Chinmaya Mission® was established in India in 1953 by devotees of the world-renowned Vedanta teacher, His Holiness Swami Chinmayananda. Guided by his vision, devotees all around the world 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 across its borders. Presently, headed by His Holiness Swami Tejomayananda, the Mission is administered by Central Chinmaya Mission Trust (CCMT) in Mumbai, India. Under his guidance, the Mission has continued mushrooming across the globe and stands today with over 300 centres worldwide.
Born in 1889 in Kerala, India, Chippu Kutty, as Swami Tapovanam was known, exhibited a marked partiality for spiritual life. As a child, he was fascinated and delighted by Pauranik stories manifesting the glories of God and the worship of idols fashioned by his own hands.
A saint of the highest order, Swami Tapovanam was a consummate Vedantin, strict teacher, a compassionate mentor, a poet whose every thought throbbed with ecstatic awareness, and a sage of unsurpassed wisdom and tranquillity. He is one of those rare sages who personifies the Absolute in every sense of the word — eternal and infinite — radiant and resplendent, dazzling with the effulgence of a million suns.
That Truth, which Swami Tapovanam realized and indicated in all his teachings, is beyond words, as much as he himself was. Swami Chinmayananda said of his Guru, “He was a God without temple, a Veda without language.”
H.H. Swami Chinmayananda is a world renowned authority of the scriptures of India, especially Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads. He was born in 1916 and attained mahasamadhi in 1993. He worked relentlessly for about 40 years to bring about spiritual revival in India and abroad. His unique style and logical approach is appealing to all young and old.
His was the life of selfless service to others. He is the author of more than thirty books, each one is a masterpiece, dealing with the philosophical principles behind the religion. He made mysterious and elusive vedantic principles easily understandable for common people. He is the founder of Chinmaya Mission, through which the work that he initiated and was so dear to him, is carried out in the form of spreading the message of vedanta, overseeing numerous cultural, educational and social service activities. A biography of this great spiritual master, entitled Journey of a Master: Swami Chinmayananda, is available through Chinmaya Publications.
Swami Chinmayananda was selected by the Hindu Host Committee to be the President of Hindu Religion, representing Hinduism worldwide at the Meeting of the Parliament of World Religions in Chicago (during August 28 - September 4, 1993), an honor bestowed on the great Swami Vivekananda a century ago. The Parliament had selected fourteen eminent religious leaders around the world to form a council to guide the world into the next century. At "World Vision 2000," a conference of religious leaders sponsored by Hindu Vishwa Parishad during August 6-8, 1993, H.H. Swami Chinmayanandji was to be honored for his lifetime of selfless service to humanity and his extraordinary achievements in creating a renaissance of spiritual and cultural values in India and abroad. However, on August 3, 1993, Swami Chinmayanandji attained Mahasamadhi in SanDiego, California, after suffering a massive heart attack as the equipment became too worn out due to the ceaseless Seva of the Master to humanity for over 42 years.
Swami Tejomayananda, the Chairman and spiritual head of Chinmaya Mission worldwide, is one of the foremost disciples of Swami Chinmayananda. He is an outstanding teacher of Vedanta and an accomplished poet, author, and composer. Swamiji joined the Vedanta course at Sandeepany Sadhnalaya, Mumbai in 1970 and was initiated into the sanyasa in 1983 by Pujya Gurudev.Swamiji has the rare quality of bringing out the depth of Vedanta, with devotion, in simple style from scriptural texts like Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads, Ramacharita Manas and Srimad Bhagavatam. Since the mahasamadhi of Gurudev in 1993, Swami Tejomayananda has dutifully undertaken total responsibility to fulfill the vision of the Master. Under his leadership and guidance many new centers have been established and Chinmaya Mission continues to grow in all spheres of its activities . spiritual, cultural, educational and social service programs.
On October 21, 1983, he was initiated into Sanyas by Pujya Swami Chinmayanandaji, and since then he has been known as Swami Tejomayananda. In 1984, Swami Chinmayananda made him the chief acharya or Dean of Sandeepany Sadhanalaya in Bombay where he completed teaching two 2 1/2 year courses in English in 1989.
Swami Tejomayananda has conducted over 300 Geeta Gnana Yajnas throughout the globe in English, Hindi and Marathi. He has written commentaries, in Hindi, on Adi Shankara's Drik Drishya Viveka and Ramana Maharshi's Upadesa Saram. He has also translated Swami Chinmayananda's commentaries on the Srimad Bhagavad Geeta and Upanishadas in Hindi.