Chennai (formerly Madras) is among the most visited meditation centers in India. Many great souls in the past century were born or raised in the soil which nurtures the spiritual side of human life beyond religion, caste, and creed. Many spiritual movements viz.

The Theosophical Society, Krishnamurti Foundation, Sri Ram Chandra Mission (SRCM) have the world headquarters in Chennai. Besides so many mystical figures like Sri Ramana Maharishi, J.Krishmnamurti, Sri Aurobindo and The Mother have lived in places surrounding Chennai.

While Chennai has grown into a commercial hub, the spiritual side still stands as the pride of the City. Here we are listing the Top 10 Meditation Centres in Chennai & Spiritual Ashrams.

#1 Sri Ramakrishna Math

Sri Ramakrishna Math is a landmark site in Chennai and the road (R.K.Mutt Road) is named after the Math. Sri Ramakrishna insisted on bhakti as the path to enlightenment. A lifelong bhakta of Goddess Kali, he also embraced and practiced other religion including Christianity and Islam and stated that all religion leads to the same god. Referred as “Paramahamsa” by his disciples, Ramakrishna famous disciple Swami Vivekananda established the Ramakrishna Mission. There are many “Maths” or “Ashrams” around India and the Chennai Math is among the most famous which has a school, Leprosy Rehabilitation center, Book Bank and offers bhajans, retreats, japan yajna, lectures besides regular celebrations on auspicious days. Contact & Address: 31 Ramakrishna Math Road, Mylapore, Chennai 600004 Telephone: 044-24621110 Email: mail@chennaimath.org Website: www.chennaimath.org

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#2 Krishnamurti Foundation India, R A Puram

J.Krishnamurti is one of the foremost spiritual gurus of the 20th century. He was adopted by Annie Besant at an early age and was prepared for the role of the World Teacher. But he refused to accept the title and maintained that “Truth is a Pathless land” and no guru or sect can organize it which will spoil the very essence of TRUTH. The Krishnamurti Foundation of India has many schools and retreats centers around India. The Chennai center (Vasant Vihar) has a huge library which houses a comprehensive collection of his books, audio talks, and video lectures. Half-Day programs and residential retreats are conducted once in a while though no regular calendar is followed. The wonderful 6-acre campus is a great site to visit which has many century-old trees and very little construction. Address & Contact: Krishnamurti Foundation India, 124&126 Greenways Road, R.A. Puram, Chennai – 600 028. Phone: 24937803 / 24937596 Email: thestudykfi@yahoo.co.in Website: www.kfionline.org

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#3 SRCM World Headquarters

Shri Rama Chandra Mission was founded in 1945 by Babuji. Originally founded in Shahajanpur, the Mission has its current world headquarters in Chennai. The center offers spiritual training through the system called Sahaj Marg or “Natural Path”. Located behind L&T, it is located inside the City limits but still boasts a calm and serene environment. The Chennai Ashram is visited by thousands of foreign tourists from around the world. Spiritual seekers often take residential programs and stay in the Ashram premises for months together to learn and practice this unique form of meditation. Address & Contact: Babuji Memorial Ashram, Mowlivakkam, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600116 Phone: 044 4217 1111

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#4 Dhamma Setu Meditation Centre, Thirumudivakkam

Dhamma Setu Meditation Centre is located in the outskirts of Chennai in the near the SIPCOT industrial estate in Thirumudivakkam. Students are advised to take the 10-day training which prepares the student for lifelong practice of the art. The center teaches Vipassana as outlined by S.N.Goenka who followed the tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin. Address & Contact: Pazhanthandalam Road, 533, Panchayat Rd, Thirumudivakkam (4 Kms from Ponds Signal Pallavaram) Phone: 044 6549 9965 Email: info@setu.dhamma.org

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#5 The Theosophical Society International, Adyar

The Theosophical Society was founded in New York and later moved its headquarters in Chennai. The “School of Wisdom” which functions from the huge 134-acre campus conducts classes regularly for its members. Though scholarships are provided for the most deserving, usually the course is funded by a donation from enrolling members. A residence is not guaranteed on registration and subject to availability. Address & Contact: The Theosophical Society Adyar, Chennai 600 020, India Tel: ( +91 44 ) 2491 2474 and 2491 7198 Email: study.hq@ts-adyar.org

