In an era rife with scepticism and confusion about matters spiritual, Swami Swaroopananda is a rare voice that blends authenticity with accessibility; theory with self- practice; logic with heart. Formerly the Regional Head of Chinmaya Mission Australia, United Kingdom, Middle East, Africa and Far East, and presently Chairman of the Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth Trust (University for Sanskrit and Indic Traditions) and Director of the Chinmaya International Residential School in Coimbatore, South India, Swami Swaroopananda has now been bestowed by Swami Tejomayananda the privilege to also serve as the Head of Chinmaya Mission Worldwide.
Pujya Swami Swaroopananda will transport us to the realm of Pujya Parama Gurudev Sri Swami Tapovana Maharaj, through the sublime verses of Sri Tapovana-ṣaṭkam.
Tapovana-ṣaṭkam is a beautiful composition of six verses, written by Sri Ananda-Prakasa Vidya-Prakasa. The text has the essence of many Upaniṣat-s put together and makes one reflective and peaceful even when chanted. The author remembers, salutes and meditates on Tapovan Maharaj as the Lord (Īśvara), the Supreme reality (Parabrahma), the Guru and the knower of the Reality (Brahmajñānī). Brahmavid brahmaiva bhavati – the knower of the Truth is verily the Truth. Even when this essential oneness is recognized, the devotion for the Guru continues. This beautiful attitude transcends even the transcendental Truth. This relation of love between the teacher and the taught, the Lord and the devotee which remains even after gaining knowledge, gives inexplicable happiness and has great beauty.
These verses are meant for reflecting, meditating and reveling in the Truth.
Mesmerized by Pujya Gurudev, Swami Shantananda in sixties, then Br. Raghavan, went to serve the Master for almost two years as his traveling secretary. After completing his Vedanta course in Mumbai, Swamiji traveled to Taiwan where he successfully managed his own business while teaching Vedanta part-time. Since 1992, when he was given Sannyasa by Pujya Gurudev, Swamiji has dedicated his life to the full time teaching of Vedanta in the Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York area.
While in Taiwan, Swamiji was instrumental in building Chinmaya Mission in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Later in the US, Swamiji led the creation of Chinmaya Kedar in Langhorn PA, and then Chinmaya Vrindavan in Cranbury NJ. He has over the years traveled all across North America doing jñāna Yajña-s on Upaniṣat-s and Śrīmadbhagavadgītā. In 2001, Swamiji undertook and completed 50 Gītā jñāna Yajña-s all around the world as his personal tribute to Param Pujya Gurudev, during that Golden Jubilee year. Swamiji is the President of Chinmaya Mission West which in turn oversees the activities of over 48 Mission centers in the US and Canada.
Pujya Swami Shantananda will reveal to us the Supreme person through Chapter 15 of Śrīmadbhagavadgītā.
Śrīmadbhagavadgītā - Chapter Fifteen
Śrīmadbhagavadgītā, the Lord’ song, is the most popular and probably the single most influential text in Hindu Philosophy. The nature of the Spirit in all its implications is discussed in the fifteenth chapter. From the known alone can the unknown be indicated. The world of the known is the manifested objects of perception, emotion and thought. No effect can be without a cause and all effects sustain themselves in their own material cause. Basing his arguments on this logical fact, the Divine Charioteer helps us lift our minds from the known phenomena to the unknown phenomenon.
This chapter is one of the rarest pieces of literature available in the world that so directly indicates the Infinite. For the beauty and brevity of stanzas in this chapter, no other portion even in the Gītā can stand a favorable comparison. In India, from the ancient days onwards, this chapter has been recited before taking food as a prayer by the Brāhmins.