Born on June 30, 1950, in Madhya Pradesh, Sudhakar Kaitwade was not particularly spiritually inclined. At the age of 20, a year away from getting his master’s degree in Physics, Sudhakar intended to pursue a teaching career.
The Spiritual Quest
Then Sudhakar was attracted to a large banner announcing Swami Chinmayananda’s talks on Shrimad Bhagavad Geeta, Chapter 3. A couple of talks later, he joined the Chinmaya Mission’s residential Vedanta course at Sandeepany Sadhanalaya in Mumbai.
Upon completion of the Vedanta course in 1975, Sudhakar was initiated into the Chinmaya Mission’s monastic order of acharyas (teachers). Over the years, he served at the Mission’s centres in Bhopal, Kanpur, and Sidhbari.
On October 21, 1983, Swami Chinmayananda initiated him into sanyasa, bestowing upon him the name, Swami Tejomayananda. He was then appointed acharya of the Sandeepany Sadhanalaya ashram, where he taught residential Vedanta courses in English, and to Chinmaya Mission’s U.S. Centre in San Jose. After Swami Chinmayananda attained mahasamadhi in 1993, he became the head of Chinmaya Mission Worldwide, a post he held till 2017.
Swami Tejomayananda has inspired and executed many notable projects, including the Chinmaya International Residential School in Coimbatore, the Chinmaya Centre of World Understanding in New Delhi, the Chinmaya International Foundation near Cochin, the Chinmaya Heritage Centre in Chennai, the expansion of the Chinmaya Mission Hospital in Bangalore and the Chinmaya Vibhooti Vision Centre and Chinmaya Naada Bindu music and dance school in Kolwan, Maharashtra.
Fluent in Hindi, Marathi, English and Sanskrit, Swami Tejomayananda delivered lectures, wrote commentaries and composed original poetry on the themes of Vedanta and universal harmony.
His Vedantic texts include Bhakti Sudha, Jnana Sarah, Manah Shodhanam, Dhyanasvarupam and Jivanasutrani. His acclaimed commentaries include Adi Sankara’s Drg-Drshya Viveka, Ramana Maharshi’s Upadesha Sara, Kapila Gita and Yoga Vasistha. He has also translated into Hindi Swami Chinmayananda’s English commentaries on Shrimad Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads. His book ‘Hindu Culture: An Introduction’ has been adopted as an academic text by some American schools. He has recorded several albums with original devotional music and lyrics. His talks on Tulsidasa’s Ramacharitamanasa and Veda Vyasa’s Shrimad Bhagavatam are world-renowned.