Pujya Swami Tapovan Maharaj
Pujya Swami Tapovan Maharaj was the very embodiment of the ideals of sannyāsa, endowed with supreme renunciation, deep wisdom, saintliness, austerity, and compassion, a true virakta mahātma.
Swamiji was born in 1886, in the village of Mudappalur in Palghat district to Balamba and Achutan Nair. His parents named him Subramanyan, but they lovingly called him Chippu Kutty. After the untimely death of his father, Swamiji left his home at the age of 28 to heed the call of the divine, eventually taking up residence in a one-room thatched hut in Uttarkashi, which came to be known as Tapovan Kutir. It was here that Gurudev sat at the feet of the great master for a total of seven years absorbing Vedantic knowledge.
Swamiji attained mahāsamādhi on the 16th of January 1957 on the full moon day; in the Brahma-muhūrta at 4:30 a.m. “He came from nowhere, existed everywhere, and ultimately went to be everywhere.”
Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda
Swami Chinmayananda was born on May 8, 1916 as Balakrishna Menon in Ernakulam, Kerala. Chattambi Swamigal a saint known for his yogic powers predicted a great spiritual future for the boy.
A major turning point of his life was his meeting with Swami Sivananda. On February 25th, 1949, along with five other students, Balakrishna was initiated into sannyāsa. Swami Sivananda gave him the name “Chinmayananda Saraswati,” Chinmayananda meaning “filled with the bliss of pure Consciousness.
Swami Sivananda then sent him to Uttarkashi to study under Swami Tapovan Maharaj. Seven years later, brimming with Vedantic knowledge, with a heart overflowing with love for his countrymen, Swami Chinmayananda was ready to execute what he called the “Gangotri Plan” to spread the message of Vedanta to the masses. By the time he attained mahāsamādhiin August 1993, Gurudev as he is known affectionately by his followers, had conducted 576 jnana yajnas and scores of family oriented spiritual family camps, logging thousands of miles as he traveled across the globe. “If I rest, I rust,” he quipped when asked to slow down.
Gurudev is credited with the renaissance of spiritual and cultural values in India and with awakening the rest of the world to the ageless wisdom of Advaita Vedanta as expounded by Adi Shankaracharya. His legacy remains in the form of books, audio and video tapes, schools, and social service projects, Vedanta teachers whom he taught and inspired, and Chinmaya Mission centers around the world serving the spiritual and cultural needs of local communities. He has authored more than 250 books and written commentaries on various scriptural texts.
Gurudev attained mahasamadhi on August 3, 1993.
Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayananda
Swami Tejomayananda, the former head of Chinmaya Mission worldwide is fluent in English, Hindi, Marathi and Sanskrit. He has written commentaries on many scriptural texts, translated Swami Chinmayananda’s commentaries into Hindi, and authored a number of original works in Sanskrit. Swamiji excels in expounding upon a wide spectrum of Hindu scriptures, from Ramayāna to the Shrīmad Bhagavad Gīta and the Upanishads. As Gurudev did before him, Guruji, as he is known affectionately, moves around the world at a bewildering pace conducting jnāna yajnas.
Sudhakar Kaitwade (as he was previously called) was born in Madhya Pradesh on 30th June 1950. As a student he took a keen interest in music and drama. The spiritual call came to him in 1970 when he heard a Gita discourse given by Swami Chinmayananda. He was inspired to join the Vedanta Course at Sandeepany Sadhanalaya in Mumbai. After graduation in 1975, he served in the field for a few years as Brahmachari Vivek Chaitanya and was initiated into sannyāsa by Pujya Gurudev in 1983.
Swamiji became the head of the Chinmaya Mission upon Swami Chinmayananda’s mahāsamādhi in August 1993. He assumed his new role with ease and humility, and is working tirelessly to fulfill the vision of his guru. As he puts it, “I am not in Swamiji’s shoes, I am at his feet.”
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.
Sivaji successfuly completed the 16th Batch Vedanta course (2014- 2016) at Sandeepany,
Mumbai where he studied under Resident Acharya Swami Bodatmananda and Chief-Acharya Swami
Tejomayananda. Having worked as a senior executive in the American Corporate world for several years, Sivaji
is one of those who took the “Exit #60” to pursue the spiritual path full time. He had served at Chinmaya Mission
Ann Arbor for nearly twenty years, having trained under Sharada Kumarji. During that period, he gradually
increased his involvement in study group discussions, satsangs and Bala Vihar teachings. Inspired by the
Teachings, Sivaji left the Corporate world to learn Vedanta at Sandeepany.
