Acharya Uma Jeyarasasingam

UmaAuntyUma Jeyarasasingam started attending Pujya Gurudev’s lectures in the early 60s and formally met him in 1965. In 1971, Pujya Gurudev recruited her for Mission Work when he came to the U.S. on his annual jnana yajna tour. Umaji was living in San Francisco at that time with her husband and daughter, and was working at the University of California Medical Center. In 1972, Gurudev introduced Umaji to Chinmaya Study Groups. She thus began her service for Chinmaya Study Groups in the San Francisisco Bay Area, along with other sevaks. She held study groups thrice a week at her home, till 1978.

Umaji also served as director and treasurer of Chinmaya Mission West from 1975-1990, while attending to Mission activities in the Bay Area.

In June 1978, Umaji moved to Los Altos and, under Gurudev’s direction,began conducting two new weekly study groups. In 1981, Gurudev asked her to start Chinmaya Bala Vihar in Los Altos. A Bala Vihar program was immediately set up under Gurudev’s guidance, and began with a modest 6 children. The program that Gurudev set up is the program that CMSJ, under Umaji’s guidance, follows to the present day. In 2013, CMSJ Bala Vihar’s enrollment has grown to nearly 2300 students, at three separate locations in the Bay Area.

In 1981, with Chinmaya Bala Vihar in full swing and Chinmaya Study Groups growing in number, Umaji decided to quit her professional job to dedicate herself fully to the services of the Mission. In 1987, Gurudev approved the purchase of the property at 1050 Park Avenue, San Jose. He formally set up the San Jose Mission Center, naming it Chinmaya Mission San Jose, and the new Ashram Sandeepany San Jose.

Umaji studied the major Upanishads, the Bhagavad Geeta, Vivekachoodamani, and several other Vedantic texts under Pujya Gurudev. In 1989, Swami Tejomayananda (Pujya Guruji) was appointed as the San Jose Center’s first Resident Acharya. Umaji continued her Vedanta study under Guruji for the next three years. Guruji taught the texts that are taught at Mumbai’s two-year residential Vedanta Course, and the Ramacharitamanasa, Shrimad Bhagavatam, and Bhagavan Rama Maharishi’s Texts. In 1992, Umaji resumed her Study Groups while she continued to attend Guruji’s classes.

Guruji bestowed the title of Chinmaya Mission Acharya on Umaji in 2008, recognizing her long years of Vedanta Study and dedicated life-long service to the Mission, which she continues to date.

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