Who is Swami Chinmayananda? What is Chinmaya Mission?
Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda Saraswati was a great Visionary who tirelessly taught people about Advaita Vedanta, a philosophy of universal Oneness. He followed in the tradition of great teachers like Adi Sankaracharya and Swami Vivekananda. In fact, he is often called the “second Swami Vivekananda”. Swami Chinmayananda left His bodily form on August 3, 1993.
Chinmaya Mission® was established in India in 1953 by devotees of 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, enabling the lives of thousands in India and globally. Presently, headed by His Holiness Swami Swaroopananda, the Mission is administered by Central Chinmaya Mission Trust (CCMT) in Mumbai, India. Under his guidance, the Mission has continued mushrooming with grace and confidence across the world. Currently, Chinmaya Mission includes over 300 centers worldwide.
Our mission is Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah – provide the maximum happiness to the maximum number of people.
What is Mahasamadhi Aradhana Camp?
Swami Chinmayananda left His bodily form on August 3, 1993. Each Year, Chinmaya Mission Worldwide observes August 3rd as Chinmaya Ārādhanā Day honoring His Life and Legacy. Mahasamadhi Aradhana Camp is a multi-day, residential camp concluding on Aug 3rd. It is typically hosted by a different Chinmaya Mission center each year. For the year 2020, Chinmaya Mission San Jose is given the opportunity to host the Mahasamadhi Aradhana Camp with the theme of ‘2020 The Perfect Vision’.
The epitome of Hindu scriptures are the Upanishads. The ‘upa’ and ‘ni’ prefixes in the word Upanishad mean staying close to the source of Knowledge (Guru and Scriptures in our tradition) with full determination. In the Gurukula tradition, it is therefore imperative for students to stay at the Ashrama full fime and make themselves completely available with open mind. We can think of Mahasamadhi Aradhana Camp as the Gurukul itself coming to us and allowing us to partake the Teachings along with our families and Satsang of other like minded people. All we have to do is commit ourselves to be at the Camp full time just for a few days.
Why should I attend?
The Camp is an ideal opportunity for immersion in Satsang, or uplifting and enlightening discourse. If you want to learn a new language, the best way is to live in a community that speaks that language exclusively. In the same way, this Camp is an opportunity to live with the Chinmaya Mission community, whose language is that of self-development.
At the Camp, you can meet, spend time, and practically live under one roof in the blessed presence of several Swamins and Brahmacharins of Chinmaya Mission, including the current head of Chinmaya Mission, Pujya Swami Swaroopananda. We can directly feel Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmanyananda Ji’s compassion reaching out to us via these masters who have devoted their lives to keep unfolding Gurudev’s vision for uplifting the generations to come.
What is Chinmaya Mission San Jose? Where can I learn more?
Located in Bay Area, California, Chinmaya Mission San Jose is one of the largest Chinmaya Mission centers. It is currently located at 10160 Clayton Road, San Jose, CA 95127.
Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda himself blessed the opening of the center by acquisition of a property in San Jose in 1987. He named the center as Chinmaya Sandeepany San Jose. Pujya Gurudev sent us the best teacher he then had in India, Swami Tejomayananda, to be the first Acharya of Chinmaya Sandeepany San Jose from 1989 – 1993. Swami Chinmayananda also formally named the organization, Chinmaya Mission San Jose (CMSJ) in 1992.
You can learn about the various programs and activities of Chinmaya Mission San Jose at https://www.cmsj.org
Camp Program / Schedule
Who are the Swamijis (teachers or gurus) who are attending?
Swami Swaroopananda, Global head of Chinmaya Mission worldwide, Swami Shantananda, President of Chinmaya Mission West and other Swamins from North America.
What topics are being covered in the camp?
Adi Shankara’s Maneesha Panchakam and Stithaprajna Lakshana portion of Chapter II of Bhagvad Gita.
See https://chinmayaaradhana2020.org/texts/ for more information.
What is the Camp Schedule? Is the program different for different age groups?
Daily activities start at 6:30 in the morning. Yes, there will be different program for children, CHYKs and Adults.
What activities are available for children? Do parents have to stay with the kids and miss the lectures?
There will be separate monitored activities during the time parents are attending the talks. These activities include Bala Vihar type class, art workshop, games etc. If the child is less than 5 years old, he/she can be in the Shishu Vihar class. If the child is signed up for Shishu Vihar, an adult needs to accompany the child in the Shishu vihar class.We will provide audio recording of the discourses to the adult who accompanies the child in the Shishu Vihar class.
Are there any volunteering opportunities for people who attend the camp?
While we want you to participate and enjoy the experience of the camp, if you would like to volunteer, there will always be some area of help at the camp itself.
I live in Bay Area. Why can't I stay at home and commute to the camp ?
