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Swami Prameyananda attains samadhi
Swamins, Brahmacharins and Members of Chinmaya Mission Worldwide
Swami Prameyananda of Chinmaya Mission Adoni took final refuge at the feet of Pujya Gurudev, Swami Chinmayanandaji, early this morning, 30th June 2018, at 5.30 am. He had completed the Vedanta Course at Sandeepany Sadhanalaya, Powai in 1998. Thereafter, he was posted in Chinmaya Mission centres at Guntur, Aakiveedu, and Adoni in Andhra Pradesh where he worked with dedication and inspiration.
Under his stewardship over the last four years, the Adoni centre spearheaded different Mission activities and programmes. The Geeta Chanting Competitions with the assistance of Mission members increased and reached out to approximately 3000 children in the area. Geeta and Upanishad talks at the Mission Centre were also a regular feature. This year, under his able guidance, Chinmaya Mission Adoni planned to host the state level finals of the Geeta chanting competition.
On the occasion of Pujya Gurudev’s 25th Aradhana year, from April to 3rd August 2018, Chinmaya Mission Adoni under his leadership started Chinmaya Aradhana Sravanthi daily. Amongst other activities, this includes Pujya Gurudev’s Paduka Puja.
Swami Prameyananda’s warmth and humility were a source of inspiration to the many who came in contact with him.
Our respectful homage to Swami Prameyananda.
At His Feet,
Grounded Together, Growing Together: Inspiration Yatra 10
“A yatra is an outward expression of an inward journey.”
Since 2011, this simple phrase has kicked off ten such journeys across Bharat, Trinidad, and the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Spearheaded by Vivekji of Chinmaya Mission Niagara, the 10 Chinmaya Inspiration Yatras have brought together 300 Yatris from 60 cities and 4 countries for unforgettable adventures and indescribable self-development.
Commemorating this milestone, the alumni of all 10 Chinmaya Inspiration Yatras gathered in Niagara Falls, Canada, for a reunion retreat in July. Although the Yatris were brimming with shared memories and laughter, all energy of the reunion was focused on raising funds for a new school being built in Trinidad by Swami Prakashananda and Chinmaya Mission Trinidad and Tobago.
In the past, Yatris have contributed over USD $100,000 to the Chinmaya Organization for Rural Development (CORD) Siruvani and Thamaraipakkam centers. These resources have allowed CORD to further invest and expand in its women’s empowerment, child development, health, income generation, and construction programs. Founded on similar principles, the proposed Chinmaya Vidyalaya project in Trinidad will equip children with the skills needed to become self-sufficient, empowered members of their families, communities, and country.
With this Seva grounding the retreat, a weekend of inspired discourse and inward exploration continued. Vivekji delivered the retreat’s discourses focused on Ramayana’s Sundarakanda, carefully unfolding the lessons learned from Hanumanji’s own journey to Lanka and Vibhisana’s journey to Lord Rama’s feet. Swami Prakashananda even joined the retreat virtually to congratulate the Yatris for their efforts to support the new school. With his infectious smile and gentle humor, Swamiji observed how remarkable it was to raise resources for children one may never meet.
To further bring these lessons to life, the Niagara Chyks crafted experiences that matched verbs describing aspects of the original Chinmaya Inspiration Yatras (e.g., “wonder,” “cooperate,” “adventure”). In one such activity, retreat participants jotted down their reflections on paper leaves that were later joined together to form a growing “tree.” The simple exercise underscored how although each Yatri had their own different, unique trajectories of growth, they were all “rooted” in the same vision and direction, towards the Higher. In another activity, Yatris ate their dinners blindfolded—a challenge to think beyond the “likes” and “dislikes” that color people’s lives.
From intense soccer matches and illuminating visits to Buddhist monasteries, to silent hikes and planting squash on an organic farm, Yatris of all ages engaged in activities that engaged their bodies, minds, and intellects. One night culminated with an open mic full of song, poetry, and dance that centered on lessons from the yatra; another wrapped up with a lighthearted improv comedy game. The Yatris even joined the broader Chinmaya Niagara community for their graduation ceremony.