Sivaji was assigned as resident Teacher at CMA in 2016. Sivaji conducts classes on texts like Saddarshanam, Mukundamala, Jnanasara, Upadesha Sara and Vishnu Sahasranamam at CMA
Sushmaji has been actively involved as sevak with the Chinmaya Mission Ann Arbor for over
twenty years. She did her Vedanta course in 2011 at Piercy CA held by Swami Bodhatmananda,
Swami Ishwarananda and Sharada Kumar. She took early retirement from her Engineering
profession to focus more on her spiritual studies and had been serving the mission full time ever since. She has
been conducting study groups and teaching at the various Bala vihar centers of CM Ann Arbor. In Aug 2016 she was
assigned to be resident Teacher at CMA.
Sushmaji conducts classes on Bhagavad Gita, Vivekachoodamani, Narayaneeyam, Vedic
Chantings and Vishnu Sahasranamam at CMA. Sushmaji conducts and coordinates regular pujas at the Ashram which include weekly Rudrabhishekam and Krishna Puja as well as coordination of Marietta BV classes.
Our SFMS Bala Vihar teachers
SFMS Bala Vihar teachers list
was established in India in 1953 by devotees of the world-renowned Vedanta teacher, His Holiness Swami Chinmayananda.
Guided by His vision, devotees all around the world formed the nucleus of a spiritual renaissance movement that now encompasses a wide range of spiritual, educational, and charitable activities, ennobling the lives of thousands in India and across its borders.
After pujya Swami Chinmayananda's mahasamadhi in Aug 1993, pujya Swami Tejomayananda spearheaded the mission. Under His guidance, the mission continued mushrooming across the globe with over 300 centres worldwide. Many new programs like the Chinmaya Naad Bindu, Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth etc. that were envisioned by Pujya Swami Chinmayananda, were started successfully under the leadership of pujya Swami Tejomayananda.
In Jan 2017, Swami Swaroopananda, took over the administrative leadership of the mission
More information about CM Worldwide
Chinmaya Mission West (CMW) is the administrative head for all the centers in the US.
More information about CM West
Chinmaya Mission Alpharetta is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
With His grace & the blessings of Pujya Gurudev & Pujya Guruji, on the auspicious day of Mahashivratri in 2001, a small bala vihar of 25 kids was started at Alpharetta in the home of Sudha Malhotra, (a sevika who had moved from CM Ann Arbor, MI). The closest center at that time was an unincorporated one at Warner Robbins, GA (120 miles away). By Aug 2001, the bala vihar moved to a day care facility.
Under the mentorship of Sharada Kumar of CM Ann Arbor, Sudha facilitated study groups for adults and conducted bala vihar activites for the kids assisted by other key sevaks like Bhavana & KS Subramanian, Sameer Pateria, Shekhar Kanetkar and many others. With each year the number of kids grew and many more programs were also added. By 2007, all the activities moved to South Forsyth Middle school in Cumming.
Incorporation & Ashram property
With Pujya Guruji’s consent and blessings, CM Alpharetta became an unincorporated center of CM West in July 2007 and got incorporated as a independent center in 2008.
CM Alpharetta has since then purchased a 11.5 acre property.
Pujya Guruji blessed the ashram property with the name of “Chinmaya Gurukul” choosing "Sundar Krishna" to be the main deity at the ashram with the message "Krishnam Vande Jagad gurum"!
CM Alpharetta Board:
Chairman: Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayanandaji
CMA Seva Groups
President: Sudha Malhotra
Secretary: Sameer Pateria
Treasurer: Sanjay Hazari
Board Members: Sharadaji, Shekhar Kanetkar, Sandeep Gauba, Darshan Shah, Anjali Malhotra
10 Seva groups (or committees) work with the board to run various programs of CMA. Leads of each seva group are assisted by many volunteers to work out the various tasks within each group.
Seva Group Leads:
Bala Vihar : Sudha Malhotra
Bala Vihar and Language class Teachers
Registration : Bhavana Subramanian, KS Subramanian, Sameer Pateria
Parent Enrichment : Sudha Malhotra, Sivaji, Sushmaji
CMA Celebrations : Raji Ramchandra, Subha Janakiraman, Kumar Raman
Yagnas and Camps : Shekhar Kanetkar, Piyush Pandya, Kumar Raman, Shalaka Pateria
Communications : Shalaka Pateria, Sameer Pateria, JCHYKs
Fund Raiser : Arsu Velaswamy, Arvind Malhotra, Hari Rao, Darshan Shah
Ashram : Darshan Shah, Sameer Pateria
Operations : Darshan Shah, Uttam Sarkar, Arsu Velaswamy, Arvind Malhotra
Community Service : Arsu Velaswamy, Sameer Pateria
JCHYK & CHYK : Sudha Malhotra, Anjali Malhotra
A team of specially trained, experienced, and dedicated teachers conduct the Bala Vihar program. Through games, arts, crafts, stories, and other unique techniques, the Bala Vihar program teaches and reinforces spiritual and cultural values. The curriculum designed for all grade levels (Pre-KG through Grade 12) is creative and dynamic, and covers a wide range of topics.
Currently we have 7 Indian Language classes (Hindi, Marathi,Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada & Malayalam)
Balvihar Teachers list