A Visionary University Empowers Contemporary Culture with Ancient Knowledge


By Padmashree Rao

HOUSTON: Where is that horizon where the present will prize the past, where science will seek spirituality, where technology will tweet tradition, and where the West will welcome the East?

The vision unfolds at Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth, a unique University for Sanskrit and Indic Traditions, which opened its doors on the auspicious day of July 9, 2017 (http://chinmayauniversity.ac.in/). Born from the deep insight of Swami Chinmayananda, the spiritual founder of Chinmaya Mission, and nurtured to unfold its potential by his successor, Swami Tejomayananda, it is a de novo deemed university that dares to unlock the secrets of the ancient Indian Knowledge Traditions (IKT) and uplift the contemporary culture with an education for life, not just a degree for a living.


In a thought-provoking presentation at Chinmaya Prabha Houston, Sri Suresh Subramanian, the Registrar and Principal Director, shared the journey of this one-of-a kind university that operates presently from two campuses, the Chinmaya Eswar Gurukula at Kochi, Kerala, and Chinmaya Naada Bindu at Pune, Maharashtra. The university will need to expand both its grounds and its reach to a global generation united in search for holistic excellence. He pointed out, “Indian Knowledge Traditions, culled out from the caturdasa vidya sthanam (the fourteen abodes of knowledge) but locked in Sanskrit language need to be unravelled and their application potential needs to be disseminated through unique higher education programs that can innovatively offer solutions for the majority of issues confronting current day society. If we are able to combine them with modern knowledge and make them innovatively applicable, this repository which touches every aspect of our life will transform young and aspiring graduates to become confident and cultured contributors in this world.”

Built on the core values of spirituality – which inspires a larger vision, purity – which sources the original texts, practicality – which makes knowledge applicable, relevant, and employable, and innovation – which challenges the intellect to greater heights, this university calls out for the brightest and boldest minds to redefine education. In the words of Prof. B. Mahadevan, Vice Chancellor, “It has been a practice for us to “junk” ancestral knowledge in the first place. When some western University reinvents the wheel after a series of experimentation and reiterates the ideas contained in the ancestral scriptures, we suddenly develop some respect for that piece of newly rehashed knowledge and at times end up paying dearly for acquiring it. All this could be avoided if we ourselves can introduce this knowledge in the curriculum. The knowledge repository is vast and it needs the key called Sanskrit, to open this vast treasure house. Several Universities in the West have opened up to this reality and have seriously begun teaching Sanskrit, whereas we in India are left behind in the journey.”

“Chemical and metallurgical engineers and doctors must have some understanding of the ancestral knowledge, so that they can relate them to modern day issues; similarly a student of Political History, Management, Psychology or Commerce must also benefit from this awareness. All that we need will be a decade of serious reforms and well thought out implementation strategies for this.”

The time has arrived for a full-fledged renaissance bridging the old and the new. Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth is set to revolutionize learning and welcomes the world to participate. Establishing and operating the university requires considerable financial resources. We look forward to your generous donation in making this a successful endeavour that will serve future generations for years to come.  

For further details and to support this much-needed initiative, please visit www.chinmayahouston.org or call Jay Deshmukh 832-541-0059 or Bharati Sutaria 281-933-0233.