Chinmayananda Saraswati

Chinmayananda Saraswati

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Category: Religion

Chinmayananda Saraswati Profile

  • Name:
  • Chinmayananda Saraswati
  • Born:
  • May 8, 1916
  • Died:
  • August 3, 1993

Chinmayananda Saraswati Biography

Chinmayananda Saraswati was a religious and spiritual leader from Kerala. He is associated with Hinduism. He was the founder of well-known NGO Chinmaya Mission, which spreads the principles of Advaita Vedanta. He teaches Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads, and other ancient Hindu scriptures. Since 1951 he spearheaded a spiritual movement of Vedanta, which he is still following. Chinmaya Mission was founded in 1953. He has also authored around 100 publications related to Hinduism. He also served as a visiting professor of Indian philosophy at several American and Asian universities.


He was born as Balakrishna Menon on 8 May 1916 in Ernakulam. He was the eldest son of a prominent judge, Vadakke Kuruppathu Kuttan Menon. His mother, Parukutti Amma died while giving birth to her third child. His schooling was completed at Kochi and Thrissur, and later he went on to Lucknow University to have post-graduation studies. He visited Ramana Maharshi in 1936. He got hypnotised by the presence of Rishi and also experienced spiritual enlightenment.


During Quit India Movement, while doing his studies, he wrote to stir up the movement. A warrant was issued for his arrest. In 1944 he was arrested and jailed. He had to spend several months in unhygienic conditions and got typhus. He was carried and left out into the night and tossed beside a road on the outskirts of the city, and was saved by someone. After recovering from illness, he worked as a journalist at The National Herald. He wrote an article "exposing" sadhus then.


Balan arrived in Rishikesh in 1947 and his spiritual journey began from here on. He became a renunciate monk and started reading more about Hinduism and spiritually. Balan was initiated into sannyasa by Sivananda and given the name Swami Chinmayananda on Maha Sivaratri day of 1949. He later founded NGO Chinmaya Mission.

Published: January 17, 2019

Updated: January 17, 2019

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