About Us Contact Us Help




Fireside Chat With Dr. Gopala Dwarakanath

Ranjani Saigal

Dr. Gopala Dwarakanath , the founder of Chinmaya Maruti in Andover, MA has stepped down as President. On Sunday Dec 12, Chinmaya Mission held an event to felicitate Dr. Dwaraknath for his efforts to build the Chinmaya Maruti center and thank him for his service. 

Desh Deshpande, a strong supporter of the mission  hosted a fireside chat with Dwarakanath. “The Chinmaya Mission in Boston had existed since 1969. When I got introduced to Pujya Gurudev, I was very taken with Him. As a family our initial introduction was attending the Chinmaya Mission family camp with our children. Shashi started teaching Bal Vihar. Later I felt we need to open a center in the Boston area. With Gurudev’s blessing it happened” said Dwarakanath. 

The decision to open a center was not easy. They debated a lot and finally one day Dwaraknath got notified of the sale of a land in Andover that needed to go to a non-profit. “I went there with my check book and just paid the deposit” said Dwarakanath. With an early pledge of $100,000 from three families, Umapathy, Vijaykumar and Dwarakanath and a pledge of $500,000 from Jaishree and Desh Deshpande they kicked off the building of the center. Later with a pledge of $1 million from Abha and Anil Singhal the mission continued to grow. 

Bal Vihar is a key program of Chinmaya Mission. Shashikala Dwarakanath was the force behind this program for many years. “As a child I really wanted to be a kindergarten teacher. I became a doctor later but I think Bal Vihar helped me fulfill that dream of mine. Despite a very busy medical career, I used to teach several classes. The blessing of Gurudev is such that I never felt tired” said Sashi. Pre-pandemic there were over 750 families enrolled in the classes. 

Why did Gurudev choose Dwaraknath for this mission? “He says Gurudev saw something special in him and hence blessed him. I saw an old video with Gurudev where people are bowing to Gurdev and giving him a donation.  I noticed Dwaraka picking up the closed envelopes and seeing it in the light to see how much donation was given. I think this is when Gurudev said he is the right person for he knows how to fundraise” said Shashi, adding a lovely touch to humor to the event. Shashi then went on to do a Vedanta course at Sandeepani Sadhanalaya in Mumbai and now serves as a spiritual advisor for the mission. 

The love that this couple, Shashi and Dwaraka has showered on all they came in touch is truly incredible. Every person who was in the hall had something to say about how they were touched by this wonderful couple. 

Ajita Bhat and Sudhir Srinivasan shared their vision for the future of Chinmaya. The event ended with beautiful music by the Swaranjali group. They sang Meena Isi Ka Naam Hai and had Shashi and Dwaraka dance to the song. 

A truly beautiful tribute to a great duo. Lokvani offers pranams to this great couple. 

Bookmark and Share |

You may also access this article through our web-site http://www.lokvani.com/

Home | About Us | Contact Us | Copyrights Help