Acharyas

Our Inspiration

Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda

His Holiness Swami Chinmayananda (Pujya Gurudev), founder of Chinmaya Mission, taught spirituality as the art of living. Through the path of Jnana Yoga, or path of knowledge, he emphasized the balance of head and heart, pointing out selfless work, study, and meditation as the cornerstones of spiritual practice.

Not satisfied with his literature and law degrees or other worldly aspirations, Balakrishnan Menon pursued the spiritual path for nine years in the Himalayas, under the guidance of Swami Sivananda and the tutelage of Swami Tapovanam. He eventually chose to share his direct experience of Vedantic knowledge with the masses, and roared forth like Mother Ganga in the form of the dynamic spiritual master known as Swami Chinmayananda.

Gurudev is renowned worldwide as one of the foremost teachers of Shrimad Bhagavad Gita. He is credited with the renaissance of cultural values in India and with the spreading of the ageless wisdom of Advaita Vedanta, as expounded by Adi Shankaracharya, throughout the world.

Gurudev attained mahasamadhi on August 3, 1993 . His legacy remains in the form of written, audio, and video publications; social service projects (schools, hospitals, rural development programs, and more); and the missionaries who carry on his vision to this day.

Our Guide

Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayananda

His Holiness Swami Tejomayananda (Pujya Guruji), as the present spiritual head of Chinmaya Mission ® worldwide, is fulfilling the vision that Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda charted. As he puts it, “I am not in Swamiji’s shoes; I am at His feet.”

Pujya Guruji has served as acharya , or dean of the Sandeepany Institutes of Vedanta ( gurukulas of Chinmaya Mission) in India and as acharya in Mission centers in India and the US . He has written commentaries on scriptural texts, translated Pujya Gurudev’s commentaries into Hindi, and authored a number of books. A key contribution is Hindu Culture: An Introduction , a text acclaimed for its clear description of the basics of Hinduism and adopted as a reference text in some high schools.

Pujya Guruji excels in expounding a wide spectrum of Hindu scriptures, from Ramayana to Shrimad Bhagavad Gita to the Upanishads. He conducts discourses around the world and his easy manner and devotional rendering of Vedantic texts has drawn many newcomers into the spiritual fold.

 

Leadership

National Director

Swami Sarveshananda

Formerly known as Bramhachari Uddhav Chaitanya, our acharya Swami Sarveshananda was bestowed Sanyasa Diksha (order of renunciation) by Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayananda, Head of Chinmaya Mission Worldwide, on the auspicious occasion of Maha Shivaratri (March 03, 2011).

Inspired by Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda, Swami Sarveshananda joined the Vedanta Course at Sandeepany Sadhanalaya in Mumbai in 1993. After completing the course in 1995, he was initiated as a Brahmachari and posted as the Resident Acharya of Chinmaya Mission, Vijayawada where he served until June, 2002. Thereafter, he was appointed as the Resident Acharya of Chinmaya Mission in Dallas, Texas, by Pujya Guruji, Swami Tejomayananda.

Swami Sarveshananda is also the National Director of Chinmaya Mission Yuva Kendra (CHYK) West, the youth wing of Chinmaya Mission West. CHYK West manages CHYK chapters all across North America including West Indies. CHYK West aims to increase spiritual awareness among youth and young adults (18 – 35 years) so that they live life purposefully – with a clear and noble personal vision and an attitude of service to the community. Swami Sarveshananda was himself a CHYK while growing up in India, and received direct guidance from Pujya Gurudev, Swami Chinmayananda. A dynamic and engaging speaker, Swami Sarveshananda works tirelessly to spread the wisdom of Vedanta through retreats, workshops, camps and innovative youth programs that inspire young people. Swami Sarveshananda has touched many lives through his service, dedication and loving presence. He is popular with children and youth because of his ability to connect with young minds.

