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His Holiness Swami Tapovan-ji Maharaj of Uttarkashi is the renowned spiritual master from whom Pujya Swami Chinmayananda acquired the wealth of Vedantic knowledge. 

Swami Tapovanji set before himself the ideals portrayed by Lord Krishna in Shrimad Bhagavad Gita. He was a virakta mahatma and the embodiment of the ideals of sannyasa, endowed with supreme renunciation, profound wisdom, austerity, and compassion.

Swamiji, also a poet, had great passion for Mother Nature's canvases of rare beauty: the unfrequented Himalayan peaks and valleys.  He wrote his travels in two splendid volumes, Himagiri Viharam and Kailasa Yatra. Swamiji's masterpiece is the rich Sanskrit volume, Ishvara Darshan. This autobiographical sketch is a garland of spiritual thoughts, revealing the fragrance of the life of a man of realization.

Swamiji lived for 68 years as a monumental expression of an ideal Vedantic Guru in the ancient rishi tradition. He attained mahasamadhi in 1957.

Swami Chinmayananda (May 8, 1916 - Aug 3, 1993) was born Balakrishna Menon (Balan) in Ernakulam, Kerala in a devout Hindu noble family called "Poothampalli". Graduating from Lucknow University, he entered the field of journalism where he felt he could influence political, economic and social reform in India. But his life was changed when he met Swami Sivananda at Rishikesh and became interested in the Hindu spiritual path.

Balakrishna Menon took sanyas(monkhood) from Swami Sivananda to become Swami Chinmayananda - the one who is saturated in Bliss and Consciousness. Swami Sivananda saw the potential in Swami Chinmayananda and sent him to study under a guru in the Himalayas - Swami Tapovan Maharaj under whom he studied for 8 years. At the end of the education he decided to spread his teaching all over the world.

During his forty years of travelling and teaching, Swami Chinmayananda opened numerous centres and ashrams worldwide, he also built many schools, hospitals, nursing homes and clinics. As well as reinvigorating India's rich cultural heritage, he made Vedanta accessible to everybody regardless of age, nationality, or religious background.

Pujya Gurudev taught the logic of spirituality, while emphasizing the balance of head and heart. Selfless work, study, and meditation are the cornerstones of spiritual practice, he said.  He is credited with the renaissance of spiritual and cultural values in India and with awakening the rest of the world to the ageless wisdom of Advaitic Vedanta as expounded by Adi Sankaracharya. He attained Mahasamadhi in August 1993. His legacy remains in the form of books, audio and video tapes, schools and social service projects. Vedanta teachers from whom he taught and inspired, and Chinmaya Mission centers around the world serving the spiritual and cultural needs of local communities.

The mere presence of Swami Tejomayananda (affectionately known as Guruji) radiates a feeling of warmth and love, and upon meeting him, it’s hard to believe that a person who is so down to earth, so humble, and so accessible, was the head of a vast organization with more than 250 centres worldwide.

Sudhakar Kaitwade was born in Madhya Pradesh on 30th June 1950. As a student, he took a keen interest in music and drama, but ended up studying physics at university. But during his college days, he was greatly inspired by the writings of Swami Vivekananda, and even at such a young age, sought something beyond the ordinary material ambitions that most people harbor. The spiritual call came to him in 1970 when he met Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda, and attended one of his Gītā discourses.

He was immediately inspired to join the Vedānta Course at Sandeepany Sadhanalaya in Mumbai, and after his graduation in 1975, he served in the field for a few years as Brahmachari Vivek Chaitanya. He was subsequently posted as Acārya for the Hindi Brahmachari Training Course in Sandeepany Himalayas, and in 1983, was initiated into Sannyāsa by Pujya Gurudev under the name Swami Tejomayananda. He was then appointed as Acārya of Sandeepany Sadhanalaya in Mumbai, where he taught two batches of students. In 1989, Guruji was sent to San Jose (USA) as Acārya of Chinmaya Mission West.

