Sanatana Dharma

In the Academia
Prepared by : Kalyan Viswanathan

Vision of the Foundation
The purpose and mission of the
Sanatana Dharma Foundation
is to strengthen Hindus, Hindu
Communities, Institutions and
Society in the US, India and the

Sanskrit literature is extensive


Other works


Rig, Yajur, Sama, Atharva

Drama, Plays
Poetry, Tales








What has survived is a fraction of what has been lost !

Europe discovers Sanskrit (1780’s)
Sir William Jones (1746 – 1794) was an English
Philologist and student of ancient India. He made a
startling and revolutionary discovery that Sanskrit and
European languages are intimately related. He was also
the founder of the Asiatic Society, in Calcutta in 1784.
He lived in India from 1783 to 1794.
The Sanskrit language, whatever be its antiquity, is of a wonderful structure; more
perfect than the Greek, more copious than the Latin, and more exquisitely
refined than either, yet bearing to both of them a stronger affinity, both in the roots of
verbs and the forms of grammar, than could possibly have been produced by accident; so
strong indeed, that no philologer could examine them all three, without believing them to
have sprung from some common source, which, perhaps, no longer exists. - Sir
William Jones

Today, India’s knowledge is lost
• There is virtually no support for the study of Sanskrit in modern
Academic Institutions
• Where there is some interest, it is largely studied as something dead,
belonging to a bygone era, that has no present day value
• Along with the Sanskrit, the extensive literature of traditional India
has also been rendered inaccessible to her own people
• Western study of India, and Hinduism are further distorted by the
use of Western lenses and categories

But this has happened recently, relative to India’s past

India's GDP as a % of the World's GDP
Data Recreation by Emeritus Professor Angus Madison, University of Groningen, Netherlands

Most of us
were born
here !











British Raj





The Passage of Time

Not to know what has been transacted in former times is to continue
always a child.
(Marcus Tullius Cicero – 106-43 BC)

India and England's GDP share

1998 CE

1973 CE

1950 CE

1913 CE

1870 CE

1820 CE

1700 CE

1600 CE

1500 CE

1400 CE

1200 CE

1000 CE

800 CE

600 CE

400 CE

200 CE

0 CE

England begins economic
control of India - gradually

Passage of Time
India's Share of World GDP

England's share of World GDP

England’s Industrial rise coincided with India’s decline

England engineered India’s collapse
India became an agricultural colony of industrial England, supplying
raw materials and providing markets for England’s industrial goods.
The liquidation of the artisan class led to unemployment on a
prodigious scale. What were all the scores of millions, who had so far
been engaged in industry and manufacture, to do now? Where were
they to go? Their old profession was no longer open to them, and the
way to a new one was barred. They could die of course; that way of
escape from an intolerable situation is always open. They did die in
tens of millions. The English Governor General of India, Lord Bentinck,
reported in 1834 that ‘the misery hardly finds a parallel in the history
of commerce. The bones of the cotton weavers are bleaching the plains
of India’.
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru

Literacy Rate

Literacy %



1901 1911 1921 1931 1941 1951 1961 1971 1981 1991 2001 2011

Time (2000 Years)
2011 CE

1991 CE

1951 CE

1911 CE

1871 CE

1821 CE

1701 CE

1601 CE

1501 CE

1401 CE

1201 CE

1001 CE

801 CE

601 CE

401 CE

201 CE

1 CE

Population in Millions

India's Population Growth









The problem of India’s Poverty
• There are numerous stereotypes about India, which taken together
form a significant obstacle to serious study of India and India's
cultural and spiritual traditions.
• Perhaps the most important of these are centered around India's
economic condition.
• India's poverty is often assumed to be a timeless and essential
condition of the Indian people, somehow deriving from India's own
worldview and culture.
• The consequence of this belief is that India's cultural traditions are
assumed to be responsible, at least indirectly, for her modern day
problems. But this is completely false.

India was an educated society
Respect for learning has always been the redeeming
feature of ‘the East’… The most unscrupulous chief,
the avaricious moneylender, and even the freebooter,
vied with the small landowner in making peace with
his conscience by founding schools and rewarding the
learned. There were hundreds of learned men who
gratuitously taught their co-religionists… There was
not a single villager who did not take a pride in
devoting a portion of his produce to a respected teacher.
G.W.Leitner, collector, Punjab, ~1825

Imperialistic Goals
Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800–1859) was
the Secretary to the Board of Control from 1832
until 1833. Serving on the Supreme Council of
India between 1834 and 1838 he was instrumental
in establishing English as the medium of
instruction in higher education, from the sixth
year of schooling onwards, in place of either
Sanskrit or Arabic
I feel with them that it is impossible for us, with our limited means, to attempt to
educate the body of the people. We must at present do our best to form a class who
may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern - a class of
persons Indian in blood and colour, but English in tastes, in opinions, in morals
and in intellect.

