Hari Om.

In the early 1980s, in a small church in Orlando, Brahmacharini Pavitra Chaitanya spoke on personality unfoldment. She said one’s personality should unfold like the blossoming of a bud into flower, spreading the fragrance of service, love, and peace. Her talk inspired many interested devotees and they asked her where they could learn more on this and related subjects. Pavitraji smilingly replied, “Go to the Master, Swami Chinmayananda, and attend his jnana yajnas.”

Through her guidance, various devotees were enthralled by Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda’s talks during a Chinmaya Mission camp. Gurudev’s talks and presence. When they approached Gurudev for advice, he personally guided them and explained to them the need for children to learn about their culture, and the need for householders to study the scriptures through study groups and jnana yajnas. He then gave them a step-by-step walk-through on how to conduct Bala Vihar classes.

Inspired by Gurudev and with his blessings, a few devotees began a Chinmaya Bala Vihar and an Adult Study Group on Shrimad Bhagavad Gita. What began with 25-30 children and 3 teachers grew over the years to 250 children. Activities and classes continued to increase and Chinmaya Mission Orlando was formalized to serve the community’s children, youth, university students, and adults.

CM Orlando has hosted numerous satsangs, jnana yajnas, and camps over the years, all conducted by various CM Acharyas, including Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayananda, Pujya Swami Purushottamananda, Pujya Swamini Sharadapriyananda, Swami Shantananda, and Brahmachari Prabodh Chaitanya, to name a few.

On July 19, 1993, CM Orlando purchased a 5-acre plot in Casselberry, Florida. The property included a small, two-bedroom house that was used for ashram activities and classes. The photos of Param Pujya Gurudev Swami Tapovanam and Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda were installed in the ashram’s main hall on the day Gurudev visited the ashram for the first time. Pujya Gurudev blessed the ashram and named it “Tapovan.”

Pujya Gurudev guided CM Orlando’s devotees on the future installation of the murti of Lord Shiva in the same image as Lord Jagadishvara at the Sandeepany Sadhanalaya ashram in Mumbai, India. On July 18, 1999, in the holy presence of Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayananda, the murti sthapana and prana pratishtha were performed at the outset of the new millennium, in a new building named "Kaivalya."

In 2010, with Pujya Gurudev’s blessings, a new fully functional and equipped kitchen and open air dining area were added to the Kaivalya ashram. Pujya Guruji named the kitchen, Sita Rasoi, and the dining hall, Anna Shree. They were inaugurated on Feb. 21, 2010 by Swami Shantananda. Since then, dedicated teams of volunteers prepare, offer, and serve prasad to over 250 devotees every Sunday.

Today, CM Orlando offers Bala Vihar, Junior CHYK, CHYK, Bhagavad Gita, and Upanishad classes every Sunday morning. Additional classes include Sanskrit, and tabla. In addition to classes at the ashram, classes are conducted in the neighboring areas of Lake Mary, Sanford, South Orlando, Kissimmee, Daytona Beach, Fort Myers, and Gainesville.

Hari Om.

Acharya Shailaja Nadkarni

Acharya Shailaja Nadkarni


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Chinmaya Mission Orlando
331 N. Maitland Ave., Suite 2C (Ashram: 1221 Florida Rd., Casselberry, FL 32707)
Maitland, Florida 32751
Phone: (407) 699-7331
E-mail : orlando [a|t] chinmayamission [d|o|t] org
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