Swami Tejomayananda is the former Head of Chinmaya Mission Worldwide.
Since 1993, in his role as Head of CM Worldwide, Swami Tejomayananda has worked tirelessly to fulfill the vision of his Master, initiating major projects to advance Swami Chinmayananda’s vision, teachings and glory. Guruji, as he is affectionately known, is a living portrait of simplicity with depth, humility with courage, and wisdom with devotion. Always jovial, smiling, and welcoming, he is readily accessible and approachable to all who seek the knowledge of Vedanta from him. In January 2017, Swamiji handed over the responsibility to lead Chinmaya Mission Worldwide to Swami Swaroopananda.
Childhood and Education
Born as Sudhakar Kaitwade into a cultured Maharashtrian family on 30 June 1950, in Madhya Pradesh, India, he post-graduated in Physics intending to pursue a teaching career. Inspired after a chance encounter with Swami Chinmayananda's talk on Bhagavad Gita, he sought to study Vedanta and joined Chinmaya Mission's residential Vedanta course at Sandeepany Sadhanalaya in Mumbai in 1970.
Upon completion of the Vedanta course in 1975, Sudhakar was initiated into the Chinmaya Mission's monastic order of acharyas (teachers) as Brahmachari Vivek Chaitanya. Over the years, he served as acharya at the Mission centres in Bhopal, Kanpur, and Sidhbari. He conducted the first residential Vedanta course in Hindi at 'Sandeepany Himalayas' in Sidhbari. On October 21, 1983, Swami Chinmayananda initiated him into sannyasa, bestowing upon him the name, Swami Tejomayananda. He was then appointed as acharya of the Sandeepany Sadhanalaya ashram in Mumbai, where he taught two consecutive residential Vedanta courses in English. In 1989, Swami Tejomayananda was posted to Chinmaya Mission's U.S. Centre in San Jose, California, where he remained as acharya until 1993. After Pujya Gurudev attained Mahasamadhi he became the Head of Chinmaya Mission Worldwide.
As the Head of Chinmaya Mission Worldwide, Swami Tejomayananda continuously and dynamically pursued his guru's grand spiritual and organisational vision. Travelling around the world extensively and continuously giving discourses on scriptures of knowledge and devotion, Swami Tejomayananda's talks to children, youth and elders on wide-ranging subjects have had a life-transforming effect. His devotion for the Lord holds his audience in rapture. His gentle manner, devotional heart, intellectual clarity, joyful wit, and open availability have earned him inter-generational appeal and endeared him to millions across the globe.
Progressive in thinking and precise in decision-making, he has inspired and executed many notable, innovative projects, including the Chinmaya International Residential School in Coimbatore, the Chinmaya Centre of World Understanding in New Delhi, the Chinmaya International Foundation near Cochin, the Chinmaya Heritage Centre in Chennai, the expansion of the Chinmaya Mission Hospital in Bangalore and the Chinmaya Vibhooti Vision Centre and Chinmaya Naada Bindu music and dance school in Kolwan, Maharashtra.
After handing over the leadership of the organisation to Swami Swaroopananda in January 2017, Swamiji continues to travel and teach within India.
Fluent in English, Hindi, Sanskrit and Marathi, Swami Tejomayananda's talks, written commentaries, and original music, poetry, and text compositions exude lofty spiritual insights, incisive Vedantic scholarship, and universal harmony. His original Vedantic texts include Bhakti Sudha, Jnana Sarah, Manah Shodhanam, Dhyanasvarupam, Jivansutrani, Vedantachintanam and Adhyatmalakshanam. His acclaimed commentaries include Sri Adi Sankara's Drg-Drshya Viveka, Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi's Upadesha Saram and Saddarshanam, Kapila Gita, Yoga Vasistha and many others. He has also translated into Hindi Swami Chinmayananda's English commentaries on Shrimad Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads and has authored multiple books on Hindu culture and spiritual living based on Vedantic wisdom. As a devotional singer, he has recorded several albums with original music and lyrics. His profound, poignant, and pictorial talks on Sant Tulsidasa's Ramacharitamanasa and Sri Veda Vyasa's Shrimad Bhagavatam are world-renowned, highlighting his spiritual wisdom and masterful storytelling.