November 2nd 2009

We woke up to the chants of Ved-Putras and watched a beautiful pooja.  Walking around the calm Ashram, Goshala and temple itself put us into a meditative mood.

The Chinmaya International Residential School (CIRS) adjoins the Chinmaya Gardens Ashram. CIRS, a shining example of modern education, is right besides the ashram. It is a distinctive residential school with grades 5-12, providing students from India and abroad an academic and spiritual education program par excellence.

The Yartis were invited to a tour of the entire school, starting with an introduction by the resident Acharya, Swami Swaroopananda.

We were guided through the sylvan campus with its state of the art facilities for the 500 students who come from all over the world to study here. It was Gurudev’s vision that children growing up in different parts of the world be given an opportunity to live and learn in an environment, where both the inner and outer development occur in harmony helping the next generation imbibe the eternal values which make them caring, productive individuals.

Set against the backdrop of the Siruvani Forest reserve, some of the highlights of the facility are laser lab, modern computers, top class athletic facilities, solar powered systems, full medical facility, etc. The library has more than 14,000 volumes and has facilities for all of the research which the students are encouraged to pursue in their areas of interest.

He expressed his desire to have more Chinmaya Mission families send their children to the school for their education. In the afternoon, we enjoyed watching the students participating in the mandatory athletic activities. In the late afternoon, we were invited by Swami Swaroopananda to his Kutia.

He shared his love for nature by showing us the beautiful garden that he is nurturing. From the rooftop of his Kutia, we had an amazing view of the surrounding mountains.  Describing Gurudev’s grace and how the ashrams were located in places of great spiritual importance, he mentioned that as he was having Satsang with some of the local people when they described to him that nearby was Agasthya Gufa, where Agasthya Rishi meditated.

We chanted the Hanuman Chalisa at the beautiful Hanumaji’s pratima in the Kutia followed by a Satsang, about Guru Nanakji’s birth anniversary and his teachings.

We were also invited to attend the CIRS daily Arti, we sat there mesmerized listening to their beautiful bhajans.

It was drizzling lightly when we went to dinner hosted by CIRS, walk back to the Ashram was soothing and refreshing.  The next morning we would be off to Chinmaya International Foundation.

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