Swami Tapovan Maharaj of Uttarkashi was the "Source" wherefrom Swami Chinmayananda, founder of the Chinmaya Mission. Swami Tapovan was himself the ideal who had personally understood (through deep study, dispassion and contemplation) the relationship between the biological processes of the body and the human psyche. In a spirit of deep renunciation, the infinitely gentle poet in him, saw Humanity and Nature as one vast "plant", needing only "Love" for its highest fulfillment.

Intimate communion with Nature (while he walked peaks and valleys of the Himalayas for countless years), gave Swami Tapovan the boundless spiritual reverence. He revealed Nature's secrets in his "travelogue" in two Sanskrit masterpieces, "Himagiri Viharam" and "Kailasa Yatra". The masterpiece, without a doubt, is "Ishwara Darshan", which is his autobiographical "sketch" - it is an absorbing account of a search for the Truth .. Its scientific clarity is subtle, because the treatise gives insight into how the saints of the East attain self mastery.

Inspired by Swami Tapovan Maharaj of Uttarkashi, our Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayanandaji decided to dedicate his life spreading the ‘life giving’ message of the Bhagavad-Gita and the Upanishads to house holders everywhere.

For forty-two years, Gurudev traveled throughout the world, tirelessly “converting Hindus to Hinduism”. In the words of one great master, Gurudev put “Vedanta on horseback”. During this time, he slowly built a team of teachers who in turn are holding up the torch of Vedanta in India and abroad.

On August 3, 1993, He became one with the Infinite Truth.

His Holiness Swami Tejomayanandaji became the worldwide head of Chinmaya Mission following Gurudev's Mahasamadhi on August 3, 1993. Swamiji has carried forward the work of Pujya Gurudev with the same tireless commitment and dedication.

He speaks effectively in Hindi, Marathi and English. His style is humorous, yet zeroing in unerringly on the mystic message of Vedanta. Swamiji sings melodiously and listening to the Bhagavatam or Ramayana from Swamiji is always an emotional and spiritual treat to the seeker.

His book "An Introduction to Hindu Culture" has been used by American Schools as a reference book on Hinduism. His "Vision of the Bhagavad-Gita" brilliantly summarizes the esoteric philosophy of the Geeta in a way that any layman can understand..

"Mesmerized by Pujya Gurudev, Swami Shantananda in sixties, then Br. Raghavan, went to serve the Master for almost two years as his traveling secretary. After completing his Vedanta course in Mumbai, Swamiji traveled to Taiwan where he successfully managed his own business while teaching Vedanta part-time.

Since 1992, when he was given Sannyas by Pujya Gurudev, Swamiji has dedicated his life to the full time teaching of Vedanta in the Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York area.

While in Taiwan Swamiji was instrumental in building Chinmaya Mission in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Later in the US, Swamiji led the creation of Chinmaya Kedar in Langhorn PA, and then Chinmaya Vrindavan in Cranbury NJ. He has over years traveled all across the North America doing Gnana Yagna on Upanishads and the Bhagwad Geeta. In 2001, Swamiji undertook and completed 50 Geeta Gnana Yagnas all around the world as his personal tribute to Param Pujya Gurudev, during that Golden Jubilee year.

Swamiji is also the President of Chinmaya Mission West which in turn oversees the activities of over 48 Mission centers in the US and Canada. "

Swami Siddhananda, a graduate from Kerala University, joined Chinmaya Mission in 1972 at Sandeepany Sadhanalaya, Mumbai and studied Vedanta under Swami Chinmayananda. He was one of those fortunate to meet Gurudev in his youth. He decided early on that he must follow wherever the Master led him. He served at the Chinmaya Mission Chennai for many years and also at the Chinmaya International Foundation Cochin for a few years. He made significant contributions to the monthly magazines Tapovan Prasad and Balavihar.

He has inspired generations of youngsters through his love and dynamic active association with the Chinmaya Yuva Kendra and worked with them in many spiritual and social projects in Chennai, India. Swamiji is the resident Acharya at Chinmaya Mission “Kedar” at Langhorne and also the in-charge of Chinmaya Mission West Publications Division for the last 11 years.

He is today the man behind the success of revitalization of the sales of the Chinmaya Publications in the west. Swamiji regularly conducts Satsangh, Camps, and many youth/Balavihar classes in Tri-State areas and also visits the Chinmaya Mission West centers. He is an artist and a singer, has composed many Bhajans and has brought out CD albums. The most famous among them are Hari Om Smaran, Shivoham, and Sivam Sivakaram Shantam.