Letter Index

From Gurudev’s Pen

Swami Chinmayananda brought joy wherever he went. So did his letters. He was a prolific writer,…

A Child among Children

Children loved Gurudev and Gurudev loved children. He made each child feel very special. He treated…

Friend and Mentor for Youth

Swami Chinmayananda had a special affinity with the youth. He said that the future of our country…

Guidance for Householders

In his extensive travels Pujya Gurudev stayed with many householders. This gave…

Advice for Children

Gurudev made it a point to appreciate and encourage children. Sometimes a line of advice from the…

Love for Children

Pujya Gurudev shared the spontaneous and uninhibited joy of children, responding to them in the…

Advice for Balavihar

Pujya Gurudev encouraged people to start Balavihars so that children would imbibe the Indian…

Youth Life Skills

This collection of letters from Pujya Gurudev offer advice to youngsters on a broad range of topics…

Youth Education

Here we present a collection of letters from Pujya Gurudev to youth, especially teenagers concerned…

Marriage

The strength of matrimonial togetherness in handling the challenges in life is appreciated and…

Parenting

The challenges of being a good parent were very well known to Gurudev. When asked for advice he…

Work Life Balance

Often we are faced with decisions around balancing work with home and life in general. Through…

New Home

A Home can be a heaven, says Gurudev and it is for us to make it so. It becomes a Temple when we…

Sketches for Children

Pujya Gurudev could see the world through the eyes of a child, full of innocent wonder and the joy…

Sketches for Children

How to do Arati.
Detailed instructions were communicated through a  beautiful drawing.

i. 3 times at neck.
ii. 3 times at belly.
iii. 3 times at His feet.
iv. 3 times at the entire length.
Between 3 and 4 bring the flame to points A and B.
When concluded at point X bring it to B, swing to A, and then take the flame clock wise from feet to head, back to feet…. 3 times (iv)
Then three times at the face. Stop it at Lords heart.

How to do Arati.
Detailed instructions were communicated through a  beautiful drawing.

i. 3 times at neck.
ii. 3 times at belly.
iii. 3 times at His feet.
iv. 3 times at the entire length.
Between 3 and 4 bring the flame to points A and B.
When concluded at point X bring it to B, swing to A, and then take the flame clock wise from feet to head, back to feet…. 3 times (iv)
Then three times at the face. Stop it at Lords heart.

From Swami Chinmayananda to Bina and Meena Chakraburtty 27.8.1975

How to draw an elephant.
In a letter to Dilip and Deepak, Gurudev taught them step by step.

Draw as below in Stages of 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.
The back side of an elephant!
MANY MANY HAPPY RETURNS.
LOVE TO BOTH OF YOU.

How to draw an elephant.
In a letter to Dilip and Deepak, Gurudev taught them step by step.

Draw as below in Stages of 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.
The back side of an elephant!
MANY MANY HAPPY RETURNS.
LOVE TO BOTH OF YOU.

From Swami Chinmayananda to Dilip and Deepak Veer Madnani 10.7.1980

A puzzle for the child.
In a letter to Deepak, Gurudev drew up a puzzle!

Discover these letters in this picture.
BGhLLQMZZ
Learn to draw this.

A puzzle for the child.
In a letter to Deepak, Gurudev drew up a puzzle!

Discover these letters in this picture.
BGhLLQMZZ
Learn to draw this

From Swami Chinmayananda to Deepak Veer Madnani 28.8.1980

An intricate drawing.

From Swami Chinmayananda to Meenakshi Chakraburtty 24.1.1977

An intricate drawing!

By Swami Chinmayananda

Fresh flowers on a donkey!.
In a letter to Meenakshi, Gurudev writes:

I am sorry I couldn’t reply yours earlier. I have got only this stupid slow donkey to carry my flowers for your birthday, and it is loaded so much with my love that the stupid beast couldn’t walk faster!! Anyway we have reached you; and my flowers are still fresh with my love for you all and here I pay my special loyalty to your Birthday.

Fresh flowers on a donkey!

I am sorry I couldn’t reply yours earlier. I have got only this stupid slow donkey to carry my flowers for your birthday, and it is loaded so much with my love that the stupid beast couldn’t walk faster!! Anyway we have reached you; and my flowers are still fresh with my love for you all and here I pay my special loyalty to your Birthday.

From Swami Chinmayananda to Meenakshi Chakraburtty 24.1.1977

A flourish of His pen

By Swami Chinmayananda


There are such moments in everyone’s life.
Stop worrying and sit back to watch and sing Om Namah Sivaya.

A flourish of His pen

By Swami Chinmayananda


There are such moments in everyone’s life. Stop worrying and sit back to watch and sing Om Namah Sivaya.

From Swami Chinmayananda to Lakshmi Reddy 11.7.1976

When the young Anjali bombarded him with letters, Swamiji replied with a sketch in mock desperation.

The headless one has to say “hands up”. Your methods are foul and I am quite defenceless. Please have mercy and stop writing to me. This is pure kindness – divine compassion. I can’t reply at the rate at which you write to me.

When the young Anjali bombarded him with letters, Swamiji replied with a sketch in mock desperation.

The headless one has to say “hands up”. Your methods are foul and I am quite defenceless. Please have mercy and stop writing to me. This is pure kindness – divine compassion. I can’t reply at the rate at which you write to me.

From Swami Chinmayananda to Anjali Singh 17.9.1964
Shiv Kumar and Abhinav show their drawings to Pujya Gurudev, while their father S.B.S. Iyer looks on.

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A Child among Children

Children loved Gurudev and Gurudev loved children. He made each child feel very special. He treated them as individuals and…

Next Topic

Advice for Children

Gurudev made it a point to appreciate and encourage children. Sometimes a line of advice from the Swami could have a great…

Related Topic

Youth Education

Here we present a collection of letters from Pujya Gurudev to youth, especially teenagers concerned about their academic…

Previous Topic
Next Topic
Related Topic

Friend and Mentor for Youth

Introduction

Swami Chinmayananda had a special affinity with the youth. He said that the future of our country lies in their hands. Teenage and young adulthood is a difficult time. One tends to be rebellious, confused and resistant to any advice. But Gurudev had a way of connecting with them directly. After all, he had also been a very rebellious young man!

Most of the young people who were lucky enough to come into contact with Pujya Gurudev grew up to be highly responsible citizens that the country can be proud of. Many of them have become pillars of the Chinmaya Mission today.

And the tradition continues through the Chinmaya Yuva Kendra. The Youth Empowerment Programme has moulded and transformed young people, batch after batch. Having imbibed the sacred values and learnt to face the challenges of life, they launch out into the world, enriching it in a variety of ways.

Below are links to a collection of letters from Pujya Gurudev to youngsters.

Youth Life Skills


This collection of letters from Pujya Gurudev offer advice to youngsters on a broad range of topics from life's goals to stage fright to what success means. They were drawn to him because he could relate to the ebullient joy of life innate in youth.

Youth Education


Here we present a collection of letters from Pujya Gurudev to youth, especially teenagers concerned about their academic performance. Many of these youngsters grew up to be highly responsible citizens.

Gurudev with youngsters

Swami Chinmayananda had a special affinity with the youth. He said that the future of our country lies in their hands. Teenage and young adulthood is a difficult time. One tends to be rebellious, confused and resistant to any advice. But Gurudev had a way of connecting with them directly. After all, he had also been a very rebellious young man!

Most of the young people who were lucky enough to come into contact with Pujya Gurudev grew up to be highly responsible citizens that the country can be proud of. Many of them have become pillars of the Chinmaya Mission today.

And the tradition continues through the Chinmaya Yuva Kendra. The Youth Empowerment Programme has moulded and transformed young people, batch after batch. Having imbibed the sacred values and learnt to face the challenges of life, they launch out into the world, enriching it in a variety of ways.

Below are links to a collection of letters from Pujya Gurudev to youngsters.

Youth Life Skills

This collection of letters from Pujya Gurudev offer advice to youngsters on a broad range of topics from life's goals to stage fright to what success…

Youth Education

Here we present a collection of letters from Pujya Gurudev to youth, especially teenagers concerned about their academic performance. Many of these…

A Child among Children

Introduction

Children loved Gurudev and Gurudev loved children. He made each child feel very special. He treated them as individuals and talked to them at their level even when they came with the whole family. he always enquired about the children by name in his letters to householders. Sometimes he would enclose a separate sealed envelope with the child’s name on top with instructions that only the child was to open it. He took care that while writing to one child, the other one in the family does not feel neglected and we often find letters to siblings carrying the same date. And for two boys who were twins, he once wrote two letters on a single page with a vertical line dividing it!

In this section of the website we present a selection of letters from Swami Chinmayananda to children. To purchase the book ‘Yours Forever’ which has the full selection of letters please contact:
eshop@chinmayamission.com.

Select a category below:

Sketches for Children

Pujya Gurudev could see the world through the eyes of a child,…

Advice for Children

Gurudev made it a point to appreciate and encourage children.…

Love for Children

Pujya Gurudev shared the spontaneous and uninhibited joy of…

Advice for Balavihar

Pujya Gurudev encouraged people to start…

Children loved Gurudev and Gurudev loved children. He made each child feel very special. He treated them as individuals and talked to them at their level even when they came with the whole family. he always enquired about the children by name in his letters to householders. Sometimes he would enclose a separate sealed envelope with the child’s name on top with instructions that only the child was to open it. He took care that while writing to one child, the other one in the family does not feel neglected and we often find letters to siblings carrying the same date. And for two boys who were twins, he once wrote two letters on a single page with a vertical line dividing it!

In this section of the website we present a selection of letters from Swami Chinmayananda to children. To purchase the book ‘Yours Forever’ which has the full selection of letters please contact:
eshop@chinmayamission.com.

Select a category below:

Sketches for Children

Pujya Gurudev could see the world through the eyes of a child, full of innocent wonder and the joy of discovery. In many of his letters to children…

Advice for Children

Gurudev made it a point to appreciate and encourage children. Sometimes a line of advice from the Swami could have a great impact on a child.

Love for Children

Pujya Gurudev shared the spontaneous and uninhibited joy of children, responding to them in the same way with a dance of joy. Writing at a level that…

Advice for Balavihar

Pujya Gurudev encouraged people to start Balavihars so that children would imbibe the Indian culture and values. He gave them clear guidelines about…

Youth Life Skills

Most of the young people who were lucky enough to come into contact with Pujya Gurudev grew up to be highly responsible citizens that the country can be proud of. Many of them have become pillars of the Chinmaya Mission today.

Bhararti Sukhatankar was mentored by Swami Chinmayananda
Gurudev with Sumithra, who flowered into Swamini Kaivalyananda.

He guided the young Bharati Sukhatankar, who was to do yeoman service in the Mission through the years.

Bharati Sukhatankar 12.5.1968

Miss Bharathi

Life is a field. The more we cultivated the more is our profit. We have the freedom to be an idle farmer or an industrious one. If one is idle weeds shall grow; if active we shall gather a rich harvest.

Majority leave their wonderful extent fallow and allow weeds and therefore harbour poisonous crawlers among the luxurious weeds. If at all, they cultivate but the near courtyard of their life. The wide expanse, up to the boundaries, where the horizon dips, lie waiting for the plough-man and his life-giving touch of intelligent tenderness.

Now you choose. You are Bharathi. Look around? What is wrong with Bharat itself? Should you Bharathi then doubt? Hesitate? Jump at it. Finish the training. Whether you are going to be a teacher or not, the very training is a beautiful discipline. It cannot but give you a knowledge of some of the weaknesses inherent in our present educational system.

