Hari Om.

During his first world tour, Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda visited New York City and gave a few talks in different locations. Few people got interested in Vedanta, and later, some of them visited India and the Mission’s 'Sandeepany’ ashram in Mumbai.

A dynamic CM sevak and organizer, Krishna Moorthy, who had conducted and coordinated various CM activities in India, including Bala Vihar, Study Group, and CHYK, moved from Mumbai to New York. He and David Robinson began the first CM Study Group in Manhattan, NY. The class had six students, mostly Americans.

CM New York’s (CM NY’s) Study Group organized Pujya Gurudev’s first NY jnana yajna at the First Moravian Church on Lexington Ave. and E. 29 St. in Manhattan. Pujya Gurudev inspired New Yorkers with his brilliant and humorous exposition on Kenopanishad and Bhagavad Gita Ch. 12. The divine fire of knowledge was lit and the Chinmaya Movement took off in New York. Soon after the yajna, another Study Group began, as did a Bala Vihar class.

Pujya Gurudev conducted one or more jnana yajnas each year in New York City’s various boroughs: Bronx, Queens, Manhattan, and Brooklyn. CM Bala Vihars and Study Groups flourished and spread to Long Island. The CM family was becoming more widespread, interacting with devotees in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts.

CM NY held its first CM spiritual camp at Bard College in Woodstock, NY, in 1976. The Camp was a great success, attended by CM families from across the US and Canada. CM activities continued and Pujya Gurudev visited NY during his US tours.

In 1976, three NY Study Group sevaks joined, and successfully completed, CM’s two-year brahmachari Vedanta course in Mumbai—including Krishna Moorthy, who returned to NY as a CM acharya.

The two brahmacharis who returned to NY after the Course resumed CM activities, traveling to several parts of US and Canada, supporting CM camps and classes, and helping establish new CM centers.

In 1984, Pujya Gurudev spoke before thousands at Madison Square Garden.

CM activities in Princeton, NJ and Philadelphia, PA began in succession. Classes were initially conducted on a continuous basis by Brahmachari Krishna Moorthy, and later by local volunteers. Over the years, CM NY hosted jnana yajnas by Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayananda, Swami Purushottamananda, Swamini Saradapriyananda, and others.

Pujya Gurudev conducted a Gita jnana yajna at Columbia University, teaching Kaivalyopanishad and Gita Ch. 6. He also spoke at various Indian cultural and religious organizations’ events. Brahmachari Krishna Moorthy began a new Study Group and Bala Vihar in Bergen County (northern NJ).

Pujya Gurudev conducted a Gita jnana yajna at a hall near LaGuardia Airport, teaching Gita Ch. 4 and Vakya Vritti. Several local dignitaries visited Gurudev for satsanga. CM Sevak George Romney, an American devotee, began Study Group in his Manhattan home.

Pujya Gurudev delivered the keynote address at the Cultural Festival of India held in NJ. Plans commenced to purchase property for CM Tri-State (to serve NY, NJ, and PA) and for Chinmaya Mission West’s Publications Division.

CM Tri-State and Chinmaya Publications found their home in Langhorne, PA. Gurudev inaugurated the new center as ‘Kedar.’ Gurudev gave Brahmachari Raghavan sannyasa as Swami Shantananda and sent him to Langhorne as resident acharya.

Gurudev addressed the United Nations and delivered the historical, inspiring talk, “Planet in Crisis” (available on CD and DVD), to a fully packed auditorium that included several Indian and local celebrities.

CM NY functioned under the umbrella of CM Tri-State and conducted joint camps and yajnas, training workshops, and festival celebrations.

In 2007, CM New York officially became a CMW center. CM NY’s present activities include jnana yajnas, Vedanta seminars and workshops, Bala Vihar (over 150 children), Study Groups (over 175 adults), CHYK group, chanting classes, and festivals/puja celebrations. Classes and activities are conducted in Long Island, Queens, Bronx, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Manhattan, Westchester, and Emerson (NJ).

Hari Om.

Acharya Arun Gossai

Runjhun Saklani


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