Upon Swami Chinmayananda’s mahāsamādhi in August 1993, Swami Tejomayananda returned to India and was appointed as the head of the worldwide Chinmaya Mission. He assumed this new role with characteristic humility, and said "I am not in Swamiji’s shoes, I am at his feet."

Since 1993, Guruji has worked tirelessly to fulfill the vision of his Master. Several major projects including the Chinmaya International Residential School (CIRS) in Coimbatore, the Chinmaya Center of World Understanding in New Delhi, Chinmaya International Foundation in Cochin (CIF) and Chinmaya Vibhooti in Pune have been completed under his guidance. His most recent project is the Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeetha, a deemed university dedicated to Sanskrit research and Indic studies.

In recognition of this remarkable dedication , ‘Hinduism Today’ honored Swami Tejomayanandaji with the prestigious "Hindu of the Year” (2005) award. In 2016, the government of India conferred upon him the Padma Bhushan award, recognizing his significant contributions in spreading the knowledge of Vedanta for the upliftment of all humanity.

Not only is Swami Tejomayananda a dynamic worker and able adminstrator, he is one of the most accomplished masters of Vedānta today. Guruji has conducted over 300 Gnana Yajnas throughout the world, and he excels in expounding upon a wide spectrum of Hindu scriptures, including Rāmāyaņa, Bhāgavatham, the Bhagavad Gīta, and the Upanishads.

His genius lies in his skill of combining the knowledge and clarity of Vedānta with the divine nectar of bhakti. Furthermore, his sharp wit and keen sense of humor, helps him build a quick rapport with his audience, and his easy manner and logical rendering of Vedantic texts have drawn many newcomers into the spiritual fold.

Guruji is fluent in English, Hindi, Marathi and Sanskrit, and has written commentaries on many scriptural texts, translated many of Swami Chinmayananda’s commentaries into Hindi, and authored a number of original works in Sanskrit including Bhakti Sudhā, Jnāna Sāra, Manah Śodhanam and Dhyāna-svarūpam. Another key contribution of his is Hindu Culture: An Introduction, a text acclaimed for its clear description of the basics of Hinduism, which has been adopted as a reference text in some American high schools.

Guruji's talents as an accomplished poet, musical composer, and soul-stirring singer adds further charm to his personality. His melodious bhajans and kirtans are filled with devotion, and often hold listeners spellbound.

In January 2017, after 23 years of dedicated service to the mission, Guruji handed over charge of Chinmaya Mission to Pujya Swami Swaroopananda. Guruji will continue to be associated with Chinmaya Mission in various roles apart from spending more time on his own personal sadhana.

In an era ripe with scepticism and confusion about matters spiritual, Swami Swaroopananda is a rare voice that blends authenticity with accessibility; theory with self- practice; logic with heart.

Formerly the Regional Head of Chinmaya Mission Australia, United Kingdom, Middle East, Africa and Far East, and presently Chairman of the Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth Trust (University for Sanskrit and Indic Traditions) and Director of the Chinmaya International Residential School in Coimbatore, South India, Swami Swaroopananda has now been bestowed by Swami Tejomayananda the privilege to also serve as the Head of Chinmaya Mission Worldwide.

Born and brought up in the bustling commercial capital of India, Swamiji had always been convinced that beyond life’s superficial, everyday joys and sorrows, there was something more enduring and satisfying. As a child he heard from his grandmother many religious stories based on the great Indian epics and the history of saints. These stories suddenly came to life, acquiring new meaning and depth, when as an adolescent he encountered the preeminent Master of Vedanta, Swami Chinmayananda.

His heart completely moved and inspired, in 1984 Swami Swaroopananda gave up his family's thriving business in Hong Kong to undergo intensive training under Swami Chinmayananda and Swami Tejomayananda at Sandeepany, Mumbai. He was initiated into the monastic order in 1992. Since then, he has touched thousands of lives across the world, and his tremendous work in bringing out the essential wisdom and underlying unity of all religions has garnered him a place among the vanguards of self-development philosophy.