Carry the “torch”, wherever you go. Lovingly persuade your friends and students to think of the higher values. In your friendship let them gather the spirit of divine enthusiasm to seek, to strive and to reach the Essential Peace – the true joy of living. If teachers have culture and religion, children cannot be otherwise. Give my love to your mother and Damayanthi.

Swami Chinmayananda

Pujya Gurudev's reply to a young Sumithra, who today is Swamini Kaivalyananda, the force behind Chinmaya Archives.

Brni. Prarthana Chaitanya 1.10.1990. Now Swamini Kaivalyananda.

Your kind letter of 20th September has come today on my return from Hubli. Your questions:

No. 1: After your dinner you are in the bed trying to sleep, you are “surrendering” yourself to sleep. The individual quietens his mind, invokes sleep and allows the sleep-state to conquor and overwhelm the tired exhausted fatigued individual. Similarly the individual “surrenders” himself and allow the Higher State of Consciousness, the Infinite Peace and Bliss to overwhelm him.

No. 2: At such a moment when the individual ego gets sucked into the Higher State of Consciousness, he experiences perfect knowledge. His mind then is zero as in the sleep your mind is zero.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

In a letter to Lakshmi Reddy Pujya Gurudev emphasises the importance of service and sacrifice.

Lakshmi Reddy 6.7.1964

Without pain joy is impossible. Without sacrifice gains are improbable. Learn to pour yourself out in the service of all others groaning in pain, but cheerful in mane – you be rewarded with joy, peace, love and kindness from above and all around.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

Gurudev wrote to young Siddhartha Reddy, who was unwell, not only to alleviate his immediate pain, but also to prepare him for adult life.

Lakshmi Reddy 7.7.1980

Your sweet letter. Life in this world is always like this — some pain will be with us all always. Even if we have no physical pains and all people love us, then we mentally create sorrows for ourselves. It has to be so.

Prayer is the only steady, joyous state. Surrender to Him all your pains. Be a hero and in spite of pains you SMILE!! You will soon get well – Jai Jai Jagadeeswara. Be regular in your japa. Do it lovingly, sincerely.

Love Love Love
Swami Chinmayananda

Gurudev teaches a young man who was training in military service how to face new situations and come to terms with the realities of life.

Kamal Daswani 15.1.1986

Children generally refuse to eat a thing which they didn’t like because of the “form” or “colour”. But when forced they come to “love” it and later on crave for it.

We also as soon as we meet a new challenge, consider it unconducive, dangerous, dirty and even abominable. But once you settle down to it, the very same situation appears comfortable, interesting and enjoyable.

Be ever ready to “face” all situations. Learn to meet all challenges and yet keep your inner balance. This is easy to one who is a devotee who can see everything as arranged by Him.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

Who could fail to be inspired when Gurudev wrote like this? Pranav Saran was a lucky boy to receive this letter:

Pranav Saran 4.8.1992

Continue your daily exercises for health and strong body. Plunge yourself in study and score the best you can. The future career depends upon your healthy mind and continuous efforts. Be regular in your daily prayers and faith in yourself and in Lord’s protection fearlessly enter into your chosen field of honest action. You will never know what is failure!

Love
Swami Chinmayananda

Youngsters were drawn by Pujya Gurudev because he could relate to the ebullient joy of life innate in youth.

Bharati Sukhatankar 28.7.1968

Sept. middle. Sept. mid. Mid Sept. to take up any new work. Get out of that place and breath some fresh air. See a few pictures. Suck at some ice – cones. Chew chocklets. Scream! Dance! Skip! Run. Dash. Mid Sept. Start work.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

Gurudev tells Gayatri, whose brother is now known as Br. Atharvana Chaitanya, how to handle stage-fright:

M. Gayatri 12.4.1993

You chanted most fluently and in our mission tune. I was very happy.

It is always very frightening when you first sing or talk to an audience. This is because of one’s own self-consciousness, ego-sense. Can I do it? What will others say? Will they accept etc. Once you surrender to Him, you have no more fear – you discover self-confidence.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

Another letter questions the aggressive methods used these days in the pursuit of success:

S. Gokul 8.12.1990

Do you really need the so called aggressive qualities for success in life. By that process even if you succeed is it worthwhile. Do you like to have the mental fears and agitations of the aggressively acquisitive Ravana, or the qualities that Rama lived. Think!!

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

Previous Topic

Friend and Mentor for Youth

Swami Chinmayananda had a special affinity with the youth. He said that the future of our country lies in their hands. He had…

Next Topic

Youth Education

Here we present a collection of letters from Pujya Gurudev to youth, especially teenagers concerned about their academic…

Related Topic

Advice for Children

Gurudev made it a point to appreciate and encourage children. Sometimes a line of advice from the Swami could have a great…

Youth Education

Many youngsters looked up to Pujya Gurudev for guidance when it came to academics. His prompt replies were not only reassuring but also made the recipient think about the bigger picture.

He encouraged originality and a creative approach, along with discipline and hard work. Here is his instruction to a young woman named Lakshmi Reddy, who became a staunch devotee later.

Lakshmi Reddy 8.10.1963

Prepare with study and meditation. Luck is not a mysterious something that descends upon us from nowhere – when preparation meets opportunity, there comes to manifest luck. And so ever be prepared to meet the demands. Soon the world will demand of you a great lead, and you must be ready for it.

Don’t merely read and try to understand others ideas only. Do your own research. Seek to discover new meanings new ideas. Research is to see what everybody has seen, but to think what nobody else has ever thought. Be original; it alone pays in joys. All studies and reflections together but form the platform for your original plunge.

Swami Chinmayananda

Pujya Gurudev with Lakshmi Reddy

L to R: BR Gautam, Swami Chinmayananda, BS Shorey, Lakshmi Reddy, Padmani Devi

Just a couple of months before Gurudev attained mahasamadhi, he reassured Shefali that study and work in this world do not contradict the spiritual aspirations of a person in any way.

Shefali Saran 14.6.1993

Life must be fully lived. Take to one or another education course. This cannot contradict your spiritual life. Gather more and more knowledge of the world to stand you in good ease while living among others.

Jai Jai Jagadeeswara!
Love
Swami Chinmayananda

Poignant advice on how to handle examinations.

Balan 1.9.1988

When you have fixed your goal, to get distinction in your final exam, you must be also heroic enough to put forth the required energy sincerely and continuously to climb up to your goal and snatch away your victory. Pray daily: surrender your fears and idleness at His Feet, and draw courage and a firm faith in yourself from His Altar.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

Pujya Gurudev explains what it takes for a spectacular achievement in life.

Rabindranath 29.6.1966

To pass an examination is no doubt, an art, but successfully to meet the challenges of life is a greater game. Consistency of purpose, spirit of industry, tireless self-application, inspired enthusiasm and undying sense of duty are the secrets without which no great man has ever succeeded anywhere. Added to these if there is a cheerful attitude and an uncompromising nobility of character with a ready anxiety to serve all others always you have in you all the features necessary to gain a spectacular achievement in life.”

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

Pujya Gurudev with Anjali Singh

Gurudev could be quite playful with youngsters and communicate at their own wavelength. He teases the young Anjali Singh:

Anjali Singh, 7.7.1964

Anyway please write to me that you got your admission somewhere. Will there not be some college where they will accept you? Are you so bad? You will get admission – and thus the world will be safe for the next two years. This news will comfort me supremely.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

Previous Topic

Youth Life Skills

This collection of letters from Pujya Gurudev offer advice to youngsters on a broad range of topics from life's goals to…

Next Topic

A Child among Children

Children loved Gurudev and Gurudev loved children. He made each child feel very special. He treated them as individuals and…

Related Topic

Advice for Children

Gurudev made it a point to appreciate and encourage children. Sometimes a line of advice from the Swami could have a great…

Guidance for Householders

Pujya Gurudev with Smt. Leela Nambiar and family

Introduction

Pujya Gurudev travelled extensively and stayed with many householders as he moved from place to place conducting jnana yajnas and satsangs. He had the opportunity to observe people in their home settings. His keen eye would not miss a single detail, the slightest of gestures, the silent communication with pointed glances between family members – all these came in handy as examples in the yajnasala.

Below are links to a collection of letters from Pujya Gurudev that serve as a guiding light to householders.

The strength of matrimonial togetherness in handling the…

The challenges of being a good parent were very well known to…

Often we are faced with decisions around balancing work with…

A Home can be a heaven, says Gurudev and it is for us to…

Pujya Gurudev with Smt. Leela Nambiar and family

Pujya Gurudev travelled extensively and stayed with many householders as he moved from place to place conducting jnana yajnas and satsangs. He had the opportunity to observe people in their home settings. His keen eye would not miss a single detail, the slightest of gestures, the silent communication with pointed glances between family members – all these came in handy as examples in the yajnasala.

Slowly as the householder devotees grow in spiritual stature, they discover their new identity as members of the large Chinmaya Family spread all over the globe. The narrow idea of “I and my family” expands and stretches to include all in a joyous spiritual embrace.

Below are links to a collection of letters from Pujya Gurudev that serve as a guiding light to householders.

The strength of matrimonial togetherness in handling the challenges in life is appreciated and highlighted by Pujya Gurudev.

The challenges of being a good parent were very well known to Gurudev. When asked for advice he tailored it to the situation and needs of the…

Often we are faced with decisions around balancing work with home and life in general. Through these letters Gurudev guides us on how to achieve the…

A Home can be a heaven, says Gurudev and it is for us to make it so. It becomes a Temple when we discipline ourselves to grow in our inner purity and…

Pujya Gurudev travelled extensively and stayed with many householders as he moved from place to place conducting jnana yajnas and satsangs. He had the opportunity to observe people in their home settings. His keen eye would not miss a single detail, the slightest of gestures, the silent communication with pointed glances between family members – all these came in handy as examples in the yajnasala.

Slowly as the householder devotees grow in spiritual stature, they discover their new identity as members of the large Chinmaya Family spread all over the globe. The narrow idea of “I and my family” expands and stretches to include all in a joyous spiritual embrace.

Below are links to a collection of letters from Pujya Gurudev that serve as a guiding light to householders.

The strength of matrimonial togetherness in handling the challenges in life is appreciated and highlighted by Pujya Gurudev.

The challenges of being a good parent were very well known to Gurudev. When asked for advice he tailored it to the situation and…

Often we are faced with decisions around balancing work with home and life in general. Through these letters Gurudev guides us on…

A Home can be a heaven, says Gurudev and it is for us to make it so. It becomes a Temple when we discipline ourselves to grow in…

Slowly as the householder devotees grow in spiritual stature, they discover their new identity as members of the large Chinmaya Family spread all over the globe. The narrow idea of “I and my family” expands and stretches to include all in a joyous spiritual embrace.

Advice for Balavihar

Pujya Gurudev encouraged people to start Balavihars and gave them clear guidelines about how to handle the children.

How much importance Gurudev gave to create the right atmosphere for children to learn is made clear by his suggestion for boards near a nursery school. He knew that children get distracted easily and wanted people to be aware of it too.

Neeru Mehta 20.6.1974

We must put a board in the parking yard there:

Careful. Silent.
Children learning to live!!

What do you think of it? In Ashas place and in our other schools we can have:

DRIVE SLOWLY
Children learning to LIVE.

In a letter to Pramila Modi in 1972 he shows how to balance love with discipline.

