created a global organization committed to Vedanta. He also started numerous educational institutions and social service projects.
Chinmaya Mission An inspired band of devotees formed 'Chinmaya Mission' in 1953, under the guidance of Gurudev. 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. Mission Motto: To give maximum happiness to the maximum number for the maximum time is our religion
Trivia!! What is the mission motto of chinmaya mission?
Teachings Following the Vedic guru-shishya parampara, Chinmaya Mission makes available the ageless wisdom of Advaita Vedanta, the knowledge of Universal Oneness, and Provides the tools to realize the wisdom in one's life. Members work to uplift humanity beyond selfish and sectarian attitudes and activities. Seeks personal growth, heightened efficiency, contentment, and the ability to live with others in peace and harmony.
Trivia!! Who is the current head of our mission?
Swami Tejomayananda Born into a Maharashtrian family on June 30, 1950, in Madhya Pradesh Sudhakar Kaitwade was not spiritually inclined as such. He intended to pursue a teaching career. Sudhakar's revolutionary change came about the day he attended Swami Chinmayananda's talks on the Gita, Chapter 3. A couple of talks later, he was so thoroughly inspired that he sought the permission of his mother to join the Chinmaya Mission's residential Vedanta course at Sandeepany Sadhanalaya in Mumbai.
Swami Tejomayananda In 1983, Swami Chinmayananda initiated him into sannyasa, bestowing upon him the name, Swami Tejomayananda. In 1989, Swami Tejomayananda was posted to CM San Jose, where he remained as acharya until 1993. After Gurudev’s Mahasamadhi, became head of the mission.
Swami Tejomayananda Fluent in Hindi, Marathi, English, and Sanskrit. Written commentaries, and original music, poetry, and text compositions Progressive in thinking and precise in decision-making
Missions Worldwide Central Chinmaya Mission Trust - Mumbai The Mission has continued mushrooming and has over 300 centers worldwide. It is here Swami Chinmayananda began the Sandeepany Sadhanalaya, in 1964 to train young monks in Vedanta
Missions Worldwide Sidhabari - Himalayas Samadhi Sthala houses Swamiji’s sculpture made of eight metals Gurudev’s Kutiya where he worked Hanumanji in Veerasana posture and is 25 ft tall and rests on a 7 ft granite pedestal, Ram Mandir
Missions Worldwide Uttarkashi Tapovan Kutir, the home of Swami Tapovan Maharaj, is here Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda spent several years studying at the feet of his guru.
CMLA Presence in Southern California since 1982. First balavihar Started. Site for CMLA center located in Anaheim, CA in 1992. Gurudev named the ashram Kashi. Inaugurated by Guruji Swami Tejomayananda in January 1996. Second center Chinmaya Mithila in Tustin was inaugurated by Guruji in 2005
CMLA The present Chinmaya Rameshwaram opened in January 1, 2010 and is the confluence of both centers On January 17, the idols from Kashi and Mithila were ceremoniously installed in Chinmaya Rameshwaram.
OUR ACHARYAS In late 1995, a dynamic Brahmachari Someshwar Chaitanya came to CMLA and with his dynamic vision. CMLA has continued to grow to its present state. He was initiated by Swami Tejomayananda and became Swami Ishwarananda in 2000. In 2008 Swami Tejomayananda made long time devotee Dr. P. Mahadev, Acharya.
Hari Om Have you ever wondered why do we greet each other “ Hariom” in Chinmaya Mission ? Gurudev used to say that it meant “ Hurry Home”-- - find your True self. WHY
Hari Om “Om is the goal to be reached. Om is state of consciousness and bliss when you no longer have any desires. This is possible only after all our vasanas are exhausted. It is not easy to remove these vasanas one by one. We need God’s grace to remove all our vasanas. So we call “Hari, O Lord please help me. I cannot do this by my own efforts. I need your grace to loot these vasanas from me”. Keep you attention on Hari to take you to OM.