Swami Tejomayananda, Head of Chinmaya Mission Worldwide
Acharya Swami Dheerananda
Swami Dheerananda hails from Hyderabad, A.P., India. Responding to the call of the Master he underwent the Brahmachari Training Course at Sandeepany Sadhanalaya, Powai, Mumbai, India during the year 1984-1986 under the instruction of Swami Tejomayananda. With the Divine guidance of Poojya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda he underwent austere Tapas at Uttarakasi, Himalayas, the abode of Parama Poojya Swami Tapovan Maharaj, the Guru of Poojya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda. Swami Dheerananda is the last disciple directly initiated by Poojya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda into Sannyas on May 23, 1993. Swami Dheerananda served in Chinmaya Mission in India conducting Jnana Yajnas and then in the year 1989 Poojya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda placed him as Resident Acharya in Chinmaya Mission Washington Regional Center. Since 1989 Swami Dheerananda has been serving United States and Canada. By the Divine Grace and Blessings of Poojya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda and Swami Tejomayananda, Swami Dheerananda addressed the Parliament of Religions in Chicago in the year 1993 and was given a standing ovation by the distinguished audience. Today, Swamiji not only oversees and guides all the activities of CMWRC, but personally presides over 3 Bala Vihar sessions and Adult Gita Classes at Silver Spring chapter (Chinmayam), conducts Thursday Vedanta classes and CMWRC Children Summer Camps in Maryland and Northern Virginia.
Vilasiniji is an Acharya of Chinmaya Mission and teaches Vedanta in the Washington, D.C., area. She began her studies of Vedanta under Swami Chinmayananda in 1975 when she was in India studying comparative philosophy. She graduated from Tufts University with a B.S. magna cum laude in philosophy, and in 1978 she graduated from Sandeepany Sadhanalaya’s course in Vedanta. Vilasiniji and her family organized Swami Chinmayananda’s first yagna in Washington, D.C. in 1978, and started the first Chinmaya study group in Washington, D.C. Vilasiniji served Chinmaya Mission in Flint, Michigan, until 1980, where she taught Bala Vihar, Sanskrit classes, Vedanta classes, and Devi Groups. She also organized study groups and Bala Vihar in Chicago and California. From 1981-1984, Vilasiniji had the great honor of being Swami Chinmayananda’s personal assistant, traveling with Gurudev to all his yajnas, videotaping his talks, and performing secretarial assistance. In 1984 she was assigned to be Editor-in-Chief of Mananam Publication Series. In 1986 Vilasini and her husband Suresh moved to Washington, D.C. She and her husband were founding members of the Board of Trustees of Chinmaya Mission Washington Regional Center in 1989.
In 1989, Swami Chinmayananda placed Vilasiniji on the Board of Chinmaya Mission West. In 1991 he named her as Executive Secretary of CMW. She is presently serving as Acharya for Adult Vedanta Classes and Director of the CMWRC Bala Vihar Program for all chapters, which has many dedicated teachers imparting spiritual values to 600-plus children every weekend.
Acharya Pramila Poudel - Acharya - CMWRC-Chinmaya Somnath
Acharya Pramila Poudel,an
active member of CM Washington D.C. for over a decade, assiduously took to the
spiritual path shown to her by Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda. She seldom
missed a chance to attend his jnana yajnas.
To complement her focus on self-study, Pramilaji converted her home into a veritable temple, where she began conducting Chinmaya Study Group for devotees in Northern Virginia.
A native of Nepal, Pramilaji earned a master's in economics and a doctorate in resource economics in the U.S. After graduation, she spent several years working for the federal government in Washington D.C. as a research scientist. Taking early retirement from her career a couple of years ago, Pramilaji chose to enroll in the two-year, residential Vedanta course at 'Sandeepany Sadhanalaya,' in Mumbai, India.
Under the guidance and tutelage of Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayananda, Pramilaji completed the course in September 2007 and became an acharya of Chinmaya Mission. She returned to her home in Springfield, Virginia and now serves Chinmaya Mission Washington Regional Center as an acharya.
Acharya Anant Sarma - Acharya - CMWRC- Chinmaya Somnath
Sarma was initiated as an acharya of Chinmaya Mission after completing
the Mission's two-year, residential Vedanta course at Sandeepany
Sadhanalaya, Mumbai, in 2007. He was then posted to the Chinmaya
Mission Washington Regional Center (CMWRC).
Acharya Anantji's association with the Mission began when he attended Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda jnana yajna in 1981, in Houston, Texas. When he moved to the Washington D.C. area in 1989, he pioneered Mission activities in Baltimore, Maryland. As a serious student of Vedanta and a key sevak, Anantji has also served as a member of CMWRC executive committee and board of trustees. He has played a leading role in building a strong foundation for CMWRC growth in finance and administration, and has organized some of Gurudev's camps and yajnas in the D.C. area. Anantji also served at Chinmaya International Foundation (Kerala, India) and helped in the launching of its e-Vedanta course.
Presently, Anantji serves as the resident acharya of CMWRC Chinmaya Somnath (Virginia) chapter. He also conducts Vedanta classes in Frederick and Salisbury in Maryland, as well as Ashburn and Fairfax in Virginia.
Acharya K. Sadananda
Acharya Sadananda, a retired scientist by profession (US Naval Research Lab), is a disciple of Swami Chinmayananda, and one of the founding members of Chinmaya Mission Washington Regional Center . He was a former Trustee of CMWRC and was responsible for starting and guiding several major activities, including organizing Spiritual Camps with Pujya Gurudev and Swami Tejomayananda. Dr. Sadananda has been one of the spiritual guides of the Northern Virginia Chapter of Chinmaya Mission for the past decade. He has conducted weekend Spiritual Camps at Chinmayam over the past many years on various Upanishadic texts and prakarana granthas (Upadesasara, Dakshinamurthy Stotram, Saddarshanam, Advaita Makaranda, Mandukya aagama prakarana and Sadvidya of Chandogya). He continues to conduct Vedanta classes on weekends in Northern Virginia .
Acharya Brahmacharini Arpita - now at Chinmaya Mission - St. Augustine, FL (Chinmaya - Govardhan)
(affectionately known as Arpitaji),
first met, and was inspired by,
Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda in 1978. After completing her BA and MA
degrees at Georgetown University and American University in Washington, DC, she
underwent the two-year Vedanta course at 'Sandeepany Sadhananalaya,' Mumbai,
from 1987-88 under Pujya Swami Tejomayananda, the present spiritual head of
Chinmaya Mission worldwide.
Since 1989, she has served at various CM centers--Krishnalaya' in Piercy, Los Angeles, and Washington DC Regional--teaching Vedanta, Shrimad Bhagavatam, and Shrimad Bhagavad Gita for adults, and conducting Bala Vihar classes for children.
She enjoys devotional singing and recorded albums of English songs, such as 'Come to Me, My Krishna,' 'His Eternal Smile,' and 'Listen to the Wind.'
Arpitaji now resides and teaches at the Chinmaya Mission St. Augustine center of 'Chinmaya Govardhan,' a serene and beautiful 17-acre ashram on the outskirts of historical St. Augustine, Florida.
Click here for A Journey
Into The Fragrant Mind: The Fragrant World,
by Vandana Bapna.
This poem is dedicated to our
Acharyas: Swami Dheerananda, Brni. Arpitaji, and Vilasiniji. Their support for our programs has no limits.
Their motivation and encouragement inspires us to keep doing seva for Pujya