Chinmaya Mission is today a global presence with over 300 centres spread across the world, rendering yeomen service in the spiritual, cultural, educational and medical fields. Among its various projects, the most outstanding and spiritually uplifting are the ‘Sandeepanies’. Formulated in keeping with the tenets of the ancient Gurukula System, these sanctuaries of wisdom provide inspired and dedicated youngsters the opportunity to live the life of spiritual seekers (sadhaks) under the guidance of an Acharya. Sincere sadhaks imbued with an attitude of service find here the perfect opportunity to study Vedanta in an ashram, following a lifestyle to enable and enhance their spiritual sadhana. Swami Chinmayananda had a special name for these students – ‘Rishi-putras’ (children of the sages).
Sandeepany Sadhanalaya, an Academy of Knowledge, was founded in 1963 by Swami Chinmayananda – a visionary and saint of our times. The forerunner among institutes of Vedantic studies, it is based in the Chinmaya Mission Ashram in Powai, Mumbai. The Ashram complex is blessed by the famous Jagadeeshwara Temple, presided over by Lord Shiva seated in a meditative pose. This hallowed space has witnessed the conduct and completion of eighteen Vedanta courses. Stationed across the world, hundreds of its graduates, some now as Swamins and Brahmacharins engaged in diverse roles, have been selflessly serving society and enriching humanity, in whichever way possible.
Vedanta Course Overview
Through the entire duration of this intensive two-year residential course, the Acharya closely observes and monitors the progress and development of the students. They are expected to observe strict discipline and there are no holidays during this entire period. A typical day at the Ashram begins at 4.00 am and ends at around 10.00 pm. The schedule includes the study of Vedanta and Sanskrit, Vedic chanting, Meditation, Bhajans, Satsang, and Narayana Seva.
Students are exposed to the wisdom of the Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, Brahmasutra and Prakarana-granthas, authored by Adi Sankaracharya, Vidyaranya Swami and other scholars of Vedanta. Texts unveiling the depths of Bhakti like Ramacharitmanas and Bhagavatam are studied in great detail. Students get an overview of the six Darshanas (philosophical systems) prevalent in India. They are also introduced to the basics of world religions. They receive a firm grounding in Sanskrit, which gives them command over the language, and helps in their quest of the study of ancient scriptures.