Promila Modi 26.9.1972

Children recognise and appreciate much more readily the love and sincerity in others. Pour out your love and sincerity to them: yet be strict for their own discipline. They will be a little wild in the beginning: soon they will be quiet and nice. The juniors: allow them more freedom than for teenagers.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

Be a common mother to them all. Love them sincerely.

Promila Modi 4.7.1972

Good that you started a Balavihar at your place. Keep them constantly in competition with each other in study, in story-telling, in singing, dancing, in scoring at school, in doing noble, heroic and good acts of kindness to men and animals.

In short, be a common mother to them all. Love them sincerely, intensively. They are as many Krishnas – each with His Gopas and Gopies all around Him!

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

Even the minute details are carefully presented.

Miss Visalakshi 2.4.1960

Don’t take the children’s class more than one hour.  1¾ is too much. They should never feel tired. Let them play under your own eyes …  watch them and read their strengths and weaknesses. Guide them slowly …

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

The goal of educating the children is beautifully explained in this short snippet.

M. Nair 19.10.1984

Love the children. They alone are our only hope for the future. Let us try to leave in them some higher and nobler values. This done – we have then educated them for the highest achievements.

Love
Swami Chinmayananda

Pujya Gurudev encouraged people to start Balavihars and gave them clear guidelines about how to handle the children.

How much importance Gurudev gave to create the right atmosphere for children to learn is made clear by his suggestion for boards near a nursery school. He knew that children get distracted easily and wanted people to be aware of it too.

We must put a board in the parking yard there:

Careful. Silent.
Children learning to live!!

What do you think of it? In Ashas place and in our other schools we can have:

DRIVE SLOWLY
Children learning to LIVE.

Neeru Mehta 20.6.1974
Promila Modi 26.9.1972

In a letter to Pramila Modi in 1972 he writes about how to balance love and discipline.

Children recognise and appreciate much more readily the love and sincerity in others. Pour out your love and sincerity to them: yet be strict for their own discipline. They will be a little wild in the beginning: soon they will be quiet and nice. The juniors: allow them more freedom than for teenagers.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

Be a common mother to them all. Love them sincerely.

Good that you started a Balavihar at your place. Keep them constantly in competition with each other in study, in story-telling, in singing, dancing, in scoring at school, in doing noble, heroic and good acts of kindness to men and animals.

In short, be a common mother to them all. Love them sincerely, intensively. They are as many Krishnas – each with His Gopas and Gopies all around Him!

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

Promila Modi 4.7.1972
Miss Visalakshi 2.4.1960

Even the minute details are carefully presented.

Don’t take the children’s class more than one hour.  1¾ is too much. They should never feel tired. Let them play under your own eyes …  watch them and read their strengths and weaknesses. Guide them slowly …

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

The goal of educating the children is beautifully explained in this short snippet.

Love the children. They alone are our only hope for the future. Let us try to leave in them some higher and nobler values. This done – we have then educated them for the highest achievements.

Love
Swami Chinmayananda

M. Nair 19.10.1984

Previous Topic

Love for Children

Pujya Gurudev shared the spontaneous and uninhibited joy of children, responding to them in the same way with a dance of joy.…

Next Topic

From Gurudev’s Pen

Swami Chinmayananda brought joy wherever he went. So did his letters. He was a prolific writer, known to write hundreds of…

Related Topic

Youth Life Skills

This collection of letters from Pujya Gurudev offer advice to youngsters on a broad range of topics from life's goals to…

Sketches for Children_test

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Love for Children

Pujya Gurudev shared the spontaneous and uninhibited joy of children, responding to them in the same way with a dance of joy. Writing at a level that the child can understand.

Kochu Balan, who was taught to bow daily to Gurudev's Padukas, received a personal response from the Swami.

I am receiving every day your namaskarams at the Guru-Paduka. Thanks. Do you feel that I touch you when you prostrate?

You are growing a very very good boy.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

And while conveying his love, Gurudev made it lively with a sketch and an image that the children could understand and relate to.

Bina Chakraburtty 24.1.1977

I am crushed by the bear-hugs and choked with the candy ones!! God save me from such loving devotees!!

Your tendency is cruel! Why do you corner into your answer papers all the marks available for the questions? Should you not leave a bit more for others! You have bagged 77%. Great Looter Great!!

Looter Rama Looter Rama Rama Rama Loot O! Loot O!!

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare!!

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

Gurudev shared the spontaneous and uninhibited joy of children, responding to them in the same way with a dance of joy:

Balan 21.10.1979

Thanks for your letter of 8th October.

Congratulations. I am lifting you over my head and running round and round your house in my joy. My Balan has got FIRST RANK in class!

Never give it up: BE FIRST.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

In his letter to Rama, a six year old child, he addresses her as "sister", perhaps because the child thought of him as a brother. Gurudev was 39 when he wrote this letter. He writes at a level that the child can understand, even using a clear handwriting.

Rama Sharma, 29.9.1955

My dear Sister,
Om Namah Sivaya!
Namasthe!!

I got your letter. I was so happy. I danced with joy. Everybody thought I am mad. What do they know that my Rama’s letter had come to me.

You must drive (away) the cow when it eats the flowers. Cows can eat grass. But beautiful flowers are for God.

My beard does not grow. We will have to wait for beards to grow. It grows in God’s own time. When grown we can cut it away; but we cannot make it grow without His Grace.

I am praying to Him to make it grow as long as my knees, white as lily, just like Uncle Santa.

Do you pray.
With Prem and Om,
My dear,
Swami Chinmayananda

Another gem from Gurudev. His response to the child is a dance of joy. Complete with a beautiful sketch and a simple instruction at the end.

Bina Chakraburtty 26.7.1975

Your letters – they gave me such a joy that it was with much difficulty that I kept sane and did not make a fool of myself. Think of a tall stupid Swami holding two pieces of paper in hand and dancing in and out of the Los Angeles traffic, with a posse of policemen whisking their head away, running helter skelter to catch the Swami!! And at the end of it all under T.V. lights they realise that it was all because of two girls in St. John’s and American police cannot reach you as you belong to another country!! HA! HA! HA!! HA!!!

Be regular. Be good. And remember ME always.

Swami Chinmayananda

Gurudev was careful with his handwriting when he addressed letters to children. Sometimes he used capital letters so that the child could understand.

Balan 26.3.1978

Balan
Tattamangalam.

I got your letter. Thanks. I love you. Congratulations.  HAPPY BIRTH DAY. MANY MANY HAPPY RETURNS.

BE A GOOD BOY. PRAY DAILY. LOVE YOUR MUM and DAD. TOUCH THEIR FEET.

LOVE.
SWAMI.

Since letters took time to reach, Swamiji drew an intricate sketch of a donkey carrying flowers to the child so she could understand.

Meenakshi Chakraburtty 24.1.1977

I am sorry I couldn’t reply yours earlier. I have got only this stupid slow donkey to carry my flowers for your birthday, and it is loaded so much with my love that the stupid beast couldn’t walk faster!! Anyway we have reached you; and my flowers are still fresh with my love for you all and here I pay my special loyalty to your Birthday.

With Love Love Love,
Thy Own Self
Swami Chinmayananda

Pujya Gurudev shared the spontaneous and uninhibited joy of children, responding to them in the same way with a dance of joy. Writing at a level that the child can understand.

Kochu Balan, who was taught to bow daily to Gurudev's Padukas, received a personal response from the Swami.

I am receiving every day your namaskarams at the Guru-Paduka. Thanks. Do you feel that I touch you when you prostrate?

You are growing a very very good boy.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

And while conveying his love, Gurudev made it lively with a sketch and an image that the children could understand and relate to.

I am crushed by the bear-hugs and choked with the candy ones!! God save me from such loving devotees!!

Your tendency is cruel! Why do you corner into your answer papers all the marks available for the questions? Should you not leave a bit more for others! You have bagged 77%. Great Looter Great!!

Looter Rama Looter Rama Rama Rama Loot O! Loot O!!

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare!!

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

Bina Chakraburtty 24.1.1977
Balan 21.10.1979

Gurudev shared the spontaneous and uninhibited joy of children, responding to them in the same way with a dance of joy:

Thanks for your letter of 8th October.

Congratulations. I am lifting you over my head and running round and round your house in my joy. My Balan has got FIRST RANK in class!

Never give it up: BE FIRST.

Swami Chinmayananda

In his letter to Rama, a six year old child, he addresses her as "sister", perhaps because the child thought of him as a brother. Gurudev was 39 when he wrote this letter. He writes at a level that the child can understand, even using a clear handwriting.

My dear Sister,
Om Namah Sivaya!
Namasthe!!

I got your letter. I was so happy. I danced with joy. Everybody thought I am mad. What do they know that my Rama’s letter had come to me.

You must drive (away) the cow when it eats the flowers. Cows can eat grass. But beautiful flowers are for God.

My beard does not grow. We will have to wait for beards to grow. It grows in God’s own time. When grown we can cut it away; but we cannot make it grow without His Grace.

I am praying to Him to make it grow as long as my knees, white as lily, just like Uncle Santa.

Do you pray.
With Prem and Om,
My dear,
Swami Chinmayananda

Rama Sharma, 29.9.1955
Bina Chakraburtty 26.7.1975

Another gem from Gurudev. His response to the child is a dance of joy. Complete with a beautiful sketch and a simple instruction at the end.

Your letters – they gave me such a joy that it was with much difficulty that I kept sane and did not make a fool of myself. Think of a tall stupid Swami holding two pieces of paper in hand and dancing in and out of the Los Angeles traffic, with a posse of policemen whisking their head away, running helter skelter to catch the Swami!! And at the end of it all under T.V. lights they realise that it was all because of two girls in St. John’s and American police cannot reach you as you belong to another country!! HA! HA! HA!! HA!!!

Be regular. Be good. And remember ME always.
Swami Chinmayananda

Gurudev was careful with his handwriting when he addressed letters to children. Sometimes he used capital letters so that the child could understand.

Balan
Tattamangalam.

I got your letter. Thanks. I love you. Congratulations.  HAPPY BIRTH DAY. MANY MANY HAPPY RETURNS.

BE A GOOD BOY. PRAY DAILY. LOVE YOUR MUM and DAD. TOUCH THEIR FEET.

LOVE.
SWAMI.

Balan 26.3.1978
Meenakshi Chakraburtty 24.1.1977

Since letters took time to reach, Swamiji drew an intricate sketch of a donkey carrying flowers to the child so she could understand.

I am sorry I couldn’t reply yours earlier. I have got only this stupid slow donkey to carry my flowers for your birthday, and it is loaded so much with my love that the stupid beast couldn’t walk faster!! Anyway we have reached you; and my flowers are still fresh with my love for you all and here I pay my special loyalty to your Birthday.

With Love Love Love,
Thy Own Self
Swami Chinmayananda

Previous Topic

Advice for Children

Gurudev made it a point to appreciate and encourage children. Sometimes a line of advice from the Swami could have a great…

Next Topic

Advice for Balavihar

Pujya Gurudev encouraged people to start Balavihars so that children would imbibe the Indian culture and values. He gave them…

Related Topic

A Child among Children

Children loved Gurudev and Gurudev loved children. He made each child feel very special. He treated them as individuals and…

Advice for Children

Sometimes a line of advice from the Swami could have a great impact on a child. Rohit Nene wrote to Gurudev in detail about his dog and here is the reply he received:

Thank you for your dog-life letter!!

See what an amount of attention, effort, love are necessary to look after a mere dog. How much more your parents must struggle to mould you, train you and feed you to make you a perfect gentleman and a dynamic person capable of facing all ‘problems’ in your world!!!

