About us

Mission Statement
To provide to individuals, from any background, the wisdom of Vedanta and the practical means for spiritual growth and happiness, enabling them to become positive contributors to society.

Chinmaya Mission
Chinmaya Mission® was established in India in 1953 by devotees of the world-renowned Vedanta teacher, His Holiness Swami Chinmayananda. Under his guidance, these devotees formed the nucleus of a spiritual renaissance movement that now encompasses a wide range of spiritual, educational, and charitable activities, ennobling the lives of thousands in India and outside its borders. Administered by Central Chinmaya Mission Trust in Mumbai, India, the Mission is now headed by His Holiness Swami Tejomayananda.

Following the Vedic teacher-taught tradition (guru-shishya parampara), Chinmaya Mission makes available the ageless wisdom of Vedanta, the knowledge of the one Reality, and provides the tools to realize that wisdom in one’s life. “To give maximum happiness to the maximum number for the maximum time” is the tenet that drives Mission workers to uplift humanity beyond selfish and sectarian attitudes and activities. Each person’s gain is manifold: personal growth, heightened efficiency, contentment, and the ability to live with others in peace and harmony. For more information, see Chinmaya Mission: Transforming Lives.

There are over 300 Chinmaya Mission centers worldwide. The Mission’s various activities and projects include:

Jnana Yajnas (Vedanta lecture series, seminars, workshops)
• Bala Vihar (Vedanta forum for children and youth)
• Yuva Kendra (Vedanta forum for university students and young professionals)
• Study Group (Vedanta forum for adults)
• Devi Group (Vedanta study and discussion forum for women)

• Spiritual Retreats and Camps
• Intensive Vedanta Courses (training for Chinmaya Mission’s order of monks, acharyas, and sevaks)

• Publications
• Regional Centers
• Temples and Shrines
• Schools and Colleges
• Medical Services and Training
• Rural Village Development Projects
Pitamaha Sadans (senior citizen homes)
• Management Courses and Services
• Research in Sanskrit and Indology

His Holiness Swami Tapovan Maharaj

Swami Tapovan Maharaj, a spiritual master and Himalayan hermit, is that pristine glacier of Self-knowledge through whom flowed the Ganga of Vedantic wisdom of Swami Chinmayananda—the architect of the Chinmaya Movement. Swami Tapovanam was a saint of the highest order, a consummate Vedantin, a sage of unsurpassed wisdom, a strict yet compassionate teacher, and a tranquil poet who exuded ecstatic Awareness. Swami Chinmayananda said of his Guru, “He was a God without temple, a Veda without language.”

Born in 1889 in Kerala, India as Chippu Kutty, as a child he exhibited a marked partiality for spiritual life. Homeschooled until the age of 17, he proved himself to be a devout Vedantin, and a linguistic genius and litterateur par excellence, mastering both Malayalam and Sanskrit. Both his parents passed away before he turned 21, by which time he was already renowned for his authored poems. He adopted the sannyasi’s religious and serene lifestyle long before his initiation into the ochre robe of sannyasa. An introvert to the core, he loved spending his time immersed in spiritual reflection and was averse to all worldly pleasures.

Even as a formidable scholar, his thirst for knowledge could not be quenched by mere intellectual advances. Despite the accolades earned during his years of public speaking on literature, politics, religion, and Vedanta, in his late 20s, unable to control his spiritual hunger, Chippu Kutty left home in search of Truth. For seven years he travelled widely, devoutly studying Vedic scriptures and observing austerities. Swami Janardhana Giri, of Kailash Ashram in Hrishikesh, initiated him into sannyasa with the name, Swami Tapovanam, or a “forest of austerities.”

Swami Tapovanam chose to live in the then small, remote mountainous area of Uttarkashi in Uttaranchal. His hermitage, Tapovan Kuti, a meagre one-room thatched hut before which the sacred River Ganga flows, would soon acquire great fame the world over for its spiritual luminescence.

Filled with divine Light, the compassionate sage shared words of wisdom with all devotees who came to him in search of spiritual knowledge, but rarely did he accept resident disciples. Monks, householders, pilgrims, and seekers from all stages and fields of life continually thronged to Uttarkashi to be in the presence of, and learn from, the Self-realized master and erudite scholar. When Swamiji did accept a resident disciple, the latter was trained under the strictest conditions. There were few who could undergo and survive such hardships, but those seekers who did, were blessed by the master with supreme Enlightenment.

Swamiji’s inspiring writings, available through Chinmaya Publications, include Wandering in the Himalayas, Pilgrimage to Kailasa, and Ishvara Darshan, which sages the world over have stamped as a spiritual masterpiece.

His Holiness Swami Chinmayananda

His Holiness Swami Chinmayananda, founder of Chinmaya Mission, taught spirituality as the art of living. Through jnana yoga (the Vedantic path of spiritual knowledge), he emphasized the balance of head and heart, pointing out selfless work, study, and meditation as the cornerstones of spiritual practice.

Not satisfied by worldly aspirations or his degrees in literature and law, Balakrishna Menon pursued spiritual studies for nine years in the Himalayas, under the guidance of Swami Sivananda (Divine Life Society) and the tutelage of Swami Tapovanam. He eventually came to share this Vedantic knowledge with the masses, in the form of the dynamic teacher known as Swami Chinmayananda.

Swamiji is renowned worldwide as a spiritual master and one of the foremost teachers of Shrimad Bhagavad Gita. He is credited with the renaissance of spirituality and cultural values in India, and with the spreading of the ageless wisdom of Advaita Vedanta, as expounded by Adi Shankaracharya, throughout the world.

Swami Chinmayananda attained mahasamadhi in August 1993. His legacy remains in the form of written, audio, and video publications; social service projects; Vedanta teachers whom he taught and inspired; and Chinmaya Mission centers worldwide, serving the spiritual and cultural needs of local communities.

Additional biographical information can be found in Journey of a Master, Ageless Guru, Swami Chinmayananda: A Life of Inspiration and Service, and At Every Breath, A Teaching.

His Holiness Swami Tejomayananda

His Holiness Swami Tejomayananda, the present Head of Chinmaya Mission worldwide, is fulfilling the vision that Swami Chinmayananda charted. As he puts it, “I am not in Swamiji’s shoes; I am at His feet.”

Swami Tejomayananda has served as Acharya of Chinmaya Mission’s Sandeepany Sadhanalaya institutes of Vedanta (gurukuls in India, and as an Acharya of various Mission centers in India and the US. He has written commentaries on scriptural texts, translated Swami Chinmayananda’s commentaries into Hindi, composed hundreds of hymns and devotional songs, and authored numerous books. A celebrated work is the book Hindu Culture: An Introduction, which has been acclaimed for its clear description of the basics of Hinduism and adopted as a reference text in some American high schools.

Swamiji excels in expounding upon a wide spectrum of Hindu scriptures, from Ramayana, to Bhagavad Gita, to the Upanishads. His easy manner, combined with his in-depth analyses and devotional renderings of Vedantic texts, have drawn many newcomers into the spiritual fold.

Hari Om



His Holiness
Swami Tapovan Maharaj







His Holiness
Swami Chinmayananda
His Holiness
Swami Tejomayananda
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