Chinmaya Mission Houston

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About Us

Our Gurudeva

Swami Chinmayananda
 

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.

 

Our Guruji

Swami Tejomayananda 
  
  
  

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.

 

Our Worldwide Head

Swami Swaroopananda 
In an era ripe with scepticism and confusion about matters spiritual, Swami Swaroopananda is a rare voice that blends authenticity with accessibility; theory with self- practice; logic with heart. In his words:

"Fill the heart with the oil of love, place in it the wick of single-pointed mind. Light it with the knowledge of truth and remove the darkness of ignorance around you.  Just as one lamp can light many lamps let each youth kindle this light in many hearts".

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, South India, Swami Swaroopananda has now been bestowed by Swami Tejomayananda the privilege to also serve as the Head of Chinmaya Mission Worldwide.

Born and brought up in the bustling commercial capital of India,   Swamiji had always been convinced that beyond life’s superficial, everyday joys and sorrows, there was something more enduring and satisfying. As a child he heard from his grandmother many religious stories based on the great Indian epics and the history of saints. These stories suddenly came to life, acquiring new meaning and depth, when as an adolescent he encountered the preeminent Master of Vedanta, Swami Chinmayananda.

His heart completely moved and inspired, in 1984 Swami Swaroopananda gave up his family's thriving business in Hong Kong to undergo intensive training under Swami Chinmayananda and Swami Tejomayananda at Sandeepany, Mumbai. He was initiated into the monastic order in 1992. Since then, he has touched thousands of lives across the world, and his tremendous work in bringing out the essential wisdom and underlying unity of all religions has garnered him a place among the vanguards of self-development philosophy.

Swamiji has authored several commentaries on such important spiritual classics as Ik Onkar, Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra and Sankat Mochan, besides numerous books on contemporary lifestyle subjects such as Simplicity and Meditation, Storm to Perform, Avatar, Managing the Manager and Journey into Health.

Swamiji is equally adept at conducting ‘wholistic management’ seminars for senior corporate executives. Among the well-known institutes he has been invited to speak at are The Ford, London Business School and Harvard University, to name a few. In fact, a proprietary self-development course he conceived and initially conducted, Make It Happen™, has been adapted and integrated into the human resource training programmes of various corporate organisations in India and beyond.


 

Our Acharyas

Acharya Sri Gaurang Nanavaty and Acharya Smt. Darshana Nanavaty

– The dedicated pioneers of Chinmaya Mission Houston

Affectionately addressed as “Uncle” and “Aunty” by their expanding Chinmaya family in Houston, Acharya Sri Gaurang Nanavaty and Acharya Smt. Darshana Nanavaty have dedicated themselves since 1982 to enriching the Houston community with the treasured scriptural knowledge of Vedanta.

Inspired by Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda, the Nanavatys gave up their professional careers and immersed themselves in an intense study of the Hindu scriptures during the Vedanta Course at Piercy, California, in 1979. After that, their commitment to the Vedantic path of life took deep roots in Houston. In more than three decades since 1982, their loving guidance has grown to nourish the scriptural learning and cultural growth of almost a thousand families.

While their selfless work makes their love for the community visible, it is a matter of happy pride to the Houston community that our Acharyas of Houston were recently honored and highlighted among the “Jewels of Gujarat” – in a 2014 Silver Jubilee publication (by Maneesh Media) featuring 80 eminent Gujarati personalities selected from fourteen countries.

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Our Board

Chairman:

  • H.H. Swami Tejomayanandaji

Acharyas:

  • Sri Gaurangbhai Nanavaty
  • Smt. Darshanaben Nanavaty

Board:

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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.

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