Frequently Asked Questions
What is this 'ancient wisdom of the Himalayas', actually?
One class of thinkers has worked upon the objective world to provide humanity with greater peace and happiness. They are the scientists. Science has made a colossal contribution for human welfare. It has developed the world to near perfection, with press-button comforts. Nevertheless, people are not as happy as they should be. In a perfected world there seems to be only worry and anxiety, suffering and sorrow everywhere. That is a paradox. Another class of thinkers investigated the cause of the paradox. They were the ancient sages living in the Himalayan ranges. These great philosophers analysed the anatomy of an experience. And discovered that the subject, the individual was unattended, neglected to a point of fault. While the world was well taken care of by science. Consequently, the unprepared individual lived in stress and strain in a world of plenty and prosperity. The sages thus focussed their attention on the subject, the individual. And gave out the sublime philosophy of Vedanta. The knowledge designed to rehabilitate the individual to perfection. Access to this knowledge was difficult as it was composed in terse Sanskrit. Over 60 years of study and research Swami Parthasarathy has presented it in contemporary language and thought.
I am a businessperson, how does this all apply to me?
Vedanta equips you with the knowledge to make the right choice of action. Also provides you with the technique of action. A technique you can apply in your home, in your business, in society, everywhere. It gives you a practical way of life to satisfy your material and spiritual needs. Following that course you enjoy prosperity with peace of mind. Swami Parthasarathy’s corporate seminars have been featured in TIME Magazine and Businessweek. He has been a resource for the Young Presidents’ Organisation / World Presidents’ Organisation for the past 30 years.
What does the word Swamiji mean?
Swami = Continuous giver, suffix “-ji” is a term of respect.
Is this Hindu? I am Christian/Jewish/Muslim/etc and am not looking to change.
Vedanta does not rely on the authority of a preceptor. Its truth is its authority. No master or messiah can claim it. No religion has a hold on it. It belongs to one and all. Bears no distinction of caste or creed, community or country. Its universal application appeals to all lovers of truth.
Is this a religion?
Vedanta is known as sanatana dharma meaning Eternal principles. It is systematic knowledge which gives you the true insight into life. Vedanta excels in its scientific exposition. It expounds the truth methodically, logically. Great spiritual masters of the past gave out certain aspects of the truth. But no individual master could possibly cover the whole truth. Just as one scientist, however great, cannot present the entire subject of science. Science is the amalgam of the knowledges contributed by numerous scientists. So it is with Vedanta. Vedanta is the ultimate philosophy laid down by several savants and sages who were realised souls.
Why does Swamiji have a red line on his forehead?
Tilaka, the mark on the forehead is to remind one another to dedicate all actions for one’s progress towards Self-Realisation. It suggests that the Self is the supreme goal and that one should endeavour to reach It through every activity of the day.
Why does everyone wear the cream-coloured uniform at the Academy?
A uniform dress code creates a feeling of cohesiveness and camaraderie among members. It dissolves distinction or disparity in the group. Ushers a sense of decorum and discipline. Most importantly, it standardises one’s attire so one has more time to focus on study rather than what one is wearing on the day.
What is the age group of students or delegates at the Academy?
The three-year residential course is open to students in the age group of 18 to 30. The Academy’s short-term programs are open to all above 15 years.
I am interested in learning more about all of this, where do I start?
Read The Fall of the Human Intellect (also available in Kindle, Ibooks and Audio format). This a good foundation for the 9 books in the collection of works. It is suggested one read the texts between 4am and 6am as it is the time most conducive for clearer and subtler thinking. Browse video here, and full library here.