Chinmaya International Foundation stands as a bridge between the past and present, East and West, science and spirituality, and pundit and public.
Chinmaya International Foundation (CIF), the Academia of Sanskrit Research and Indology, is the research wing of the Chinmaya Mission Worldwide. It is a centre of excellence for the study, research and dissemination of knowledge in the areas of Indian philosophy, culture, art and science, business management, both modern and ancient.
Established in the year 1989, CIF is housed in Adi Sankara Nilayam, the hallowed maternal birth home of the great saint, savant and philosopher Sri Adi Sankara. Located in a small hamlet, Veliyanad, in Ernakulam District, Kerala, India, CIF stands in a 10-acre plot of land amidst luxuriant sun-blessed greenery, temple shrines and lotus ponds. It offers an ambience of peace and solitude for study, research and contemplation to aspirants from all over the world.
Various research activities, academic workshops and seminars, home study courses, publication of research works and preservation of manuscripts, are taken up at CIF. All these are aimed at unravelling India's hidden and lost knowledge-traditions, taking it to the modern world and preserving it for posterity.
The property, despite the passage of time, continues to exude the same old-world charm and grandeur of the era to which it belongs. Time has not diminished the splendour of its architecture or the stone work. What makes Adi Sankara Nilayam grand and heart-warming is its temple complex from the era of Sri Sankara (where he likely worshipped with his mother, the noble Aryamba), built in that inimitable style, typical of the ancient era of yore. To know and behold the great seer's childhood home, and to have and maintain the property of that era makes CIF proud as a committed torchbearer of Sanskrit and Indology.
To dedicate a part of the Chinmaya Mission to Sanskrit Research and Indic Studies was Gurudev’s dream. He often spoke about this research and the need to keep the traditional knowledge of our country alive and not allow it to disintegrate over time. As an exemplary visionary, he introduced the idea of teaching Vedanta in the English language and thus, drove his followers to learn Sanskrit by loving choice.
There was no stopping him or his efforts as he ran from power to power, whipping up such enthusiasm, such purity, and such drive that has no parallel. He visited 26 US Universities and inspired them to study the Indian culture in India at CIF and not necessarily in a foriegn university. Sri Adi Sankara was the fountainhead; Gurudev's CIF became the stream that carried the Indian Knowledge tradition around the globe!
Chinmaya International Foundation (CIF) is the platform for both study and research. This was the primary intention or guiding vision that went into its inception. Swami Chinmayananda had a four-fold vision of the bridge between the East and the West, the Past and Present, Science and Spirituality, and lastly, the Pundit and Public.
Gurudev spoke about starting a Sanskrit University soon after the establishment of CIF in 1991! This came as a surprise to many because at that time even the vision of CIF was not established. CIF had just started its Sanskrit Home Study Courses. Gurudev’s idea of university was mind-boggling.
And when Gurudev spoke about it, he did not do so casually. He spoke of it as a vision. Gurudev said, “Five years down the line, we will have a university for Sanskrit. It will be called Adi Sankara Sanskrit University!” Gurudev also spoke of a possible collaboration with the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.
Today, 25 years after Gurudev's prophetic statement, Chinmaya University is a reality. The University, Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth was established in the year of 2016 with recognition from the UGC under section 3 of 1956. The University will open its doors to the first batch of students to courses in Sanskrit and Indic Traditions at its two campuses - Kochi and Pune - from the academic year 2017-18.
Visit www.chinmayauniversity.ac.in to know more.