Swamis & Acharyas
Acharya Vivek Gupta
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.
In an era rife with scepticism and confusion about matters spiritual, Swami Swaroopananda is a rare voice that blends authenticity with accessibility; theory with self- practice; logic with heart.
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 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.
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.
Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayananda
His Holiness Swami Tejomayananda (Pujya Guruji), is the former 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.
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. 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.”