Swami Tapovan Maharaj
- A Vedantin, strict teacher, poet and a sage with great wisdom and tranquility
- Guru of Swami Chinmayananda who said this about his guru “He was a God without a temple, a Veda without language”
- Born in Kerala in 1889
- As Chippu Kutty, he grew up enjoying Puranic stories
- Became a scholar of Vedanta mastering Malayalam and Sanskrit
- After his parents death, he left his home and travelled widely immersed in Vedantic scriptures
- Was ordained by Swami Janardhana Giri of Kailash ashram as Swami Tapovanam (means “forest of austerities”)
- After being ordained, he chose to live in Uttarkashi near the bank of River Ganges
- Attained mahasamadhi on January 16, 1957
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One of the greatest exponents of Vedanta, which is the foundation of Hindu religion and culture.
- Born on May 8, 1916 as Balakrihnana Menon, he completed degrees in Law and Literature at the same time fought for India’s freedom against the British
- While working as a journalist for “The National Herald” he travelled to Rishikesh where his aim was to “expose the sadhus (monks)”. While at the ashram of Swami Shivananda, a transformation began where he asked himself what is the purpose of life and what is the secret to permanent happiness. This led him to seek monk-hood.
- On February 25, 1949, he was reborn as Swami Chinmayananda
- After staying with Swami Sivananda, he was guided to go to Uttarkashi to study under Swami Tapovanam. After years of studying under this renowned master, and obtaining the blessings of his guru, Swamiji conducted his first gyana yagna (spiritual discourse) in Pune in 1951.
- The rest is history…. the wheels of motion began to spin….. Chinmaya Mission was formed and the activities continued to spread across India, to United States, Canada, the Orient and many other parts of the world.
- Author of over 40 books he has written commentaries on the Upanishads. His commentary of the Bhagawad Geeta is acknowledged as one of the finest ever written
- Gained mahasamadhi (exiting his mortal self) on August 3, 1993 in San Diego.
His greatest gifts:
o Spreading the sublime knowledge of Vedanta
o Re-invigorating India culture
o Performing extensive social services (for the disadvantaged and underprivileged, opening schools, college, hospitals, old age homes, rural village development projects, seminaries and research centres)
- Believed in what is today the Mission’s Motto: to give maximum happiness to the maximum number for the maximum time is our religion”
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Present head of Chinmaya Mission
- Born in Maharashtra on June 30, 1950 as Sudhakar Kaitwade
- While doing his Master’s degree in Physics, he met Swami Chinmayananda. Thoroughly inspired, he joined the Vedanta course in Mumbai.
- After completing the course in 1975, he was posted to many centre across India.
- On October 21, 1983, Swami Chinmayananda initiated him into sanyas and gave him the name Swami Tejomayananda, at which time he became the acharya of Sandeepany in Mumbai
- In 1989, Swamiji was sent to Chinmaya Mission West and was in charge of all Chinmaya Mission activities across North America
- Upon Swami Chinmayananda’s mahasamadhi in 1993, Swami Tejomayananda returned to India to become the current head of the Mission
- Has made sure the vision of his guru, Swami Chinmayananda has been met in all sectors of the world .
- Author of several works in Sanskrit and written many commentaries of old texts such as Dirg Drishya Viveka, Kapila Geeta etc.
- Genius lies in being able to adroitly combine the knowledge of Vedanta and the ideals of bhakti (devotion) living the examples of these ideals
- Is a great poet, singer and composer of many bhajans (devotional songs),