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School of Indian Heritage


The Vivekananda School of Indian Heritage aims at creating a band of scholars who will be adequately equipped to conduct meaningful research in Indian Heritage in its multifarious aspects. Integrating India's heritage with her academic and intellectual pursuits in the field of modern fundamental sciences in the light of Swami Vivekananda's advice and instructions to Jamshedji Tata in 1893, when he spoke of a blend of 'natural and humanistic sciences', will be one the important activities of the School of Indian Heritage. Whereas Tata was instrumental in starting two world class Institutes for fundamental science research—first the Indian Institute of Science at Bangalore and later the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research at Mumbai were founded by the Tatas—the amalgamation of 'natural and humanistic sciences' that Swami Vivekananda inspired Jamshedji to do, still remains in the womb of the future. The feeling in academic planners that the lopsided emphasis on science and technology that is producing brilliant technologists and technocrats needs to be corrected by blending it with what Jamshedji called the 'humanistic sciences' is ubiquitous the world over. If we could create an ambience in which fundamental science pursuit, particularly the hard core mathematical science pursuit, is placed alongside Indian Heritage research, we would have achieved the blending that Swamji envisaged. Our vision at the Vivekananda University started by Ramakrishna Mission is precisely to create such an ambience—Vivekananda School of Mathematical Sciences to be located just by the side of Vivekananda School of Indian Heritage. Scholars and professors from one School would freely interact with those of the other, resulting in a natural growth of a composite culture wherein the blend envisioned by Swami Vivekananda and Jamshedji would take place.

Further, Swamiji was the pioneer in the study of physics-philosophy, science-religion interface. More than a hundred years ago, he spoke of these two apparently disparate disciplines coming together and "shaking hands". Being the Prophet of Harmony and Synthesis, Swamiji was quick to see that in the new age that was dawning, spirituality and religion will certainly need to integrate with science and technology, philosophy will need to shake hands with physics. His powerful words is worth recalling in this context:

"Science and religion will meet and shake hands. Poetry and philosophy will become friends. This will be the religion of the future, and if we can work it out, we may be sure that it will be for all times and peoples"

This aspect has also been taken up for serious study and research in Swamiji's University. One of our professors of Physics has been working tirelessly since the inception of the University in 2005 to make a compendium of all the papers, manuals, books and monographs that have been appeared since the beginning of the last century, that is since the brith of quantum physics in 1900, till today, having a bearing on the blend of physics and philosophy, science and religion, modern scientific thought and mystical insights. This compendium is under preparation and likely to run to more than a thousand pages. We believe that this is one pioneering work that the University has to offer to the world in the name of harmony and synthesis of science and religion. Some details of this momentous work are presented in the pages that follow.
The first and foremost proposition that needs to be underscored and seriously understood is that most of Indian Heritage revolves around the classical Sanskrit language, even as most of modern scientific development revolves around the English language. Our main focus therefore would be on Sanskrit Studies—Sanskrit language and literature per se as well as Sanskrit-related studies like study of ancient texts, both philosophical and scientific.