Who is eligible to join Chinmaya Mission?
• interested in growing spiritually;
• wishes to contribute his/ her talents/ skills;
• keen to understand and study Advaita Vedanta;
is welcome to join the Chinmaya Mission; irrespective of caste, creed or nationality.
The gamut of activities of the Mission allows one to choose an activity suitable to their personality, age and area of interest. Chinmaya Mission has something to offer for everyone – from newborns onwards!
What practises does a Chinmaya Mission member have to follow?
All that a Chinmaya Mission member needs to follow is the principle of 'being good and doing good'. The core spirit in Chinmaya Mission is jnana (knowledge) – where individuals are encouraged to understand one's Self. There is no rigid scheme of practices that a member needs to follow. Individuals may choose their path and make self-effort to progress at their own pace.
What is the main philosophy of Chinmaya Mission?
The philosophy on which Chinmaya Mission's teachings and activities are based is the philosophy of Advaita Vedanta, as propagated by Shri Adi Shankaracharya (788-820 CE). This philosophy speaks of the One Reality.
Does Chinmaya Mission give deeksha/ initiate people?
Chinmaya Mission does not give mantra deeksha or initiate people as such.
Students who have completed the two year residential Vedanta Course at any one of the Chinmaya Mission's Gurukula (Sandeepany Sadhanalaya -hyperlink) are given deeksha as Brahmachari/ Brahmacharini (in yellow robes) to serve across the globe for the propagation of knowledge. After a few years as Brahmachari they are initiated into sannyaasa and called Swami/ Swamini (in orange robes).
Who in Chinmaya Mission is eligible to give deeksha/ initiate people?
The Worldwide Head of the Chinmaya Mission -Swami Tejomayananda - is the only one who may give deeksha in Chinmaya Mission.
How is spiritual growth accessed in the Chinmaya Mission?
There is no formal system of assessment of spiritual growth in the Chinmaya Mission. Individuals through study and satsang are able to access themselves and know they are growing if they find themselves calmer, more contented, happier and less dependent on things or people for their happiness
Swami Chinmayananda guided members and devotees to be patient and single-pointed on the spiritual path. In his own words: “As much time and effort as it takes to master any profession in this world, that much time and effort it takes to gain Self-knowledge. Be sure to apply yourself single-pointedly and with diligence.”
Which deity does Chinmaya Mission worship?
Chinmaya Mission does not worship or enforce worship of any particular deity. The various images of Gods and Goddess' in Chinmaya Mission's temples and shrines, all over India and the world verify this. Individuals are free to choose their 'Ishta Devata' (personal deity). Importance is given to establishing a personal relationship with one's Ishta Devata. It is easier to meditate on a form of the Supreme, and when as Swami Chinmayananda points out, “the wandering mind is thus brought to rest upon the idol, the intellect springs forth to contemplate and realise the ideal that the idol represents.”
How is Chinmaya Mission different from other religious organisations?
That Chinmaya Mission's teachings are based on the Prasthana-Traya (i.e. Brahmasutras, Upanishad and Bhagavad Geeta) – is what makes Chinmaya Mission unique. It is not the teaching of one particular Master – but the wisdom and ancient teachings of the Rishi parampara which is shared.
Another unique aspect happens to be the language and ease of access of this knowledge. It is made available for all, in the English language – which happens to be the most commonly spoken language across the globe today. Knowledge is also available in Hindi and in various Indian regional languages as well as some languages spoken outside India.
Is there any fee to be paid for participating in Chinmaya Mission activities?
To participate in any of the grass-root activities of the Chinmaya Mission (Bala Vihar, CHYK, Study Groups and Yagnas) there is no fee.
However, camps,workshops and specific activities do have nominal donations. Magazines have subscription rates to meet printing and postage charges.
How does Chinmaya Mission manage its need for financial and other resources?
Most financial resources are obtained through donations and contributions made by beneficiaries of these activities. Certain research and rural development activities are supported by Grants. Some infrastructural facilities are also given as donations.
Human resources are either professionally hired. In addition, Mission members and others who have benefitted, that is, people of all agesoffer their expertise and skills in serving full-time or part-time at Chinmaya Mission.
Who do the terms 'Gurudev' and 'Guruji' refer to?
Pujya Gurudev is the reverential name for the Founder of Chinmaya Mission – Swami Chinmayananda. Pujya Guruji is used to reverentially address the current Worldwide Head of the Chinmaya Mission – Swami Tejomayananda; who has been leading, administering and guiding Chinmaya Mission activities since 1993 – after the Mahasamadhi of Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda.