Friday, July 24, 2015

SSSIHL (Sai university) urgently needs to have a Pro Vice-chancellor who is an expert on Sathya Sai teachings/writings

After Mahasamadhi of Bhagavan in April 2011, I think Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (SSSIHL) also known as the Sai university, seems to have LOST its spiritual thrust due to the trauma of the immediate post-Mahasamadhi period with many veterans of SSSIHL moving out and relatively young and somewhat inexperienced Sai student-staff holding almost all the vital positions of SSSIHL like Registrar, Controller of Examinations, Campus director, Head of department, Warden etc. The current vice-chancellor of SSSIHL is a very accomplished science academic but who does not seem to have had much exposure to teachings/writings of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

Somehow, SSSIHL seems to have become heavily focused on science (and commerce & arts too, I guess) research, especially bagging high financial value science research projects from govt. agencies like UGC, DRDO etc. But the original vision of the founder-chancellor Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, in founding this Sai university, was a blend of spirituality and secular knowledge with spirituality being given higher importance. And this spiritual thrust of the Sai university seems to have got very diluted, especially after Bhagavan's Mahasamadhi.

How can SSSIHL, Sai university, regain its spiritual thrust now?

Let us see how another university of India having a spiritual master as the founder-chancellor is handling the spiritual thrust aspect of its university. Its chancellor, Mata Amritanandamayi, recently spoke at a UN Academic Impact initiative in New York. For more, please read my blog post on it here: http://ravisiyer.blogspot.in/2015/07/mata-amritanadamayi-address-at-un.html. This university has a regular academic as vice-chancellor, and a spiritual teacher as pro vice-chancellor. From https://www.amrita.edu/about, "Brahmachari Abhayamrita Chaitanya is the Pro Chancellor of Amrita University. One of the prime architects of the university, he has been and is a pillar of support and guidance for all the activities of the University. As a great leader, he is also a source of inspiration to both the students and faculty."

I think SSSIHL (Sai university) should have an expert on Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba's teachings (whose writings on Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba's teachings demonstrate his/her expertise on it) as Pro vice-chancellor. The regular academic vice-chancellor should work hand-in-hand with the Swami teachings expert pro vice-chancellor to ensure that the Sai university's blend of spiritual education & secular education is regained, and then zealously protected & maintained over future years & decades.

I mean, Sai university is a DIVINE university founded by Kali Yuga Avatar, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. It should NOT become a mere deemed UGC university with some Indian cultural programs (drama & music). Right now, it does not even have an academic department for Indian philosophy let alone a department of religion / comparative religion, which leading universities in the world have. Here is info. on Harvard academic programs on religion, http://www.gsas.harvard.edu/programs_of_study/religion.php, and here is info. on the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, http://www.ochs.org.uk/.

No wonder, in the past decade or so, we have almost nothing of note appearing in academic literature and/or mainstream media (like The Hindu newspaper) on Hinduism or religion from Sai university academics, as far as I know. Such matters would have been well publicized in Prasanthi Nilayam and I have not heard of any such thing in the past decade or so. That should change and I think having a Pro vice-chancellor who is focused on that goal, will do wonders for re-gaining the Sai university's spiritual thrust, which is the MOST VITAL ASPECT of the founder, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba's, vision for the Sai university.

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