Adi Shankaracharya established the Dashanami Sannyasa Order, a monastic order with ten lineage names. Of these, Chinmaya
Mission belongs to the lineage and traditions of the ‘Sringeri Matha’ in Karnataka, India. The first acharya of this noble institution was none other than Shri Sureshvaracharya.
In the Sringeri Matha tradition, the Lord is worshipped as Deva in the form of Lord Adi Varaha, and as Devi in the forms of Puri Devi, Bharati Devi, and Kamakshi Devi. The main pilgrimage centre, or dhama, is Rameshvaram and the worshipped holy river, or tirtha, is Tungabhadra.
In this Bhurivara lineage, or sampradaya, the primary Veda is Yajur Veda, which reveals the Mahavakya: “Aham Brahmasmi”. Sannyasis initiated into this lineage are bestowed with the title, or padavi, of “Saraswati” after their name (e.g., Swami Chinmayananda Saraswati).
The Chinmaya Mission's monastic order, its customs and traditions were established by Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda, based on scriptural Vedantic thinking. Swami Chinmayananda referred to his Sandeepany students as rishi-putras, or "sons of the rishis." Self realization is the constant, immediate and ultimate goal. To attain this, each seeker sets his or her personal spiritual practices (sadhana) and serves the world dedicatedly and tirelessly, always keeping in line with Pujya Gurudev's Vision and Mission.
As I sit in Tapovan Kuti, my table piled high with Mission work and correspondence, I pause for a moment and listen to the sweet melody of Mother Ganga. Slowly the mind’s eye lifts up and I can see her in one glance, as she trickles forth from the eternal snows of Gomukh; runs, curls, gurgles; gushes down the mountains, broadens in the valleys and, slowing down majestically, merges into her destination – the all-embracing ocean. As if she were going from youth to old age all at once, forever the same and forever changing. A perfect example of the lessons of life that we can learn from all around us.
We are exploring outer space and are ready to plant our flags on the moon but we have not yet managed to explore our within. We have, to a great extent, mastered nature, but we have not yet mastered ourselves. We have material goods and comforts to hedge us from the vicissitudes of life, but to no avail. Because we look for happiness in the wrong direction how can there be any lasting value in this ever-changing world, dancing around us! So we get discouraged and feel as miserable sinners. But the Halls of Vedanta have room even for miserable sinners. How great she must be! And such is her glory that she knows no sins — only mistakes, and mistakes can be corrected.