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India Currents gave me a voice in days I was very lost. Having my articles selected for publishing was very validating – Shailaja Dixit, Executive Director, Narika, Fremont

He is a spiritual figure who has been honored, feted, and celebrated the world over but has chosen to remain untouched by the adulation, choosing always to focus on the message of his revered guru, Swami Chinmayananda.
The warmth and the wisdom that the worldwide head of Chinmaya Mission, Swami Tejomayananda, brings to his satsangs is well known. However, it is best seen and experienced. Devotees around North America will have an opportunity to do exactly this, when he travels to Southern California to conduct the 17th annual Mahasamadhi Camp.

Held each year in memory and celebration of the vedantic master, Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda, who breathed his last on Aug. 3, 1993, the five-day retreat  encompasses spiritual messages, value-based activities, and entertainment. The sentiment that is attached to the camp being held in California this year is not lost on devotees who have registered in large numbers, already making it the largest-ever Mahasamadhi camp in North America.
Highest among other points of attraction is the fact that Guruji will speak on Ramayana Soundaryam. That  he will expound on Lord Rama, His Ishta Devata,  has devotees anticipating the discourses with eagerness. Speaking with the effortless devotion of a true bhakta, he has an innate ability to transpose the devotee to moments of elation, transfixed silence and unbridled laughter.

While the storytelling method Guruji employs maybe simple, the concepts he conveys are not. Complex Vedantic thought behind the Itihasas are presented in terms that everyone can comprehend and ruminate on.
For greatest effect of the teachings, an unfettered atmosphere is required and Chinmaya Mission Los Angeles, the host center, is working toward doing this.  Swami Ishwarananda is the head acharya of CMLA and the visionary behind its growth from a center where over a little more than a decade ago, devotees met in peoples homes to the newly acquired 28,000 square feet Chinmaya Rameshwaram  in Tustin, where over 1,000 children gather each Sunday for balavihar. The new center has already become a hub of Indian-American activities.

Swami Ishwarananda promises that every effort is being made  to see that children, youth and adults are all equally well looked after with programs that are specifically drawn up for each group. Another important aspect, points out Swamiji, is that acharyas from around North America will be attending, giving discourses, holding panel discussions and be easily accessible to all.

Both Guruji and Swamiji have asked that the camp always retain its spirituality. There will be a banquet, plays, music, dance—and all will adhere to this stipulation, so that even the fun will be meaningful!

July 29-Aug. 3. San Diego. For more information and to register, contact  1-866-HARI OM, or

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Vandana Kumar

Vandana Kumar is a publishing executive with a 35-year track record in the industry. She leads the India Currents Foundation as President and CEO. As a new immigrant, she co-founded India Currents magazine...