The highlight for many, however, was quietly watching the sunrise over the majestic Niagara Falls—taking time to ruminate over the weekend of Satsang and Seva as the sun’s early rays infused the mist with a frothy pink glow. For the Yatris, the indefinable magic of the morning was made even more precious knowing that they had achieved their goal of contributing more than USD $100,000 for the new Chinmaya Vidyalaya in Trinidad. Unto Him Our Best.
Srimad Bhagwat Mahapuran Gyan Yajna at CM Jaipur
Chinmaya Mission Jaipur organised Gyan Yajna on Srimad Bhagwat Mahapuran at Gulab Udhyan by Pujya Br. Om Chaitanya Ji (Incharge Chinmaya Mission Jodhpur) from 2nd June to 7th June. Yajna was ceremoniously inaugurated at sharp 7 pm with Shanti path and lighting of the lamp. Vice President Sh. M. L. Gupta Ji welcomed Pujya Br.Ji and all the seekers. Br.Ji covered the mahatmya and 9 chapters of the 1st canto. All seekers were deeply engrossed in divine discourses all the six days. On a concluding day Smt. Sangeeta Gupta conveyed the thanks note. It was a blessed event.
Pujya Swami Abhedanandaji’s Visit to Chinmaya Mission Cape Town
By the grace of Pujya Gurudev and Lord’s blessings, Chinmaya Mission South Africa (CMSA) has been on an expansion spree under the able guidance of Pujya Swami Abhedanandaji in the last one decade. With the magnificent Chinmaya Shivam temple and residential ashram expansion in Durban already in place; now CMSA is expanding geographically across various other cities of South Africa. The newly established centre of Chinmaya Mission in Cape Town came abuzz with Pujya Swami Abhedanandaji’s maiden visit to this hugely sought-after tourist destination. From 17th to 22nd May, Swami Abhedanandaji packed his visit with numerous programs across Cape Town, connecting with people from all walks of life, thus ensuring that maximum devotees and new people come in close contact with Chinmaya Mission and Pujya Gurudev’s divine vision. Aside from his deep knowledge and spiritual wisdom, people felt immensely touched by his overwhelming love and craved for more by the end of Pujya Swamiji’s visit.
On 17th May Pujya Swamiji addressed devotees of Satya Sai Organzaton at the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial School premises on the topic “Importance of Seva and Sadhana in Daily Life”. Citing the examples of great masters like Satya Sai Baba, Swami Shivanandaji Maharaj and our Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayanandaji, Pujya Swamiji beautifully explained how we can make our lives truly purposeful by adding the dimension of Seva (service of others). He explained that service should be done with the sole purpose of pleasing the Guru or Lord, and not for self-gratification of the Ego. He elaborated how only a person who is truly happy within himself is capable of serving others. For being a good sevak, one must be devoid of ego, anger and sorrow. These 3 negativities deprive us of our opportunity to serve. Pujya Swamiji emphasised that Seva is possible only when we love all, and accept everyone inspite of any faults or imperfections. In Seva, we feed others more with our love and emotions than with food. A large gathering of devotees attended this talk and also felt greatly inspired to support Chinmaya Mission Cape Town in our local activities.
