The Pull of Unconditional Love

Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda was truly at home anywhere He went. Still, His Kutiya in Chinmaya Tapovan Sidhbari is a special temple for all devotees.

Gurudev’s Kutiya was one of the first buildings that came up on the desolate hillock of Sidhbari. With Dharamshala on the left and the Yol Cantonment on the right, its location is scenic. The mighty Dhauladhar mountains are a stunning backdrop. Indeed, today, when we enter Gurudev’s Kutiya, we feel at once the calming sense of being in the warm Presence of an extraordinary Guru. We can almost hear His powerful voice calling out in our hearts, “Hari Om!”

In 1976, Pujya Gurudev wrote to Colonel Pathania with an outline of his plans. That letter is shown below. He then carefully supervised the construction so that minimum resources were used.

Early photos related to the Kutia

The vibrant Presence of Gurudev and the accompanying deep silence is unmistakable in every room of the Kutiya, as it flows into our deeper consciousness. He also intended that the Kutiya would be more than just his place of residence in the Sidhbari ashram. The sitting cum dining hall was also the satsang hall where Gurudev gave so freely of Himself to transform countless lives. The dining area brings to our minds the warm memories of His loving appreciation, of course sweetened by his great sense of humour during countless bhikshas! When we stand in front of His Padukas in that satsang Hall, and gaze at the portraits of Him and Parama Guru Swami Tapovanam, waves of gratitude and respectful love floods us. The old television still preserved in that room reminds us of Pujya Gurudev reclining there watching tennis tournaments while recuperating from his surgeries. We are filled with wonder about His indomitable spirit, full of life with His Vedanta-in-Tennis commentary during those challenging times.

When we look at His meticulous office desk with the stationery, we can visualize the kind, attentive face of Pujya Gurudev writing one of his letters that devotees still treasure. Truly, Pujya Gurudev’s office desk was His altar, and writing was His puja.

At the top of the kutiya, he had a Shiva Linga installed. In his own words: “The ellipse represents our cosmos. If that ellipse is half-buried what is seen on the surface is a Shiva Linga, which represents the manifested and therefore visible part of the Cosmos. This is then supported by the other half of the ellipse hidden from our vision.

He then had the Nandi in front of the Kutia, facing outward, and said: “A man who has emptied his vasanas is Shiva, and such a person, if he has to function in the world, the vehicle should be ever-ready!

The entire Kutiya of Pujya Gurudev is an emblem of spiritual steadfastness, endless benevolence, and all-encompassing knowledge. It is a place of most treasured memories, where we feel so close to our dearest Gurudev. Swami Swaroopanandaji shares his thoughts below.

Pujya Gurudev’s Kutiya at Sidhbari holds deep meaning for devotees and spiritual seekers. In this section, we present important artefacts and images from that revered abode of the renowned Master.

In this section, we present important artefacts and images from that revered abode of the renowned Master.

As we mindfully “walk” through Gurudev’s Kutiya, let us invoke His Presence that inspires and transforms the very way we view the different parts of the home that call out “Hari Om!”


Kutia and Gurudev Photos


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