The purpose of Chinmaya Mission is to provide to individuals, from any background, the wisdom of vedanta and practical means for spiritual growth and happiness, enabling them to become positive contributors of society

Rameshwaram- Facility & History

 Location: 14451 Franklin Avenue, Tustin CA 92780

RameshwaramBldg_

HISTORY:

PRE-1996

Prior to the advent of CM Los Angeles (CMLA) Kashi ashram, CM Bala Vihars, Study Groups, and other programs were conducted in different areas of Southern California, from 1982 onward.

Jnana Yajnas were conducted as and when acharyas from other CM centers visited Los Angeles, such as Pujya Swami Purushottamananda, Pujya Swamini Saradapriyananda, Brahmacharini Arpita, and Brahmachari Raghavan (now Swami Shantananda). The latter two also served as CMLA’s acharyas for some time.

Study Groups were being conducted in different homes, and festivals were celebrated in rented facilities. For two years, CMLA’s working committee researched and searched land and/or building acquisition options.

Finally, at a spiritual camp in San Diego, Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda emphasized the need to acquire some land and start a CM center. It was then that the hand of the Master moved and we found the venue for our center.

The initial property was half an acre of land, surrounded by tall, shady trees with dark green leaves. Gurudev named the ashram Kashi. In the heart of Anaheim’s bustling community, a mile or so from Disneyland, a children’s playground, arose Kashi, the spiritual playground for Lord Kashi Vishwanath’s children, for Pujya Gurudev’s children.

In late 1995, a dynamic Brahmachari Someshwar Chaitanya (now Swami Ishwarananda), came to CMLA as its new resident acharya. He conducted classes on Bhagavad-Gita and other Vedanta texts.

All the Bala Vihars that existed in different areas within a 20-mile radius united at Kashi and a full-fledged center of activity was born. Kashi soon became the venue for CMLA’s jnana yajnas, daily and weekend Vedanta classes and discourses, weekly pujas, and festival celebrations.


CHINMAYA KASHI, 1996

Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayananda inaugurated Kashi in January 1996. The facility consisted of a temple/satsanga hall, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva as Kashi Vishvanath. There were three Bala Vihar rooms, a small office, acharya’s quarters, a small kitchen, and a bookstall.

In March 2000, during the Mahashivaratri function, Br. Someshwarji was initiated as Swami Ishwarananda. Swami Ishwarananda served as CMLA's acharya until October 2001, after which he went to Mumbai, India to conduct the two-year Brahmachari Vedanta Course. CMLA was administered by its Board members and dedicated devotees, who catered to the main ashram and nine satellite centers, including Bakersfield. In Feb. 2002, when Guruji appointed Brahmacharini Vibhuti Chaitanya as CMLA’s new acharya. She was acharya until May 2003, after which CMLA’s Board and sevaks held the fort until May 2004.

In May 2004, Brahmachari Girish Chaitanya was posted as CMLA’s acharya and the center soon began rapidly expanding its scope of activities. Soon, Swami Ishwarananda was also posted to CMLA to help start a new center. Thus came the birth of “Chinmaya Mithila”, which is also known in the CMW family as “CM Tustin”.


CHINMAYA MITHILA, 2005

On June 11, 2005, Guruji and the Mayor of Tustin, CA, inaugurated “Chinmaya Mithila”. CM LA’s new Tustin center was built using the framework of the existing church on the 0.45-acre plot.

Chinmaya Mithila stands today as a 7,000 sq. ft. facility with a central shrine/satsanga hall that can accommodate 250 people. There are 9 large rooms that are used for the Bala Vihar and youth education. It has ample parking, a bookstall, an office, acharya’s quarters, storage areas, and a small kitchen/dining area.

Both Kashi and Mithila, along with the local satellites in Diamond Bar, San Gabriel, Northridge, Agoura Hills, and Palos Verde did very well with CM classes and activities. The acharyas visit the satellites at least once a month.

