History

‘Krishnalaya’ was established by the spiritual Vedantic teacher, His Holiness Swami Chinmayananda (Pujya Gurudev), founder of Chinmaya Mission. Pujya Gurudev resided and conducted many spiritual retreats in Krishnalaya, and often compared it to the serenity and beauty of India’s sacred Himalayas.

 

swami chinmayananda

The Eel River flows behind the ashram. Gurudev symbolically blessed and named the river as the ‘Eel Ganga’ when he poured holy water from India’s sacred Ganga River.

Swamiji also invoked and poured spiritual life and energy into the beautiful idol of Lord Krishna, the presiding Lord of Krishnalaya. Lord Krishna stands in the original temple shrine, enchanting all with his divine look and sweet smile.

Krishnalaya is the first property owned by Chinmaya Mission West. It was purchased in 1979 for conducting a two-and-a-half-year, in-depth Vedanta course. Thereafter, Chinmaya Mission conducted occasional camps and weekend programs and continued to maintain the property until 1989, when Gurudev decided to revive the site. Gurudev held numerous programs at Krishnalaya over the next few years.

Normally, Gurudev traveled around the world lecturing weekly on one chapter of Shrimad Bhagavad Gita. In 1992, he conducted a two-month Gita Camp at Krishnalaya, wherein he taught all 18 chapters of Shrimad Bhagavad Gita. These talks were professionally videotaped and are considered as one of the greatest legacies left by the spiritual master. In 1993, just following his last series of talks at Krishnalaya, he became fatally ill and attained mahasamadhi on August 3.

The gurgling flow of the Eel Ganga and the stunning views of the mountain ranges make Krishnalaya an ideal place for a retreat. To date, Chinmaya Mission West centers annually conduct intensive Vedanta retreats and spiritual camps for children, youth, and adults.

Gurudev’s presence is very much alive and vibrant in Krishnalaya. His residence is being maintained as he left it. His bedroom is a sacred haven for meditation. His living room/library is used for silent reading, reflection, and classes. Guests are welcome in both quarters.

The ashram presently houses a beautiful 200-person lecture hall with air conditioning, a state-of-the-art sound system, a big screen television, and multimedia equipment. The ashram lodges 80 people comfortably and has a commercial kitchen, dining hall, satsang hall, and temple shrine.

Residential fees vary. The kitchen is fully equipped; usage is subject to additional charges. Outside groups are welcome. Groups need to have their own cooking and cleaning staff. Non-vegetarian food, alcohol, and drugs are strictly restricted anywhere on the property.

See different views of the facility in the slide show. To get boarding/lodging rates, or for other information, read “frequently asked questions” or contact us at krishnalaya@chinmayamission.org.