Pujya Gurudev taught many people how to organize a jnana yajna and trained them so well that they would be the envy of professionals in event management.

In 1951 while planning for the first Jnana Yajna, Swamiji encourages a young Seshadri.

Seshadri 30.10.1951

All such Divine endeavours are to be undertaken, if at all, in full surrender and dedication. You should not get worried at the prospect of the entire scheme as such!! Even the mightiest mountain is crossed step by step: only be careful and earnest about each step. Sure enough you will surmount. This is said not with regard to this particular yagna-idea. This is a noble ideal – really the secret of all great successes. Plunge into any work, heart and soul, and sure enough you will finish it grand, if there is no selfish motive behind.

In an undated letter to the committee members in the early 1950s, Pujya Gurudev writes about the attitude in which a jnana yajna should be organized.


Yagnas are organised in fact by the Lord Himself. Yet He has selected us to be His instruments to organise and conduct this yagna. We must feel proud that we are the loving recipients of His grace. Let us do the job as best as we can, dedicating it entirely to Him as our respectful oblations.

More than what we do, it is how we do it that is important in spiritual offerings. Let there be complete coordinated militant team spirit in all the undertakings and activities of the committee. Let us all, in a coordinated discipline under the benign leadership of our president, learn to work selflessly in devotion and dedication unto Him to accomplish this yagna which is essentially conducted to spread spiritual values in these dark days of passion and lust.

May your teamwork and dedication inspire the whole town. May our work bring a shower of His grace on the people.

Pujya Gurdev floods this letter to Lakshmi Reddy with so many inspiring gems, motivating devotees to act, along with guidance on how to perform actions.

Lakshmi Reddy 12.9.1957

Please read this letter out to the members of our team of workers there.

Soldiers of the Renaissance Army! The eternal voice of the Rishis salute you. You are serving a great cause and are accomplishing a divine task.

The cultural resurgence of a decadent society is no earthly achievement; it is a divine act of the Supreme Will. In such a godly endeavour we must learn to serve without the least ego, fear, passions or anxieties.

Lakshmi Pathi, Sree Narayan, dressed up to drive us Home as Parthasarathi is the only organizer-in-chief of all these yagnas. You all come next in importance the audience and last comes the requirements such as volunteers, place, time, and the Swami himself. The committee are the nearest to Him and His prabhav, and I expect each member of the committee to renounce all their mental reservations, personal vanities, individual plannings. Be ready to serve … strive … rest in Him in faith and goodwill … pray ever to be His faithful instruments … watch on. What a glorious dividend of success we reap for our efforts! To such a self-surrendered servant of the Soul, the parade of happenings — success and failure is but a glorious vision of His Leela.

Renounce all anxieties. Meet each devotee and explain the work we are doing, ask for their cooperation and help – and watch. Even when you get a refusal to help from individuals, watch on! Watch on in perfect detachment to see Him talking through that individual. Smile at refusals; smile at those who offer help; all activities are His play; Sree Narayana’s own expressions everywhere. Success is ours if we know how to work in surrender unto Him – for He knows no failure ever!!

In the mid-1950s, when the jnana yajna was evolving into a beautifully structured event, Gurudev sends clear instructions to his cousin Bhaskara Menon about the preparatory arrangements and publicity.

Bhaskara Menon 8.4.1955

Arrange the notices to be distributed  by the newspaper men, the wall pictures everywhere in Cochin, Trippi,  Varkala, Valanjambalam, N. Station, S. station, Ekm etc.

The flag I am bringing.  The flagpost must be in the centre of the courtyard on my left as I sit in the hall for the discourse. A post of some 20 ft may be planted with a ring on the top and a string through it. Flag I am bringing.

The flag hoisting is done generally by the secretary of the yagna committee. Arrange a local brahmin to do some pooja to the flagpost, and then after arathi we will unfurl it. That is all.

This is done before we go in for the inauguration.

Gurudev defines the criteria by which the success of an event should be measured.

M. Vasudevan 3.12.1977

I do not evaluate Chinmaya Yagnas in terms of the publicity or the number of people who attended. I generally rate the yagna in terms of the amount of team-spirit the Yagna Committee is capable of generating and manifesting during the organisation and conduct of the yagna.

In the 1950s, when people were not yet clear about the way a yajna had to be organized, there were many hiccups and hurdles. But Gurudev took them all in his stride and won over the people with his talks.

Shakuntala Bindra 13.7.1956

Just reached here only to find that arrangements are poor, friends are  nil, patronage zero, and enthusaism frozen. And yet I am sure I will act and win in the end. This is not my work; why should I worry. Rishis are capable of fulfilling their own so sankalpa!!

In fact I like the start to be cold – so that when we warm up the entire thing will look like a spectacular expression of His Own Hand by contrast.

Keep up your health. Don’t destroy it. Work only as a means for steadying the mind: as a means for sadhana. When work seems to work on you, leave it. You work at something; let not the work do something to you.

Previous Topic

Master Manager

The spectacular growth of the Chinmaya Mission was in no small measure the result of Pujya Gurudev's acumen in understanding…

Next Topic

How to work

In all his actions Pujya Gurudev set an example of how one should work. His letters on how work should be done, and how he…

Related 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…