Why School of Vedic Sciences
To provide higher education that systematically trains youth to be physically tenacious, intellectually sharp, emotionally balanced, spiritually elevated and socially responsible – Impart generic learning skills to rapidly excel in any field via a judicious blend of Vedic (i.e. traditional Indian) and contemporary knowledge with ample opportunity for practice.
The founders of the MIT School of Vedic Sciences believe that for rapid all-round welfare and elevation of the society, a deep understanding and application of India’s Vedic knowledge heritage is essential. However, keen intellectual acumen (called Viveka in Samskrit) is also required to apply the Vedic insights in the current context. India’s native educational tradition has excellent methodologies to cultivate the necessary intellectual and emotional culture among youth.
MIT School of Vedic Sciences aims to impart the necessary culture to the next generation of individuals to prepare them for taking this noble work ahead. We feel that the time is ripe, since the primary passion of youth is shifting from economic prosperity to societal impact.
Challenges in Higher Education Today
Currently in India, apart from graduates from a few reputed colleges, the subject matter of a bachelors’ degree is becoming largely irrelevant in terms of employability. Mainstream education is increasingly producing less employable individuals. The common complaint by employers is that candidates fresh out of college are not thorough in their subject or its application, are risk-averse and myopic.
As a result, employers are hiring candidates less based on their degree subject, and more based on their generic learning and analytical abilities assessed via aptitude tests. Once hired, candidates are being trained for specific job skills by employers themselves. Both knowledge and skill acquisition are happening on the job, rather than during studies, implying that the years spent in formal bachelors’ education are less productive. This trend points to a significant lacuna in our education system, viz. the lack of training to think independently, and to acquire and apply knowledge by oneself wisely.
We believe that in order to prepare our youth for the 21st century enterprise, this lacuna must be addressed urgently. Educational institutions must pay explicit attention to improving learning and analytical abilities on the one hand, and character traits on the other. Once trained, individuals will be able to learn and be productive in any field much more rapidly.
We believe that education in Vedic Sciences has the power to address the above lacuna effectively by honing the W.I.S.E. qualities mentioned earlier – including creating awareness of their meaning, their obstacles and how to overcome them.
We draw inspiration from Swami Vivekananda’s electrifying and prophetic words of wisdom about the emerging era of India as the leader and guide for the world, and the central role of Indian Vedic heritage to usher in the era.
We also draw guidance from this gem of wisdom from the Valmiki Ramayan on the essential qualities for success, as told by Devas in praise of Hanuman on his successfully crossing the ocean.
It means, “O Hanuman! Those who have these four W.I.S.E. qualities like you do – Will, Insight/Vision, Strategic thinking and Execution – will never fail in their work.”
धृति is the steadfastness to persevere against odds.
दृष्टि is the ability to visualize and clarify the goal.
मति is the ability to formulate an effective plan of action that leads to the goal.
दाक्ष्यं is the skill to execute the action.
In contemporary education, these qualities are left to develop in individuals ad hoc, just as a side-effect; but not given primary focus and systematic training they deserve.
The MIT Ecosystem and its Unique Strength
MIT Group of Institutions has earned a solid reputation in Maharashtra and elsewhere for higher education in science, engineering, medicine and management. As a result, it routinely attracts a steady stream of talented individuals for mainstream education in diverse areas.
MIT School of Vedic Sciences is uniquely positioned to leverage this well-established ecosystem. Specifically, it will channelize and enrich the talent of its students by offering them a parallel curriculum of Vedic scientific education. Mainstream bachelors and master’s students will be able to study Vedic subjects as electives. Similarly, those who opt for mainstream education in Vedic Sciences can take up contemporary subjects as electives. This crossbreeding of subjective and objective skills will create a unique blend of talent that will enhance the graduating students’ value to the society in the years to come. The physical co-location of both schools makes it especially convenient for students to train their skills across domains via multi-disciplinary projects and internships.
The contemporary society’s need of the hour is skillful integration of the foundational, holistic and value-based subjective Vedic knowledge with the practical economic utility and efficiency benefits of modern scientific knowledge. Hence, we believe these streams should go hand-in-hand for the best overall welfare of the society. MIT School of Vedic Sciences offers a step in that direction.
Guiding Principles for Vedic Science Education at SVS
MITSVS board of studies has laid down the following principles to guide its education programs:
- Adopt the integrative approach to education that is inherent to the Vedic tradition, unlike the segregated study of different branches of knowledge as is prevalent today.
- Emphasize hands-on practice of the concepts taught, evaluate proficiency via the ability to teach others and to apply the concept to a contemporary scenario.
- Equip the student with both, the Western and Vedic view points and their comparison. This is critical to bridge the semantic gap between traditional Vedic and modern scholarship.
SVS Approach to Vedic Science Education
The mission of SVS is to enrich modern education with Vedic thought and equip the next generation for holistic success. We’d like to develop future scholars who can bridge the gap between Vedic knowledge systems and the modern discourse. Since, SVS is embedded in a mainstream education system, majority of our students will have a contemporary educational background. They will likely spend relatively less amount of time studying Vedic science subjects than traditional Vedic scholars. However, Vedic sciences are deep, vast and highly inter-connected. Gaining true mastery requires years of full-time study of multiple areas and demand different learning skills that modern students are not trained in. Traditional Indian gurukul systems hone such skills, but their methods are impractical to adopt in the SVS ecosystem.
Hence, SVS adopts a middle path strategy to impart Vedic science education at a level more suited to modern audience. Instead of targeting deep shaastra expertise, we design our curriculum and programs to familiarize modern students with the method and applications of Vedic sciences, and equip them with enough foundational knowledge and interpretative skills to enable further study and research