Chinmaya International Foundation awards Certificate in Hindu Spiritual Care

Participants in the Chinmaya International Foiundation’s Certificate on Hindu Spiritual Care virtual awards June 5, 2024. PHOTO: Courtesy CIF-Kerala

The Chinmaya International Foundation (CIF-Kerala) recently held its first graduation ceremony for Certificate in Hindu Spiritual Care (CHSC).

The program celebrated a milestone on June 5, 2024 with the graduation of its inaugural cohort of 11 students who are the first to complete the Certificate program, with another 50-plus students in process, a press release from CIF said.

The ceremony was held virtually during the final session of the Rites, Rituals, and Vedanta course taught by Brahmachari Ved Chaitanya (Br. Vedji).

The graduates from across the US and Canada included Ashlesh Dani and Bina Dani (Poughkeepsie, NY), Hema Ramanathan (Plymouth-Canton, MI), Indira Palekar (Cleveland), Meenakshi Venkataramani (Boston), Pradeep Solanki (Toronto), Rakhi Khanna (Chicago), Ravi Iyer (Houston), Sangamesh Konaraddi (Frederick, MD), Sonali Dave (Dallas), and Sowmya Kesari (Acton, MA).

They were congratulated for their hard work in this first-of-its-kind comprehensive training program in Hindu Spiritual Care (chaplaincy), organizers said (

Students undertook coursework in Hindu spiritual traditions, Bhagavad Gita, Vedanta philosophy, Indian psychology, Hindu rites and rituals and sadhanas, ethical principles and competencies of chaplaincy, and communication skills.  They concluded their studies with chaplaincy practicums at healthcare and other facilities.

Guest Speaker Swami Shantanandaji, President of Chinmaya Mission West, praised the graduates for their commitment to serving communities through spiritual caregiving. “By blending ancient wisdom with modern healthcare needs, you are ambassadors lighting the way for Hindu spiritual care to be integrated into diverse settings,” he stated.

“We are extremely proud of this pioneering group of graduates,” said Br. Vedji of CIF. “Their dedication to providing compassionate spiritual support while representing Hindu values in a professional clinical setting is truly inspiring.”

Program Director of CHSC Vilasini Balakrishnan, credited Swami Chinmayananda as the visionary and inspiration behind this program. The CIF was founded by him in 1989 to be a bridge between East and West, science and spirituality, and Hindu chaplaincy is helping to fulfill this role.

The graduates thanked their instructors who included Dr. Ramesh Pattni of London, UK, and Dr. Madhu Sharma of Raleigh, NC, and for the opportunity to be part of this groundbreaking educational initiative.

The Certificate in Hindu Spiritual Care plans to offer the 18-month part-time online courses annually, helping to meet a growing demand for Hindu chaplains able to offer Hindu religious and philosophical perspectives to assist those navigating life’s challenges, the press release said. For more information visit



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