Jiva University

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Meeting at Jiva Institute: Swami Vijnanananda, Satyanarayana Dasa and Dr. Partap Chauhan

This document presents a plan for establishing Jiva University–an initiative undertaken by Jiva Institute to create a world-class educational institution based on the traditional sciences of India. We welcome you to share the plan with others who would be interested to join hands with us in the development of this project. Feel free to send us your thoughts and suggestions.

What is Jiva University?

Jiva University is a proposed educational institution of higher education that will offer an array of degree and non-degree courses rooted in the traditional sciences and knowledge systems of India. These programs will not only provide students with the knowledge and skills that will contribute to their successful professional readiness and placement, but that will also equip them with a sense of responsibility toward society and the environment. Jiva University will be the first in modern times to be based truly on the Indian paradigm. The vast majority of higher educational institutions have been built upon Western conceptual models, which has created a distorted view of Indian culture and philosophy. With an Indian framework at its core, Jiva University will enable Eastern topics–as well as Western topics–to be studied from this indigenous perspective. The university aims to achieve the highest possible standards that will enable it to be on par with the top academic institutions internationally. We will engage world-class faculty members to teach as well as to perform research on a wide range of topics across all disciplines, and in doing so, create the world’s premier destination that balances both the East and West–and which produces students who bring balance to themselves and the world.

Where will Jiva University be located?

Jiva University will be located in Hodal, Haryana, two hours south of New Delhi.

When will it be open? / How long will it take to develop?

Initial courses will be available from 2015. The first colleges will open in 2015-16. The university status will be achieved by 2017.

Who is developing Jiva University?

Satyanarayana Dasa, Rishi Pal Chauhan, Dr. Partap Chauhan (from l.to r.)

Dr. Satyanarayana Dasa, Rishi Pal Chauhan, Dr. Partap Chauhan

Jiva University is being developed by Jiva Institute and its founders. Jiva Institute is a non-profit organization, founded in 1992 under the Haryana Societies Act of 1860. Its principal members include Rishi Pal Chauhan, Dr. Satyanarayana Dasa, Dr. Partap Chauhan, and Steven Rudolph. Numerous individuals from the fields of academics, business, the social sector, etc., are also participating in making the university become a reality.

Why Jiva University is needed?

The advancement of any society depends on the quality of its educational system. The developed countries of the world have invested tremendous resources in their educational institutions, and, as a result, they have made great strides in their infrastructure, standard of living, health, state management, science and technology. Years of quality in their schools and colleges have helped eradicate many of the problems developing countries grapple with: poverty, malnutrition, high infant mortality rate, and diseases, such as cholera and malaria.

Steven Rudolph and Babaji

Steven Rudolph and Satyanarayana Dasa

However, despite this progress, research has shown that the levels of happiness and peace of people in these countries are not very high–in fact, they are even lower than those in nations of much lesser means. Though their people are well-educated and enjoy extensive material comforts, they are plagued by lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and cancer, and have a disproportionately large percentage of its population suffering from mental disorders. It is even more alarming that millions of children as young as five years old are regularly diagnosed with problems related to hyperactivity, attention disabilities, and depression, and subsequently prescribed powerful drugs to combat these conditions. In the realm of marriage, developed countries have disproportionately high levels of divorce. In the United States, mass murders in schools have become commonplace. And with respect to the economy, devastating crises have created significant imbalance in employment, housing, and capital markets, which threaten the economic fabric of the entire world. So then what can we say about such “progress” if it cannot bring about peace of mind, loving relations, and economic stability? And then what can ultimately be said about the modern system of education that has contributed toward this breakdown?

There is a famous quote in the Vedas that says sa vidya ya vimuktaye: Knowledge is that which leads one from suffering to freedom. This simple statement lays the foundation of a good education system. As such, if the current education system is not bringing about peace, freedom from fear and anxiety, good health, prosperity and happiness in the society, there is something fundamentally wrong with it. The reason that the modern education system has not delivered its desired results lies in its essential purpose: it is an outgrowth of the Western era of industrialization–a factory-style framework that aims exclusively to maximize economic development with little regard for the environment and for the personal growth of the individual.

