Just over fifteen years ago in April 1988, a group of visionary families started the Austin branch of Chinmaya Mission with the inspiration and full support of Acharya Gaurangbhai and Acharya Darshanaben of the Houston Chinmaya Center. These parents realized that their children needed a means of learning about their rich culture and religion if they were to grow up with a solid sense of self worth and appreciation of their ancient heritage. Also, these parents recognized their own need for spiritual fulfillment. The Austin center has grown by leaps and bounds to arrive at where it is today. The core group of fifteen families that met in the homes of two dedicated members has blossomed into a large Chinmaya Parivar.
With God’s Grace and Pujya Gurudev’s blessings, CM Austin was pleased to welcome Pujya Guruji to inaugurate its new center, Chinmaya Sundaram, on June 26, 2014. Also in attendance were Swami Ishwarananda (CM Los Angeles) and Brahmachari Girish Chaitanya(CM Austin). The Chinmaya Sundaram ashram is on a beautiful, wooded, eight-acre property that is in a prime location of northern Austin. As part of Phase 1, two buildings have been built. The first is 10,000 sq. ft. for Chinmaya Bala Vihar; it houses 12 classrooms, a large assembly hall, and a full kitchen with two service windows for a covered patio and outdoor picnic area. The second is a 5,000 sq. ft. temple that houses a shrine, assembly hall, and four rooms (for the priest, audio/video, stage dressing, and parental childcare). Pujya Guruji unveiled the center’s dedication plaque in the Bala Vihar assembly hall, toured the facility, and was then welcomed with a pūrṇa-kumbha and ārti at the shrine building. After the center’s president welcomed the guests and recognized the volunteer workers, architect, and builder, Brahmachari Girish thanked all the priests and acharyas who helped in the installation and prāṇa-pratishṭhā of the deities, namely, Lord Krishna (on Kāliyā-nāga), Shiva Lingam, and Goddess Mīnākshī. Pujya Guruji then gave his celebratory address for the inauguration of the new ashram. The program concluded with lunch prasad for all attendees.
During his two-day visit, CM Austin was also blessed with Pujya Guruji’s enlightening three discourses on "Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram." CM Austin started Bala Vihar classes at Chinmaya Sundaram at the end of August 2014. In addition to Yoga classes the center also offers language classes (Hindi, Sanskrit, Gujarati and Telugu).
Chinmaya Mission Austin functions under the umbrella of Chinmaya Mission West, the parent body of Chinmaya Mission centers in the US, and Central Chinmaya Mission Trust, the apex body of Chinmaya Mission worldwide.