Chimaya Mission History
Chinmaya Mission® was established in India in 1953 by devotees of the world-renowned Vedanta teacher, His Holiness Swami Chinmayananda. Guided by his vision, devotees all around the world formed the nucleus of a spiritual renaissance movement that now encompasses a wide range of spiritual, educational, and charitable activities, ennobling the lives of thousands in India and across its borders. Presently, headed by His Holiness Swami Tejomayananda, the Mission is administered by Central Chinmaya Mission Trust (CCMT) in Mumbai, India. Under his guidance, the Mission has continued mushrooming across the globe and stands today with over 300 centres worldwide.
What does Chinmaya Mission teach? Chinmaya Mission follows the Vedic teacher-student tradition (guru-shishya parampara) and makes available the ageless wisdom of Advaita Vedanta, the knowledge of universal oneness, providing the tools to realize the wisdom in one’s life. Vedanta, the essential core of Hinduism, is the universal science of life, relevant to all people of all backgrounds and faiths. Vedanta inspires seekers to understand their own faith better. Thus, although Chinmaya Mission is a Hindu organisation, it does not seek to convert other religious practitioners. As a spiritual movement that aims for inner growth at individual and collective levels, the mission offers a wide array of Vedanta study forums for all ages, promotes Indian classical art forms and operates numerous social service projects. To date, millions worldwide have benefitted directly or indirectly from Chinmaya Mission’s numerous centres, ashrams, classes, events, services and projects.
Chinmaya Mission of Trinidad and Tobago (CMTT) was inaugurated on October 2, 1997 (Gandhi Jayanti). In 1999, the Mission acquired more than 2.5 acres of land in Couva. CMTT's membership began with only three persons and stands today at over 2,000, spanning throughout Trinidad
The heart of the Mission is its Couva ashram, administered under the able guidance of resident Acharya, Swami Prakashananda. Acharyas serve year round conducting various classes, satsangs and discourses across the Island.
CMTT sponsors an active, year-round program of courses and discourses on sacred texts, and devotional and meditation practices that are aimed at making the teachings of Vedanta accessible to individuals of any background. Spiritual, cultural, and social service activities are also offered.
CMTT's ashram facilities include a temple and lecture hall, a high school, two pre-schools and primary school, the first Chinmaya Vidyalaya outside of India, and three residential hostels to accommodate students and guests. The Vidyalaya now have satellite centres in Debe, Gasparillo, Esmeralda, Barrackpore, Munroe Road and Chaguanas.
CMTT's youth wing CHYK (Chinmaya Yuva Kendra) is actively involved in all Mission activites. CHYKs organize and participate in study classes, charitable and social events, spiritual camps, jnana yajnas, and cultural programs.
- Classes in Vedanta, Vedic chanting, meditation, yoga, stress management, as well as many more
- Satsangs at the Ashram every Sunday morning, and various locations throughout Trinidad and Tobago
- Jnana Yajnas (spiritual discourses) on spiritual texts, held at the ashram and in other parts of the country
- Spiritual camps for children, youth, and adults
- Regular Chinmaya Study Groups for adults, aimed at deepening one's understanding of the scriptures and its application in daily life
- Indian music and dance classes
- Sanskrit classes
- Charitable projects serving needy communities and families
- Publications (print, audio, and video) for sale
- Annual CM Fundraising Dinner
- Shanti Yatras and Gita Symposiums
CMTT completed its Rirst One-Year, Residential Vedanta Course in 2009.
The Second Residential Vedanta Course lasted 19 months and concluded in 2015.
The Third Residential Vedanta Course completed in October 2018.