The Western style of education was introduced to India in the mid 1800s when India fell under the rule of the British, whose aim was dominate the country and exploit it financially. This change of learning paradigms alienated people from their indigenous skills and culture, which were critical for their survival and enrichment in their own local, socio-economic ecology. The result was a cascade of problems that have compounded over the years, and which are responsible for the many predicaments that India finds itself in today. In contrast to this, the classical Indian education system was founded on principles of dharma, which while addressing material prosperity, focused primarily on self-discipline and maintaining balance in society and with the environment. Each student understood his unique nature and was guided closely by caring teachers who instilled in him the ultimate lesson: that the world should be seen as a single interdependent unit, and should be considered as one large family (vasudha eva kutumbakam). It was because of this holistic approach in the past that India made advancement in every field, be it arts, technology, sciences, and business, and became the world’s largest economy as recent as 400 years ago.

Developed countries are aware of how severe the circumstances have become, and the degree to which they affect everyone on earth. However, they are attempting to solve these problems by creating new technologies–while simultaneously trying to increase the size of their economies. Unfortunately, this is like trying to put a fire out by adding fuel to it. And even for those who believe that the solution lies in the realm of education, the response has largely been to equip students and teachers with more and better digital devices. Seeing the undesirable outcome of the modern education system, the founders of Jiva Institute strongly feel a need to create an institution of learning that will re-establish the essential principles found in India’s traditional approach to education.

By doing so, we will directly address the root cause of the world’s problems, and will create solutions that begin with shaping a complete individual–helping him understand who he is, what is his role in the world, and how he can create a sustainable life, family, community, society and planet. If there is a fastest and most effective way in which to address these problems, then this is it. We have tremendous faith in the capability of humanity, and in the power of these great traditions. Through Jiva University, we will bring together the greatest minds of India and internationally, and inspired by this incredible indigenous wisdom, we will engender a new paradigm for social, economic, and environmental sustainability for generations to come.

Jivakul Residential School

As we develop Jiva University, we will also open a residential school, Jivakul, in the same area as the university. The school will also be based on the same principles of the traditional Indian knowledge systems. This will enable us to create a complete “Jiva” educational system that runs from Nursery all the way up to PhD level. It will be ideal for individuals internationally who want their children to have a modern education in a truly holistic environment, as well as for staff members who have children. The Jivakul approach will focus on self-development and a personalized curriculum that will enable learners to construct their own learning paths as per their unique natures. This methodology draws off the two decades of research at Jiva Public School Faridabad, where thousands of students have already benefitted from these concepts.

How will Jiva University be developed?

Jiva University will be developed in phases. These include:

Activity

Date

1. Additional acquisition land

2014

2. Offering of courses and workshops in (in India and abroad) 

2014

3. Establishing an Ayurvedic College & Hospital & Research Center 

2015

4. Establishing Jivakul Residential School 

2015

5. Establish College of Indian Arts & Sciences

2016

6. Establish College of Architecture and Design

2016

7. Establishing Jiva University

2017

How can I get involved?

We welcome you to get in touch with us to be involved in the Jiva University project. There are many ways you can do so. These include:

  • Planning to teach courses with us
  • Curriculum design and development
  • Architectural planning, design, and implementation
  • Landscaping and development of permaculture on the campus
  • Conducting talks and seminars in your area on our short-term courses and about Jiva University
  • Establishing tie-ups between Jiva and other universities and institutions of learning
  • Connecting us with professors and researchers interested in our concepts
  • Creating awareness through events and online means
  • Helping in fundraising

 

Contact Information

For more information about Jiva University, please contact Kajal Chauhan at kajal@jiva.com or by phone at +91-9818466448. We welcome your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions.

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