On the same day Swamiji also addressed a multi-racial group of Yoga students belonging to the Art of Living foundation. It was a wonderful informal satsang interspersed with thought provoking questions by the audience on “what is detachment?” and “how to deal with anxiety and overcome fear?. Pujya Swamiji explained that anxiety comes only when we remember our personal desires while undertaking any pursuit. Associating ourselves with a higher goal and greater purpose makes one free of anxiety. All actions should be an expression of impersonalization of desire. Fear arises mainly out of sense of insecurity of losing something. We should remember that not everything is in our control. Surrendering to the will of the Lord and the belief that God’s plans will work out in our ultimate benefit, will eradicate all our fears. On 18th May Pujya Swamiji addressed a group of students from the Engineering Faculty of University of Cape Town. Swamiji spoke on the topic “From Stress to Success” and inspired all the students greatly. Aside from this, Swamiji was also invited by the Sri Siva Aalayam Temple of Cape Town where a large number of devotees gathered on Sunday afternoon to receive Pujya Swamiji and attend his talk on the topic of “10 aspects of Dharmic Living”
From 19th to 22nd May Pujya Swami Abhedanandaji conducted a Gyan Yagna for 4 days at Shri Vishnu Temple in Rylands, Cape Town on the subject “Vision of Geeta for Joyful Living”. This was the first ever Gyan Yagna by Chinmaya Mission in Cape Town and it was overwhelming to see such a wonderful response. The satsang hall was packed with devotees of Afrikaans and South African origin besides local Indians. Pujya Swamiji covered the essence of Shrimad Bhagavad Geeta and elaborated on the importance of living a inspired life. Pujya Swamiji said that Spiritual life is what makes us non-vulnerable to the onslaughts received from the outside world. It teaches us how to live with emotional freedom and joy; how to live with a smile so that worldly sorrows don’t affect us. Spiritual life alone makes us shock and sadness proof! The 4 day talks ended with increasing turnout every single day, and on the last day devotees spent informal time with Pujya Swamiji along with “Samashti-bhiksha”
During Pujya Swamiji’s stay in Cape Town, the Deputy High Commissioner of India to South Africa Mr.Abhishek Shukla came to meet Swamiji and personally extend his support for the Mission’s great work and ongoing activities in Cape Town.
As one of the devotees put it on the last day of Pujya Swamiji’s talks “Swamiji, after listening to you I feel we really need to clone you – one for Cape Town, one for Johannesburg and one for Durban… we will really be waiting for your next visit”. The experience of all the devotees was that aside from immense knowledge and depth, they received Pujya Swamiji’s unconditional love which made them feel yearning for more and more.
Brni. Madhvi Chaitanya – student of the 2 year Vedanta Course conducted by Pujya Swami Abhedanandaji in Durban, has now been posted in Cape Town centre. Owing to her dynamic work, more and more devotees are now getting associated with the Mission.
Gyana Yajna on Geeta at Ernakulam by Swami Swaroopananda
On 05.06.2018 Pujya Swami Swaroopanandaji was received at the TDM Hall with Poornakumbha by the members of Chinmaya Mission, Mattancherry unit at 5.00 PM with the accompaniment of ‘Panchavadyam” performed by the artists.
The inaugural meeting started at 5.15PM by lighting the lamp by Pujya Swamiji. Chief Sevak of CMECT-GC Shri. A Gopalakrishnan delivered the welcome speech. Shri. K.P. Krishna Menon, President, Ernakulam Karayogam honoured Pujya Swamiji by adorning a shawl. The inaugural address was given by the Chief Guest Honourable Shri. Justice R Bhaskaran (Retd.). Shri. P Ramachandran, General Secretary, Ernakulam Karayogam gave the felicitation. Shri. K.K. Appu, President, Chinmaya Mission, Ernakulam delivered the vote of thanks.
Pujya Swamiji gave the discourse on the first day from 6 PM to 7.30 PM.
On 06.06.2018 Pujya Swamiji at a special meeting addressed the students and teachers of Vidyalayas under CMECT-GC from 10 AM to 10.45 Am and 11.15 Am to 12 noon respectively at TDM Hall, Ernakulam.
Pujya Swamiji continued the discourse for the second third and fourth day (06.06.2018, 07.06.2018 and 08.06.2018) in the evening from 6 PM to 7.30 PM.
On. 09.06.2018 Pujya Swamiji had an interactive session with the Principals, Vice Principals and functionaries of the Vidyalayas under CMECT-GC.