Jai Jai Jagadeeswara!
Love
Swami Chinmayananda

In his dealings with children, Gurudev ensured that they develop the right values. Here is an incident that Swamini Kaivalyananda remembers.

Once Swamiji was staying with a host who had a grand-daughter. Every morning she would wear her uniform and come to Gurudev, who would feed her the first morsel from his breakfast. One day, she was not wearing her uniform, but was dressed in coloured clothes. Apparently it was the day the host was offering a bhiksha to Gurudev. “Why aren’t you going to school?” asked Gurudev, but the child did not reply, nor did she go to school. Gurudev ignored the child all through the morning and during the bhiksha. It was unusual because generally he would fuss over her and shower her with attention. The child was very upset at this and cried a lot. Later in the evening, Gurudev cuddled her as usual, making it very clear that she must not miss school on any account.

Narendra Veer Madnani, who joined a boarding school, received the following advice from Gurudev.

Narendra Veer Madnani 12.10.1981

Score. Be free with all. Mingle with everyone. Make use of your tutors and house masters. Be friendly with all students.

Never for a day miss your prayers. If morning you cannot, do it in the evening. Let His grace flow towards you from all sides. Remember your noble father and divine mother each night and mentally prostrate to them.

Love, Love, Love
Swami Chinmayananda

At the same time, Gurudev made it very clear where the priority lay.

Juju (Jujhar Singh) 10.3.1986

Now I heard all about your sports, games, fiddling from the roof etc. But these are all side-dishes. The main meal is your scholastic progress. No. This is very disappointing. Of what use is your health, games, sports, a few medals if you are not scoring in your studies. No…

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

Two sisters received their instructions very clearly in this letter as to what the priority was.

Bina and Meena Chakraburtty 3.9.1976.

It is not right that you two don’t go to school just because Swamiji has come. Religion and spiritual living should make the devotee more conscientious and dutiful towards life. Your duties now are to study and attend classes. That is your dharma. You should never give up your dharma.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

When a child was unable to cope with the studies and secure good marks, Gurudev was compassionate and supportive.

The very desire to get the ‘first’ is cheating you from your success. Surrender it to the Lord. Just study hard and be ready to accept whatever the Lord gives.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

Parents can learn a lot from the way Gurudev counselled children about handling the exams.

Juju (Jujhar Singh) 4.5.1985

Relax. Don’t worry. Stop all excitements and unnecessary fears of exam. Then you will score more. When we have our surrender to “Wahe Guru”, relaxation comes automatically. You then work in inspired brilliancy, be it in sport or in work.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

Along with studies, Gurudev encouraged children to participate in extra-curricular activities.

Anand Singh 5.7.1992

How is your tennis play? Are you regular and fix your eyes on the ball on the time in each stroke?

Love
Swami Chinmayananda

He stressed all around development.

Narendra Veer Madnani 10.9.1980

Never give up your daily prayers. Be the best student in the Eglon School both in studies, in games, and in hiking, mountaineering, camping out etc. Be an all-rounder. This means you will have to be alert and dynamic mentally at all times. Vacation time you can come home and meet parents.

Love your brothers. Respect your father. Revere your mother.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

Advice on how to take care of siblings, especially younger ones.

Narendra Veer Madnani (aka Manoj) 5.5.1980

You are the elder brother and so should protect and love your twin brothers – even when they are mischievous. They are our brother always.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

Sometimes a line of advice from the Swami could have a great impact on a child.
Rohit Nene wrote to Gurudev in detail about his dog and here is the reply he received:

Thank you for your dog-life letter!!

See what an amount of attention, effort, love are necessary to look after a mere dog. How much more your parents must struggle to mould you, train you and feed you to make you a perfect gentleman and a dynamic person capable of facing all ‘problems’ in your world!!!

Jai Jai Jagadeeswara!
Love,
Swami Chinmayananda

In his dealings with children, Gurudev ensured that they develop the right values. Here is an incident that Swamini Kaivalyananda remembers.

Once Swamiji was staying with a host who had a grand-daughter. Every morning she would wear her uniform and come to Gurudev, who would feed her the first morsel from his breakfast. One day, she was not wearing her uniform, but was dressed in coloured clothes. Apparently it was the day the host was offering a bhiksha to Gurudev. “Why aren’t you going to school?” asked Gurudev, but the child did not reply, nor did she go to school. Gurudev ignored the child all through the morning and during the bhiksha. It was unusual because generally he would fuss over her and shower her with attention. The child was very upset at this and cried a lot. Later in the evening, Gurudev cuddled her as usual, making it very clear that she must not miss school on any account.

Narendra Veer Madnani, who joined a boarding school, received the following advice from Gurudev.

Score. Be free with all. Mingle with everyone. Make use of your tutors and house masters. Be friendly with all students.

Never for a day miss your prayers. If morning you cannot, do it in the evening. Let His grace flow towards you from all sides. Remember your noble father and divine mother each night and mentally prostrate to them.

Love, Love, Love
Swami Chinmayananda

Narendra Veer Madnani 12.10.1981
Juju (Jujhar Singh) 10.3.1986

At the same time, Gurudev made it very clear where the priority lay.

Now I heard all about your sports, games, fiddling from the roof etc. But these are all side-dishes. The main meal is your scholastic progress. No. This is very disappointing. Of what use is your health, games, sports, a few medals if you are not scoring in your studies. No…

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

Two sisters received their instructions very clearly in this letter as to what the priority was.

It is not right that you two don’t go to school just because Swamiji has come. Religion and spiritual living should make the devotee more conscientious and dutiful towards life. Your duties now are to study and attend classes. That is your dharma. You should never give up your dharma.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

Bina and Meena Chakraburtty 3.9.1976.

When a child was unable to cope with the studies and secure good marks, Gurudev was compassionate and supportive.

The very desire to get the ‘first’ is cheating you from your success. Surrender it to the Lord. Just study hard and be ready to accept whatever the Lord gives.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

Parents can learn a lot from the way Gurudev counselled children about handling the exams.

Relax. Don’t worry. Stop all excitements and unnecessary fears of exam. Then you will score more. When we have our surrender to “Wahe Guru”, relaxation comes automatically. You then work in inspired brilliancy, be it in sport or in work.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

Juju (Jujhar Singh) 4.5.1985
Narendra Veer Madnani 10.9.1980

Along with studies, Gurudev encouraged children to participate in extra-curricular activities.

Never give up your daily prayers. Be the best student in the Eglon School both in studies, in games, and in hiking, mountaineering, camping out etc. Be an all-rounder. This means you will have to be alert and dynamic mentally at all times. Vacation time you can come home and meet parents.

Love your brothers. Respect your father. Revere your mother.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

He stressed all around development.

How is your tennis play? Are you regular and fix your eyes on the ball on the time in each stroke?

Love
Swami Chinmayananda

Anand Singh 5.7.1992
Narendra Veer Madnani (aka Manoj) 5.5.1980

Advice on how to take care of siblings, especially younger ones.

You are the elder brother and so should protect and love your twin brothers – even when they are mischievous. They are our brother always.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

Previous Topic

Sketches for Children

Pujya Gurudev could see the world through the eyes of a child, full of innocent wonder and the joy of discovery. In many of…

Next Topic

Love for Children

Pujya Gurudev shared the spontaneous and uninhibited joy of children, responding to them in the same way with a dance of joy.…

Related Topic

Advice for Balavihar

Pujya Gurudev encouraged people to start Balavihars so that children would imbibe the Indian culture and values. He gave them…

My Coming soon

A CHILD AMONG CHILDREN


COMING SOON

Go Back

COMING SOON

New Home

Ammini Padiyath received Gurudev’s blessings in the form of a lovely letter on the occasion of the house-warming ceremony of her newly built house.

Ammini Padiyath 9.4.1993

In their autograph book, he wrote in 1973:

Ammini Padiyath 30.11.1973

A home is the place where man lives and strives for his security and satisfaction – but the same becomes a Temple when in and through our efforts, we discipline ourselves to grow in our inner purity and balance.

Your house is a Temple. Keep it always so.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

Home can be a heaven, says Gurudev and it is for us to make it so.

Vinita A. Mehta 9.8.1973

A home is not merely a roof over us – it must be a harbour from all mental worries – a divine sanctuary – a heaven of peace – an arbour of love and affection – a garden where your children can grow in beauty and strength. All these no parent can order – we can only build a house and spread carpets, fix furniture, stuff the fridge…..but the blessed “atmosphere” must come to us by His Grace.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

There is no greater heaven on earth.

Hamsa Salvi 31.8.1968

And to have a reading session at home – where father reads and all children listen and discuss – I assure you there is no greater heaven upon earth. And you don’t realise the influence you are leaving upon your children. Nothing impresses them in their deeper depths as that which happened to them through their own father and mother.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

Ammini Padiyath received Gurudev’s blessings in the form of a lovely letter
on the occasion of the house-warming ceremony of her newly built house.

Ammini Padiyath 9.4.1993
Ammini Padiyath 30.11.1973

In their autograph book, he wrote in 1973:

A home is the place where man lives and strives for his security and satisfaction – but the same becomes a Temple when in and through our efforts, we discipline ourselves to grow in our inner purity and balance.

Your house is a Temple. Keep it always so.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

Home can be a heaven, says Gurudev and it is for us to make it so.

A home is not merely a roof over us – it must be a harbour from all mental worries – a divine sanctuary – a heaven of peace – an arbour of love and affection – a garden where your children can grow in beauty and strength. All these no parent can order – we can only build a house and spread carpets, fix furniture, stuff the fridge…..but the blessed “atmosphere” must come to us by His Grace.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

Vinita A. Mehta 9.8.1973
Hamsa Selvi 31.8.1968

There is no greater heaven on earth.

And to have a reading session at home – where father reads and all children listen and discuss – I assure you there is no greater heaven upon earth. And you don’t realise the influence you are leaving upon your children. Nothing impresses them in their deeper depths as that which happened to them through their own father and mother.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

Related topics

Marriage

The strength of matrimonial togetherness in handling the challenges in life is appreciated and…

Parenting

The challenges of being a good parent were very well known to Gurudev. When asked for advice he…

Work Life Balance

Often we are faced with decisions around balancing work with home and life in general. Through…

Related topics under 'Guidance to Householders'

Marriage

The strength of matrimonial togetherness in handling the challenges in life is appreciated and highlighted by Pujya Gurudev.

Parenting

The challenges of being a good parent were very well known to Gurudev. When asked for advice he tailored it to the situation…

Work Life Balance

Often we are faced with decisions around balancing work with home and life in general. Through these letters Gurudev guides…

Work Life Balance

Pujya Gurudev explains something to Smt. Radha Devi Namboodiripad and Smt. Pethachi.
Pujya Gurudev explains something to Smt. Radha Devi Namboodiripad and Smt. Pethachi.

Sometimes we get caught up in too many areas of work and feel stressed out. Gurudev shows how to handle it.

Lakshmi Reddy 30.8.1972

Work can never kill anyone. I know you have lot of work – college, home, society, Mission. But if your mind is made to rest in Lord Shiva, and body dedicated to Him in action, you shall find yourself gurgling with energy in spite of all your programmes of activities.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

When a devotee felt overcome by inertia and listlessness or frustration, Gurudev would infuse renewed vigour and enthusiasm.

Susheela Sharma 19.12.54

If I were you I will continue striving to fulfil my duty, however risky and joyless it may be, demanding in life only for a chance to strive and do our duty! Just because you heard of Prarabdha you have not understood it. Strive and do Purushartha. Let Prarabdha decide the fruits, but we shall live fully enjoying the sweat and thrill of Purushartha.