CMLA’s annual schedule of festival celebrations includes Sudarshana Homa, Mahashivaratri, Holi, Rama Navami, Chinmaya Jayanti, Guru Purnima, Chinmaya Mahasamadhi, Janmashtami, Ganesha Chaturthi, Navaratri, Dipavali, and Gita/Tapovan Jayanti. Other actvities include language classes, Gita Chanting Competitions, music and dance classes, and the Chinmaya Shruti and Swaranjali choirs.

In the summer of 2008, Brahmachari Girish Chaitanya was posted as acharya of CM Austin. At the same time, Acharya Mahadev Parameswaran was blessed by Pujya Guruji to serve at CM Los Angeles, where he continues to conduct regular Vedanta and Bhagavad Gita classes to date.

assembly - 1dining

lobby Gurudev

Assembly - Seats 350 (Theater style), Dining (2 levels) - 350, Large stage equipped with professional audio system & lighting

CHINMAYA RAMESHWARAM, 2010

CM Los Angeles purchased a new, 28,000 sq.ft. facility, thus combining the membership of its two centers in Anaheim and Tustin.

The new property has ample parking and is only ten minutes away from the previous Mithila (Tustin) center. The two previous centers will be sold.

On January 17, 2010, the murtis in both the Kashi and Mithila ashrams were ceremoniously moved and installed in Chinmaya Rameshwaram.

After adding second level dining facility in 2014, the building size has been increased to 30,000 sq.ft.


MILESTONES

1982-1984: First Balafest Competition for Bala Vihars of Southern California

Summer 1985/1988: Pujya Gurudev’s Camp, Pomona College (with all BVs of Southern California)

Nov. 1992: Pujya Gurudev’s LA University Tour; Fundraiser Concert

Jul. 27-Aug. 2, 1993: Pujya Gurudev’s Camp, Guruji handles with Swami Shantanandaji

Aug. 1994: Pujya Guruji’s ‘Bhagavat Saptah’

Nov. 1994: Swamini Saradapriyananda’s Yajna on ‘Vajrasuchi Upanishad/Gita Ch.4’

Nov. 1995: San Antonio Lake Camp with new acharya, Br. Someshwar Chaitanya

Mar. 1996: “Kashi” Inauguration with First Annual Mahashivaratri Rudra Homa, Abhishekam, Laksharchana

Apr. 1996: First Annual Rama Navami

Dec. 1997: Pujya Guruji’s Camp at Palm Springs

May 1998: Acquisition of Kashi Annex

Apr. 1999: BV Annual Day

Mar 2000: Br. Someshwar Chaitanya returns as Swami Ishwarananda after Sanyas Deeksha

Jul. 2000: Pujya Guruji’s Camp at Palm Springs

May 6, 2001: Grand Mela for 5-yr anniversary of Kashi

June 2001: Inauguration of Dhyana Mandir (Kashi Annex) by Pujya Guruji

Sep. 30-Oct. 5, 2001: Sampurna Gita Jnana Yajna by Br. Someshwar Chaitanya

Jun. 28-Jul. 3, 2004: Pujya Guruji’s Yajna on ‘Kapil Gita/Dhyanasvarupam’

Jul - Aug, 2004: First Kailash - Manasarovar Yatra by CMLA, led by Swami Ishwarananda

Jun. 2005: “Chinmaya Mithila” Inauguration; New CM Tustin Center

Sep. 2005: Swami Ishwarananda’s monthly week-long intensive Vedanta Classes start

Feb. 2006: Mahashivaratri Rudra Yajna: 10th Anniversary of “Kashi”

Oct.-Nov. 2006: Charity Golf Tournament and First Sevanjali - Concert Fundraiser

Jan 2007 - Bhagavad-Gita Monthly lectures by Swami Ishwarananda begins

Mar 2007 - Chinmaya Channel - webcast service begins

Nov 2007 - Second Sevanjali - 'Anup Jalota' Concert Fundraiser

Aug 2008 - Mahadevanji is assigned as additional Acharya of CMLA

Nov 2008 - Third Sevanjali - 'Shubha Mudgal' Concert Fundraiser

Nov 2009 - Fourth Sevanjali - 'Magic Maya' - magic show Fundraiser

Jan. 2010: New “Chinmaya Rameshwaram” ashram acquired - Deities re-insalled

Jun 2010 - Swami Ishwarananda completes 3 year sessions on Bhagavad-Gita lectures