Pujya Swamiji rendered the last day discourse from 6 PM to 7.30 PM, which was followed by Bhiksha.
Activities in Bengaluru during May 2018
Upanishad Yajna by Pujya Swami Advayananda
Pujya Swami Advayananda, President of Chinmaya International Foundation, Veliyanad conducted a Jnana Yajna in English from 1st to 9th May, 2018 taking the first Anuvaka of Brahmanandavalli from Taittreya Upanishad in Sripaadakshetra, J P Nagar. The Yajna was inaugurated by Parama Pujya Acharya Mahamandaleshwara Jagadguru Sri Jayendra Puri Swamiji of Sri Kailas Ashram who stressed that the essence of all scriptures is attainment of supreme bliss. He recalled his younger days when he had the divine opportunity of listening to Pujya Gurudev and remembered how Gurudev was instrumental in crystallizing his thoughts when he chose the spiritual path.
Pujya Swami Advayananda in his inimitable style took the first anuvaka of Brahmanandavalli for the entire nine days going into great depth and explaining every aspect of the teaching. He stressed the ultimate Truth that ‘I’ am not the body but the all pervading cosmic force that has neither any beginning nor end. But to realise our true nature which is an ocean of bliss and joy, we just need to rise above the delusion of identification with the body just as the waker spontaneously drops the dream world realising his true identity the moment he wakes up. Just as the Sun does not need any external light, the Self is luminous by itself declaring the fact “You are that Brahman”. Transcending the panchakoshas and merging into the infinity the supreme Truth declared by the Mahavakyas – I am That, Tat tvam asi, Aham Brahmasi, etc., can be experienced enabling the sadhaks to appreciate the unknown with the help of the known. The essence is that the sadhak ultimately realises the truth that his real nature is Brahman alone or as is said in the Mahavakyas – the knower of Brahman is in reality Brahman Himself.
The Yajna was very well attended.
Gita Jnana Yajna by Pujya Swami Adityananda
Pujya Swami Aparajitananda of Mandya centre conducted a Geeta Jnana Yajna in Kannada on Bhagavad Gita Chapter – 7 in Sri Brahma Chaitanya Mandir, Srinivasanagar from 20th to 26th May, 2018 The Yajna was inaugurated by Jagadguru His Holiness Sri Vidyanibhava Shankara Bharati Mahaswamiji of Kudli Sri Sringeri Mutt who explained the greatness of Bhagavad Gita and need to imbibe the positive qualities for peaceful life. He paid glowing tributes to Pujya Gurudev and how he was influenced by Him during the childhood days.
Pujya Swami Adityananda centered his talks in stressing the need to drop the false identification with the unreal and understand that ‘I’ – the real, am beyond body, mind and intellect. Once we are able to quieten the mind and experience the true infinite joy within us all other types of knowledge fade into insignificance. We need to broaden our vision and envelop the entire cosmos experiencing oneness in the entire creation. This is the only way to cultivate humility and egolessness.
Pujya Swamiji took the first stabaka of Pujya Tapovan Maharaj’s Badreesha Stotram explaining the subtle concept of Adhyaropa in the mornings.
Both the sessions were very well attended.
CHINMAYA JAYANTI 2018 CELEBRATION
Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda’s 102nd Jayanti was observed through a nine day Upanishad Yajna from 1st May to 9th May, 2018 by Pujya Swami Advayananda, President of Chinmaya International Foundation, Veliyanad. The subject – Brahmanandavalli was very apt for the occasion as it defines the Ultimate Truth – Brahman with crystal clear clarity and Pujya Gurudev after His studies at the feet of Swami Shivananda and Swami Tapaovan remained in that state. Such a Master’s Jayanti can be celebrated only through what He strived for His entire life – Jnana Yajna. Bhajans and Paduka Puja were performed on the last day (9th May, 2018) of the Yajna.
