Chinmaya Mission New Zealand

Keeping in line with the vision of the Chinmaya Mission, CMNZ is a registered charitable organisation with the Companies Office since 2002. It is also registered with the Charities Commission. For more details view our profile (here). CMNZ has been conducting activities in Auckland since 1999 and in Nelson since 1995-96. Subsequently, activities have sprung up in Wellington (2007) and Whanganui/Palmerston North (2012). Its activities are open to all and it caters to every age group in society, from 5 years and above with the main aim of sharing the benefits of our culture to the local community.
We have Swamini Amritananda and Swami Atulananda as our teachers who guide Mission’s activities in New Zealand and are based in Nelson and Auckland respectively along with a host of dedicated volunteers.
The Mission does not have a membership fee for its activities and is open to all. However, currently the mission serves nearly 200 children, 50 youth and nearly 1000 families through its activities and newsletters.

The main aim through the activities the Mission conducts is…

  • To install humanitarian values in the hearts of the young (at Balvihar – Children’s weekly program);
  • To provide a broader and more inspiring vision to life for the youth so as to bring out their best in their respective field of work (at Yuva Kendra – Youth Weekly Program) and To provide for the adults the path towards Truth of the scriptures (at the Study Groups).
  • The various regular activities held by the Chinmaya Mission New Zealand are listed under:
  • Balvihar classes for the children between 5 to 13 years,
  • Youth classes for youngsters between 14 to 28 years,
  • Yoga and Meditation classes (In Nelson),
  • Adult discussion groups,
  • Sanskrit Classes (in Auckland),
  • Vedic Recitation (in Auckland),
  • Local bi-annual Newsletters – CHINMAYA VISION
  • Bhajan groups (in Auckland), and
  • Camps, Women Retreats, Yagnas (Seminars & Workshops).

For details on our activities kindly visit our Events and Activities page on
this website!


Chinmaya Mission in New Zealand

Board of Trustees Title/Role About
Kishan Raj Board President Raj has been associated with Chinmaya Mission for over 30 years in New Zealand, India, Kenya & Tanzania. Instumental in setting up Chinmaya Mission NZ as a Charitable Trust and ensuring that all tax benefits were granted. Raj is a Chartered Accountant with over 35 years experience in the corporate world and is currently engaged in CA practice since 2015. Raj contributes by bringing his finance and management knowledge and skills to ensure that CMNZ is financially healthy. Raj has worked tirelessly during Phase 1 and currently ongoing construction of Phase 2 of the “Wellbeing Centre” . Raj strongly believes in the principle of “Selfless Service and Giving more than what you take”! Raj has keen interest in sports and enjoys tramping and travelling.
Swamini Amritananda Board Member Swamini Amritananda is the resident teacher for CMNZ. On the instructions and guidance from Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda; she completed the 2 years Vedanta Course under the tutelage of Swami Tejomayananda. After that she moved to Melbourne and later set up the centre in Nelson. Since 2019 she has overseen the centre in Auckland too. She has been working tirelessly for the past 35 yrs. to spread the knowledge of Vedanta. She is also a qualified and trained yoga instructor.
Prabha Hariswamy Treasurer Prabha is associated with Chinmaya Mission since the early 90s when she was in Hong Kong. Her connection to the Mission became stronger after moving to New Zealand in 2003. Prabha is a Balvihar sevika, Treasurer and a Trustee member. She is currently working with The University of Auckland and is a full member of CAANZ.
She says the journey inward of Self unfoldment for realising the truth has made life interesting and joyful. Prabha is grateful to the Mission for giving her an opportunity to serve.
Ram Lingam Board Member Ram joined Chinmaya Mission – Mumbai as a youth member and has been part of the mission for almost 30 years. Currently he is a trustee and member of the Executive committee of Chinmaya Mission New Zealand. Ram is an Educator and Learning Consultant by profession.
Amrat Ranchhod Board Member Amrat’s involvement with Chinmaya Mission began with an International Family Camp at Sidhbari in 1998 followed by hosting Sw Swaroopananda during his first yagna in Auckland on Hanuman Chalisa later that year. Now a retiree, with Amrat’s working background in repairs and maintenance he takes a keen interest in the ashram’s growth, culminating in the second phase of the building now underway. He also supports the youth wing with the designing and making of props for their stage productions. This hands-on flair extends to helping other temples in Auckland. Amrat has benefited both from the Auckland discourses as well as International family camps and discourses overseas. His interests are sport, gardening, tramping, photography and travel.
Vinod Patel Board Member Vinod has been a trustee of CMNZ since its inception in New Zealand. Vinod have been in New Zealand for the past 33 years and has been in retail business for the past 30 years. Vinod is also the President of Hindu Council of New Zealand. His two daughters have also been part of Chinmaya Mission from young age.
Vinayak Nigudkar Board Member Vinayak has been associated with Chinmaya Mission since 2006, starting as adult study group member in one of the Devotee’s house in Epsom. Vinayak is board member from April 2010 and regular member of weekly Vedanta study group. He is grateful for Chinmaya Mission bringing the ageless wisdom of Advaita Vedanta all the way to NZ and inspired by unique way of delivering spiritual discourses called “Jnana Yagna”, a term coined by great visionary Pujya Swami Chinmayananda. Vinayak is supply chain professional; currently employed by Fonterra.
Charul Shah Board Secretary Charul has been part of CMNZ study group for over 20 years, recently appointed as Secretary of Board of Trustees. Living in New Zealand for 23 years, she is Revenue Controller (Asia Pacific) at Nielsen Media, a global research company. Charul is an artist, loves music, painting and travelling. Inspired by Gurudev’s teachings, wants to help bring the knowledge of Vedanta to as many people as possible, and give back to society.

