A month – just a month – before he donned the academic mortarboard and gown of post-graduation in Physics to pursue a career in teaching, life made a small change. Teach he would, but from the Vyasapeetham, it suggested. For just 30 days before he received his postgraduate degree, he was to espy a banner announcing Swami Chinmayananda’s talks on chapter three of the Bhagavad-gita.
Chapter three that expounds the obligation to performance of duty was the prod that Swami Tejomayananda would use later to guide everyone to examine their duties and dedicate themselves to a disciplined way. And it was this chapter three that the teacher in Swami Tejomayananda heard and was prompted to hear more. A few more talks later, Sudhakar recalled his calling and sought his mother’s permission to join the Chinmaya Mission's residential Vedanta course at Sandeepany Sadhanalaya in Mumbai.
The road had been found, the feet had been placed, the Guru had cast his benign look upon him... the anointment awaited him...
Course completed and Sudhakar adopted the monastic order at the holy hands of Swami Chinmayananda, in 1975. Teaching was now formally his vocation, avowed by the Guru himself, who blessed him with the identity Brahmachari Vivek Chaitanya. There was no stopping him. The road ahead was his to walk on, to teach, to guide and to extol. As Acharya, Vivek Chaitanya served at the Chinmaya Mission Centres in Bhopal, Kanpur, and Sidhbari. Not too soon after this, he was assigned to conduct the first residential Vedanta course in Hindi at 'Sandeepany Himalayas' in Sidhbari.
Eight years later, in October 1983, on the auspicious day of 21 October when the moon was full and bright in complete glory, Swami Chinmayananda initiated Vivek Chaitanya into sannyaasa, bestowing upon him the name, Swami Tejomayananda. Naturally. The brightness of the full moon glowed around him, but also shone his gentle manner, his amiable, loving nature, his calmness of spirit and his ever smiling face that beamed a hi-powered smile which touched every heart for miles...assuring the people the continuity of the Guru’s love wherever he went. Great qualities for a teacher, for, if a teacher is not approachable, knowledge does not even transmit!
Such a teacher he was that naturally his proficiency in teaching had to lead to more teaching. He was then appointed as Acharya of the Sandeepany Sadhanalaya ashram in Mumbai, where he taught two consecutive residential Vedanta courses in English. Not just his proficiency in English, Hindi, Marathi and Sanskrit, it was also his agility with phrases, with idioms, and his, by now, renowned sense of humour that has kept student communities and audiences alert, attentive and completely mesmerised by his talks and lectures.
Swami Tejomayananda drew students to himself as a magnet does iron filings. A good teacher, he possessed the rare quality of right expression. And this led to his next posting to Chinmaya Mission's U.S. Centre in San Jose, California.
Some events happen to enable other events, or as in this case, are part of a continuum. Swami Chinmayananda attained Mahasamadhi in 1993, in San Diego, California. One can say the baton had passed - unknown to anyone. For, shortly after that, Swami Tejomayananda was appointed Head of Chinmaya Mission Worldwide.