Acharya Uma Jeyarasasingam
Uma Jeyarasasingham met Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda in 1965. She says, “Pujya Gurudev began to use me as his worker in 1971 when he came to the U.S. on his annual jnana yajna tour. I lived in San Francisco at that time with my husband and daughter, and was working at the University of California Medical Center.

“In 1972, Gurudev introduced me to, and started my service on, the Chinmaya Study Groups in the San Francisisco area, along with other sevaks. This work continued till 1978, thrice a week, at my home."

Umaji also served as director and treasurer of CMW, 1975-1990, while attending to Mission activities in the Bay Area.

In June 1978, under Gurudev’s direction, Umaji moved to Los Altos and began conducting two new weekly study groups. In 1981, Gurudev told her to begin Chinmaya Bala Vihar in Los Altos. The program was immediately set up under his guidance, and began with six children. “This is the program that I still follow. It was set up and guided every step of the way by Gurudev. In 2008, we had grown to have 1,660 students at three locations in the Bay Area.”

In 1981, Umaji decided to quit her professional job. The number of Chinmaya Study Groups had increased significantly and the Chinmaya Bala Vihar programs had gained momentum.

In 1987, Gurudev said to proceed with the purchase of the property at 1050 Park Avenue, San Jose. He formalized the Mission center, naming it “Chinmaya Mission San Jose,” and named the new ashram “Sandeepany San Jose.”

Swami Tejomayananda (Pujya Guruji) was appointed as the center’s first resident acharya. Gurudev requested Umaji to study with Guruji for the next three years. Guruji taught all the texts studied during Mumbai’s two-year residential Vedanta Course. “So I took the San Jose ‘course’ and enjoyed every bit of it. By 1992, the course was almost complete and I resumed the Study Groups I was conducting and attended Guruji’s classes.”

In 1993, Pujya Gurudev attained mahasamadhi. Pujya Guruji was called to lead Chinmaya Mission worldwide.

“I considered myself most blessed indeed to have had the opportunity to study under Pujya Gurudev and Guruji. In the first round, I studied the major Upanishads, including Mandukya Karika, Bhagavad Gita (twice), and Vivekachoodamani from Pujya Gurudev. In the second round, I studied the major Upanishads, Ramana Maharishi’s texts, Tulasi Ramayana, and Shrimad Bhagavatam from Pujya Guruji.”

Guruji bestowed the title of “Chinmaya Mission Acharya” on Umaji in 2008, recognizing her dedicated service to the Mission, which she continues to date.

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Acharya of CM center(s) in:
San Jose
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