The University of Man

Swami Veetamohananda

 

"Knowledge leads to oneness just as ignorance leads to multiplicity" Sri Ramakrishna
 
"Is there anything more to be taught than the oneness of the Universe and faith in oneself?" Swami Vivekananda

The refinement of science and technology is a consequence of their progress. Today, the notion of mastering a field is associated with a specialization and with expertise. However, it is also true that specialization fragments knowledge and renders it more difficult to have a complete picture.

Vivekananda said that our target must not be specialization but rather universalization. Reaching this goal requires neither travelling the world nor inspecting its many details. Indeed, "No knowledge comes from without; everything is within us. To be precise, psychologically speaking, instead of saying that someone ‘knows’, we should rather say that they ‘reveal’. What someone ‘learns’ is in fact what they ‘discover’, by removing the veil that hides their soul, this mine of infinite knowledge.”

It is in this spirit that Swami Veetamohananda, President of the Ramakrishna Vedanta Centre from 1994 to 2019, founded the University of Man—a complete, holistic, universal university of Man—and thus built upon the work of his predecessor, Swami Siddheswarananda (President of the Centre from 1937 to 1957). Swami Veetamohananda’s first training sessions were given in September 2014.

In September 2019, Swami Atmapriyananda, Vice-Chancellor of the Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda Educational and Research Institute (RMVERI), travelled to France in order to meet with professors at the University of Man and explore the possibility of a partnership with the RMVERI. After years of dedicated planning and development, Swami Veetamohananda had the joy of discovering, just before his passing in November 2019, that the RMVERI had launched a procedure to recognize the Gretz Centre as a branch. The RMVERI is an academic institution founded in 2005 by the Ramakrishna Mission and accredited by the government of India.

In the same way that the four yogas (yoga of service, yoga of love, yoga of knowledge and yoga of meditation) motivate us to fulfill our potential, so the training courses offered at the University of Man aim to develop the excellence of our character, both for our benefit and for that of humanity.

Under the high patronage of H.E. Mrs. Ruchira Kamboj, Ambassador of India to UNESCO, the University of Man launched, on International Yoga Day in June 2017, a research group on the practice of yoga. In effect, this group established the first pillars of what has now become the Institute for Yoga Research and Practice. The mission of the Institute is to study the effect of postures, of mantras, of pranayama and of meditation on the unified system of the body and the mind (the ‘psychophysical system’). By its activities, the Institute also seeks to function according to the original meaning of the word "yoga" ("union").

 

Since November 2019, the Institute’s courses, which were designed by Swami Veetamohananda, are now offered under the spiritual guidance of Swami Baneshananda, acting President of the Ramakrishna Vedanta Centre in Gretz.