England dismantled the system
• The British began to demand three to four times the
revenue, and demanded it often i.e. twice a year at
fixed intervals irrespective of weather conditions.
• The revenue had to be paid in cash, which meant that
the farmer had to sell his produce in the market to pay
the revenue.
• These moves towards centralization of revenue
ensured that there was hardly any revenue to pay for
social & cultural infrastructure resulting in its death

Resulting in…
1. General impoverishment of the Indians
2. Loss of wealth of the manufacturing classes
3. Transfer of wealth from India to England
…that of the 533 institutions for education now existing in my
district, I am ashamed to say not one now derives support from the
state but there is no doubt that in former times under Hindoo govts,
very large grants were issued for the support of learning
A D Campbell, Collector of Bellary, ~1860

Colonial Motivations
Friedrich Max Muller (1823 – 1900) was a German
Philologist and Indologist. He learnt Greek, Latin,
Arabic, Persian and Sanskrit and moved to England, in
1846 to study the Sanskrit manuscripts collected by the
East India company. He became a Professor of
Philology at Oxford, and became the leading expert on
Indian Culture and the Sanskrit Language.
1. It [Veda] is the root of their religion and to show them what the root is, I feel
sure, the only way of uprooting all that has been sprung from it during the
last three thousand years.
2. The ancient religion of India is totally doomed and if Christianity doesn't
step in whose fault will it be ?

Conversion Imperative
Sir Monier Monier-Williams (1819-1899) studied,
documented and taught Asian languages in
England and compiled one of the most widely-used
Sanskrit-English dictionaries.
Monier-Williams was the second occupant of the
Boden Chair of Sanskrit at Oxford University
following Horace Hayman Wilson, who had started
the University's collection of Sanskrit Manuscripts
in 1831. Indian studies in England came to be
dominated by the demands of Government and
Christian evangelism.
When the walls of the mighty fortress of Brahmanism are encircled, undermined
and finally stormed by the soldiers of cross, the victory of Christianity must be
signal and complete

Karl Marx on India – I (1853)
India, then, could not escape the fate of being conquered,
and the whole of her past history, if it be anything, is the
history of the successive conquests she has undergone.
Indian society has no history at all, at least no known
history. What we call its history, is but the history of the
successive intruders who founded their empires on the
passive basis of that unresisting and unchanging society.
The question, therefore, is not whether the English had a right to conquer
India, but whether we are to prefer India conquered by the Turk, by the
Persian, by the Russian, to India conquered by the Briton. England has to
fulfill a double mission in India: one destructive, the annihilation of the old
Asiatic society, the other regenerating and laying the material foundations
of Western society in Asia.

Karl Marx on India – II (1853)
• All the civil wars, invasions, revolutions, conquests, famines,
strangely complex, rapid, and destructive as the successive action in
Hindostan may appear, did not go deeper than its surface.
• England has broken down the entire framework of Indian society,
without any symptoms of reconstitution yet appearing.
• This loss of his old world, with no gain of a new one, imparts a
particular kind of melancholy to the present misery of the Hindoo,
and separates Hindostan, ruled by Britain, from all its ancient
traditions, and from the whole of its past history.
The breakdown of the Indian social framework orchestrated by the British
involved one critical dimension – cutting off the Indian people from

Karl Marx on India – III (1853)
• Arabs, Turks, Tartars, Moguls, who had successively overrun India,
soon became Hindooized, the barbarian conquerors being, by an
eternal law of history, conquered themselves by the superior
civilization of their subjects.

• The British were the first conquerors superior, and therefore,
inaccessible to Hindoo civilization. They destroyed it by breaking
up the native communities, by uprooting the native industry, and
by levelling all that was great and elevated in the native society.
• The historic pages of their rule in India report hardly anything
beyond that destruction. The work of regeneration hardly
transpires through a heap of ruins. Nevertheless it has begun.
The Work of Regeneration however, did not recover India’s ancient dignity

Karl Marx’s Framework
The Bourgeoisie



The Proletariat


The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles
Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto, 1848
The hand-mill gives you society with the feudal lord; the steam-mill, society with the
industrial capitalist
Karl Marx, The Poverty of Philosophy, 1847

Karl Marx’s Framework
In the picture shown on the left, there are five
classes of people – however only two classes count
according to Karl Marx.
The Exploited masses and the Exploiters.
The Rulers, Priests, Military and the Owner Class
constitute a nexus that allows for and sustains the
basic exploitatory opposition
In this paradigm, Man has exactly two choices in
life – He can either be an exploiter or be exploited.

“Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the
heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless
conditions. It is the opium of the people.” - Karl

Jawaharlal Nehru

Jawaharlal Nehru was more a British Prime Minister than an Indian one !

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (1888 – 1958) became the
first Education Minister of India, and remained as its
Education Minister for 11 years until his death. However
a little known fact about Abdul Kalam Azad was that he
was a devout Muslim born in Mecca in Saudi Arabia !
His Father was a Bengali Muslim, and his mother was
the daughter of an Arab, Sheikh Mohammad Zaher Watri,
and they were living in Mecca, when Azad was born.
Under the able leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru and Maulana Abul Kalam
Azad, the Indian Constitution, decrees in its article 28 that, “no religious
instruction shall be provided in any educational institution wholly
maintained out of state funds”. However Article 30 of the Indian
Constitution grants the “right on all minorities religion or linguistic, to
establish and administer educational institutions of their choice”

Article 28 and 30 in Indian constitution
Under the able leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru and Maulana
Abul Kalam Azad, the Indian Constitution, decrees in its
article 28 that, “no religious instruction shall be provided in
any educational institution wholly maintained out of state
However Article 30 of the Indian Constitution grants the
“right on all minorities religion or linguistic, to establish
and administer educational institutions of their choice”.

Westernized Scholarship on India
• Martha Nussbaum : argues that the India's internal clash today is between
the good guys who are enlightened westernized liberal Indians under her
spell, versus the bad guys who are militant “Hindu thugs.”
• Lise McKean : provides an example of a western academician who harbors
hatred of Indian traditions, seeing the whole guru tradition as part of the
oppressive “Hindu nationalism.” Her sensationalist book was published
by the prestigious University of Chicago Press.
• Romila Thapar: argues that the entire Indian civilization and by
extension the Indian state are nothing but oppressive devices controlled
by dominant ethnic groups and that they need to be dismantled.
• Meera Nanda: Virulently denouncing Indian culture and Hinduism as
being intrinsically anti-scientific whereas Protestantism (whose Templeton
Foundation funds her) she sees as scientific and progressive. She accuses
India's nation builders of a neo-Nazi mindset and pseudo-science.

The Academia examines India and Hinduism through a Western Lens

Westernized Scholarship on India
• Vijay Prashad: Champions the Afro-Dalit collaboration to shape the
identity of marginalized Indians and leads a prominent Marxist
organization that tries to recruit young Indian American students on US
campuses through a variety of activities.
• Angana Chatterjee: The most prominent Indian on the faculty of a
California university that was set up explicitly to promote the teachings of
Sri Aurobindo in the West, but she has used this podium in the opposite
direction by lashing out against anything Hindu, seeing it as an evil
conspiracy to oppress innocent people.
• Jeffrey Kripal : Ramakrishna was a conflicted, unwilling, homoerotic
Tantrika … Tantra’s heterosexual assumptions seriously violated the
structure of his own homosexual desires. His female Tantric Guru and
temple boss may have forced themselves … on the saint … but
Ramakrishna remained … a lover not of sexually aggressive women or
even of older men but of young, beautiful boys… Ramakrishna’s mystical
experiences were constituted by mystico-erotic energies that he neither fully
accepted nor understood

Every possible Western category is admissible in understanding India

The problem of categories


The Western Paradigm



But Western Categories do not capture the heart of India !

Materialistic Pre-occupations
Wealth Creation

Private Enterprise
Get Rich and Enjoy

Wealth Distribution

Public Ownership
Sacrifice for society

Indian Categories of thought – in particular India’s Spirituality is missing

The Indian Categories
The Indian Paradigm
Is Primarily a Hindu


The Western Paradigm



The Indian Categories that emphasize spirituality have been banished !

