Jnana Yajna 97

Year & Dates:

November 22, 1961 to December 12, 1961

Yajna Topic:

Shrimad Bhagavad Gita- Chapter 15


Mumbai (Bombay), India

“The secret vein of energy that runs in every one of us is struck, not through pills and elixirs, but through dedicated actions. Selfish actions drain our energy. Actions dedicated unto the feet of the Lord, or unto any higher cause, generate energy and ginger up enthusiasm in man.” Thus ran the concluding quote from Pujya Gurudev on the 140-page souvenir, Hail Renaissance Vol.III released on the occasion of His memorable 97th Jnana Yajna in Mumbai. And, enthusiastic dedication underscored every aspect of that 21-day yajna held from November 22 to December 12, 1961.

Behind the Marine Drive, in the 9000 sq.yard enclosure of the Lloyds Recreation grounds stood the yajnashala with an attractive shamiana. The riveting background of the dais had the painting of Bhagavan Krishna reining the five horses of the mighty chariot in which Arjuna sat facing His dear friend and Divine Charioteer.

A Reviving Blaze of Truth Supreme

The 97th Jnana Yajna was a spiritual bonanza of mammoth proportions. The yajnashala seated over 12,000 earnest seekers, and the first three days were devoted to a clear introduction to the great Gita. With the provided pocket editions of Chapter 15 with the verses in both Sanskrit and English, the devotees recited in unison after Pujya Gurudev chanted the verses before His every discourse. The aura of around 12000 diverse people being everyday in the yajnashala from 6:30 pm to 8 pm, in perfect, concentrated silence entranced by the Highest Knowledge flowing from Pujya Gurudev was powerful beyond words. Knowledge shone with the worshipful touch of Bhakti when Pujya Gurudev also infused devotion through Gita’s chapter 12.

His morning discourses on the soul-stirring Kathopanishad at Lady Northcote Hindu Orphanage Hall, Chowpatty, drew over 700 faithful aspirants and made them soar to subtle heights. Verily, Mumbai, the home of Mahalakshmi, was permeated by the brilliance of Ma Saraswati in that yajna.

A brief and unforgettable yatra on the sea was arranged, a yajna feature from the past. The steamship Champaka sailed with about 900 pilgrims on December 9th to the natural, peaceful Harnai Harbour, 78 miles away from Mumbai. Pujya Gurudev advised that all pilgrims address each other only as “Narayana” – the divine essence in all. He explained how the voyage of Life across the ocean of Samsaar required mental purification, surrender to Bhagavan, and renunciation of the lower divisive outlook. 

After a blissful meditation in the predawn silence of 4:30 am and the avabhruta snanam to wash away all vasanas in the gentle waters of the harbor, the devotees gathered around Pujya Gurudev. In a sublime Satsang, He outlined the four steps of spiritual evolution: Tat Buddhi – Gain Knowledge from the Guru; Tad Aatman – Live by that Knowledge; Tan Nishta – Meditate on That; Tat Paraayanam – Fix that as the foremost Goal.

When the 97th Jnana Yajna ended on December 12th, Pujya Gurudev wrote in appreciation to the yajna committee president, Sri B. N. Kamdar and his team: “The Beauty of Beauty is indeed a heart shot with missionary zeal working in a full spirit of devotion and selflessness…I am grateful to my Lord that He gave me this darshan in my yajnashala. The crowd was He; the love they showed me was He; the workers were He…”

A Meditation Minute:

नानापुराणनिगमागमतत्त्वविज्ञ साक्षात्कृतप्रणवसारमुदारभावम् ।

संसारघोरतरकाननदाववहिं श्रीचिन्मयं गुरुवरं हृदि भावयामि ॥ ८ ॥

nānāpurāṇanigamāgamatattvavijña sākṣātkṛtapraṇavasāramudārabhāvam ।

saṃsāraghoratarakānanadāvavahiṃ śrīcinmayaṃ guruvaraṃ hṛdi bhāvayāmi ॥ 8 ॥

“I meditate in my heart upon Śrī Chinmaya, the best of teachers, the knower of Truth propounded by all the scriptures, who has realized the essence of Praṇava (Om), and is of a generous disposition, who is like a wildfire in the thick forest of samsāra.”

  • Chinmaya Ashtakam verse 8

Pujya Gurudev was a most extraordinary, realized Teacher. He induced a love for learning the scriptures even in the most unusual of seekers. Ferrying us across samsara like a skilful boatman, He made the journey joyful with His anecdotes, jokes, and boisterous laughter. Simultaneously, fierce as a wildfire, He  burned our negativities. To that Resplendent, Pujya Gurudev, “Sri Chinmaya,” our heartfelt prostrations.

Photo Gallery

“Think,” Says Pujya Gurudev 

“A Ray of Myself”:- The Infinite has no parts: can suffer no divisions within Itself. And yet, just as with reference to the four walls of my room I consider the ‘roomspace’ as different from the “outer-space”, so too, with reference to a given mind-intellect vehicle, the Infinite Light of Consciousness playing upon it is considered by the ignorant as limited by the very vehicle. The Moon-in-the-bucket will dance trembles at the touch of a passing breeze. Even if a million such reflected Moons have broken and shattered, the immortal Moon in the heavens will not suffer any self-destruction. Similarly, the ego-centric personality (Jeeva) born out of the Consciousness playing upon a given subtle-body suffers no limitation. Even though the ego changes with its joys and sorrows, with its knowledge and ignorance, with its peace and agitations, the essential nature of the Consciousness Infinite that sparkles in our hearts is Eternal indeed, and hence the stanza qualifies the Self in man as: ‘the Eternal Jeeva in the world of Jeevas.’

From Tyagi Magazine

The Three Spiritual Paths!

The transformation of an individual’s personality is achieved by changing the quality, quantity, and direction of thoughts through devotion, Karma Yoga, and the path of knowledge. These methods are interconnected, with each influencing the others, leading to a holistic evolution of the individual’s mental structure towards higher ideals and spiritual growth. Combining all three approaches accelerates the journey towards self-improvement and realization.