Chinmaya Mission Toronto
History of Chinmaya Mission Toronto
Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda came to Toronto for the first time in 1972 at the invitation of the Vedanta Society. His impact was so great that on his second visit, in 1974, the CM Toronto was founded
In 1975, two Torontonians packed up their luggage and went to Sandeepany Sadhanalaya, Mumbai to attend the brahmachari course. One of them was Barrie Dykes, who returned to Toronto in1978 and initiated a new phase of CMT. Br. Barrie’s practical approach drew people from many religious backgrounds. Twice a week, about 40 people packed a small room at the University of Toronto to listen to and discuss Vedantic teachings. The level of enthusiasm was high and their sincerity genuine. By 1985, CMT had grown sufficiently to hold its first Canadian CM spiritual camp at the University of Waterloo.
The other enthusiastic Torontonian who left in 1984 was the highly intelligent and forever debating Barbara Dudzinska. Her karma propelled her to India, and she returned in 1988 to Toronto as Brni. Sadhana. She began her tireless, dedicated work, teaching adults, children, and teenagers. In 1989, Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayananda made his first visit to Toronto. December 1991 marked the last visit of Pujya Gurudev and his approval to purchase property for a CM center in Toronto, under President Michael Mayzel. In the summers of 1994 and 1997, CM family camps were held at St. Catherines, Ontario.
In December 1997, CM Toronto purchased a home as its new center in Unionville, Ontario, inaugurated by Swami Tejomayananda as Chinmaya Shivalaya on July 12, 1998. Rapid growth continued. By July 2003, another milestone was marked with the purchase of vast property with a large property in Maple, Ontario. The new “Chinmaya Shivalaya” center was inaugurated by Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayananda. In 2004, Brahmacharini Sadhanaji, was initiated into sannyasa by Pujya Guruji as Swamini Shivapriyananda.
In the summer of 2011, Chinmaya Mission Toronto moved to its new location in Brampton. Our center is also known as Chinmaya Vedanta Heritage Centre, Chinmaya Shivalaya. We have grown vastly over the years continually striving to fulfill Gurudev, Swami Chinmayananda’s vision of propagating spiritual upliftment to all corners of the world, starting with our own communities.
Since its inception, CM Toronto has grown from a small group that could fit comfortably in a family room to a large extended family, with almost 1,000 members on CMT’s mailing list. Currently, CM Toronto offers many regular programs and activities throughout the year:
• Adult study groups across the Greater Toronto area
• Bal Vihar classes with over 100 children registered
• Chinmaya youth groups called CHYK
• Meditation classes and retreats
• Satsangs and bhajan sessions
• Jnana yagnas by CM Swamins and Brahmacharins
• Festival celebrations and spiritual family retreats
Children in the Bal Vihar program receive “value-based” education to prepare them for not only academic success, but to also nurturing them to be responsible and resilient citizens of the world.
Toronto CHYKs organize excellent programs throughout the year inviting learned speakers for various spiritual topics.
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Chinmaya Vedanta Heritage Centre
8832 The Gore Road
Brampton - L6A 1S2