Given that the camp location (Burlingame, CA) is within the San Francisco Bay Area, several people who live in this area will have this question. In order to take care of certain daily obligations (e.g. have an elderly person to attend to or have a dog to take care, etc.), several people who are genuinely interested in the camp may want to stay at home and commute to the camp on a daily basis.
However, staying at home and commuting to the camp is not an option, for several important reasons.
The schedule of the camp is made to give you an experience and joy of Gurukul teaching and be one with the entire cosmic nucleus. Being a commuter attendee will take away this amazing experience from you.
The Chinmaya Mahasamadhi Aradhana Camps provide us an opportunity for a meaningful expression of our gratitude to Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda by devoting ourselves completely at least for the duration of the camp to understand His vision, teachings and glories. With the on-site presence of several Swamins and Brahmacharins, the numerous Satsang activities happening throughout the days / evenings, and just the uninterrupted contact with the like minded people, we can have a truly immersive experience of living in a Sattvic environment. As hard as it may be for several of us, we would all benefit by setting aside the entire duration of the camp, away from our daily routine and worries.
Can I attend the camp part time? I cannot take time off for all the camp days and would like to attend the camp only on the weekend.
There is no option for partial attendance. The camp programs including the discourses are designed with full time attendees in mind.
Please also see the answer for the previous question.
Why do we have this camp in the middle of summer ? It comes in the way of trips to India and other vacations.
Chinmaya Mahasamadhi Aradhana Camp is always scheduled to end on Aug 3rd, the day Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda dropped his mortal coil in the year 1993.
Can people not registered in the camp come for satsang/meeting Swamijis there?
Each of the Swamins will have a very full schedule. However, it is up to each Swamin to schedule meetings.
Can I volunteer from outside (before or after the camp to help)? I can even come and drop off things and help from outside during the camp.
Anyone who is a sevak/volunteer has to register for the camp and attend the camp.
Can a Bala Vihar child who is not enrolled in the camp participate in any BV activities (classes at the camp, art, games, play/cultural program) ?
Can I send my son/daughter who is under 18 to this camp without my presence?
A student under 18 is allowed to be registered at the camp as long as he/she is registered with an adult (i.e., 18 and above) who will take responsibility for him/her.
Can CHYKs participate in the cultural program without registering for the camp ?
Camp Registration Process and Pricing
What is the Camp registration fee ? What does the registration fee cover?
Please see https://chinmayaaradhana2020.org/registration-info/ for the various rooming options and fees related to the camp. The fee will cover Room and Board.
I am Sevak for the camp and will be spending a lot of time and efforts for my tasks before and during the camp. Are any special discounts for Sevaks.
No, the Sevaks (volunteers) have to register themselves as full time camp attendees. The overall camp logistics do not allow us to provide special concessions for Sevaks.
What is the registration process?
Registration will be online only.
If I have a question, where can I email? If I need to speak to someone, who would I contact and how?
Please email email@example.com for any questions. If you need to speak to someone, please call Lakshmy Prakash at 510-378-1264.
What are the different sponsorships available?
Gold , Siver , Bronze Yajamans, Annadanam sponsor, Aarati sponsor, Swamin Bhiksha Sponsor, Swami Swaroopananda Bhiksha Sponsor.
See https://chinmayaaradhana2020.org/registration-info/ for more details.
Camp Facilities and Surroundings
What should I bring for completing my check-in when I arrive?
Any recommendations on the outfits and dress-code for the camp?
Respectful dress covering arms and legs for children and adults alike will be appreciated. During the Paduka Puja it is traditional to don Indian outfit (vesthi, Kurta, Kerala sarees for ladies).
How will the weather be generally during that time in Bay Area?
San Francisco tends to be cooler by the ocean than rest of the Bay Area.
Are there any outside activities/visits planned? Which places can I visit? (Temples, Museums, Restaurants, Downtown, University)
Given that your day will be organized such that there will be camp activities during the whole day, we are not planning any organized trips. Our Ashram, Chinmaya Sandeepany is approximately 40 miles. Various sightseeing attractions of San Francisco are approximately 20 miles from the venue.
What are the food arrangements?
We will be serving wholesome vegetarian food at the camp. We will be serving nut free food. All efforts will be made to adhere to special needs for allergies.
Can we order food from the hotel?
You can order the food from the hotel at your own cost. You will be billed by the hotel for this order. Camp will not bear the cost of this order.
Will there be appropriate food items for senior citizens?
The menu will be geared for all ages.
My child has food allergies. Will that be taken into account during food preparations? Will food items be marked accordingly?
The menu will be nut free. For other allergies, please alert us during registration. We will make every effort to adhere to your child’s needs. Please ask our volunteers during mealtime for the special request.
During the camp, if I need something, whom do I contact and how?
Please go to our Hospitality desk for any help you need during the camp.