There are certain questions that we may rightly categorize as “timeless” questions, if only because they are asked again and again in every generation: questions such as “Who am I?”; “Why am I here?”; “Is there any meaning to my existence?”; “What is my destiny?”; “Where am I going in my life?”; “What is happiness?”; “How can I live a fulfilled life?”; “What is a success?”; “Is there a Creator?”; “What is the Creator’s nature?”; “What is my relationship with my maker?”; “What happens after my death?” and so on. These questions pertain to the domain of the “Self” i.e. the human being, you, the reader specifically and your relationship with the world, (called in Sanskrit as Para-Vidya) and not the “Non-Self” i.e. the objectifiable material world, (called in Sanskrit as Apara-Vidya).
However, for the most part, these questions related to the Self, recede into the background of our consciousness in the face of the daily burdens of our lives, i.e. survival, making it, succeeding to whatever extent, success means to us. Hindu thought, across the millennia, beginning with the Vedic era right through to the contemporary times has reflected on these questions, and in the process has left behind a vast body of literature codified into systems of knowledge, spanning texts such as the Vedas, Vedanta, Yoga, Ayurveda, Tantra, Shastras and so on. There have been innumerable teachers, called in Sanskrit, “Gurus”, “Acharyas”, “Rishis”, “Yogis” and so on, who have also left behind a vast treasure trove of commentaries and traditions, philosophies and practices that express that transcendental Vedic knowledge.
Their teachings may have been expressed in the language of a bygone era, and the mentality of current day progressivism may be quick to presume that all that is ancient is obsolete, but is that so? Are these teachings relevant to today’s humanity and its future? Especially when it relates to these perennial and timeless questions? Does Hindu thought have anything to offer to contemporary humanity? Can the problems and challenges that humanity has created for itself within its current level of consciousness be solved from the same level or does it require a fundamental transformation of consciousness?
We are living at a dangerous moment in time when the distinction between knowledge and propaganda is getting increasingly blurred, were deliberately orchestrated misinformation campaigns camouflage falsehood as truth, and individuals are quickly polarized into angry mobs in service of warring ideologies. At the same time, there are mounting crises on the horizon, ranging from climate change and global warming, ever-increasing income and wealth inequality, a dysfunctional health care system, the tide of terrorism and violence, food and water insecurity for vast sections of humanity, extraordinary poverty living side by side with unimaginable wealth, declining ecosystems that threaten the planet itself and so on.
In this background, Hindu University of America exists to enable the pursuit of knowledge, to distinguish the language of wisdom from the noise of propaganda, the attainment of higher consciousness, and a more refined awareness of our place in the cosmos. It aims to provide an authentic and engaged spiritual education. It recognizes the inherent and immanent divinity in all living beings and the universe, enables the integration of introspection, contemplation and experiential learning and facilitates the natural flowering of spiritual intelligence. It seeks to nurture in its students, a life-long love for learning, and a quest to live a life in harmony with the world, that aligns their pursuit of critical thought and academic excellence with spiritual insight and inner development; and the unfoldment of self-understanding and character with the opportunities and possibilities for constructive social engagement and being of service to humanity.
We welcome one and all, regardless of the ethnicity or origin, race, color or gender to participate in the rigorous inquiry represented by the programs and the courses offered by Hindu University of America
Interim President and Executive Vice President,
Hindu University of America