It is a pleasure and privilege to share with all of you yet another edition (4th in the series) of Hari Patrika. Along with it we are into our 6th year in our own abode a.k.a ‘Chinmaya Haridwar’ with blessings from our Guru’s enriching the life of Portlanders!
Chinmaya Mission was formed in 1953 by Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda, a spiritual giant of all times who dedicated his entire life with the goal of expounding Vedantic knowledge to people all around the world. Today, the mission is a global movement with thousands of members, ever growing, and dedicated to spreading the timeless wisdom of Vedanta with the motto of ‘Maximum Happiness to Maximum People for Maximum Time’. Mission enables and enriches the lives of each individual in their spiritual journey through self-unfoldment and transforms them into tireless volunteers for the common good as positive contributors of the society. This is achieved by the various opportunities that Chinmaya Mission facilitates, be it Bala Vihar or myriad ways to serve in the community.
Portland Chinmaya Family has grown leaps and bounds over the years, 23rd year since this chapter was seeded, welcoming people from all walks of life serving them in their spiritual quest. It tunes with Portland’s character one could even add ‘Keep Portland Spiritual’ with the mission enabling this journey for many Portland residents.
This year we have several exciting things to celebrate as well. We had a great fund raiser and with the efforts from an army of volunteers we made our latest addition of our annex into a reality. Go Volunteers! This is made possible with the true yagna sprit of the volunteers by pitching in time, money, service whatever way they can, towards their goal. We had another first, a grand wedding at our facility.
In closing, yet another blessed year, growing and supporting a vibrant Portland community with love and service. Seeking God’s Grace and Blessing to keep us growing and serving to all in the Chinmaya Family and beyond!
Dr. Kishore Pathial, Surekha Reddy & Rajeev Singh
On behalf of the board at Chinmaya Mission Portland, we are happy to welcome all of you to the 4th edition of Hari Patrika. We are pleased to share with you our special moments through the past year.
Chinmaya Mission Portland was started with a handful of students attending Bala Vihar (Sunday School) classes in 1996. From this humble beginning we have grown exponentially with students in 15 classes from infants up to grade 12. We have multiple tracks for adult study groups as well as language classes, Yoga, Vedic chanting and Swaranjali (music choir).
It is this spirit of volunteerism and the philosophy in that we give more than we take that has fostered the continued growth of Chinmaya Mission and Chinmaya Mission Portland. We are very pleased to let you know that we were able to complete all the permits and approvals from the City of Hillsboro for the additional, adjacent condo unit, acquired last year which shares the north & east wall between our Shadras cafe and library. This space is being actively used for a multitude of activities and we will continue to expand that.
We have enjoyed the presentations from Swaranjali, our thriving musical choir in the assembly. We are also proud of the progress made by the young students of ESL tutoring program, run by our Bala Vihar children. We have also added a new Chinmaya Chess Club and Lego Robotics club run by our Bala Vihar students as well. We continue to actively participate in the local community with road clean up, homeless cooking and Oregon Food Bank volunteering. We will be having a number of summer camps in robotics, cooking, medical service and many others this Summer – stay tuned!
As our children grow up in this nation, we want them to imbibe the noble aspects of our culture and values that we hold dear while being productive members in societies that they live in.
The purpose of Chinmaya Mission is “to provide to individuals, from any background, the wisdom of Vedanta and the practical means for spiritual growth and happiness”. The values that children, youth, young adults, adults and seniors derive from our studies are manifold. To review these, we have listed a few below;
- Priceless heritage which the children get connected to, and will always have access to, because of their background with Chinmaya Mission.
- Lasting friendships – formed with like-minded families and children.
- Invaluable knowledge which once learned, helps us lead successful, integrated lives.
- Compassion for all – through integrated, sustainable social help programs.
- Prosperity and peace are perceived as mutually exclusive, but Vedanta teaches us how to have both simultaneously.
We want to thank each and every one of you as we continue on this journey. Without your continued support, the progress thus far would not have been possible. We look forward to all of your continued support to help fulfill Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayanandaji’s vision of growing our center into one bustling with activities, serving all of those who are pursuing their spiritual growth, learning and practicing the principles of Vedanta.
We remain a fully volunteer organization and it is only through the combined efforts of us all, along with a broadly shared vision of our long-term future have we been able to accomplish all this. We know that we can count on all of you for your continued support through the years to come.
You can help us in this endeavor by coming forward to support our activities enabling us to bring many more such programs to Portland. We appreciate all the help in our effort to empower us all to live with our core values, bringing maximum happiness to the maximum people for the maximum amount of time in maximum ways.
Pujya Guruji gave the name Haridwar to Portland chapter of Chinmaya Mission. Haridwar means a “Portal to Hari”, literally a gateway to the divine and the infinite. The wise use their words sparsely, but when they do, they come with great import and potency. The name Haridwar summarizes all that needs to be said about this mission. Nothing more needs to be said.
We live in a time of some uncertainty about what this nation stands for. Does America stand for liberty, equality and universal recognition of inalienable rights of all? Or does it stand for identity, class and race separation? The same questions can be extended to what we as humanity stand for. Do we stand for arrogant and heedless consumption of the natural resources at the expense of all? Or do we stand as caretakers of this delicate blue Island with all its inhabitants, human and non-human?.
The view from Pujya Gurudev and Pujya Guruji is very clear. They urge us to see the whole world as one family. They worked tirelessly for the welfare of all. Their vision was not constrained to one race or one gender or one geography. It was about bringing peace to the whole planet.
This Haridwar is a family of families. As a co-editor of Hari Patrika, I get the opportunity to go back and view the whole year as a collage. In this collage, I see one family made from many families. We are a living proof of the positive vision laid out by our dear Gurudev. If we can be one family, so can the whole world. When our individual egos melt in the collective, the portal to Hari opens. His divine love fills our hearts with joy. We experience this every Sunday in Haridwar. Let us strive to make the whole world experience the same joy.