Executive Committee Title/Role About
Ram Lingam President
Charul Shah Secretary Charul has been part of CMNZ study group for over 20 years, now volunteering as Secretary of the Executive Committee. Living in New Zealand for 23 years, she is Revenue Controller (Asia Pacific) at Nielsen Media, a global research company. Charul is an artist, loves music, painting and travelling. Inspired by Gurudev’s teachings, wants to help bring the knowledge of Vedanta to as many people as possible, and give back to society.
Kishan Raj Funding Raising & Funding Coordinator Raj is responsibile for community fund raising for all CMNZ events/programs. Raj leads the team for funding applications to Trusts & Foundations for opex, events/programs and capital projects.
Raji Nair Internal Events Coordinator Raji Nair has been associated with CMNZ since 1999. She is actively involved with the weekly Bal Vihar classes for children. She also attends weekly study group with her family. She loves to serve and has played an integral part in running a successful family business for the past 13 years.
Suma Raj Ashram Coordinator Suma has been associated with Chinmaya Mission since 2006, as a Volunteer and later on actively involved with Balvihar classes for younger children since 2009. She also attends weekly study group classes. Living in New Zealand for the past 17 years. Working with a Shipping Company Hamburg Sud as Supervisor. Suma feels highly grateful and blessed for the oppurtunity to serve and be assosicated with the teachings of Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda. Hari Om.
Deepa Ram Balvihar Coordinator Deepa has been a seeker under the guidance of Chinmaya Mission since her teens. Deepa is grateful to have received the wealth of spiritual knowledge, guidance and a community of satsangis from Chinmaya Mission. Giving back to the community is a natural flow of this movement as a Balvihar co ordinator. As a Balvihar co ordinator, Deepa humbly attempts to work with Swami Chinmayanada’s vision of nurturing and empowering our next generation and strengthening our families, rooted in our spiritual wisdom. Professionally, Deepa is a passionate educator, working across diverse educational settings and has taken up various leadership roles. Deepa is a trustee of an ‘Out and about’ education trust and has worked as a volunteer for various community initiatives.
Vanita Patil Study Groups Coordinator Vanita has been associated with Chinmaya Mission since last 20 years. Her enquiry for study of Bhagvat Geeta brought her to the Chinmaya Mission. She started as a adult study group member for weekly Vedanta classes. Vanita is grateful to Mission for providing Vedantic teaching under the guidance of residential teacher and through intellectual discussion in study group which makes oneself think differently. She is involved in weekly Bal-Vihar classes and also gives her seva as a adult study group coordinator. Vanita is Biochemist by profession and currently employed by Healthscope Laboratory, Labtests.
Vinayak Nigudkar External Events Coordinator
Krishna Warrier Publications Coordinator Krishna is a recent entrant into Chinmaya Mission. He started attending the Vedanta study groups & was very much impressed & attracted by the subject matter & the quality of discussions at these study groups. Being an avid reader & a Vedantic study enthusiast he was naturally inclined to take on the seva of Publications Coordinator when the opportunity came up. The Vedantic teaching that he lives by is that since ones own self awareness is the only thing that is permanent, one has to attend to it alone & cling firmly to it. In other words, the Path is to attend to ‘I am’ and the Goal is to remain as ‘I am’.
Jyoti Raj Shishu Vihar and Growth & Development Coordinator Jyoti’s association with the Mission began in childhood and she has been serving the Mission for the last 30 yrs out of which 21 have been here in NZ. She was handpicked by Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda to start Balvihar and Study group classes in Nairobi and Tanzania. Jyoti started the Balvihar and Youth classes of Chinmaya Mission Auckland over 2 decades ago and recently has played a major role in launching Shishuvihar for the toddlers. She has been a sevika for the study group too. Her life revolves around the Mission due to her love and dedication to the teachings and values of the Guru Shishya Parampara. She has a Masters degree in Accountancy and Economics and has been working with the Council for the last 9 years. She loves music, dance and theatre. She always wants to give back what she has received from the Mission.
Anish Aya Committee Member Anish holds a science background and worked for a number of years in the environmental industry before being inspired by the teachings of Vedanta and the dynamic approach of Swami Chinmayananda. Anish followed his love for Vedanta by undertaking the intensive study of the scriptures at Sandeepany Sadhanalaya under the tutelage of Swami Bodhatmananda from 2017-2019. He currently holds regular classes and facilitates study groups at the Auckland centre, sharing his learnings and enthusiasm with all age groups. He has been part of Chinmaya Mission for over 15 years and is driven to bring the teachings of Vedanta to all, enabling them to realise their inner happiness.
Rahul Chopra CHYK President / Marketing Coordinator A dynamic and passionate individual, Rahul has been part of Chinmaya Mission for close to 20 years and currently leads their youth team and marketing. Professionally Rahul has a Master’s in Business and has worked in the corporate world for 8 years. Recently, he decided to dedicate his efforts towards inspiring young minds to achieve great things and started teaching Business and Economics at his old high school Mount Roskill Grammar. Rahul also conducts camps and regular workshops for young people and runs a dance school.
Mala Krish Food Coordinator Mala has been associated with Chinmaya Misson since her childhood as a Balvihar student and here in NZ associated with the mission since 2002. Mala is a Balvihar sevika. She works as an Early Intervention teacher with the Ministry of Education for children with special needs and learning disabilities. She is inspired by Gurudev’s teachings and feels blessed that she is able to serve the mission. She loves chanting and singing and is also the coordinaror for the geeta chanting group in NZ.