Swami Tapovan maharaj
Swami Tapovan Maharaj of Uttarkashi was the “Source” wherefrom Swami Chinmayananda (The Founder of the Chinmaya Movement) acquired the Knowledge of Vedanta (Science of Religion). Swami Tapovan was himself the ideal who had personally understood (through deep study, dispassion and contemplation) the relationship between the bilogical processes of the body and the human psyche.
In a spirit of deep renunciation, the infinitely gentle poet in him, saw Humanity and Nature as one vast “plant, needing only “Love” for its highest fulfillment. Intimate communion with Nature (while he walked peaks and valleys of the Himalayas for countless years), gave Swami Tapovan the boundless spiritual reverence.
He revealed Nature’s secrets in his “travelogue” in two Sanskrit masterpieces, “Himagiri Viharam” and “Kailasa Yatra”. The masterpiece, without a doubt, is “Iswara Darshan”, which is his autobiographical “sketch” – it is an absorbing account of a search for the Truth. Its scientific clarity is subtle, because the treatise gives insight into how the saints of the East attain self mastery.
H.H. Swami Chinmayananda is a world renowned authority of the scriptures of India, especially Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads. He was born in 1916 and attained mahasamadhi in 1993. He worked relentlessly for about 40 years to bring about spiritual revival in India and abroad. His unique style and logical approach is appealing to all young and old.
His was the life of selfless service to others. He is the author of more than thirty books, each one is a masterpiece, dealing with the philosophical principles behind the religion. He made mysterious and elusive vedantic principles easily understandable for common people. He is the founder of Chinmaya Mission, through which the work that he initiated and was so dear to him, is carried out in the form of spreading the message of vedanta, overseeing numerous cultural, educational and social service activities. A biography of this great spiritual master, entitled Journey of a Master: Swami Chinmayananda, is available through Chinmaya Publications.
Swami Chinmayananda was selected by the Hindu Host Committee to be the President of Hindu Religion, representing Hinduism worldwide at the Meeting of the Parliament of World Religions in Chicago (during August 28 – September 4, 1993), an honor bestowed on the great Swami Vivekananda a century ago. The Parliament had selected fourteen eminent religious leaders around the world to form a council to guide the world into the next century. At “World Vision 2000,” a conference of religious leaders sponsored by Hindu Vishwa Parishad during August 6-8, 1993, H.H. Swami Chinmayanandji was to be honored for his lifetime of selfless service to humanity and his extraordinary achievements in creating a renaissance of spiritual and cultural values in India and abroad. However, on August 3, 1993, Swami Chinmayanandji attained Mahasamadhi in SanDiego, California, after suffering a massive heart attack as the equipment became too worn out due to the ceaseless Seva of the Master to humanity for over 42 years.
Swami Tejomayananda, the Chairman and spiritual head of Chinmaya Mission worldwide, is one of the foremost disciples of Swami Chinmayananda. He is an outstanding teacher of Vedanta and an accomplished poet, author, and composer. Swamiji joined the Vedanta course at Sandeepany Sadhnalaya, Mumbai in 1970 and was initiated into the sanyasa in 1983 by Pujya Gurudev.
Swamiji has the rare quality of bringing out the depth of Vedanta, with devotion, in simple style from scriptural texts like Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads, Ramacharita Manas and Srimad Bhagavatam. Since the mahasamadhi of Gurudev in 1993, Swami Tejomayananda has dutifully undertaken total responsibility to fulfill the vision of the Master. Under his leadership and guidance many new centers have been established and Chinmaya Mission continues to grow in all spheres of its activities . spiritual, cultural, educational and social service programs.
On October 21, 1983, he was initiated into Sanyas by Pujya Swami Chinmayanandaji, and since then he has been known as Swami Tejomayananda. In 1984, Swami Chinmayananda made him the chief acharya or Dean of Sandeepany Sadhanalaya in Bombay where he completed teaching two 2 1/2 year courses in English in 1989.
Swami Tejomayananda has conducted over 300 Geeta Gnana Yajnas throughout the globe in English, Hindi and Marathi. He has written commentaries, in Hindi, on Adi Shankara’s Drik Drishya Viveka and Ramana Maharshi’s Upadesa Saram. He has also translated Swami Chinmayananda’s commentaries on the Srimad Bhagavad Geeta and Upanishadas in Hindi.
His original Vedantic texts include Bhakti Sudha, Jnana Sarah, Manah Shodhanam, Dhyanasvarupam and Jivanasutrani. His acclaimed commentaries include Kapila Gita, Yoga Vasistha Sara Sangraha, Svetasvatara Upanishad, Adi Sankaracharya’s Drg-Drshya Viveka, and Ramana Maharshi’s Upadesha Sara, He has also translated into Hindi Swami Chinmayananda’s English commentaries on Shrimad Bhagavad-gita and the Upanishads. His book Hindu Culture: an Introduction has been adopted as an academic text by some American schools. Another popular book, Graceful Aging has been incorporated as a text into a Chinmaya Mission course for senior citizens. His profound, poignant and pictorial talks on Sant Tulsidasa’s Ramacharitamanasa and Veda Vyasa’s Shrimad Bhagavatam are world-renowned, highlighting his spiritual wisdom and masterful storytelling.
Formerly the Regional Head of Chinmaya Mission Australia, United Kingdom, Middle East, Africa and Far East, and presently Chairman of the Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth Trust (University for Sanskrit and Indic Traditions) and Director of the Chinmaya International Residential School in Coimbatore, South India, Swami Swaroopananda has now been bestowed by Swami Tejomayananda the privilege to also serve as the Head of Chinmaya Mission Worldwide.
Born and brought up in the bustling commercial capital of India, Swamiji had always been convinced that beyond life’s superficial, everyday joys and sorrows, there was something more enduring and satisfying. As a child he heard from his grandmother many religious stories based on the great Indian epics and the history of saints. These stories suddenly came to life, acquiring new meaning and depth, when as an adolescent he encountered the preeminent Master of Vedanta, Swami Chinmayananda.
His heart completely moved and inspired, in 1984 Swami Swaroopananda gave up his family’s thriving business in Hong Kong to undergo intensive training under Swami Chinmayananda and Swami Tejomayananda at Sandeepany, Mumbai. He was initiated into the monastic order in 1992. Since then, he has touched thousands of lives across the world, and his tremendous work in bringing out the essential wisdom and underlying unity of all religions has garnered him a place among the vanguards of self-development philosophy.
Swamiji has authored several commentaries on such important spiritual classics as Ik Onkar, Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra and Sankat Mochan, besides numerous books on contemporary lifestyle subjects such as Simplicity and Meditation, Storm to Perform, Avatar, Managing the Manager and Journey into Health.
Swamiji is equally adept at conducting ‘wholistic management’ seminars for senior corporate executives. Among the well-known institutes he has been invited to speak at are The Ford, London Business School and Harvard University, to name a few. In fact, a proprietary self-development course he conceived and initially conducted, Make It Happen™, has been adapted and integrated into the human resource training programmes of various corporate organisations in India and beyond.