Shri V.S. Sivakumar, MLA (Thiruvananthapuram),

Shri Kummanam Rajasekharan, Former Governor (Mizoram),

Smt. Rakhi Ravikumar, Deputy Mayor, Thiruvananthapuram,

Shri K. Jayakumar IAS, Director, Institute of Management in


Shri R. Suresh Mohan, Chief Sevak, Chinmaya Seva Trust Kerala,

Smt. Rekha Rani, Teacher, Chinmaya Vidyalaya,

Shri P. Sekharan Kutty, Working Chairman,

Priya Madhyama Suhruthukkale,

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Ellavarkkum Ente Namaskaram.

It gives me joy unspeakable to be with you all in response to your kind invitation to inaugurate the Grand finale of Chinmaya Sourabham, the 60th year celebration of the Chinmaya Movement.

Let me at the outset, offer my humble Pranaams to the sacred memory of Poojya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda, who lives on through his Mission, two and a half decades after his Mahasamadhi

I am happy that Chinmaya Missionhas been conducting various programs during the last one year as part of the 60th year of Chinmaya Movement. I am informed that in this celebration, which would go on till 18th November, events like Hindu Maha Samelan, Meditation, Havan, Seminars, youth Meet, Spiritual talks etc., would be organized. 

Significantly enough, this week-long celebration commemorates the first Gita Jnana Yagnaconducted by Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayanandain the city of Thiruvananthapuram in 1958.   

The life of Swami Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda is a highly inspiring story of the transformation of a young agnostic named Balakrishna Menon to an ageless guru. From a playful boy, the young Balan grew as an over confident young man who often brooded on the meaning of life and at the same time, scoffed at anything done unquestioningly.

Later, as a student at Lucknow university, he got involved in the Freedom movement and had to sacrifice his formal education. 

But the real change in his life came during his short stint as a journalist, first at Bombay’s Free Press Journal and then at National Herald in Delhi. A meeting with the renowned teacher, Swamy Shivananda and later, with Bhagwan Shri Ramana Maharshi, inspired him to pursue his quest for the true meaning of life. What surprised him was the hectic life of Sanyasis, whom he had once thought to be a lazy jobless lot. 

Soon, he found himself trekking the Himalayas and other holy places and finally into the life of a Sanyasi. Swamiji’s   spiritual wisdom was shaped by Swami Tapovan Maharaj, one of the most spiritually evolved sages of the Himalayas.

Today, the celebration of the 60th year of Gita Jnana Yagna in this ground rekindles the memory of a football ground in 1958, when Swami Chinmayananda had organized the first Yagna. And, football reminds us of  Swami Vivekananda’s  advice to a weak and sickly youth desirous of acquiring spirituality through the study of   the immortal classic Bhagwad Gita.

Swamiji’s advice was : “You will be nearer to heaven by playing football than studying the Bhagavad-Gita.” 

What Swamiji meant was that first he to ought to improve his health, become strong in body and mind in order to imbibe and translate into his life, the bold message of the Song Celestial.  Obviously, the boy was in तमोगुण, and so, as the Bhagavad-Gita itself counsels, ‘one must get over तमोगुण, which is lethargy and lack of proper understanding, by cultivating रजोगुण, or activity, dynamism’.

Starting from that football field in 1958, and moving through hundreds of stages all over the world, Swami Chinamayananda had inspired many young men and women to come out of the तमोगुण of desperation and doubt. His scholarly lectures on philosophy brought steadiness and confidence into the minds of the learners all over the world. 

Swamiji’s interpretation of the immortal classic, Bhagawat Gita, flowed into the minds of people like a Spiritual tonic.   In a way, this was what Lord Krishna did to the valiant but wavering warrior, Arjuna, through the Gitopadesham. 

In all the lectures of Swami Chinmayananda, too, one could   see the calm reason of philosophy winning over the confused unreason of dynamic life.  

As an orator, Swamiji could tailor his talks to suit the cultural ethos and needs of his varying audiences. His talks were mostly on Vedanta and Hindu culture, but his rational approach and universal compassion touched many people who lived outside the realm of Hinduism. Yet, he never encouraged religious conversion, because he firmly believed that the essence of all religions was the same. 

And that explains why he once heartily accepted the invitation to the house of a Muslim leader, during a time of communal tension. When his disciples advised him not to accept the invitation, he ignored it them and said : “I belong to the whole world. A Muslim has as much a right to invite me as does a Hindu and I must accept”. 

Interestingly, he was received by the Muslims in traditional Hindu style with Vedic chanting !

As a philosopher and teacher, Poojya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda’steachings were rooted in ancient Sanatan ethos like those of Swami Vivekananda. They never claimed to be formulators of a new doctrine but expounded and interpreted the Vedantic principle which believes that there is One Being and that every soul is that Being in full and not a part of it. Pujya Swami merely helped and inspired us to strive to manifest the divinity that exists in every being.

For Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda, true philosophy did not mean a pile of books or a rigorous set of rules. It gave only stimulation, almost like placing the lamp in our hands so that we find our way. His teachings resembled the light of a lamp which imparted the light of wisdom. 

They appealed to people as a relief to their minds which were torn apart by conflicts of thought and opinion. Like Bhagavat Gita bringing a message of hope and assurance to disturbed minds, he too, imparted solace through his teachings. 

Indian philosophy considers Knowledge as the only permanent cure for all ills of life and so, Swami Chinmayananda succeeded in opening nearly 70 schools in various parts of India. 

I am told that these Chinmaya Vidyalayas adhere to the teaching methods suggested by Swamiji.  

It is good that an exhibition entitled Jeevan Darshan has also been set up by the organizers as part of these celebrations. This exhibition, which details the life of Swamiji would certainly inspire our young girls and boys to become the torchbearers of the value systems which have been perfected through the efforts of many great men and women of   this country.

I sincerely hope that these value systems would help our young generation to attain a spiritual growth as part of their overall development into citizens whose sympathies and interests would become wide and large to include the whole nation and the mankind.

My best wishes to everyone taking part in the Chinmaya Sourabham. May the light spread by the teachings of Gurudev Chinmayananda’s fill our hearts and the world around us.


                                                     लोका: समस्ता: सुखिनो भवन्तु ।
                                                               वलरे नन्नि
                                                               जय हिन्द ।