Chinmaya Mission invites applications for the 19th Vedanta Course commencing on Makara Sankranti, 15 January 2024 – which marks not just 60 years of Sandeepany Sadhanalaya but also the 108th Jayanti of Pujya Swami Chinmayananda. The Mukhya Acharya for the Course is Swami Swaroopananda, the Global Head of Chinmaya Mission, and the Resident Acharya is Swami Advayananda. The two year residential Vedanta Course, to be conducted in English at Sandeepany Sadhanalaya, Powai, Mumbai, provides an ideal opportunity for all those who want to learn, live, practice and share the Vedanta way of life.
Pujya Gurudev, Swami Chinmayananda, the founder of Chinmaya Mission and renowned Vedantic Teacher, was a spiritual teacher of extraordinary stature. Swami Chinmayananda conceived the idea of a modern-day Gurukula to teach the philosophy and practice of Advaita Vedanta to young men and women who would then take the knowledge back to their community. His vision was to build a group of full-time, well-educated, trained missionaries, without worldly ambitions or vested interests — brave and courageous — who were willing to leave personal ties and concerns behind, for a life of surrender to the Divine through service to mankind. Swami Chinmayananda envisioned a program of study for the Vedanta Course, with the twin objectives of developing both the head and the heart of the student. It is in tune with this objective, that the two-year, intensive Advaita Vedanta curriculum is standardized.
Traditional in its teaching methodology, its exhaustive focus is on Prasthana-trayi – the primary triad of the Hindu scriptures. In keeping with the gurukula tradition, all expenses for the entire duration of the course is borne by the Chinmaya Mission and is free for the Brahmacharins.
At the launch of the very first course, what stood out was Swami Chinmayananda’s emphasis on creating a generation of teachers rooted in dharma to build a new nation. Since those early days of Sandeepany, 18 such courses have been conducted in English. Pujya Gurudev said on the opening of Sandeepany Himalayas course in Hindi, in Himachal:
We want an army of Vivekanandas all over the country. The problems are so severe that they can no longer be remedied by even a handful of persons. Thus, I have to start many training centres, and our hopes are that all of them will bring forth true Vivekanandas.
Full-time Sandeepany Courses have been conducted in eight different locations in India, and also in US, South Africa and Trinidad, in seven languages with more than 250 Swamins and Brahmacharins, who continue to serve as full time pracharaks with the Chinmaya Mission in over 300 centres in India and overseas. Like a long-standing vata-vriksha, many are the Advaita Acharyas rigorously trained in Sandeepany, that continue to provide the guidance of the Gita, the all-encompassing wisdom of the Upanishad, the ideals of the Ramayana and Bhagavata and the divine fragrance of bhakti in countless forums throughout the world.
What began in Sandeepany, Mumbai in 1963 as an experiment in re-energising the national culture, has touched a few million lives directly and indirectly.