Chinmaya Mission Washington DC
'Kailas Nivas' 46 Norwood Rd.
Silver Spring, Maryland 20905
Phone: (301) 384-5009
E-mail :washingtondc [a|t] chinmayamission [d|o|t] org
Web Site: http://www.chinmayamission.org/washingtondc
Acharya Vilasini is an acharya of the Chinmaya Mission Washington Regional Center (CMWRC). She began her Vedantic studies under the tutleage of Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda in 1975 when she was in India studying comparative philosophy. She graduated from Tufts University with a B.S. Magna Cum Laude in Philosophy. In 1978, she graduated from the Mission's three-year, residential Vedanta course at 'Sandeepany Sadhanalaya' in Mumbai, India.
Vilasiniji and her family organized Pujya Gurudev's first jnana yajna in Washington DC in 1978, and started the first Chinmaya Study Group in the DC area. Vilasiniji served Chinmaya Mission in Flint, Michigan until 1980, where she taught Bala Vihar, Sanskrit, Vedanta, and Devi Group classes. She also organized Study Groups and Bala Vihar in Chicago and California.
From 1981 to 1984, Vilasiniji had the distinct honor of being Pujya Gurudev's personal assistant, traveling with Gurudev to all his yajnas, videotaping his talks, and performing secretarial duties.
In 1984, she was assigned as Editor-in-Chief of CMW's "Mananam" publication series. In 1986, Vilasiniji and her husband moved to Washington DC. Both of them were founding Board members of CMWRC in 1989. In the same year, Pujya Gurudev placed Vilasiniji on CMW's Board of Directors. In 1991, he appointed her as CMW's Executive Secretary, a role she continued until 1999. Vilasiniji presently teaches Vedanta classes for adults and is CMWRC's Bala Vihar Coordinator.
Dr. Pramila Poudel, an active member of CM Washington D.C. for over a decade, assiduously took to the spiritual path shown to her by Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda. She seldom missed a chance to attend his jnana yajnas.
To complement her focus on self-study, Pramilaji converted her home into a veritable temple, where she began conducting Chinmaya Study Group for devotees in Northern Virginia.
A native of Nepal, Pramilaji earned a master's in economics and a doctorate in resource economics in the U.S. After graduation, she spent several years working for the federal government in Washington D.C. as a research scientist. Taking early retirement from her career a couple of years ago, Pramilaji chose to enroll in the two-year, residential Vedanta course at 'Sandeepany Sadhanalaya,' in Mumbai, India.
Under the guidance and tutelage of Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayananda, Pramilaji completed the course in September 2007 and became an acharya of Chinmaya Mission. She returned to her home in Springfield, Virginia and now serves Chinmaya Mission Washington Regional Center as an acharya.
Swami Dheerananda, a disciple of Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda, is a dynamic acharya with wit and wisdom. He was "literally born in the lap of Chinmaya culture" and grew up in Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh, India.
He says he "responded to the call of the master," when he attended the 1984-1986 brahmachari Vedanta course at 'Sandeepany Sadhanalaya' in Mumbai, under the tutelage of Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayananda.
Under the divine guidance of Pujya Gurudev, he underwent austere tapas at Uttarakashi in the Himalayan abode of Param Pujya Swami Tapovanam Maharaj, the guru of Pujya Swami Chinmayananda.
Swami Dheerananda served the Mission in India, conducting many jnana yajnas. In 1989, Pujya Gurudev posted him as the resident acharya of Chinmaya Mission Washington Regional Center (CMWRC). Since then, Swamiji has been serving Mission centers in the US and Canada. Swamiji's annual summer camps for children are renowned and filled with much love and laughter.
Swami Dheerananda is the last disciple directly initiated into sannyasa by Pujya Gurudev, receiving sannyasa diksha on May 23, 1993. In 1993, Swamiji addressed the Parliament of Religions in Chicago, where the distinguished audience gave him a standing ovation.
Dr. K. Sadananda, a retired scientist from the U.S.Naval Research Lab, is a disciple of His Holiness Swami Chinmayananda, and is one of the founding members and former trustees of the Chinmaya Mission Washington D.C. Regional Center. He began and guided several major CM activities, including organizing spiritual camps conducted by Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda and Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayananda.
Pujya Guruji conferred him with the title of "Acharya" in June 2009. Presently, Acharya Sadananda helps guide and conduct CM classes and activities in northern Virginia. He has also been conducting for many years weekend spiritual camps at the 'Chinmayam' ashram in Maryland on various Upanishads and introductory texts. His writings can be found on advaitaforum.org.
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