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. Chinmaya International Foundation stands as a bridge between East and West, past and present, science and spirituality, and pundit and public.
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.
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:
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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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