Gita Jnana Yajna by Pujya Swamini Sampannananda
Pujya Swamini Sampannananda of Malleswaran cntre conducted a Gita Jnana Yajna in Kannada taking Bhagavad Gita Chapter – 9 in Chinmaya Mission Vijayanagar Centre from 26th May to 1st June, 2018. The Yajna was inaugurated by Smt. Ishwari Manjunath, senior devotee of the Mission.
Pujya Sampannamma explained that the chapter reveals the secret of understanding the real nature of oneself besides coming out of the bondage of samsara along with the cycle of life and death. But it is important for the student to develop faith in the scriptures and the Guru to appreciate the essence hidden in the teachings. But those who do not have faith will get caught in the web of samsara and get drawn into the whirlpool of delusion. It is only through Self knowledge that one can understand the true nature and get rid of false identifications. It is necessary to understand the Lord properly instead of getting sucked into the name and form world as He can be attained only through sincerity and dedication.
The Yajna was well attended.
Balavihar Summer Camp 2018
A Balavihar Summer residential camp – ‘Enjoy Life – The Krishna way’ – was held in Chinmaya Sandeepany, Chokkahalli from 5th to 11th May, 2018 with Pujya Swami Aparajitananda of Mangalore centre as the Camp Acharya.
Children mostly from Bangalore and a few from Mysore and Hyderabad totaling 92 in number enjoyed every event ranging from learning the Narayana Sooktam & a number of Stotrams, Yoga sessions, Swami Aparajitananda’s inspiring talks with useful tips, daily workshops giving an insight into the rituals, nature acceptance, traditional games like treasure hunt with a difference – the Kanha trail, dahi handi and cooking without fire. The main theme of the camp – Enjoy life the Krishna Way giving glimpse of overcoming obstacles with divine grace by being a flute in His hands was appreciated by all. The camp song – ‘Come enjoy life the Krishna way’ was instantly a big hit with the children.
Gurudev Jayanthi on the 8th of May was celebrated in the presence of Pujya Swami Brahmananda and other Swamijis. The valedictory function on 11th May saw the children showcasing their talents through a number of self created, composed and directed compositions consisting of poems, plays and presentations without much props, all done with very limited resources, including preparation time that left all the elders gaping with wonder.
workshop “Every Drop Counts” conducted at CM Ahmedabad
On Sunday, 10th June 2018, Ahmedabad Chinmaya Mission hosted first full day workshop “Every DROP Counts” for the age group 46 to 60 years. 27 members participated including a few having traveled from Baroda and Nadiad. The workshop included Satsang on karma yoga and an episode from Upanishad Ganga. Swami Avyayananda ji made it easy to understand the principle of Kartavya Karma using Gurudev’s BMI chart. Members participated in Bhajan Antakshari with great enthusiasm under the guidance of Swamini Nirgunananda Many new members joined for the first time. Teamwork activities like Narayan Seva and skit forced all to drop ‘I’ and enjoy being with like-minded individuals. The workshop ended with Aarti and delicious prasad to beat the heat. To sum it up it was a perfect way to de-stress, learn, enjoy and laugh. Chinmaya Study Group for the age group of 46 to 60 years now meets every Wednesday, 9.00 pm to 10.00 pm at ParamDham.
AntarYatra – Spiritual Sadhana Camp by Swami Avyayananda
from 29th May to 3rd June, Chinmaya Mission Ahmedabad organized a family camp titled “AntarYatra” led by Swami Avyayananda ji at Siddhabari. About 170 members of ParamDham family enjoyed seven days of sadhana in the serene ambiance of “Chinmaya Tapovan” ashram at Siddhabari. Expounding profound verses with piercing questions from Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi’s Saddarshanam, Swami ji indicated 42 gateways to realize one’s true nature. Evening bhajans and Satsang with Swami ji and Swamini Nirgunananda ji were enjoyed by all.
