The study of the scriptures is like looking into a mirror. Only when we become aware of and accept the imperfections in us that we can be motivated to transform ourselves and strive for perfection. Therefore the study of scriptures and reflection on the teachings is very important. When we study and reflect as a group it helps us maintain regularity and provides a platform where we can share our experiences while practicing the knowledge and find solutions through open discussions.
A study group is a group of five to fifteen people who meet regularly (at least once a week) to discuss one of the Vedantic texts. All members of the group participate equally, with one of them being a Coordinator. Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda put the highest emphasis on participation in study groups by all sincere seekers.
It aims to provide the wisdom of Vedanta and the practical means for spiritual growth and happiness, to individuals from any background, enabling them to become positive contributors to society.
The systematic Study Group curriculum has been developed and prescribed by Pujya Gurudev himself, after testing its validity over the years. Today, there are over 1,000 Chinmaya Study Groups worldwide. Inspired by the vision of Vedanta, thousands of spiritual seekers across the world meet in groups to study and discuss Vedantic texts. Setting aside blind beliefs, they discuss scriptural teachings, deepening their personal philosophical understanding.
What is read or heard, in order to take root, must be thought over (tat chintanam) or reflected upon. The test of clear thinking is in the ability to express our thoughts clearly (tat kathanam). Again, whether our understanding is correct and proper, is brought out in the rational and mutual discussion of the Study Group members (anyonya prabodhanam). Thus, the sincere and diligent student gains a better perspective of our scriptures through this process. Additionally, this forum, in the atmosphere of satsanga, also fosters and develops brotherly understanding and cooperative thinking among the members, and affirms the wisdom of Oneness. Study Groups follow a syllabus that includes introductory Vedantic texts, Shrimad Bhagavad Gita, and the Upanishads.