Speech given by Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayanandaji at Adi Sankara Nilayam on 1st November 1992.
On the occasion of the inauguration of the Eswara Kripa building's IInd Block.
(This was the last visit of Pujya Gurudev to Adi Sankara Nilayam)

I am so happy to come here again and see the progress of the construction of buildings at Adi Sankara Nilayam. This time I could go and look at every part of the renovated ancient structure of Adi Sankara’s ancestral house. They have done the new buildings also well.

My attempt here is to build a Study and Research Centre for both the Eastern and Western scholars to come and stay here and amplify the relevance of ancient terms and terminologies of Sanskrit literature in the context of the modern way of life. This is the most appropriateplace to do such research work because it was here that the great commentator of Upanishads, Sri. Sankara, was born 1200 years ago. But for Sankara’s commentaries, we would not have understood the hidden meanings and depths of our spiritual heritage.

In the West, there are scholars who want to get initiated into the various facets of Vedic lore. Unfortunately in India, many of those who are deeply learned in Sanskrit cannot communicate the wisdom enshrined in Sanskrit, to the modern world. And those who know English have hardly any entry into the depths and width of Sanskrit. We have to therefore identify those Indian scholars who know Sanskrit in depth and also have the skill to
communicate that wisdom in English. If we bring the Eastern and Western scholars together on to one platform, a lot can be achieved to vitalise modern education with the rejuvenating ideas of our ancient philosophy, and the fruits of such effort shall percolate down to benefit the common man. Thus Chinmaya International Foundation (CIF) has been set up with a view to throwing a bridge between the fully developed, time-tested, trusted ancient science of the East and the modern, developing branches of science of the West. Thus CIF will be a meeting ground for the Eastern and Western thinkers to open up new channels for ‘world saving’ thoughts. This has to be accomplished to save mankind from the mad programmes of the developed nations for making more and more sophisticated weapons of destruction.

People here think I am wasting a lot of money by constructing these buildings, that this Swami of yours has gone crazy, etc. No, I have a clear vision. After the Madras Yagna session, I am going to America and the far off countries. And during my tour I will be addressing twelve important universities and making them understand the necessity of such a venture. In the meantime I will also be collecting funds for such a great undertaking. You do understand, I will not be able to generate such big funds from this village where the Foundation is being set up.

We have numerous disciplines of science in Sanskrit that the world is yet to know. Apart from the philosophy of our spiritual heritage, which I have succeeded in bringing out to some extent through the Yagnasalas, we have other branches to be investigated. We have not yet explored the possibilities of doing research on the various Sastras in Sanskrit language such as architecture, medicine, alchemy, astronomy, astrology, the various systems of Yoga, and so on. By churning the knowledge contained in such ancient texts, the secrets can be brought out to save and serve humanity from the present ditch of pollution into which it has fallen both externally and internally. Pollution has affected all spheres of human activity, the present efforts in ecology constitute but a very superficial activity. It is doubtful whether these efforts in the name of ’saving the Earth’ can really succeed. It is man who is polluting the environment. According to our Scriptures, outer pollution is a projection of our inner, mental pollution. Chinmaya International Foundation will provide a forum for study in which the thinkers of the world can do research together to evolve a recommendation for cleaning our mental pollution and creating a gracious way of life free of any limitations of caste, creed or colour. Eventually the world has to derive inspiration and guidance from Indian heritage only. Unfortunately all our ancient textbooks are in Sanskrit. Therefore the deep thought contained in them and the technical terms employed by our fore-fathers have to be pragmatically interpreted. Although it is a time consuming and laborious task, we are hopeful of being able to accomplish this.

For all these, experts have to come. I have not done any research. In order to collect data and details of various systems, we need a great library. When I went around these premises that is the only thing I did not find (CIF’s library has improved since then. Yet to attain the standards that Pujya Gurudev envisioned, the Project CIF Has targeted to raise from all helpful sources, INR 50,00,000 so as to set up a comprehensive, and complete library of all the Missions books, audios and videos.

After collecting the data, we may have to publish some of the books in the context of changed times, modern times. For instance, it is said in the ancient texts that a wise man should chant Gayatri Mantra every day in the morning one hundred and eight times standing in neck deep water in a river. If you tell this to the youngsters today, they will tell us that they will do whatever is said in the Vedas without any objection. But Swamiji, they add, show me the river. So then you tell them, if there is no river, go to the bathroom, bathe and chant Gayatri. Then they may come back and say, I went to the bathroom, but there is no water in the tap! At such a juncture, all that you can tell him is to go to the wash- basin and open the tap. So,
river is not necessarily water flowing horizontally upon the earth. When water flows, it is called a river. So, then let our youngsters take the vertical water from the wash- basin and do the Gayatri chanting.

Again, the word ‘non-violence’ (Ahimsa) was externally misconceived and misinterpreted during the period of the Prince of Compassion,
Sri Buddha. Go and see the Devas of the temples here. No "Avatara" has come here without holding Dharma-oriented-weapons. You will find more weapons with the Devis! What are they? If they were simply kept for ornamental purpose, the temples would turn into museums. Our ancestors have kept them with a special purpose. These weapons have to be used whenever the community or nation goes on wrong paths. Creative destruction is always recommended in our tradition. Yet our generation is not able to use these to defend the great and noble causes for fear of the word ‘non-violence’. Our fore-fathers used these weapons to weed the devilish dividing forces and integrate the society to uphold Dharma in the light of justice. Today if we tell our youngsters to employ these weapons for the creative good of the society, they will say, ‘Swamiji, that is against non-violence.’ That is not true. If that be true, why don’t you throw your Gods into the Arabian Sea? I am not recommending all of you to become revolutionaries. But I want you to understand the true import of our scriptures, the true connotations of the terms used. These are some of is the issues that I visualise through the activities of the Chinmaya International Foundation.

We have to set up a Conference Hall to hold discussions, and provide accommodation for the visiting scholars and research students from India and abroad. The technical terms have to be rightly interpreted and published. For this, scholars and professors are expected to come here and do research work. Adi Sankara had interpreted our texts in a revolutionary manner at a crucial period in our history when our philosophy had sunk to the lowest level of misinterpretation and malpractice, and needed urgent resurrection and rehabilitation. As I have already mentioned, these premises - Sri .Sankara’s birth place, is eminently suited to do this work.

Accommodation and boarding for the research scholars shall be free of charge. Vegetarian food will be served to them. The fruits of their research work will be entirely ours. CIF will have the total rights to their work, and we will undertake to publish them and distribute the same through our Mission Centres and authorised agencies. Universities may recognise them and use them as prescribed texts to be taught to the coming generations. I am so glad that all of you could come here from different parts of Kerala, and also so many local residents of Veliyanad have participated in the inauguration of the second phase of Eswara Kripa building at Adi Sankara Nilayam.

Thank you
Swami Chinmayananda