Swami Sarveshananda’s weekly schedule includes conducting satsangs, study groups, Devi groups, and Bala Vihar sessions. Additionally, Swami Sarveshananda holds other events at the mission such as training sessions, annual camps, picnics, walkathons, and the popular lock-ins for children. He is also frequently invited by Chinmaya Mission centers all around the country to conduct Jnana yajnas and annual camps. In spite of a demanding schedule, Swami Sarveshananda is never too busy to bring cheer to little child, guide a restless teenager or joke with volunteers to light up their day. Swami Sarveshananda handles his busy workload with a smile. His calm demeanor and easy-going nature puts everyone at ease. He advises, “Walking the spiritual path is not easy, but it’s worth it. An ounce of effort makes a world of difference to us and the world around us.”

Deputy Director

Acharya Vivek

Having experienced much of what the world has to offer, from studying at the Ivey School of Business to traveling to almost fifty countries, Vivekji still sought more. Tired of the inconsistent peace associated with extrovert pursuits, he decided to turn his journey within.

In 2005 Vivekji was accepted to the intensive residential Vedanta Course at Chinmaya Mission’s Sandeepany Sadhanalaya in India. There he studied and lived under the guidance of Pujya Swami Tejomayananda for over two years!

Discovering that the only purpose of life is to be infinitely, constantly and unconditionally happy, Vivekji continues to explore this purpose by sharing the same with others.

Through his inspiring, innovative and insightful style, Vivekji makes Vedanta relevant, relatable and reachable. Intrigued that a young-adult born and raised in Canada would walk such an untraveled path, an array of community groups, academic forums, professional associations, medical departments and religious organizations around the world (i.e. The Office of the Pentagon in Washington, Regional Mental Health Care Hospital in London, etc.) have invited Vivekji to share his wisdom on Life and living.

Amidst all his efforts, Pujya Swami Tejomayananda has continuously blessed Vivekji with greater responsibilities: in 2008 as the Resident Acharya of Chinmaya Mission Niagara, in 2011 as the Deputy Director of Chinmaya Yuva Kendra West and in 2013 as the Visiting Acharya of Chinmaya Mission Pittsburgh.

Directing Committee

Name Location Email Address
Swami Sarveshananda CM Dallas Swami.Sarveshananda@chykwest.com
Acharya Vivek CM Niagara Falls Acharya.Vivek@chykwest.com

 

Steering Committee

Name Location Email Address
Padmavathi Mana CM Bentonville Padmavathi.Mana@chykwest.com
Reena Patel CM Boston Reena.Patel@chykwest.com
Kaushik Bhatia CM Chicago Kaushik.Bhatia@chykwest.com
Sridhar Karra CM Dallas Sridhar.Karra@chykwest.com
Shilpam Shah CM Dallas Shilpam.Shah@chykwest.com
Raghuveer Akula CM Houston Raghuveer.Akula@chykwest.com
Sanjana Manikandan CM New Jersey Sanjana.Manikandan@chykwest.com
Nikita Kathuria CM Orlando Nikita.Kathuria@chykwest.com

 

Core Committee

Name Location
Sanchit Malhotra CM Alpharetta
Anuraag Aekka CM Ann Arbor
Priya Wiersba CM Ann Arbor
Juhi Amodwala CM Austin
Sruti Nuthalapati CM Austin
Mehana Parikh CM Austin
Padmavathi Mana CM Bentonville
Reena Patel CM Boston
Nikhil Aggarwal CM Chicago
Pooja Merai CM Chicago
Swathi Anantha CM Dallas
Sridhar Karra CM Dallas
Raghuveera Akula CM Houston
Sameer Murali CM Los Angeles
Shiva Sharma CM Los Angeles
Sandhya Simhan CM New York City
Sheela Gupta CM Niagara
Name Location
Madhav Khurana CM Niagara
Nikita Kathuria CM Orlando
Jay Majithia CM Ottawa
Sravani Hotha CM Pittsburgh
Rubini Naidu CM Pittsburgh
Hiren Gihwala CM Raleigh
Anita Chandavarkar CM San Jose
Vishwa Dave CM San Jose
Anuja Ganpule CM San Jose
Neethi Venkateswaran CM San Jose
Arun Chadee CM Toronto
Vivek Rambarran CM Trinidad
Vaani Ramkhalawan CM Trinidad
Sheetal Gupta CM Vancouver
Scinju Gadamsetty CM Washington
Vikas Bector CM Washington