Jul-Aug 2010 - 'Ramayana Soundaryam' - 17th Chinmaya Mahasamadhi Family Camp at Burbank Marriot

Nov 2010 - Br. Uddhav Chaitanya's Yagna in Rameshwaram

Dec 2010 - Br. Girish Chaitanya's Yagna in Rameshwaram

Jan 2011 - First anniversary of Rameshwaram

Feb 2011 - Swami Shantanandaji's Yagna in Rameshwaram

Mar 2011 - Swami Prakashanandaji's Yagna in Rameshwaram

Nov 2011 - Fifth Sevanjali - 'Ventriloquism' - Fundraiser

Nov 2011 - Asian Cultural Yatra with Swami Ishwarananda & Acharya mahadevanji

Jan 2012 - Second Anniversary of Rameshwaram

June 2012 - 'Kalanjali' the cultural wing of CMLA - First event 'Odissi Dance'

Aug 2012 - Renovation of Temple and dedication to Gurudev's birth centenary celebration

Oct 2012 - East to West Yatra with Swami Ishwarananda & Acharya Mahadevanji

Dec 2012 - Sixth Sevanjali - 'Comedy Hypnotist' - Fundraiser

Jan 2013 - Third Anniversary of Rameshwaram

April 2013 - Multi cultural presentation for New Year

July 2013 - Second Kailas-Manasarovar Yatra with Swami Ishwarananda & Acharya Mahadevanji

Sep 2013 - Renovation of Performance Stage 

Oct 2013 - Sanskrit Learning Camp with Swami Ramakrishnanandaji

Oct 2013 - Swamini Ganganandaji's Yagna in Rameshwaram

Nov 2013 - Seventh Sevanjali - Desha Bhakti Devi Bhakti - Fundraiser

Dec 2013 - Srilanka Yatra with Swami Ishwarananda & Acharya Mahadevanji

Jan 2014 - Fourth Anniversary of Rameshwaram

June 2014 - Renovation of Dining Hall and addition of upper-level dining facility

Nov 2014 - Eighth Sevanjali - Yuva Tunes - Fundraiser

Dec 2014 - Vietnam & Laos Yatra with Swami Ishwarananda & Acharya Mahadevanji

Jan 2015 - Fifth Anniversary of Rameshwaram

May 2015 - Renovation of conference hall - Chinmaya Smriti

June 2015 - Geeta Gyana Yagna by Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayananda

June 2015 - Release of commentary on 'Guru Stotram' authored by Swami Ishwarananda

Sep 2015 - Sanskrit Learning Camp with Swami Ramakrishnanandaji

Nov 2015 - Ninth Sevanjali - Shruti Layam by Dr. K.J. Yesudas - Fundraiser

Dec 2015 - Shatjyotirlinga Yatra with Swami Ishwarananda & Acharya Mahadevanji

Dec 2015 - Ramayana Gyana Yagna with Acharya Arun Gosai

Jan 2016 - Sixth Anniversary of Rameshwaram

Feb 2016 - Chinmaya Jyoti Yatra - a month long celebration of Chinmaya Birth Centenary

May 2016 - Release of the 11th book in Chinmaya Birth Centenary Mananam series, authored by Swami Ishwarananda & Nimmi Raghunathan

Jul 2016 - Third Kailas-Manasarovar Yatra led by Swami Ishwarananda

Aug 2016 - Renovation of Rameshwaram 1st level facility : Lobby, Kitchen, Bhiksha Room, Restrooms and Bookshop.

STATISTICS

Bala Vihar enrollment is over 1200 children, including satellite centers.

Study Groups: Three groups are conducted weekly or monthly in satellite regions. Daily Vedanta talks by the acharya, sevaks, or Pujya Gurudev on video are offered throughout the year.