June 12, 2005, Report By Archana Dongre

TUSTIN, CALIFORNIA, June 12, 2005: Even the skies had become softer, shielding everyone with a blanket of clouds from the harsh summer Sunday, June 11, when the inauguration ceremony of the Chinmaya Mission's new center "Mithila" began at 10.30 a.m., under specially erected white canopies in the parking lot of Mithila's premises at 655 South B Street here. The event began promptly when Swami Tejomayananda arrived, accompanied by resident acharya Swami Ishwarananda and Br. Girish Chaitanya and was welcomed by rows of white clad lady volunteers of the center with diyas (lit oil lamps) in hand.

The ceremony began with the children's choir singing welcome songs and Sanskrit prayers, and after some customary speeches, the highlight of the day came when Swami Tejomayananda was announced as being chosen to receive the "Hindu Renaissance Award" as "Hindu of the Year" for 2005 by Hinduism Today magazine. The entire audience of over 700 people stood in ovation, and w armly applauded, with renewed enthusiasm, a sense of joy and pride in the Chinmaya Center as well as its leadership. A plaque was handed over to him by a representative of Hinduism Today, along with a saffron shawl enveloping him with the warmth of the honor, and a letter from Hinduism Today was read from the lectern.

The plaque reads: "Presented by Hinduism Today to Hindu of the Year, 2005, Sri Sri Swami Tejomayananda, spiritual leader of Chinmaya Mission Worldwide, for fulfilling the vision of his guru, Swami Chinmayananda, guiding the Chinmaya Mission's exemplary teaching programs, inspiring the dynamic expansion of the monastic order (including new swamis from the diaspora) and teaching hundreds of thousands to be better Hindus."
Starting in 1990, Hinduism Today has honored one eminent Hindu each year who has most impacted the faith and spread its values, compassion and profundity across the globe. Past renaissance winners are: Swami Paramananda Bh arati ('90), Swami Chidananda Saraswati, "Muniji " of Parmath Niketan ('91), Swami Chinmayananda ('92), Mata Amritanandamayi Ma ('93), Swami Satchidananda ('94), Pramukhswami Maharaj ('95), Sri Satya Sai Baba ('96), Sri Chinmoy ('97), Swami Bua ('98), Swami Chidananda Saraswati of Divine Life Society ('99), Ma Yoga Shakti ('00), priest Sri T. S. Sambamurthy Sivachariar ('01) and Dada Vaswani ('02), Sri Tiruchi Mahaswamigal ('03) and priest Pichai Sivacharya ('04).
The honor had sparked much love and admiration throughout the event that ended around 12 noon with a Chinmaya Pledge. Then Swami Tejomayananda formally opened Mithila, leading everyone into the main shrine of Rama, Seeta, Lakshman and Maruti. In his speech, Swami Tejomayananda, 55, said, "This is the center of spiritual power, a real powerhouse, to create our future for according to our vision.

The vision should lead to positive action, good ideas need the support of many hands and feet to bring them int o reality." Swami Ishwarananda, 40, said in his speech that this new 7,000 sq. ft. facility is named Mithila, the birthplace of Seeta, after the kingdom that shaped her exemplary character. The name is in feminine gender, and "women will be given a chance, even a priority, to worship the Deities here. Shri Rama stands for Viveka, the sense of discrimination between right and wrong, Lakshman for non-attachment, Seeta for purity (the word also signifies the color white in Sanskrit), and Maruti is selfless service incarnate. The Chinmaya Mission has 243 centers worldwide, 30 in US, and five in California including Mithila.


Chinmaya Mission UK, Chinmaya Kirti, 2 Egerton Gardens, Hendon, London NW4 4BA
Tel: 0208 203 6288
Registered Charity No :1077622
E-mail : info@chinmayauk.org


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