And no sacrifice is a waste. Every sacrifice ennobles us – polishes us. Sacrifice and love – actions fulfilling our duties are the strings and bow to tickle the music of “Life” from our frail but song-full body. A fiddle in its box is idle – the ideal is when it is laughing out its contents of peaceful emotions and throbbing melody. Serve – Love – Purify – Meditate.

Be pure – Be pure – Meditate.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

Another precious bit of guidance to a lady about how to balance spiritual activities with domestic responsibilities.

Daya Mahindra 12.3.1981

It is nothing but extreme love for you which creates a sense of possessiveness and you must congratulate yourself that you have got such a loving husband. Your over enthusiasm in spirituality should not force you to neglect your duties towards your family of husband and children. The time wasted in small talks can be creatively used for spiritual unfoldment.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

Front Row L to R: Parvathy Raman, Dr. Akhilam (who is now Swamini Nishthananda), Pujya Gurudev, Dr. Shankar Raman and Shri Trilokinath a well known academician who was then manager of Sidhbari Ashram.  

The Raman family has been serving Pujya Gurudev and the mission for several decades now. Parvathy Raman was the editor of Tapovan Prasad and is currently the editor of this website. Dr. Akhilam, aunt of Parvathy Raman was the resident doctor for the dispensary in Sidhbari for many years. She is now Swamini Nishthananda and lives in Powai Ashram, Mumbai.  Dr. Shankar Raman was in charge of the construction at the Sidhbari Ashram for a couple of years in the mid eighties. This is how Gurudev involved entire families in his work.

Seen here with Pujya Gurudev: Front Row L to R: Parvathy Raman, Dr. Akhilam (who is now Swamini Nishthananda), Pujya Gurudev, Dr. Shankar Raman and Shri Trilokinath a well known academician who was then manager of Sidhbari Ashram.

Parvathy Raman 04.05.1985

Smt. Parvathy Sankar,
Sidhabari.

Hari Om! Hari Om!
Salutations!!

I am jealous of you now and your life – so serene, divine, peaceful and steady. Give my love to Bhaskar and Hari.

As you sit facing peak behind my kutia I will be behind you — naturally!

Love to Dr. Akhilam!

Love,
Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

While making decisions many of us have doubts whether it is God's will or not. Gurudev indicates a good way to proceed.

Naresh Saran 26.3.1989

Lord has delegated “work” for each of us for our own inner unfoldment. Let us not become wiser than Him. Let us wait and watch…if circumstances are providing us of what we “plan” to do let us have the wisdom to cheerfully decide “Thy WILL be done – not mine.”

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

Decision of Retirement

Sheela Chengappa 16.10.1976

Whatever the Lord asks of you to do, in the language of circumstances, you do it cheerfully. That is the best for each one of us. Thus, if you are compelled to retire, joyously retire, without any hesitation, because the Lord must have a plan for you.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

When a devotee expressed his displeasure over his transfer orders, Swamiji wrote:

Sri K.K. Sharma 5.4.1958

Nobody can transfer you from your own Self. No other transfer is a transfer since no other place is permanent. Nothing is permanent. Learn to enjoy the transfer. You had enough of rest. Rest is rust. An ampler field for expression of your efficiency is the thing provided when we think deep over it. Re-evaluate the situation. Learn to smile at the very thing you are now sighing – Wish you success “in the fresh woods and pastures new”.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

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The strength of matrimonial togetherness in handling the challenges in life is appreciated and highlighted by Pujya Gurudev.

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New Home

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From Gurudev’s Pen

Pujya Gurudev brought joy wherever he went. So did his letters. The bold and well-loved handwriting on the envelope would make the recipient’s heart jump with joy. Today in the world of emails and other electronic communication, that kind of joy is inconceivable. The inevitable waiting for the snail mail made the letters sweeter still.  He was a prolific writer, known to write hundreds of letters in a week. The Chinmaya Archives is fortunate to house a collection of over 15,000 of Gurudev’s letters.

This section of the website gives us a peep through the window of Gurudev’s words, thanks to some precious letters that devotees have saved and donated to the Archives. These letters have been categorized by topic and presented in their original format along with a typed version.

To purchase the book ‘Yours Forever’ which has the full selection of letters please contact:
eshop@chinmayamission.com.

Select a category below:

Guidance for Householders

In his extensive travels Pujya Gurudev stayed with many householders. This gave him the opportunity to keenly observe people in their home settings.…

Friend and Mentor for Youth

Swami Chinmayananda had a special affinity with the youth. He said that the future of our country lies in their hands. He had a way of connecting…

A Child among Children

Children loved Gurudev and Gurudev loved children. He made each child feel very special. He treated them as individuals and talked to them at their…

Letter Index

An index of all letters in this module, across topics, with the ability to filter by topic. Simply click on a thumbnail to view the actual page…

Introduction

Pujya Gurudev brought joy wherever he went. So did his letters. The bold and well-loved handwriting on the envelope would make the recipient’s heart jump with joy. Today in the world of emails and other electronic communication, that kind of joy is inconceivable. The inevitable waiting for the snail mail made the letters sweeter still.  He was a prolific writer, known to write hundreds of letters in a week. The Chinmaya Archives is fortunate to house a collection of over 15,000 of Gurudev’s letters.

This section of the website gives us a peep through the window of Gurudev’s words, thanks to some precious letters that devotees have saved and donated to the Archives. These letters have been categorized by topic and presented in their original format along with a typed version.

To purchase the book ‘Yours Forever’ which has the full selection of letters please contact:
eshop@chinmayamission.com.

Guidance for Householders

In his extensive travels Pujya Gurudev stayed with many householders. This gave him the opportunity to keenly observe people in their home settings.…

Friend and Mentor for Youth

Swami Chinmayananda had a special affinity with the youth. He said that the future of our country lies in their hands. He had a way of connecting…

A Child among Children

Children loved Gurudev and Gurudev loved children. He made each child feel very special. He treated them as individuals and talked to them at their level, while…

Letter Index

An index of all letters in this module, across topics, with the ability to filter by topic. Simply click on a thumbnail to view the actual page containing the letters. A full selection of…

Parenting

The challenges of being a good parent were very well known to Gurudev. When asked for advice he tailored it to the situation and needs of the concerned person. In the letter below Gurudev counsels a parent who has to handle a difficult child.

Very positive instructions were given to a mother-to-be.

Lakshmi Reddy 1.10.1965

You remain quiet spending your time in prayers. Be cheerful. Even though the peculiar changes within may give you many emotional and physical convulsions, with your understanding and love for the little one conquer all such feelings and keep a cheerful face. Fill your heart with cheer and joy. Remember the mother’s mental attitude gets imparted to the child within. Start his pre-natal education right now. Let him be the Great One the world is waiting for. Let him be a brilliant boy exploding to become a youth of dynamic activities serving the country and the cause of world progress.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

Pujya Gurudev points out that our attitude makes all the difference - it can lend divinity to our actions.

Lakshmi Reddy 15.2.1967

The divine service is always open to all of us. Your sewa of the child and husband are also not anything less divine. Look after them well – and give the son a healthy, happy, and disciplined atmosphere to grow.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

Gurudev tells a parent to leave the married children well alone.

Indu Wakhlu 8.2.1993

Congratulations all around. May the couple learn to live in love and mutual harmony. May the parents realise that children grow and must have their own independent fields to grow up. Leave them alone.

Love
Swami Chinmayananda

Here is Gurudev's advice to a mother who wants her daughter to get married. Such advice was tailored according to the person.

Sarojamma Ramaswamy Sep-Oct 1961

It is glorious of you to have sent your daughter for Medicine. Let her study it. She wants to study and serve. Why force her to marry? And if later on she wants it, let her do so as she meets the right boy in her life.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

Gurudev cites River Ganga as the best example of a glorious mother.

Neeru Mehta 2.4.1973

The mother goes by singing Her unbroken song of joy and cheer, gushing out in love to serve the world on both sides of Her, along Her own chosen path. No obstruction can stop her – and nothing can disturb her joy and verve. She is She ever – go wherever you like. This is culture. This is depth in character. Be ever like Ma Ganga ji.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

There is no greater heaven on earth.

Hamsa Selvi 31.8.1968

And to have a reading session at home – where father reads and all children listen and discuss – I assure you there is no greater heaven upon earth. And you don’t realize the influence you are leaving upon your children. Nothing impresses them in their deeper depths as that which happened to them through their own father and mother.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

Gurudev counsels a parent who has to handle a difficult child.

Lakshmi Reddy 1.10.1965

Very positive instructions were given to a mother-to-be.

You remain quiet spending your time in prayers. Be cheerful. Even though the peculiar changes within may give you many emotional and physical convulsions, with your understanding and love for the little one conquer all such feelings and keep a cheerful face. Fill your heart with cheer and joy. Remember the mother’s mental attitude gets imparted to the child within. Start his pre-natal education right now. Let him be the Great One the world is waiting for. Let him be a brilliant boy exploding to become a youth of dynamic activities serving the country and the cause of world progress.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

Pujya Gurudev points out that our attitude makes all the difference - it can lend divinity to our actions.

The divine service is always open to all of us. Your sewa of the child and husband are also not anything less divine. Look after them well – and give the son a healthy, happy, and disciplined atmosphere to grow.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

Lakshmi Reddy 15.2.1967
Indu Wakhlu 8.2.1993

Gurudev tells a parent to leave the married children well alone.

Congratulations all around. May the couple learn to live in love and mutual harmony. May the parents realise that children grow and must have their own independent fields to grow up. Leave them alone.

Love
Swami Chinmayananda

Here is Gurudev's advice to a mother who wants her daughter to get married. Such advice was tailored according to the person.

It is glorious of you to have sent your daughter for Medicine. Let her study it. She wants to study and serve. Why force her to marry? And if later on she wants it, let her do so as she meets the right boy in her life.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

Sarojamma Ramaswamy Sep-Oct 1961
Neeru Mehta 2.4.1973

Gurudev cites River Ganga as the best example of a glorious mother.

The mother goes by singing Her unbroken song of joy and cheer, gushing out in love to serve the world on both sides of Her, along Her own chosen path. No obstruction can stop her – and nothing can disturb her joy and verve. She is She ever – go wherever you like. This is culture. This is depth in character. Be ever like Ma Ganga ji.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

There is no greater heaven on earth.

And to have a reading session at home – where father reads and all children listen and discuss – I assure you there is no greater heaven upon earth. And you don’t realize the influence you are leaving upon your children. Nothing impresses them in their deeper depths as that which happened to them through their own father and mother.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

Hamsa Selvi 31.8.1968

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Marriage

The strength of matrimonial togetherness in handling the challenges in life is appreciated and highlighted by Pujya Gurudev.

Work Life Balance

Often we are faced with decisions around balancing work with home and life in general. Through these letters Gurudev guides…

New Home

A Home can be a heaven, says Gurudev and it is for us to make it so. It becomes a Temple when we discipline ourselves to grow…

Marriage

Newly married Jayashree and Amar Jaisinghani with Pujya Gurudev.

With a rich fund of experience from his observations of life and people, Pujya Gurudev had very valuable advice to offer, tailored to the requirements of the given individual. He describes an ideal marriage:

The newly wed couple,

Jai Jai Jagadeeswara!

Salutations!!

Marriage is for life – to live in total companionship with each other. The attempt is to feel a merger of each with the other all through your life’s ups and downs.

