| CENTER PROFILE
Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda gave numerous talks at Princeton University and various universities in the Philadelphia region. His visits always inspired the growth of Chinmaya Mission’s spiritual activities in Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey, and eventually resulted in the start of CM Philadelphia, the first center with property in the Tri-State area.
CM activities in and around Philadelphia were developed in no small way by the hard and tireless work of Swami Shantananda. As CM Philadelphia’s resident acharya since its inauguration in 1992, Swamiji worked with CM Philadelphia’s officers’ to start and expand CM classes and activities, and eventually purchase ashram property. CM Philadelphia’s first Bala Vihar classes were started by Indira Desai in the Langhorne, Lansdale, and Audubon suburbs.
In the early 1990s, through the dedicated support and unending efforts of the working committee, a property and home were found. Gurudev was invited to view and approve the proposed purchase that would eventually come to be known as CM Philadelphia’s ashram of “Kedar.”
In November 1992, Pujya Gurudev presided over the installation of Lord Kedar at the Langhorne ashram. Lord Kedar is an unusual representation of Lord Shiva. His expression is of the moment after he has risen from meditation and had his bath. Radiating Truth, He is joyfully and peacefully blessing the rishis and celestial beings who have assembled to witness His glory.
In addition to a large satsanga hall, acharya’s and guest quarters, and full kitchen, Kedar also houses the excessively busy work of Chinmaya Publications (CP), CMW’s publications division. CP services all CM centers in USA, Canada, and the Caribbean. CP was initiated in the 1970s by Surendra and Kusum Patel. They successfully manned CP’s rapidly growing operations and handed the torch over to Swami Siddhananda from Chennai, India, in 1994. Despite Swamiji’s unending work as CP In-Charge, he also conducts jnana yajnas, retreats, study classes for various age groups, and bhajan sessions throughout the year.
Kedar has a membership of over 400 Bala Vihar children and 150 Study Group members. CM kids’ and adults’ classes have spread to the Harleysville and Exton-Valley Forge areas. Additionally, a Chinmaya Study Group and Bala Vihar are being conducted in Montgomery and Delaware.
The Kedar ashram hosts Study Group, Bala Vihar, and language classes on Sundays, and during the week offers Rudrabhishekam, Upanishad lectures, video lectures, and music and dance classes. Monthly satsanga on Vishnu Sahasranama is conducted. All Hindu festivals are celebrated annually in traditional style, and Kedar’s anniversary, known as Kedar Utsav, is observed with grand flair. Kedar is flourishing under the esteemed guidance and blessings of Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayananda.
CM Philadelphia marks the last ashram founded by Pujya Gurudev. All the devotees feel greatly blessed that Pujya Gurudev stayed in the ashram for three days prior to the center’s inaugural ceremonies. Kedar has also been honored to host jnana yajnas and serve numerous CM Acharyas,
In 2009, CM Philadelphia purchased a one-acre parcel of land adjacent to the Kedar ashram. Lord Bala Krishna and Pujya Gurudev’s padukas were also recently installed in the shrine.