Vilasini Balakrishnan spent her teen years questing for the meaning of life, and she found her answer in India during her Junior semester abroad as a comparative philosophy student. The greatest fortune of her life was meeting Swami Chinmayananda and beginning her Vedanta sadhana in 1975. She graduated from Tufts with a B.S in philosophy, and in 1978, she graduated from the Mission’s two-year Vedanta course at Sandeepany Sadhanalaya in Mumbai.
Vilasini and her parents organized Swami Chinmayananda’s first Jnana Yajna in Washington D.C. in 1978. For the next three years, Vilasini served Chinmaya Mission in Boston, Flint, Chicago, and Bay Area, where she taught Vedanta, Bala Vihar, and organized Study Groups. During Swami Chinmayananda’s summer tours in the US, Vilasini traveled with Swami Chinmayananda as his secretary. From 1981 to 1984, Vilasini had the great blessing to serve as Swami Chinmayananda’s secretary in India, attending all of his yajnas, videotaping his talks, and performing secretarial duties.
In 1984, Swami Chinmayananda assigned Vilasini as Editor of CMW’s Mananam series, and she revamped the design to its current form. In 1986, Vilasini and her husband Suresh moved back to Washington, DC, and started study groups in MD and VA. Both were founding trustees of CMWRC in 1989. Swami Chinmayananda placed Vilasini on CMW’s Board of Directors and later appointed her as CMW’s Executive Secretary.
In 1997 Vilasini became a licensed professional counselor and practiced family and marriage counseling with a Dharmic perspective. She also taught Vedanta and meditation classes. In 1999 Swami Dheerananda asked Vilasini to direct the Maryland Bala Vihar program and later to serve as CMWRC’s Regional Bala Vihar Director. For several years she has been offering weekend retreats in various centers for Devis, parents, and for married couples. Her Spiritual Parenting workshops are extremely popular.
In 2018, Vilasini and her husband Suresh retired and moved to the Jacksonville, FL, area and are conducting Chinmaya classes there while staying active with CMWRC by zoom. People say of Vilasini, “She is always smiling, just as Gurudev tells us to Keep Smiling.” She brings a natural wisdom and compassion to her classes and loves sharing with people the Science of Happiness that is Vedanta.