The life of Swami Chinmayananda was one of extraordinary spiritual strength, immeasurable love and tireless service. In less than half a century, he has left behind a worldwide organisation, hundreds of institutions, and millions of devotees. This was all aimed at a single theme, discovering the Eternal within.
Swami Chinmayananda was born on May 8th, 1916 as Balakrishna Menon (Balan) in Ernakulam, Kerala. His family was very devout in their religious life and had regular contact with holy men. This influence moulded Balan’s mental and moral make-up preparing him for the mission of his life ahead.
Balan excelled with his education graduating in Science, Political Science, Law and English Literature at Lucknow University. A man of strong ideas and idealism he entered the field of journalism where he felt he could influence political, economic and social reform in India. At this time he met Swami Sivananda at Rishikesh and became very interested in the spiritual path. Here he found the answers that he was seeking.
Swami Chinmayananda Is Born
Balakrishna Menon took monkhood from Swami Sivananda to become Swami Chinmayananda – the one who is saturated in Bliss and Consciousness. Swami Sivananda saw the potential in Swami Chinmayananda and sent him to study under the greatest Teacher in the Himalayas – Swami Tapovan Maharaj.
Swami Chinmayananda studied for 12 years under Swami Tapovan’s guidance, leading a very austere and rigorous life. Then he felt a deep inner urge to share his knowledge and wisdom with the mass of humanity. He descended to the plains and held his first yagna in Pune to a small group of three people. This humble beginning rapidly expanded to more than 500 series of lectures given to audiences numbering thousands.
Rapid Growth Of Chinmaya Mission
During his 40 years of travelling and teaching, Swami Chinmayananda opened numerous centres worldwide and he also built many schools, hospitals, nursing homes and clinics. As well as reinvigorating India’s rich cultural heritage, Swami Chinmayananda made Vedanta accessible to everybody regardless of age, nationality or religious background.
On 3 August 1993, in San Diego, USA, Swami Chinmayananda attained Mahasamadhi. He worked tirelessly to the very last moment and created an international spiritual revolution.
Film On Swami Chinmayananda
On A Quest, the biopic movie on Pujya Swami Chinmayananda which released on the occasion of Pujya Swamiji’s birth centenary is now available on DVD. The movie is in English (with dubbing in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam) and complete with French subtitles. With stunning visuals and inspiring soundtrack, On A Quest will introduce you to the dynamic saint, compassionate teacher and visionary leader that was Swami Chinmayananda.