It is possible only if each of you expect nothing from the other, and each is wishing to “give” to the other. In such a selfless relationship, the two entities merge to become one – and the harmony so born is the reward of a successful marriage.

I wish you both all success and joy.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

Sudheer and Manju Agarwal 25.1.1979

Sudheer and Manju,

Secret of happy married life is in discovering mutual harmony. This rises when each lives expecting nothing to get from the other. Each only wants to give to the other.

This is the Hindu Family Bliss. May you both learn to live in this joy with hearts flowing in love for each other and the Lord.

Thy Own Self
Swami Chimayananda
25. Jan. 1979

To a young girl about to get married, Pujya Gurudev writes:

Lakshmi Reddy 5.2.1965

Realize that you are entering a great and noble life in which adjustment through love and accommodation through understanding alone are the means for harmony and joy. Make the life of both of you a beautiful poem. You have the ability and the necessary tact.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

The strength of matrimonial togetherness in handling the challenges in life is appreciated and highlighted by Pujya Gurudev:

Pushpa Jairam 28.11.1972

It was a pleasure to receive both the invitation cards for your marriage. May Jagadeeswara’s blessings be ever upon you both and all that are yours.

Whatever Lord does to us has each its own message to us. To recognise it and to live joyously is spiritual life. to confuse it as His unkindness is our delusion and ignorance.

Be grateful to those who out of their love and vanity gave you both so much of agony. But you both have stood the test beautifully. Siva-Siva! This has been a training to know how both of you together can face any amount of challenges in life. This is true meaning and purpose of marriage. Material and worldly ups and downs are to be expected. They come and go. In their stormy play when you are holding firmly your hands together each can give to the other a steady balance.

This is the significance when Hindus consider their wife as SAHA-DHARMA-CHARINI = A companion to live together in DHARMA.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

With a rich fund of experience from his observations of life and people, Pujya Gurudev had very valuable advice to offer, tailored to the requirements of the given individual. He describes an ideal marriage:

Newly married Jayashree and Amar Jaisinghani with Pujya Gurudev.

The newly wed couple,

Jai Jai Jagadeeswara!

Salutations!!

Marriage is for life – to live in total companionship with each other. The attempt is to feel a merger of each with the other all through your life’s ups and downs.

It is possible only if each of you expect nothing from the other, and each is wishing to “give” to the other. In such a selfless relationship, the two entities merge to become one – and the harmony so born is the reward of a successful marriage.

I wish you both all success and joy.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

Sudheer and Manju,

Secret of happy married life is in discovering mutual harmony. This rises when each lives expecting nothing to get from the other. Each only wants to give to the other.

This is the Hindu Family Bliss. May you both learn to live in this joy with hearts flowing in love for each other and the Lord.

Thy Own Self
Swami Chinmayananda
25. Jan. 1979

Sudheer and Manju Agarwal 25.1.1979
Lakshmi Reddy 5.2.1965

To a young girl about to get married, Pujya Gurudev writes:

Realize that you are entering a great and noble life in which adjustment through love and accommodation through understanding alone are the means for harmony and joy. Make the life of both of you a beautiful poem. You have the ability and the necessary tact.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

The strength of matrimonial togetherness in handling the challenges in life is appreciated and highlighted by Pujya Gurudev:

It was a pleasure to receive both the invitation cards for your marriage. May Jagadeeswara’s blessings be ever upon you both and all that are yours.

Whatever Lord does to us has each its own message to us. To recognise it and to live joyously is spiritual life. to confuse it as His unkindness is our delusion and ignorance.

Be grateful to those who out of their love and vanity gave you both so much of agony. But you both have stood the test beautifully. Siva-Siva! This has been a training to know how both of you together can face any amount of challenges in life. This is true meaning and purpose of marriage. Material and worldly ups and downs are to be expected. They come and go. In their stormy play when you are holding firmly your hands together each can give to the other a steady balance.
This is the significance when Hindus consider their wife as
SAHA-DHARMA-CHARINI = A companion to live together in DHARMA.

Signed
Swami Chinmayananda

Pushpa Jairam 28.11.1972
Swami Chinmayanada with Pushpa and Jairam Jaisinghani and their children.

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Parenting

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Work Life Balance

Often we are faced with decisions around balancing work with home and life in general. Through these letters Gurudev guides…

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Related topics under 'Guidance to Householders'

Parenting

The challenges of being a good parent were very well known to Gurudev. When asked for advice he tailored it to the situation…

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Reliving The First Jnana Yagna – Part 2

This short video tells us the story of how Swami Chinmayananda having received the blessings of his Gurus, conducted the first Jnana Yajna, a 100-day event that transformed the lives of the attendees.

SIMPLICITY OF THE CHIEF PRIEST

Pujya Gurudev called himself the Chief Priest of the jnana yajna. He stayed in a small place near the temple. He would walk to the house of any person who offered him bhiksha. When his clothes got worn out, he would dye the white material offered traditionally by devotees manually, using a gerua stone. His doors were always open for people to clarify their doubts. Morning and evening, he would walk punctually to the temple to deliver his lectures.

SUSHEELA MUDALIAR

Among the early devotees attracted by the power of the talks and the personality of the speaker was Susheela Mudaliar. She worked in the postal department and was of immense help in handling the heavy correspondence of Pujya Gurudev at this stage and also in dispatching the yajna prasad booklets. Letters poured in and there was a tremendous demand for yajna prasad, which seemed to connect with people immediately and often draw them to the yajnashala also. In fact, they ran out of copies of yajna prasad and then decided to charge one rupee per copy to cover the costs.


Susheela Mudaliar served Gurudev in many ways. She would bring food for him, sometimes wash his clothes, serve as a secretary and do many kinds of odd jobs as well. In fact, she began to function as his right hand and for the subsequent yajnas, Gurudev would often refer people to her to learn how to organize a jnana yajna.

THE UNVEILING

On January 31, 1952, which was also the Basant Panchami Day, a special Guru Puja was held. The portraits of Swami Sivananda Maharaj and Swami Tapovan Maharaj were unveiled formally at the yajnashala by Dr. Shankar from Deccan College. Swami Tapovan Maharaj sent a message in Sanskrit verses, which was read out and explained by the Chief Priest Swami Chinmayananda.


It was also decided that at the end of the evening lecture (7:00 to 8:30) every day, a common meditation session for half an hour would be held and arati performed to both Gurus. The unveiling ceremony was the most appropriate because Pujya Gurudev was unveiling the true essence of the Gurus in the hearts of the listeners.

SWAMIJI FALLS ILL

On Mahashivaratri Day, February 23rd, Pujya Gurudev developed a fever and it was diagnosed as para-typhoid. The lectures had to be suspended for a week. Swami Tapovan Maharaj was informed and he sent a message. On March 10, the sessions were resumed. By this time, Kenopanishad had been completed and they were studying Kathopanishad. The meditation sessions, where the intricacies of Om upasana and the significance of the Brahmajnanavali verses were revealed, created immense interest and people walked from distant places to attend the evening discourses.


At this time, S. Seshadri, the secretary, was relieved and a new secretary appointed. The yajna prasad booklets on Kathopanishad could not be published for lack of funds. Later, by August 1952, they were printed and made available for the devotees

TAPAS OF THE SEEKERS

In the run up to the yajna, Pujya Gurudev had sent out pamphlets and a booklet which explained how the listeners had to prepare themselves to receive the highest knowledge of the Upanishads. In very brief and practical terms, he detailed in simple English the virtues of sadhana chatushtaya, essential for any spiritual seeker. The dos and don’ts were spelt out clearly: maintain celibacy and self-control in all aspects of life, eat simple sattvic food, maintain purity of thoughts, avoid distraction through the radio (now cell phones and television) or cinema, practise regular prayer, japa and meditation and so on.


The booklet also contained the letters from Swami Sivananda, blessing this unique endeavour of his dear disciple and a bird’s eye-view of the yajna scheme, indicating what the seekers were to expect.

AKHANDA KIRTAN AND UPANISHAD HOMA

Active participation of the devotees was ensured through the akhanda kirtan right from the beginning of the yajna. Each one was allowed to offer only one small measure (chatak) of oil for the lamp, making sure that they visited the place every day for the special privilege! People would take turns in batches to continue the kirtan and in the lean hours of late night and early dawn, Gurudev himself would pitch in. The akhanda kirtan culminated in a massive procession in the city on April 6, heralding the conclusion of the yajna on April 8. A caravan of cars and trucks wove through the city, filled with devotees chanting the maha-mantra. The procession ended in silent meditation at the yajnashala.


A week-long Upanishad Homa had been planned by Gurudev months earlier. This was held in the final phase of the jnana yajna, from March 31 to April 6. Five Maharashtrian priests officiated, offering ahuti with the mantras of Kenopanishad and Kathopanishad. On the final day, the devotees were also given the opportunity to offer ahuti.

THE GRAND FINALE

The 100-day ‘Upanishad Gyana Yagna’ concluded on April 8, leaving the devotees yearning for more. After conducting another public meeting in Tilak Nagar on April 9, Gurudev moved on to Palakkad to conduct a sadhana camp. Those who attended the yajna had been transformed forever. The seeds put in their hearts flourished in different ways, in different times, some of them growing in different places, towns and cities in the form of branches of Chinmaya Mission, spreading the message of the Upanishads through the years to come. Today, hundreds of swamis, brahmacharis and householder devotees continue the teaching all over the globe. The strong roots of Chinmaya Mission have spread across countries and continents. It is the duty of each one of us to water and nourish this tree of knowledge planted by Pujya Gurudev.

Memories from the 1st Jnana Yajna

SIMPLICITY OF THE CHIEF PRIEST

Pujya Gurudev called himself the Chief Priest of the jnana yajna. He stayed in a small place near the temple. He would walk to the house of any person who offered him bhiksha. When his clothes got worn out, he would dye the white material offered traditionally by devotees manually, using a gerua stone. His doors were always open for people to clarify their doubts. Morning and evening, he would walk punctually to the temple to deliver his lectures.

Gallery

SUSHEELA MUDALIAR

Among the early devotees attracted by the power of the talks and the personality of the speaker was Susheela Mudaliar. She worked in the postal department and was of immense help in handling the heavy correspondence of Pujya Gurudev at this stage and also in dispatching the yajna prasad booklets. Letters poured in and there was a tremendous demand for yajna prasad, which seemed to connect with people immediately and often draw them to the yajnashala also. In fact, they ran out of copies of yajna prasad and then decided to charge one rupee per copy to cover the costs.

Susheela Mudaliar served Gurudev in many ways. She would bring food for him, sometimes wash his clothes, serve as a secretary and do many kinds of odd jobs as well. In fact, she began to function as his right hand and for the subsequent yajnas, Gurudev would often refer people to her to learn how to organize a jnana yajna.

Gallery

THE UNVEILING

On January 31, 1952, which was also the Basant Panchami Day, a special Guru Puja was held. The portraits of Swami Sivananda Maharaj and Swami Tapovan Maharaj were unveiled formally at the yajnashala by Dr. Shankar from Deccan College. Swami Tapovan Maharaj sent a message in Sanskrit verses, which was read out and explained by the Chief Priest Swami Chinmayananda.

It was also decided that at the end of the evening lecture (7:00 to 8:30) every day, a common meditation session for half an hour would be held and arati performed to both Gurus. The unveiling ceremony was the most appropriate because Pujya Gurudev was unveiling the true essence of the Gurus in the hearts of the listeners.

