The Florida-based Hindu University of America will henceforth 'do business as' the International Vedic Hindu University. It has announced plans to expand the Vedic base of its programme offerings.
Paramahamsa Nityananda, founder of the Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam, who was elected chairman of the University recently, will be the "guiding force in the university's future growth and evolution".
Nithyananda's 1,200 meditation centers and 120 meditation academies around the world will offer extended campus services for students. The university would like to reach the goal of 10,000 enrolled students by 2008.
A $2.5 million construction plan will be launched soon as the first phase of the expansion of the current campus.
Florida's department of education has approved the university's request for the DBA (doing business as) status for IVHU, according to Sri Nithya Medhananda, vice president of the university.
At a recent press conference, Braham Aggarwal, founder of the University and a disciple of Paramahamsa Nithyananda, said the aim of the institution had been "to bring the gifts of Hindu culture to people around the world through the Web-based curriculum so that they may excel in all aspects of their personal and professional lives".
Aggarwal became convinced that only Nithyananda could lead the university in its next phase of growth and beyond, with his enlightened insights into Vedic sciences. The 12-acre campus with its existing infrastructure was entrusted to Nithyananda on August 25.
"With his vision and energy, along with the vast infrastructure of centers he has all over the world, there is no doubt the university is under the right leadership. The teachings from Vedic sciences that the university can now offer will enrich people's lives to follow their path more beautifully," Aggarwal said.
Nithyananda praised the university's efforts to present Vedic thought and tradition in an unbiased manner.
"The university has launched an educational temple at the campus that will impart practical and theoretical Vedic knowledge," he said.
"A 6,000 square-foot temple, where all traditions of Hinduism will be represented, is already erected in a temporary structure at the campus," he added. Nithyananda's vision of the university is the one that radiates intelligent knowledge of Vedic traditions through online and campus-based programs like yoga, meditation, Ayurveda, vaastu, Vedic astrology, Hinduism, Vedanta, music, dance and languages.
IVHU plans to establish chairs in the name of enlightened Hindu masters. One in the name of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa has been created and will be held by a representative of that lineage.
The university has also initiated efforts to create a Global Accreditation Board for Vedic traditions. Three hundred well-versed scholars and renowned masters will comprise this group, 70 of whom are in place. In addition to the numerous accreditations, alliances with various universities will be increased to help transfer this knowledge to students around the world.
Some long-term plans, include providing grants for research in the Vedic sciences, a television channel with study programming, an e-newsletter highlighting the university and Vedic events and a library expansion.
Nithyananda reminded the audience of the very first book of Hindus, the Rig Veda, which declares, `Ekam Sat, Viprah Bahudha Vadanti' (there is only one truth; enlightened beings describe it in different ways).
"India has been the land of intense research in the inner world for over 10,000 years. This research has been published by the mystics in the form of scriptures called the Vedas, which form the backbone of the Hindu religion. IVHU is committed to preserve this wisdom of the Vedas and deliver it to the world in its original nascent form," he said.