Chinmaya Mission’s Spiritual Head comes visiting

By Dr R Neeerunjun Gopee

Swami Swaroopananda has touched thousands of lives across the world, and his tremendous work in bringing out the essential wisdom of all religions has garnered him a place among the vanguards of self-development philosophy

Mauritius will be blessed with the presence of Swami Swaroopananda Ji, Spiritual Head of Chinmaya Mission Worldwide, who is visiting Mauritius for the first time since he took over from Swami Tejomayananda, who himself had visited us a few times after he was chosen to lead the organization by the founder Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda before the latter attained mahasamadhi (left this world) in 1993.

In fact, Swamiji arrives in Mauritius on the 31st May, but will proceed on the same day to Reunion where there is a very active Chinmaya Mission, and return to start his main talks on the theme of mind empowerment at the Salle des Fetes, Plaza from 3-6 June in the evening.

For recall, Chinmaya Mission 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. The Mission is administered by Central Chinmaya Mission Trust (CCMT) in Mumbai, India, and stands today with over 300 centres worldwide.

It has as Vision the inner transformation of individuals through knowledge of Vedanta, spiritual practices and service to society, resulting in a happy world around them. Its Mission is to provide to individuals from any background, the wisdom of Vedanta and the practical means for spiritual growth and happiness, enabling them to become positive contributors to society, and its Motto is to give maximum happiness to maximum number for the maximum time.

As for the Chinmaya Mission Mauritius, it came into existence in 1975 with the arrival of Swami Pranavananda who returned from India after having undertaken rigorous studies and training under Pujya Swami Chinmayananda, and is in fact Spiritual Head, CM Mauritius and Reunion Islands. The Mission in Mauritius gradually became well established especially after the visits of Swami Chinmayananda himself in the seventies and eighties. 

Concerned with the fall of tradition from the beauty of Vedanta and with the vision to keep alive the Vedic tradition, to inspire love and respect for Dharma and the Hindu culture and make everyone see the God residing in all beings, Swamiji has been working incessantly over more than 40 years to communicate the invaluable teachings of our scriptures. Under Swami Pranavananda’s guidance, Chinmaya Mission Mauritius has been a beacon guide for many to live a life enriched by the knowledge of Vedanta, selfless action and sincere devotion.

In addition to travelling widely around Europe delivering talks and regularly conducting classes and Jnana Yagnas in Mauritius and Reunion Island, Swamiji oversees the conduct of the key activities at CM Mauritius which include: Vedanta discourse and study classes for adults, Balavihar for children, CHYK classes for the youth, Sanskrit classes for all, Annual camps for children, youth and adults, Puja and celebration of important festivals

It may be asked: What does Chinmaya Mission teach? Well, it makes available the ageless wisdom of Advaita Vedanta, the essential core of Hinduism which is the universal science of life, relevant to all people of all backgrounds and faiths, providing them with the tools to realize the wisdom in one’s life, inspiring seekers to understand their own faith better. Put another way, CM is a spiritual movement that aims for inner growth at individual and collective levels.

This teaching is imparted in the Vedic tradition of guru-śiṣya or ‘teacher’-‘disciple’ parampara of spiritual relationship and mentoring, whereby the student eventually masters the knowledge that the guru himself embodies. It is in line with this tradition that we have gurus from India who regularly come to share their spiritual experience of Vedanta in their unique style. Hence the visit of Swami Swaroopananda who, in this era rife with scepticism and confusion about matters spiritual, is a rare voice that blends authenticity with accessibility, theory with self-practice, and logic with heart.

He was 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.

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.

Besides the talks on 03 – 06 June, between 19:00 – 20:30 at Salle Des Fêtes, Plaza, Rose Hill titled ‘Empower Your Mind’, he will conduct a Gayatri Havan on 07 June from 05:45 – 06:45 at Chinmaya Mission Mauritius, Beau Bassin, and give a special talk for the youth and young adults titled ‘Born to succeed’ on 03 June at the Burrenchobay Hall, University of Mauritius – all are welcome for the above events.

A few nuggets from his previous talks will give a flavour of what is to come during his interventions:

When I speak to the top management, it is not a question of their success because they have previously achieved it. It is from success to significance.

Every action of ours needs to be done with a sense of responsibility to the world at large, not taking them as separate from us, but as one with us. Acting with this mindfulness allows people to automatically share their productivity, wealth, knowledge, experiences and, most importantly, love.

If I consider myself to be a physical being, then the only important thing for me is preserving my body. My interaction with people will only be at a physical level. A person who is emotional will set his goals, achievements and relationships at an emotional level.€

When a person rises above the physical and emotional, the mind achieves an intellectual state where people can conceive and realize unimaginable goals, as their outlooks on everything and everyone has changed.

If I see myself as the truth, as a spiritual person, as the very embodiment of divinity itself, then I can interact with people at that divine level. When I see oneness with people, naturally my reactions are not just for myself, but they will also be for all people. € 
When you master your mind there is nothing in this world that you cannot achieve. €

He sums it all up in two sentences : ‘The world is no more than your thoughts. We are here to be happy and spread happiness.’€

* Published in print edition on 31 May 2019

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