View Details

SWAMIJI FALLS ILL

On Mahashivaratri Day, February 23rd, Pujya Gurudev developed a fever and it was diagnosed as para-typhoid. The lectures had to be suspended for a week. Swami Tapovan Maharaj was informed and he sent a message. On March 10, the sessions were resumed. By this time, Kenopanishad had been completed and they were studying Kathopanishad. The meditation sessions, where the intricacies of Om upasana and the significance of the Brahmajnanavali verses were revealed, created immense interest and people walked from distant places to attend the evening discourses.

At this time, S. Seshadri, the secretary, was relieved and a new secretary appointed. The yajna prasad booklets on Kathopanishad could not be published for lack of funds. Later, by August 1952, they were printed and made available for the devotees

Gallery

TAPAS OF THE SEEKERS

In the run up to the yajna, Pujya Gurudev had sent out pamphlets and a booklet which explained how the listeners had to prepare themselves to receive the highest knowledge of the Upanishads. In very brief and practical terms, he detailed in simple English the virtues of sadhana chatushtaya, essential for any spiritual seeker. The dos and don’ts were spelt out clearly: maintain celibacy and self-control in all aspects of life, eat simple sattvic food, maintain purity of thoughts, avoid distraction through the radio (now cell phones and television) or cinema, practise regular prayer, japa and meditation and so on.

The booklet also contained the letters from Swami Sivananda, blessing this unique endeavour of his dear disciple and a bird’s eye-view of the yajna scheme, indicating what the seekers were to expect.

Gallery

AKHANDA KIRTAN & UPANISHAD HOMA

Active participation of the devotees was ensured through the akhanda kirtan right from the beginning of the yajna. Each one was allowed to offer only one small measure (chatak) of oil for the lamp, making sure that they visited the place every day for the special privilege! People would take turns in batches to continue the kirtan and in the lean hours of late night and early dawn, Gurudev himself would pitch in. The akhanda kirtan culminated in a massive procession in the city on April 6, heralding the conclusion of the yajna on April 8. A caravan of cars and trucks wove through the city, filled with devotees chanting the maha-mantra. The procession ended in silent meditation at the yajnashala.

A week-long Upanishad Homa had been planned by Gurudev months earlier. This was held in the final phase of the jnana yajna, from March 31 to April 6. Five Maharashtrian priests officiated, offering ahuti with the mantras of Kenopanishad and Kathopanishad. On the final day, the devotees were also given the opportunity to offer ahuti.

Gallery

THE GRAND FINALE

The 100-day ‘Upanishad Gyana Yagna’ concluded on April 8, leaving the devotees yearning for more. After conducting another public meeting in Tilak Nagar on April 9, Gurudev moved on to Palakkad to conduct a sadhana camp. Those who attended the yajna had been transformed forever. The seeds put in their hearts flourished in different ways, in different times, some of them growing in different places, towns and cities in the form of branches of Chinmaya Mission, spreading the message of the Upanishads through the years to come. Today, hundreds of swamis, brahmacharis and householder devotees continue the teaching all over the globe. The strong roots of Chinmaya Mission have spread across countries and continents. It is the duty of each one of us to water and nourish this tree of knowledge planted by Pujya Gurudev.

Gallery

Related Views

Story Behind The First Jnana Yajna

The fascinating effort of a young Swami Chinmayananda, to launch the Jnana Yajna program, with the help of a young Madrasi boy from Pune.

Reliving The First Jnana Yagna – Part 1

It was December 1951. A young Swami Chinmayananda was ready to launch the first Jnana Yagna, the forerunner of many more to come.

Reliving The First Jnana Yagna – Part 2

The story of how Pujya Gurudev successfully conducted the first Jnana Yajna, a 100-day event that transformed the lives of the attendees.

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Let Us Be Hindus


LET US BE HINDUS

A report on Shree Swami Chinmayananda’s address at a public meeting held in Poona on Sunday, December 23rd 1951.

Compiled by: Shree S.P.Sarma, F.T.S

Brother pilgrims to Truth,

A Mahatma to talk. A temple for the background. A crowded hall of Hindu audience, and the subject for discussion, “Let us be Hindus”. Strange! It is almost a ridiculous paradox and a meaningless contradiction. And I can very well see that you are surprised at the audacity of this Sadhu!

It has become a new fashion with the educated Hindu to turn up his nose and sneer in contempt at the very mention of his religion in any discussion. Personally, I too belong in my sympathies to these critics of our religion. But when this thoughtless team begins to declare that we would benefit ourselves socially and nationally by running away from our sacred religion, I pause to reconsider my own stand.

At the present state of moral, ethical and cultural degradation in our country, to totally dispose off religion would be making our dash to ruin the quicker. However decadent our religion may be, it is far better than having none at all. My proposal is that the wise thing would be for us to try and bring about a renaissance of Hinduism so that under its greatness – proved through many centuries – we may come to grow into the very heights of culture and civilization that was ours in the historical past.

No doubt, in India, Hinduism has come to mean nothing more than a bundle of sacred superstitions, or a certain way of dressing, cooking, eating, talking, and so on. Our gods have fallen to the mortal level of administration officers at whose altars the faithful Hindu might pray and get special permits for the things he desires; that is, if he pays the required fee to the priest!

This degradation is not the product of any accidental and sudden historical upheaval. For two hundred years Hinduism has remained an unwanted orphan without any patronage of the state and little encouragement of the rich. Once upon a time, the learned philosophers were rightly advisers of the state. But the quality of the adviser class (Brahmin) and the ruler class (Kshatriya) deteriorated. By slowly putrefying themselves in the leprous warmth of luxury and power, they have taken us to the regrettable stage in which we find ourselves now. The general cry of the educated class is really against this un-religion. However, it is only the thoughtless, uninformed leaders who call this Hinduism.

Certainly, if Hinduism can breed for us only heartless lalas (shopkeepers), corrupt babus (clerks), cowardly men, loveless masters and faithless servants; if Hinduism can give us only a state of social living in which each man is put up against his brother, if Hinduism can give us only starvation, nakedness and destitution; if Hinduism can only encourage us only to plunder, to loot and to steal; if Hinduism can preach to us only intolerance, fanaticism, hard heartedness, and cruelty; then I too cry, “Down, Down ” with that Hinduism.

And yet the above is a realistic picture of the sad condition and plight into which the Hindu people, as a nation, have allowed themselves to fall. This is the tragic picture of the great Hindu disaster in the present day India.

But Hinduism is not this external show that we have learned to parade it about in our daily lives. Hinduism is a Perfect science of PERFECTION. There is in it an answer to every individual, social, national, or international problem. But, unfortunately, the religion which we have come to follow blindly, is not the Grand True Hinduism. It is only the treacherous scheme thrust upon us some time in the past by the selfish, arrogant, power-mad priest class whose intention was to make us slaves of their plans and our own passions. The present days Hindu ignomini is the tragic success of these religious saboteurs of the past. In our sacred books we miss many of our beliefs which are taught to us as the very backbone of Hinduism. Hinduism is the religion of VEDANTA, the Eternal Religion of Upanishads.

The Upanishads declare in unmistakable terms that in reality man – at the peak of his achievements – is God Himself. He is advised to live his day-to-day experiences in life in such a systematic and scientific way that hour by hour, he is consciously cleansing himself of all the encrustation of imperfections that have gathered to conceal the beauty and divinity of the true Eternal Personality in him. The methods by which an individual can consciously purify and evolve by his self–effort to regain the status of his True Nature is the content of Hinduism. Hinduism in its vast amphitheater has preserved and worshipped, under the camouflage of the heavy descriptions contained in the puranas, shastras (scriptures), and their commentaries of thousand different interpretations. This overgrowth has so effectively come to conceal the real beauty and grandeur of this tiny temple of Truth that today the college educated illiterates, in their ignorance of the language and style of the ancient Sanskrit writers, miss the temple amidst its own festoons.

To inquire into the very textbooks of our religion with a view to knowing what Hinduism has to teach, and how its message can be used to save us as we face the problems of our daily lives, is the aim of the One hundred days’ Upanishad Gnana Yagna, which is now proposed to commence on December 31, 1951, here in Poona.

Religion becomes dead and ineffectual if the seekers are not ready to live its ideals. For that matter, is there any philosophy – political, social, or cultural – which can take us to its promised land of success, without our following its principles in our day – to – day living?

However great our culture might have been in the past, that dead glory, reported in the pages of history books, is not going to help us in our present trials. If the barbarous cavemen of the unexplored jungles want to become as civilized as the men of modern nations, they cannot achieve this total revolution through mere discourses, or even through an exhaustive study of the literature describing the ways of the modern civilized nations. They will have to know and then live the civilized values of life. A mere knowing of it will not help them. They can claim the blessings of their knowledge only if they are ready to live what they know. In order to live as civilized men, they will have to renounce completely their ways of uncivilized thinking and acting.

In fact, without renunciation no progress is ever possible. We must renounce the thrills of our childhood games in order to grow to be young men of noble actions. Again, unless we renounce our youthful spirit, we cannot come to the reverence of old age.
Unless we are ready to renounce the low animal values of material life and replace them with the noble values of the truly religious life, we cannot hope to gain the blessings of religion. A study of a cookbook, however thorough it might be, will not satisfy our hunger. No matter how long we meditate upon and repeat the name of the medicine, we cannot get the cure we need until we actually take the medicine. Similarly, the blessings of religion can be ours only when we are ready to live the recommended values. To condemn unpracticed religion is as meaningless as those cavemen sitting around their open fire, and querulously decrying advanced civilization.

During these one hundred days of the Upanishad Gnana Yagna, we shall be trying to discover the Eternal Happiness and Bliss that is the succulent essence of all true religions. In light of the principles of Truth declared in the Upanishads, we shall be trying to get at the scientific significance of the various practices that are considered part of our religion. In a spirit of communal living for these one hundred days we shall come to discover the science of PERFECTION, the true essence of Hinduism.

Let us know what Hinduism is! Let us take an honest oath for ourselves, not only for our own sake, but for the sake of the entire world:, that we shall, when once we are convinced of the validity of the Eternal Truth, try honestly to live as consistently as possible the values advocated by this ancient and sacred religion.

LET US BE HINDUS, and thus build up a true HINDUSTAN (Home of the Hindus) peopled with thousands of Shankaras, hundreds of Buddhas, and dozens of Vivekanandas!

OM ! OM ! OM !

Reliving The First Jnana Yagna – Part 1

It was December 1951. A young Swami Chinmayananda was ready to launch the first Jnana Yagna, the forerunner of many more to come, and which was to eventually burst forth and grow into the huge tree of Chinmaya Mission. This short video tells us the story.

CHINMAYA’S PRAYER TO HIS GURU

A recently discovered letter by Pujya Gurudev reveals a very moving poem addressed to his Guru, Swami Tapovanam, on the occasion of the Guru Purnima in 1968. Having attained supreme Bliss with the guidance of his Guru, he yearns to pass it on to others. It is this yearning which led him to start the first jnana yajna.

PUJYA GURUDEV ARRIVES IN PUNE

It was a small step from the train to the railway platform, but a momentous and historic event in the annals of Chinmaya Mission, when Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda stepped out of the train on 23rd of December 1951 and set foot on the punya bhumi (holy land) of Pune. He was received by a big gathering of the important citizens of the city, headed by the Yajna Committee, with Vedic chants and purna kumbham. He had arrived with the whole-hearted blessings of Swami Sivananda and the reluctant blessings of Swami Tapovan Maharaj.

