Chinmaya International Foundation stands as a bridge between the past and present, East and West, science and spirituality, and pundit and public. ~ Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda
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 on 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 the world over.
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 architecture
or the stone work. What makes Adi Sankara Nilayam grand and heart-warming are the temples from the era of Sri Sankara (where he likely worshipped with his mother, the noble Aryamba), built in that unmistakable style, typical of the ancient era of
yore. To have and to hold a little mansion of that era, and to know and behold the great seer's childhood home, makes CIF's work in Sanskrit and Indology, that much more precious and charming.
There was no stopping him or his efforts as he ran from power to power, whipping up such enthusiasm, such purity, such drive that he also went and visited 26 US Universities
to share with them why he thought they should come to India and study Indian culture in India, at CIF and not in a foreign university! He had his agenda clearly in place: Indic Studies, Sanskrit language study, propagation and enhancement of Sanskrit
and Vedanta, and then dissemination of Indian Knowledge Traditions all over the world. Sri AdiSankara was the fountainhead; Gurudev's CIF became the gushing waters that burst forth, taking India's knowledge tradition, once again around the globe,
shimmering with its robust glory!
- CIF has been recognized by Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, as one of the four premier Sanskrit Research Institutions of India and has been accorded the status of Shodha Sansthan or Centre for Excellence in Sanskrit Research.
- CIF has been recognized by Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala, New Delhi, as Research Centre for their doctoral and PhD study programmes.
- CIF has been recognized Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), New Delhi, as Research Centre for their doctoral and PhD study programmes.
- CIF is also recognised as Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation by Dept. of Industrial and Scientific Research, Government of India.
As early as in 1991, soon after CIF was christened and established, Gurudev talked about wanting to establish a Sanskrit University! At a time when even the role of CIF had not evolved into a Vision Statement, Gurudev’s enunciation was staggering. Keep in mind during this time, the closest CIF came to defining its programs was to create the Sanskrit home study course. To evolve from that fledgling course to a full service university, definitely boggled the mind.
And when Gurudev spoke about it, he didn’t do so casually. He spoke of it as a vision. What is more, he 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 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.