Swamiji has authored several commentaries on such important spiritual classics as Ik Onkar, Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra and Sankat Mochan, besides numerous books on contemporary lifestyle subjects such as Simplicity and Meditation, Storm to Perform, Avatar, Managing the Manager and Journey into Health.

Swamiji is equally adept at conducting ‘wholistic management’ seminars for senior corporate executives. Among the well-known institutes he has been invited to speak at are The Ford, London Business School and Harvard University, to name a few. In fact, a proprietary self-development course he conceived and initially conducted, Make It Happen™, has been adapted and integrated into the human resource training programmes of various corporate organisations in India and beyond.

Dr. Shailaja Nadkarni and her husband, Dr. Shyam Nadkarni, had their first darshan of Pujya Gurudev Shri Swami Chinmayananda in Pittsburgh in August 1984 at the Geeta Gyana Yagna; they were inspired by the divine presence of Pujya Gurudev and during their first Bhiksha with Swamiji they asked how they can learn more about Bhagvad Geeta. Also their two young boys, Siddharth and Samir were with them and they wanted to know how the boys can be introduced to Hindu Culture and Religion.  Pujya Gurudev personally guided and instructed them how to teach young children and conduct Balavihar and instructed Shailaja ji to start study groups. In 1987 Chinmaya Mission of Orlando was started along with the Balavihar and study groups.

Swami Chinmayananda appointed Dr. Shyam Nadkarni, the President of Chinmaya Mission Orlando in 1989.  Chinmaya Mission property was acquired in Orlando, Florida and Chinmaya Mission “Tapovan” was inaugurated by Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda in 1990.  Since Gurudev’s visit the Balavihar and Geeta study groups flourished and were conducted at a regular basis at “Tapovan”.

Shailaja ji had an opportunity to travel with Pujya Gurudev on his tour around Universities in U.S. and his visit to United Nations in 1991. In 1992 Shailaja ji accompanied Pujya Gurudev to Hong Kong and India.

During his stay at Orlando he appointed Shailaja ji as one of the Board of Directors of Chinmaya Mission West.  After Dr. Shyam departed from his worldly existence, Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayananda appointed Shailaja ji, the President of Chinmaya Mission Orlando and in 2008, conferred her with the title of “Acharya” of Chinmaya Mission.

At present Shailaja ji is conducting Balavihar, Geeta study and Vedanta classes at Chinmaya Mission Orlando at Kaivalya. She also conducts classes during weekdays on following subjects:  Vivekchoodamani, Daasbodh, Gnyaneshwari, Bhagvad Geeta and Vedanta. She recently spearheaded the expansion of the ashram that resulted in the expansion of the main Kaivalya hall and addition of many new classrooms. In addition to her responsibilities at Chinmaya Mission Orlando, she also oversees two Chinmaya Mission satellite centers in Daytona Beach and Kissimmee.

Contact Us

Physical Address :
1221 Chinmaya Way,
Casselberry, FL, USA 32707
Phone: 407-699-7331 (Answered on Sundays from 8:00 AM - 12:30 PM. You can leave a message and we will call you back.)
Email: info[at]chinmayaorlando.org

NOTE: The street leading to our facility was recently renamed "Chinmaya Way". It used to be known previously as "Florida Road". The physical street signs reflect the new name but GPS units and smartphones may or may not recognize that name. If "Chinmaya Way" does not work for GPS navigation, please try "Florida Road" instead.

Mailing Address :
Chinmaya Mission of Orlando Inc.
PO Box 140461
Orlando FL 32814

If you need an immediate response, please contact any of the following:

  • Chandra Brahmasandra   (407) 376-9564
  • Satish Nagarajan (407) 314-9206
  • Vibhu Agrawal  (407) 963-6301

 

Chinmaya Mission Orlando is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Our tax ID# is 59-2889773