LECTURES HERALDING THE YAJNA

A lot of work had already been done to create public awareness through newspapers, pamphlets, letters and by word of mouth. All these culminated in a series of public lectures in Pune in the week before the inauguration of the yajna. On the 23rd, Swamiji delivered a lecture on the topic ‘Let Us be Hindus’. He talked on ‘What is Religion’ in the Deccan College Estate on the 25th and on ‘Vedanta – The Religion of Detachment’ on the 26th in yet another venue. On the 30th, in the Kirkee branch of the Divine Life Society, he lectured on ‘Our Relationship with the Absolute’. The gist of these talks were published in the form of articles in the very first yajna prasad booklet that was brought out. Except for the first of these, which can be seen below, all the others were included as a part of the introduction to the commentary on Kenopanishad, compiled from the yajna prasad booklets, available as a book today.

BIRTH OF THE JNANA YAJNA

In those days, yajna meant the long traditional havans, the elaborate fire rituals, and yajna prasad meant either the edible offerings sanctified in the ritual or the residual ashes of the fire itself. In this epoch-making event, Pujya Gurudev transformed the whole thing and raised it to a different plane altogether. Taking the cue from the Bhagavad Gita which mentions it, he brought alive the jnana yajna, where the fire of spiritual knowledge is kindled and our primal ignorance burnt forever. And the gist of the talks in printed form was offered as yajna prasad. The true prasad would be the knowledge, peace and bliss that descends on the heart of the devotee.

IMPORTANCE OF YAJNA PRASAD

“Upanishad Yagna, lectures and pamphlet distribution – immediate reproduction of the lecture – this is a unique feature – unprecedented in the annals of Indian history. May Lord bless you all.” Thus wrote Swami Sivananda Maharaj from Rishikesh on February 1st. Gurudev had planned it all beforehand.

Pujya Gurudev sent the first copy of the first yajna prasad to his own Guru, Swami Tapovan Maharaj, in Uttarkashi, with the message, “Thy Knowledge Broadcasted through Thy own Voice-box”, signed Chinmaya. He was merely the instrument to spread the vital message of Vedanta. This first copy is preserved carefully in Chinmaya Archives. A total of six numbers on Kenopanishad were published at this time.

THE YAJNASHALA

Apparently, the venue was finalised just a week or two before the yajna began on December 31, 1951. The very cosmic forces seem to have been at work, because this momentous jnana yajna, the forerunner of many more to come, and which was to eventually burst forth and grow into the huge tree of Chinmaya Mission, was blessed by Lord Ganesha and held in His own temple in Rastha Peth. This small temple built by Sri Harihara Bhajana Samajam is still there, a place of pilgrimage for staunch devotees of Pujya Gurudev.

THE GLORIOUS SUCCESS OF THE YAJNA

“On the opening day in Poona, I had an audience of 18 to address …” writes Pujya Gurudev in ‘The Genesis’. The talks were held in the small premises of the temple, but very soon the word spread and more people started pouring in, necessitating arrangements to seat people outside the temple as well. A permanent microphone was fixed. The crowd swelled to about 400-500 in the first month itself. Anyone who came even once was mesmerized and became a regular listener.

The morning classes from 6 to 7 a.m., where Gurudev explained the Shankara Bhashyam, also attracted a good number of people. The Yajnashala report says: “Sree Swamiji is compelled to drop the old orthodox way of Upanishad study and give more and more general discussions in the morning classes also.”

Sri Naidu was a teenager when he entered the Ganesh temple that evening to get Prasad as usual. He was surprised to see a tall slender figure giving a discourse in English.

CHINMAYA’S PRAYER TO HIS GURU

A recently discovered letter by Pujya Gurudev reveals a very moving poem addressed to his Guru, Swami Tapovanam, on the occasion of the Guru Purnima in 1968. Having attained supreme Bliss with the guidance of his Guru, he yearns to pass it on to others. It is this yearning which led him to start the first jnana yajna.

View Details

PUJYA GURUDEV ARRIVES IN PUNE

It was a small step from the train to the railway platform, but a momentous and historic event in the annals of Chinmaya Mission, when Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda stepped out of the train on 23rd of December 1951 and set foot on the punya bhumi (holy land) of Pune. He was received by a big gathering of the important citizens of the city, headed by the Yajna Committee, with Vedic chants and purna kumbham. He had arrived with the whole-hearted blessings of Swami Sivananda and the reluctant blessings of Swami Tapovan Maharaj.

Gallery

LECTURES HERALDING THE YAJNA

A lot of work had already been done to create public awareness through newspapers, pamphlets, letters and by word of mouth. All these culminated in a series of public lectures in Pune in the week before the inauguration of the yajna. On the 23rd, Swamiji delivered a lecture on the topic ‘Let Us be Hindus’. He talked on ‘What is Religion’ in the Deccan College Estate on the 25th and on ‘Vedanta – The Religion of Detachment’ on the 26th in yet another venue. On the 30th, in the Kirkee branch of the Divine Life Society, he lectured on ‘Our Relationship with the Absolute’. The gist of these talks were published in the form of articles in the very first yajna prasad booklet that was brought out. Except for the first of these, which can be seen below, all the others were included as a part of the introduction to the commentary on Kenopanishad, compiled from the yajna prasad booklets, available as a book today.

View Details

BIRTH OF THE JNANA YAJNA

In those days, yajna meant the long traditional havans, the elaborate fire rituals, and yajna prasad meant either the edible offerings sanctified in the ritual or the residual ashes of the fire itself. In this epoch-making event, Pujya Gurudev transformed the whole thing and raised it to a different plane altogether. Taking the cue from the Bhagavad Gita which mentions it, he brought alive the jnana yajna, where the fire of spiritual knowledge is kindled and our primal ignorance burnt forever. And the gist of the talks in printed form was offered as yajna prasad. The true prasad would be the knowledge, peace and bliss that descends on the heart of the devotee.

Gallery

IMPORTANCE OF YAJNA PRASAD

“Upanishad Yagna, lectures and pamphlet distribution – immediate reproduction of the lecture – this is a unique feature – unprecedented in the annals of Indian history. May Lord bless you all.” Thus wrote Swami Sivananda Maharaj from Rishikesh on February 1st. Gurudev had planned it all beforehand.
Pujya Gurudev sent the first copy of the first yajna prasad to his own Guru, Swami Tapovan Maharaj, in Uttarkashi, with the message, “Thy Knowledge Broadcasted through Thy own Voice-box”, signed Chinmaya. He was merely the instrument to spread the vital message of Vedanta. This first copy is preserved carefully in Chinmaya Archives. A total of six numbers on Kenopanishad were published at this time.

Gallery

THE YAJNASHALA

Apparently, the venue was finalised just a week or two before the yajna began on December 31, 1951. The very cosmic forces seem to have been at work, because this momentous jnana yajna, the forerunner of many more to come, and which was to eventually burst forth and grow into the huge tree of Chinmaya Mission, was blessed by Lord Ganesha and held in His own temple in Rastha Peth. This small temple built by Sri Harihara Bhajana Samajam is still there, a place of pilgrimage for staunch devotees of Pujya Gurudev.

Gallery

The Glorious Success of the Yajna

“On the opening day in Poona, I had an audience of 18 to address …” writes Pujya Gurudev in ‘The Genesis’. The talks were held in the small premises of the temple, but very soon the word spread and more people started pouring in, necessitating arrangements to seat people outside the temple as well. A permanent microphone was fixed. The crowd swelled to about 400-500 in the first month itself. Anyone who came even once was mesmerized and became a regular listener.

The morning classes from 6 to 7 a.m., where Gurudev explained the Shankara Bhashyam, also attracted a good number of people. The Yajnashala report says: “Sree Swamiji is compelled to drop the old orthodox way of Upanishad study and give more and more general discussions in the morning classes also.”

View Details

Test1

Story Behind The First Jnana Yajna

The fascinating effort of a young Swami Chinmayananda, to launch the Jnana Yajna program, with the…

Reliving The First Jnana Yagna – Part 1

It was December 1951. A young Swami Chinmayananda was ready to launch the first Jnana Yagna, the…

Reliving The First Jnana Yagna – Part 2

The story of how Pujya Gurudev successfully conducted the first Jnana Yajna, a 100-day event that…

Introductory Letter Dec 12 1956

INTRODUCTORY LETTER

Chief sewak
Sree Swami Chinmayananda
16 PARK AREA, KAROL BAGH, NEW DELHI – 5

20-12-‘56

Dear Seekers

Om Namo Narayana!
Salutations!

On the Plant of Life the flower of Renaissance opens up petal by petal. The gardner has but to wait patiently watering the plant and protecting it from the grazing cattles around.

The budding Hindu Renaissance has pushed itself out, throbbing with its fragrant content. Let us water the Hindu Life with the waters of our faith born out of right understanding and right living.

Wake up and dance in joy. The dull relief of sleep is not the total cure that we are demanding. Hail Renaissance.

Thy own Self
Om Chinmayananda

Story Behind The First Jnana Yajna

This video describes the fascinating effort of a young Swami Chinmayananda in the year 1951, to launch the Jnana Yajna program, with the help of a young Madrasi boy from Pune. For detailed information on this story, please continue to scroll below.

INTRODUCTION

Encouraging the brahmacharis entering the field of prachar work to spread the message of our scriptures, Pujya Gurudev would say, “In my first jnana yajna in Poona, there were only four people, including the speaker!” No one knew at that time how much effort and preparation had gone into the organization of the first yajna in the Ganesh Temple in Rasthapeth, Pune. It was only when Swamini Kaivalyananda unearthed the letters to Sri Seshadri, who helped in organizing that first yajna, that the micro details behind that historic event tumbled out.

THE GENESIS: IN HIS OWN WORDS

A souvenir named “Hail Renaissance” was released to mark the 25th jnana yajna in Hyderabad, held from December 16, 1956 to January 5, 1957. There, Pujya Gurudev wrote about the story of the birth and growth of the jnana yajna in an article titled “The Genesis”. This gives us very important information about how it all happened in his own words.

THE PLANS CRYSTALLIZE

Pujya Gurudev had gone on an All India Tour from December 1950 to April 1951, at which time he had visited Pune and met Seshadri, “the young Madrasi boy” he mentions in The Genesis. Having already obtained the permission of his Guru Swami Tapovan Maharaj, he proceeded to plan the first jnana yajna in Pune. In a letter dated October 1, 1951, written from Uttarkashi, he follows up his discussions with Seshadri regarding the finances and publicity of the yajna. He has also taken into account the cost of converting the talks into small booklets and posting them to people, showing meticulous planning and an eye for details.

THE PLAN PROGRESSES

From Uttarkashi to Pune was a long distance in those days when letters travelled by snail mail, taking anywhere from ten days to a month to reach. If there was a landslide or some other natural disaster, the letter might never reach its destination. Pujya Gurudev functioned under these difficult circumstances. He wrote to Swami Sivananda about his plans and received his blessings for this historic endeavour. He arranged for printed notices and sent a block of his own image to Seshadri for printing. He wrote personal letters to 100 people enlisting their support.

INSPIRING THE WORKER

Letters were too slow to keep pace with the amazing speed of the Swami at work. A new telegraph office had opened in Uttarkashi and he sent a telegram to Seshadri from there. He had published a notice about the yajna in a newspaper and had the pamphlets with details of the yajna program, all ready to be posted. And yet, no news from Seshadri about the progress of the arrangements in Pune! So he wrote on October 30, 1951, inspiring him to march ahead: “Even the mightiest mountain is crossed step by step; only be careful and earnest about each step.”

INAUGURAL DATE FOR THE YAJNA