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#6 Auromere Meditation Center, Pallikaranai

Auromere was established in 2005 and operates on the principles and teachings of Sri Mother and Sri Aurobindo. It is directly guided by The Mother Service Society, Pondicherry. Sri Mother has a large number of followers in Chennai who regularly visit the Centre and practice meditation. Address, Contact & Timings: Centre Timings: 9.00 am to 7.30 pm / Meditation: 6.00 pm to 6.30 pm AuroMere Meditation Center 1A,First Main Road,Kamakoti Pallikaranai, Chennai 601 302 TN, India Phone: 09840787736 Email: auromeremeditationcenter@gmail.com

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#7 Ananda Chennai

Ananda Chennai is Chennai branch of Ananda Sangha India, a spiritual movement based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda who became a leading authority of Kriya yoga. Through his most popular book “Autobiography of a Yogi”, Yogananda still boasts a large number of followers who are attracted to Ananda Sangha. The Chennai version is run by Nayaswamis Dharmarajan and Dharmini. Nayaswamis Dharmarajan has a Masters degree in Computer Science from MIT before he joined Ananda and has since then taken many roles in the movement. On the advice of Nayaswami Kriyananda, both of them started Ananda Chennai in 2012. Address, Contact & Timings: Ananda Chennai Centre, Alwarpet Phone: 88073 50693 Email: chennai@anandaindia.org

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#8 Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual university

Brahma Kumaris (meaning “Daughters of Brahma”) is a spiritual movement founded by Lekhraj Khubchand Kripalani referred as “Brahma Baba”. Since 1936 the movement has gained a worldwide following with more than 8500 centers around the world and Chennai has 15 centers. The spiritual movement which is not based on any particular religion was taken to the World under the stewardship of Dadi Janki. Brahma Kumaris centers conduct courses, seminars, and events which stress the importance of Soul and the takes through an inside journey which culminates in the realization of the “Self”. Brahma Kumaris is famous for its Rajayoga meditation course which is rarely taught these days. Chennai Centres Mogappair, Adyar, Anna Nagar, Avadi, Madipakkam, Mylapore, Nungambakkam, Poonamallee, Porur, Purasaiwaikam, Ratan Bazaar, Royapettah(Ph:28117788), Saidapet(Ph: 23712729), Velachery(Ph:22436019, 42022004) & Washermanpet(Ph: 25978189). Website: www.brahmakumaris.com

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#9 Sri Raghavashram

Sri Raghavashram is a tribute to MahaSiddhaPurush Yogi RamSuratKumar. Founded by Mataji Rajalakshmi, an ardent disciple of the great Yogi, the ashram focuses on living the teachings of the Master. While most people visit Tiruvannamalai when the Yogi spent most of his years, those in Chennai visit the ashram and involve themselves in supporting various activities and initiative made by the ashram.) The ashram is held over 200 crores of Ram Nama. Address & Contact: South Mada Street, Kolathur Village (Near Mambakkam), Vandalur – Kelambakkam connecting Road, Chennai – 600 127. Mobile : +91 9445423445 / 9789914875 Phone: 044 – 27479389 Email: sriraghavashram@yahoo.co.in

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#10 Mata Amritanandamayi Math

Mata Amritanandamayi Math was founded by Mata Amritanandamayi Devi fondly called as “Amma” by her followers. For over 3 decades, the charitable and spiritual organization had helped 33 million throughout the world to find inner and outer joy through many programs. The Chennai center is located in Virugambakkam and features regular visits by AMMA as well. The Chennai Math has done many charitable works including building houses in Tsunami hit regions. Lakhs of AMMA followers visit the Math whenever AMMA visits Chennai. Address & Contact No.132, Arcot Road, Virugambakkam Chennai Phone: 044-2376 4063 E-mail: chennai@amma.org.in Website: www.amma.org.in/chennai

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