Founder of Chinmaya mission. He met Swami Shivananda at Rishikesh and
became very interested in the spiritual path. He studied for 12 years
under Swami Tapovan's guidance, leading a very austere and rigorous
life. During his forty years of travelling and teaching, He opened
numerous centres and ashrams worldwide, he also built many schools,
hospitals, nursing homes and clinics. As well as reinvigorating India's
rich cultural heritage, Swami Chinmayananda made Vedanta accessible to
everybody regardless of age, nationality, or religious background.
The Mother of
The Mother’, as she fondly came to be known, was
born Mirra Alfassa in Paris, France on February 21,1878. Her spiritual
potential was evident from an early age itself. She went to Tlemcen,
Algeria, in 1906 and 1907 to study Spirituality with Max Theon and his
wife Alma. Between 1911 and 1913 she gave a number of talks on
Spirituality to various groups of seekers in Paris.
In 1914 the Mother voyaged to Pondichery, Southern India, to
visit Shri Aurobindo. He accepted Mother as His
disciple and guided Her on the spiritual path. Mother had to return to
France at the time the First World War started. After four years in
Japan, in 1920, Mother rejoined Shri Aurobindo in Pondichery. Six years
later, when the Shri Aurobindo Ashram was founded, Shri Aurobindo
entrusted it to Mother. Under Mother’s guidance and inspiration (which
covers nearly fifty years) the Ashram flowered into a large and
multi-faceted spiritual community as it is at present.
She also established a school “Sri Aurobindo International
Center of Education” in 1952, and an international township
“Auroville” in 1968.
The Mother renounced Her body on November 17,
Guru Nanak was the founder of the Sikh religion. He was born on
October 20, 1469, Talwandi, India (today’s Pakistan.) His goal was to
unify the Hindus and Muslims. So he studied both religions and founded
Sikhism, which combined the principles of both. 'Sikh' means 'disciple'.
Guru Nanak taught that one can make spiritual progress only through the
grace and guidance of a Guru. Guru Nanak worked incessantly for the
spiritual evolution of humanity. He spread the importance of chanting
The Lord’s Name. He started the institution of 'Sangat' and 'Pangat'
(free kitchen.) 'Sangat' referred to remaining in satsang and 'Pangat’
to the free kitchen, giving opportunities for satseva. In both these
institutions, men and women were welcomed irrespective of caste, color
or creed. It was a community life. "Dana Pani Guru Ka, Taihal
Bhawna Sikhan Ki" was a common saying of the time, which means,
"Provisions are made by Providence (God) and service is rendered by
the Sikhs." Sikhism has spread not only in North India, but also in
America, Singapore and Africa. He renounced His body on September 22,
1539 at Kartarpur Sahib, Punjab (a state in India.)
Adi Shankaracharya was a great philosopher, mystic and poet from India.
He was born in year 788 AD and became a Monk at the tender age of 8. Sri
Govinda Bhagavatpada was His Guru.
Adi Shankaracharya renounced His body at the age of 32 years –in year
820 AD. During His short, but spiritually radiant life, He founded the
Advaita Vedanta (non-dualism) School of thought, established many Mathas
(hermitages or ashrams of monks), reformed ritualistic worship (Karmakanda)
to focus on progressing to the next step of spiritual practice, namely
mental worship (Upasanakanda). His profound spiritual knowledge,
attained through actual practice and experience won several scholarly
debates on the Scriptures.)
Amritanandamayi Devi (Ammachi).
She was born in Kerala, India in 1953 as the daughter of a
fisherman. She had schooling only till the age of nine. Her
Self-realization and wisdom stems from Her constant remembrance of God.
Her name ‘Mata
Amritanandamayi’ translates into ‘Mother of Immortal Bliss’. To
millions around the world, she is fondly known as ‘Amma’ (mother) or
‘Ammachi’, which means beloved mother. She is also called ‘the
Hugging Saint’, because of the loving embraces she has tirelessly
given to thousands everyday.
She continually spreads Spirituality by
traveling all over the world, conducting satsangs and singing devotional
Ramakrushna Paramhansa was born on
18.02.1836 in Kamarpukur, Bengal, India. Since His childhood days, he showed
great devotion and often went into samadhi states. He was an ardent devotee of
Goddess Kalimata. In 1855 he was offered the job as the priest of the Goddess
Kali at Dakshineshwar Temple in Bengal, India. Visitors to the temple would
crowd to see Ramkrushna perform ritualistic worship, as they wanted to see the
love and devotion with which it was performed.
At the age of 23,in May 1859, he married Saradamoni, who served him
devotedly as the ideal life companion. Soon after, the urge to find out the
truth about life brought Ramakrushna to spiritual instruction under the sage
Totapuri, who gave him the sobriquet, Paramhansa.
His quest for truth continued with Bhairavi
Ma and sages in other religion. Ramakrishna faithfully practiced the spiritual
disciplines of different religions and came to the realization that all of them
lead to the same goal. Thus he declared, "As many faiths, so many
Drawn by the magnetism of Shri Ramakrushna's divine
personality, people flocked to him from far and near - men and women, young and
old, philosophers and theologians, philanthropists and humanists, atheists and
agnostics, Hindus and Brahmins, Christians and Muslims, seekers of the truth
from all races, creeds and castes. Shri Ramakrushna’s Paramhansa had several
disciples, including Swami Vivekananda. Ramakrushna Paramhansa renounced His
body in 1886.