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Pujya Swami Tejomayananda ji – Head of Chinmaya Mission Worldwide
Pujya Swami Tejomayananda ji is the present Head of the Chinmaya Mission Worldwide and one of the tallest Hindu teachers and spiritual leaders today. This is the first time London will be hosting a Hindu spiritual of this stature, on June 18th 2016, who heads over 350 centres worldwide.
Swami Tejomayananda is a living portrait of simplicity with depth, humility with courage, and wisdom with devotion. Always jovial, smiling, and welcoming, he is readily accessible and approachable to all who seek the knowledge of Vedanta from him.
Swami ji will meet with members of the London community at a Satsanga that will be organized on June 18th afternoon. The venue and timing is to be finalized in the next few weeks.
Everyone is welcome to attend a talk on “Right Thinking Joyful Living” by Swami ji on this day at Jack Chambers Public School from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm. This is a complementary event, but a simple registration is required for logistics and communication to all attendees. Please CLICK HERE to register.
More about Swami ji….
Childhood and youth Born into a Maharashtrian family on June 30, 1950, in Madhya Pradesh, India, Sudhakar Kaitwade was not spiritually inclined as such. At the age of 20, a year away from getting his Master’s degree in Physics, Sudhakar intended to pursue a teaching career.
Renunciation and Spiritual Quest
Sudhakar’s revolutionary change came about the day he was attracted to a large banner announcing Swami Chinmayananda’s talks on Shrimad Bhagavad 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.
Upon completion of the Vedanta course in 1975, Sudhakar was initiated into the Chinmaya Mission’s monastic order of acharyas (teachers) as Brahmachari Vivek Chaitanya. Over the years, he served as acharya at the Mission Centres in Bhopal, Kanpur, and Sidhabari. He conducted the first residential Vedanta course in Hindi at ‘Sandeepany Himalayas’ in Sidhabari. On October 21, 1983, Swami Chinmayananda initiated him into sannyasa, bestowing upon him the name, Swami Tejomayananda. He was then appointed as acharya of the Sandeepany Sadhanalaya ashram in Mumbai, where he taught two consecutive residential Vedanta courses in English. In 1989, Swami Tejomayananda was posted to Chinmaya Mission’s U.S. Centre in San Jose, California, where he remained as acharya until 1993. After Pujya Gurudev attained Mahasamadhi he became the Head of Chinmaya Mission Worldwide.
Visionary and Missionary
Spiritually awakened through Swami Tapovanam’s tutelage and grace, and inspired by Mother Ganga’s continuous flow of purity and service to mankind, Swami Chinmayananda sought and received his guru’s blessings to spread Vedantic knowledge to the masses. Having seen widespread spiritual and social degradation in India, he felt the urge to share with others the knowledge that had brought fulfilment in his own life. Swami Chinmayananda conducted his first jnana yajna (a series of spiritual discourses) in December 1951, at a small temple in Pune, Maharashtra. Jnana yajna, a term he coined from Lord Krishna’s teachings in the Shrimad Bhagavad Gita, refers to the student who through scriptural studies performs the ritual of worship (yajna) at the altar of wisdom (jnana). His teachings were based on the authority of the Vedas and his direct experience. They were highly appreciated, and the number of devotees eager to learn from Swami Chinmayananda’s highly dynamic, logical, and witty discourses increased rapidly. An inspired band of devotees thus formed ‘Chinmaya Mission’ in 1953. From pulpits and platforms throughout India and around the world, Swami Chinmayananda taught the tens of thousands who came to listen and learn. By the time he left his physical form and attained mahasamadhi on August 3, 1993, Gurudev, as Swami Chinmayananda came to be known among his followers, had conducted 576 jnana yajnas as well as countless family spiritual camps, traversing hundreds of thousands of miles, crisscrossing the globe, and transforming millions of lives directly and indirectly.
Published Works As dynamic, creative, serene and profound that he was, despite serious medical conditions and incessant world travel, Swami Chinmayananda 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. Swami Chinmayananda is credited with bringing about a worldwide Vedantic renaissance in the late 20th century through his introduction of Adi Sankara’s works and teachings to the masses. Whether in his writings or his orations, Swami Chinmayananda was famed for his depth, clarity, eloquence, wit, and humour. Serving humanity endlessly and tirelessly until his last day, he daily expounded in colloquial terms the philosophical truths from Advaita Vedanta in every nook and corner he reached.
The Legacy In his 42 years of relentless service, Swami Chinmayananda left an indelible mark in the hearts and minds of people, and his footprints in the multifarious service projects he inspired in the Mission. He created a vast legacy – a global organization committed to Vedanta and also started numerous educational institutions and social service projects. He lives on in the priceless publications of Chinmaya Mission and in the hearts of millions as a saint and teacher extraordinaire. Swami Chinmayananda’s life was indeed a saga of immeasurable strength, boundless love, tireless service, and metaphysical reach.