Being in the divine presence of Pujya Gurudev’s Samadhistala, all effortlessly experienced deep peace of mind. The seekers also performed Aaratis, Pujya Gurudev’s Paduka Puja and a cultural program during the camp. Visit to Kapilmuni’s Ashram, small expeditions in the nearby forests and streams brought everyone realize the glory of mother nature. Campers also visited the CORD (Chinmaya Organization for Rural Development) campus and learnt about various seva projects and opportunities. The Balavihar kids group led by Brni. Tejaswini enjoyed the camp with fun games, activities and trekking. These seven days of sadhana in Siddhabari not only provided a vision to the campers but also filled all with enthusiasm and joy.
Snow Safari with Himalayan Sages at CM Piler
It is a great pleasure for all of us for the grand success of the event guided by “SWAMI SRI KRISHNANANDA” and “SWAMINI POORVAJANANDA”. 110 children within the age group of 08-14 years have attended the Chinmaya Residential Summer Camp – 2018 titled, “Snow Safari with Himalayan Sages” at Yadamvaripalli Asramam premises from 25 th April to 1 st May. The camp jointly organized by Yadamvaripalli, Pulicherla and Piler Centers, had various activities like Yoga, Music, Dance, Strokes, Sensitive Games, Quiz, Drawing, Painting and Writing skills.
We have celebrated “Pujya Gurudev’s Festival” on 30 th and Performed “Matru Puja” on 1 st May. Campers have enjoyed the movie “On A Quest” twice and inspirational videos. At the valedictory function the campers have received certificates and mementos followed by “Annadanam Lunch Biksha” for 500 attendants including poor village folk.
CHYK retreat in CM Orlando
a 3 day retreat focused on spirituality with the specific theme of “Seeing Through Problems” held at an Ashram in the Central Florida region on April 6th – 8th. The program had as its main speaker and teacher Vivek who heads the CHYK outreach section of the Chinmaya Mission which is the organization based on the legacy of Swami Chinmayananda – a dynamic guru from India who has taken a philosophy called Vedantra and translated Vedic holy texts and commentary for the benefit of a worldwide audience.
His example and legacy has inspired devotees and teachers alike to continue the work of building Ashrams, self-development, teaching interested ones, and community outreach programs. Vivekji is a charismatic and knowledgeable person who has devoted his time and teaching skills to the foundation and was the special guest at the retreat we were a part of. The individuals who attended were from a wide range of backgrounds. From college age students to working professionals a wide gamut of ages and occupations were represented. All wanted to learn how “Seeing Through Problems” could be applied in their life. The retreat lasted 3 days beginning on Friday evening with a welcome talk to the group participants and a evening meal. On Saturday and Sunday the program started with early morning group meditation guided by Vivekji then a series of talks and break out sessions along with meals and fun activities.
In between lectures there were group activities such as painting, games and even a field-trip that thematically tied together the discourses which were the main focus of the program. The series of discourses used a book entitled Tapovananjali as the basis for the spiritual discussions and delved into the example of Swami Tapovana who inspired others to uplift themselves and remove the mental blinders so as to skillfully deal with life’s challenges. This was a main theme of the retreat: Challenge + purpose = training; challenge – purpose = problem. All in attendance learnt that life’s challenges need not become problems if wisdom and discernment are applied.There were other salient points taught such as skillful interaction with family members, how to build healthful relationships, re-framing failures as leaning experiences and reminders that service to others is a hallmark of spiritual life for happy individuals. To work through our problems we were encouraged to slow down, step back and see more.
The brief synopsis of the discourses do not do justice to the useful information imparted or the feeling of community that was apparent among the attendees. There were some in attendance who had been a part of the Ashram for years and others who were joining for the first time – we all left as friends who share a bond of unity and love among one another. If any can be a part of the next program I would encourage you to do so. Vedanta philosophy transcends everyday living and becomes a part of life and the way others are viewed and treated. Let us all continue to grow spiritually and give thanks for the efforts of our teachers, coordinators, sponsors, volunteers and those who make retreat programs like “Seeing Through Problems” possible!