TUSTIN, CA – The Chinmaya Mission which propounds the philosophical school of Vedanta, has been celebrating the 100th birth anniversary of its founder, Swami Chinmayananda. As part of the year long celebrations, a lamp or jyoti has been travelling in India to the Mission’s manifold centers,
The jyoti and the guru padukas placed on a palanquin were received by devotees led by Swami Ishwarananda, the head acharya of the Southland center and Acharya Mahadevanji with a reverence reserved for Gurudev Swami Chinmayanada himself! Everyone present chanted, sang and danced the dandia in joy. The jyoti was then placed in a specially created altar bearing a life size picture cut out of the master.
During its month long stay in the Southland, puja for the guru was conducted every single day. Efforts were successfully made to create awareness of the teachings of the founder, through outreach to the community through various events and visits to temples that are spread throughout greater Los Angeles.
A van with its sides proclaiming the 100th birth anniversary of Swami Chinmayananda traversed the freeways with Swami Ishwarananda and a small band of devotees taking the jyoti and its message to the Sanatan Dharma temple in Norwalk, Shri Lakshmi Narayan temple in Riverside, Shri Siddhivinayak temple in Brea, Shri Panchmukha Hanuman temple in Torrance, Sivan temple in Pasadena, and the temples in Malibu and Northridge.
An interfaith event (see accompanying story) and a week long Gyan Yagna on chapter six of the Bhagavad Gita through video showings of the talks by Gurudev culminating in a meditation workshop led by Swami Ishwarananda were among the highlights of the month long celebrations, drawing sizable crowds. The youth of Chinmaya Mission brought cheer to the families of CM with their delightful skits which humorously spoke of the need for a Guru in one’s life. Young ones participated in an art contest that revolved around Gurudev. Everyone also enjoyed a special screening of the bio-pic ‘On a Quest,’ which details the life of Gurudev and a music concert arranged by Kalanjali. On Feb.29 a busload of devotees traveled to the sister mission at San-Diego and transferred over the lamp to local devotees. The jyoti will remain in San Diego for the stipulated month. (With inputs from Mihir Kapadia).