| CENTER PROFILE
By Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda’s grace and Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayananda’s blessings, Chinmaya Mission Toronto has grown vastly over the years. Through our continued and widespread growth, we have been able to reach out to more people through our diversified programs and activities.
1972: Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda visited Toronto for the first time on the invitation of the Vedanta Society of Toronto.
1974: Pujya Gurudev’s second visit resulted in the formation of Chinmaya Mission Toronto, with Charlotte Wallman as its first president.
1977: CM Toronto was legally incorporated in Ontario, Canada as a registered charitable organization.
1978: Barry Dykes returned after completing the brahmachari Vedanta course from ‘Sandeepany Sadhanalaya’ in Mumbai, India. CM Toronto soon started study classes on the University of Toronto campus.
1979: Formation of Chinmaya Publications Canada (CM’s Canadian distribution center)
1985: First Canadian CM spiritual camp at University of Waterloo
1988: Brahmacharini Sadhana-ji returned after completing the brahmachari Vedanta course from ‘Sandeepany Sadhanalaya’ in Mumbai, India, as CM Toronto’s resident acharya. She began the chapter’s first Bala Vihar classes. Margaret Leuverink became the editor of Mananam, CMW’s spiritual journal.
1989: Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayananda’s first visit to Toronto
1991: December marked the last visit of Pujya Gurudev and the approval of purchasing property for a CM center in Toronto, under President Michael Mayzel.
1994 and 1997: Summer CM family camp held at St. Catherines, Ontario
1997: In December, CM Toronto purchased a home as its new center, at 15 Main St. in Unionville. President Shyam Chandravarkar had obtained permission from the Ministry of the Attorney General to purchase the property in order to facilitate CM’s objectives.
1998: CM Toronto officially moved into its new Unionville home on July 12. The inauguration of ‘Chinmaya Shivalaya’ was conducted in the presence of Swami Shantananda (CM Princeton).
2003: July marked a milestone in CM Toronto’s history when it purchased vast property with a home at 9796 Dufferin St. in Maple, Ontario. The new ‘Chinmaya Shivalaya’ center was inaugurated by Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayananda, Head of Chinmaya Mission worldwide.
2004: CM Toronto’s resident acharya, Brahmacharini Sadhana-ji, was initiated into sannyasa by Pujya Guruji as Swamini Shivapriyananda.
2007: Swamini Shivapriyananda spoke on ‘Symbolism in Hinduism’ at the Toronto Hindu Youth conference at the University of Toronto.
2009: CM Toronto and CM Niagara hosted the Chinmaya Mahasamadhi Family Camp. The event was an overwhelming success.
2011: In January 2011, CM Toronto moved to a larger ashram.
CLASSES and ACTIVITIES
Since inception, CM Toronto has grown from a small group that could fit comfortably in a family room to an extended family with classes and programs that serve serving hundreds of members. Other activities include meditation classes and retreats, satsangs and bhajan sessions, festival celebrations, spiritual family retreats, and jnana yajnas by CM acharyas.
Over the years, CM Toronto has hosted jnana yajnas by Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayananda, Swami Ishwarananda, Swami Swaroopananda, Swami Purushottamananda, Swami Prakashananda, Swami Shantananda, and Swami Chidatmananda. Devotional bhajan programs have been conducted by Swami Siddhananda, and children’s programs by Swami Sharanananda.
In recent years, CM has organized various music and dance programs and a fundraising golf tournament. Toronto CHYK has also invited learned speakers to the ashram to speak on various spiritual topics.
| KEY COORDINATOR