Aim of science & spiritualism is same: Chinmay Pandya
Dr Chinmay Pandya is philosopher, psychiatrist, writer, doctor, professor and editor – all rolled into one. At first sight, he gives the impression of Sanskrit scholar with radiant face and round tilak on his forehead, but once he starts conversing in English, he belies his first impression.
He got his early education in a spiritual environment of Shantikunj, which was founded by Pt Shriram Sharma Acharya. He was deeply influenced by Indian culture and tradition which focuses on spiritual awakening. Presently, Dr Pandya is working as Pro Vice Chancellor of Dev Sanskriti University at Haridwar (Uttarakhand). He is also working as an editor of International Journal on Vedic culture, popularly known as Dev Sanskriti. In a close interaction with Millennium Post, he talked on many issues. Here are excerpts:
Q: What was the idea behind starting this traditional Gurukul style of teaching blended with latest scientific research and experiments?
Albert Einstein once said, ‘Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.’ The aim of science and spiritualism is same to search out the truths hidden in the womb of nature. The path may be different, but the goal is same. It was the mission and vision of Pt Shriram Sharma Acharya to start the educational institution based on scientific spirituality and grounded in a spiritual lifestyle.
His long-cherished dream turned into reality, when Dev Sanskriti University came into existence in 2002 in the natural environment of holy city of Haridwar, close to Ganga River. Recognised by University Grants Commission (UGC), the university campus is spread over 86 acres of land, which mainly focus on the holistic developments of the students which comes here from all parts of India and abroad too. To establish harmony between science and spirituality is the ultimate goal of this university.
Q: How your university is different from others?
We are working on innovative experiments, which others are not doing. We are working on overall development of a student –physically, mentally, spiritually and psychologically. The relation between guru and shishya (student) here is strong and cordial, and not professional which most other university encourages.
Both are supposed to follow the strict rules of Gurukul style of functioning, and never cross the control lines. The peaceful and salubrious environment of our educational institute is a major contributor in achieving all these traits of a student. We are guiding students to a right direction, so that they can be useful to the society and to the nation.
In our premises, the university Chancellor himself takes the initiative of conducting classes regularly on Bhagawad Gita and meditation. The main aim of this session is to maintain the psychological well-being of the students so that he/she can handle all situations of life practically and came out victorious in all circumstances.
Life management has been made a compulsory course for each student of any faculty. We cover various topics like lifestyle management, study management, time management, stress management, relationships management etc., so that he/she can manages his/her life well in future.
Q: Why is the need of value education at university level?
Today’s youth have no direction in life. They are mainly focused in earning enough to accumulate materialistic things in life. They have no attachment for relatives, old friends and near and dear ones. In pursuit of materialistic gains, they forget their roots, family values and bonds. They have no close friends with whom they can share their sorrows and burdens of lives. We are aping western lifestyle, which doesn’t tell us the ultimate goal of life.
Search for materialistic gains is like a mirage, which never ends till last breathe. When they achieve one thing, then they run after another which is not available to them. In search of unrealistic things in life, they spoil their precious life and found themselves alone at the dead end of their lives.
Q: What is the ultimate goal of life?
The real goal of life is self-realization and purification of inner soul. It can’t happen in single day, but it needs constant practice, vigil and meditation. We should know: what is the purpose of life and why we have come on this earth. There are several lives in various forms, but in only human form, we can realise the supreme-being, the real force who is governing this entire universe. This is not figment of imagination found in mythological stories, but our ancient sages acknowledge it and share it with others. Even the top scientists have also accepted it.
Q: What are your future plans?
We are planning to introduce new job-oriented courses in our faculty, so that our students can become self-reliant and productive to the society. We are already providing master’s degree in hot subjects like tourism management, computer science, journalism & mass communication, applied education etc. Besides this, we also want to extend our helping hand to talented but poor child of the society who couldn’t manage higher study due to lack of resources and facilities. We expect from him that one day when he stands at his own feet, he will also pick-up the poor and needy student of the society to continue their education.