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Chinmaya International Foundation – Beginnings

Sankaran Nambutiri, a modern-day descendent of Adi Sankara's maternal family, served as the custodian of Melpazhur Mana until, unable to maintain the vast property, he opted to release it into hands that would care for it with due reverence and tradition. With the blessings of Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda, Chinmaya Mission purchased the property in April 1990 and started functioning thereon, the Chinmaya International Foundation (CIF), an institute for Sanskrit and Indology research. CIF is also a cross-cultural forum for the exchange of knowledge. Pujya Gurudev visualised CIF as a bridge between past and present, East and West, science and spirituality, pundit and public.

Academic Affiliation and Status

Chinmaya International Foundation is recognised by Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, New Delhi, as a Shodha Sansthan (Centre for Sanskrit Research), as a Research Centre by the world's largest Open University – Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala. It is also recognized as a Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (SIRO) by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), Government of India.

Programmes and Projects

Over the years, CIF has hosted a variety of programmes, including academic seminars and workshops, educational tours, contemplative retreats and spiritual camps. Some of these programmes have been undertaken under the aegis of the Shodha Sansthan (CIFSS). As a nucleus for the study and dissemination of the philosophical principles and values of India's cultural heritage, CIF has been actively engaged in multifarious academic projects, such as:

  • Anusaaraka, a software based on Panini's Ashtadhyayi for Natural Language Processing (NLP).
  • The collection, preservation, digitalization, and publication of rare palm-leaf manuscripts and other ancient documents. For more details visit
  • CIF offers various online, postal and webinar Home Study Courses on Upanishad, Vedanta, Bhagavad Gita, Sanskrit, Vedic Mathematics, and Make It Happen(TM), an online course for self-development. CIF has around 15000 students from all over the world doing the courses at any point of the time.

    For further details visit www.chinfo.org/home/courses

  • CIF and CIFSS have published many rarest titles of books in Sanskrit and English on various topics such as Vedanta, Sanskrit and Indology. A few titles include Brahmasutra-catuhsutri with Sankara-bhasya (The original text is substantiated with copious citations from 10 sub-commentaries on the Sankara-bhasya – a critical edition with English translation and commentary), Holy Gita Ready Reference, and CIFSS annual research journal (Dhimahi)
  • CIF Digital Media publishes many Pendrives based on the lectures/talks of various academic workshops and spiritual camps. A few titles includes Classic Indian Research Methodology, Indian philosophy: A Brief Analytical Study, Learning Sanskrit Language Structure (Levels 1-5), Patanjali Yogasutra, Vedic Mathematics, Jivanmuktiviveka,Panchadashi, Devi Mahatmyam and so on.

    For more detail visit: www.v0.chinfo.org/index.php/cif-books

  • Campus Facilities

    Over time, the sprawling campus has been restored to its original style and glory. Today, CIF welcomes research scholars to its elegantly furnished reference library that houses over 25,000 books and 30 journal subscriptions. In addition, encompassed within CIF's campus are a meditation hall, residential quarters, a computer lab with Internet access, kitchen and dining facilities, temples and prayer rooms for solitude and worship, serene spaces for reflection and self-study, and lecture halls for discourses and conferences. CIF has come to be acclaimed as an ideal place for learning, contemplation, and retreat. Shivaranjini, CIF Annexe in Kottayam has been planned to function as a satellite centre of CIF.

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Swami Chinmayananda
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