Swami Chinmayananda (1916-1993), the founder of Chinmaya Mission, was born in Cochin, India. Not satisfied with degrees in literature and law or with other worldly aspirations, he pursued the spiritual path in the Himalayas under the guidance of Swami Shivananda and Swami Tapovanam.
He taught the logic of spirituality, while emphasizing the balance of head and heart. "Selfless work, study, and meditation are the cornerstones of spiritual practice," he said. He is credited with the renaissance of spiritual and cultural values in India and with awakening the rest of the world to the ageless wisdom of Vedanta.
His legacy remains in the form of books, audio and video tapes, schools, social service projects, more than 300 full-time Vedanta teachers whom he taught and inspired, and more than 300 Chinmaya Mission centers around the world serving the spiritual and cultural needs of local communities.
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As the Spiritual Head of Chinmaya Mission centers worldwide, Swami Tejomayananda is fulfilling the vision that Swami Chinmayananda started. He oversees spiritual, cultural, educational, and social service activities, which are so dear to Gurudeva. As he puts it, "I am not in Swamiji's shoes, I am at his feet."
Swami Tejomayananda completed the Vedanta studies at an early age of twenty, and was initiated into Samnyasa in 1983. He decided to dedicate his life to spreading the teachings of Pujya Gurudeva.
He excels in expounding upon a wide spectrum of Hindu scriptures - the Ramayana, the Bhagavad Gita, the Bhagavatam, and the Upanisads. He conducts jnana yajna-s (lecture series) on Vedanta as he moves around the world at a bewildering pace. His easy manner and devotional rendering of Vedantic texts has drawn many seekers into the spiritual fold. He is a master poet and composer who has written stotras in Samskrt, poems in Marathi and Hindi, and composes his own music. He has written commentaries on several scriptural texts, translated Gurudeva's commentaries on Srimad Bhagavad Gita into Hindi, and authored a number of books. His key contribution is, "Hindu Culture: An introduction," a text acclaimed for its clear description of the basics of Hinduism and adopted as text in some American High Schools.
Sri Gaurangbhai Nanavaty and Smt. Darshanaben Nanavaty, the heart-and-soul of Chinmaya Mission Houston.
They are affectionately known as 'Uncle' and 'Aunty' to one and all. Inspired by Swami Chinmayananda, Sri & Smt. Nanavaty left their professional careers and joined Sandeepany West, Piercy, California in 1979. After completing the Vedanta studies in 1982, they moved to Houston where they began imparting knowledge of Vedanta to the community.
Sri Gaurangbhai, the acharya in-charge, dedicates his time and energy in conducting Satsanga-s, leading Vedanta study groups, and organizing and managing CMH activities. Being one of us, he understands the challenges faced by householders and aptly guides us on our spiritual path.
His discourses, based on a profound understanding of Vedanta, are illustrated with amusing and insightful anecdotes.
Smt. Darshanaben is the Director of the Bala Vihar and Yuvakendra programs. She is the co-acharya at CMH. She has established a very unique, creative, and dynamic Bala Vihar curriculum and complementary teaching materials for the faculty to teach spiritual values and Indian culture. She has authored a book, "Bon Voyage," to convey simple spiritual messages to children, and produced "Journey To The Truth"- a multimedia CD-ROM version of the Bhagavad Gíta. This CD-ROM uniquely combines animations, folk art, traditional and classical styles of chants, games, stories, and other interactive elements to present the in-depth messages of the Gita. The CD-ROM is designed to cater to adults, youth, and children.
- H.H. Swami Tejomayanandaji
- Sri Gaurangbhai Nanavaty
- Smt. Darshanaben Nanavaty
- B.N. Murali, President
- Madhavi Vaidya, Secretary
- Hanumanth Rao Akula, Treasurer
- Gopal Savjani, Member Director
- Ramesh Patel, Member Director
- Bharati Sutaria, Member Director
Operations and Management Team:
- Hanumanth Rao Akula
- Jaya Chitale
- Jay Deshmukh
- Jitender Kumar
- Surendra Mital
- B.N. Murali
- Ramesh Patel
- Anish Shah
- Bharati Sutaria
- Madhavi Vaidya
- Jayakrishna Gundamaraju
- Jatin Desai
Our Bala Vihar Teachers
A team of specially trained, experienced, and dedicated teachers conduct the Bala Vihar program. Through games, arts, crafts, stories, and other unique techniques, the Bala Vihar program teaches and reinforces spiritual and cultural values. The curriculum designed for all grade levels (Pre-KG through Grade 12) is creative and dynamic, and covers a wide range of topics. To contact the teachers, please click on the teachers list.