How do we reverse this ?
• We need a new kind of Educational Institution – one that studies
Sanskrit and India more responsibly

• We need a critical mass of a new kind of Scholars and Scholarship
• We need to legitimize and accredit the authentic study of India’s
civilizational heritage, within the modern Academy
• We need to create new curricula, programs, faculty and
environments that are protected from the Western Academy

This is the motivation of Dharma Civilization Foundation

Dharma Civilization Foundation
Unfolding Dharma for the welfare of the
individual and the world
Promoting the understanding of India’s
civilization, religion and culture through

Dharma Civilization Foundation seeks to reverse this trend

Dharma Civilization Foundation
Mission Statement

To establish the systematic Academic study of
“Dharma”, its interpretation and application
through the creation of Visiting Professorships,
Endowed Academic Chairs, Fellowships,
Scholarships, Centers, Academic institutions,
Conferences, Journals, Book Series, Publishing
projects, Think-tanks and related institutions
throughout the world

DCF’s Current Engagements
1. Graduate Theological Union
2. Claremont Lincoln University
3. University of Southern California
4. University of California, Irvine
Dharma Civilization Foundation plans to set up Chairs in all three

Dimensions of DCF’s Strategy
Relationships &


· India Center and Chair at University of Southern California (USC)
· College of Hindu Dharma Studies and Center for Dharma Studies at CLU
· Fellowships and Chair at University of California, Irvine, (UCI)
· MoU’s with USC, GTU, CLU, UCI and Indian Universities such as Amritha
University and Sastra University

· Masters Degrees (MA) in Hindu Civilizational studies
· Masters Degrees (MA) in Vedic Chaplaincy
· Masters Degrees (MA) in Dharma Studies Masters Degree in Hindu
Theology and Philosophy
· PhD Programs in Hindu Dharma studies and Hindu Civilizational studies

Books, Texts and

· International Journal in Dharma Studies
· Thematic Dharma Book series for Scholars and Lay persons
· College level Text Book on Dharma Studies

Conferences and

· Swami Vivekananda International Conference at USC
· North American Academic Retreat
· Academic Retreat in India

Fellowships and

· Fellowships and Grants of Scholarships for students at USC, CLU and UCI
and other universities
· Post-doctoral Fellowships for Students from India, who wish to pursue their
higher studies


The Signing Ceremony at the University of Southern California (USC) for the founding
of the Swami Vivekananda Visiting Professorship in 2012. This position is currently
occupied by Professor Rita Sherma, an eminently Pro-Hindu Scholar.

Dr. Rita Sherma
Swami Vivekananda Visiting Professor at USC
• Initiated Spiritual Teacher (Kashmir Shaiva)
• MA and PhD in Theology and Ethics from
Claremont Graduate School

• Creator of DANAM i.e. Dharma Academy of
North America at the American Academy of
• Coordinator, Center for Dharma Studies at
Claremont Lincoln University

Between 1962 and 1968
the GTU had nine member
Schools all of which were
Christian :


American Baptist
Seminary of the West
Church Divinity
School of the Pacific
Pacific Lutheran
Theological Seminary
San Francisco
Theological Seminary
Pacific School of
Starr King School of
the Ministry
The Dominican School
of Philosophy and
Jesuit School of
Franciscan School of

All of these Schools were
independently Accredited
by both WASC and ATS

Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley
From 1968 to today, GTU
has expanded to include
many affiliated Centers
and Institutions such as…

Graduate Theological Union, by virtue of its
own vision and mission, which has evolved over
time, represents one of the most hospitable
environments for the creation of a College of
Hindu Dharma Studies in North America

1.Center for Jewish
2.Center for Urban Black
3.Center for Hermeneutic
Studies in Hellenistic and
Modern Culture
4.Center for Women and
5.Center for Pacific and
Asian Americans
6.Center for the Study of
Theology and the Natural
7.Institute of Buddhist
8.Center for the Arts,
Religion and Education
9.Center for Islamic


College of Hindu Dharma Studies

College of Hindu Dharma Studies

College of Hindu Dharma Studies

The Scale of DCF’s Vision

2013 : Initiative

Sanatana Dharma Foundation
Is partnering with

Dharma Civilization Foundation
In its Academic initiatives – specifically, to set
A College of Hindu Studies at

The Graduate Theological Union
Sanatana Dharma Foundation will align many of its activities with this initiative

SDF’s 2013 : Initiative
Swami Dayananda
Saraswati Endowed Chair
for the study of Hindu
This Chair will be located in a University of
repute in North America (Lile;y GTU)

Sanatana Dharma Foundation will raise $3.3 Million for this endowed Chair

2013 : Our Vision

Swamy Dayananda
Saraswati, Endowed
Chair for the Study of
Hindu Dharma

Followed by chairs in the name of Ammachi, Sri Sri
Ravishankar, Swamy Chinmayananda, Swaminarayan or
Pramukh Swamy Maharaj and so on. There are many other
groups such as Gayatri Parivar, Brahmakumaris, who may
also be interested.

SDF will partner with DCF, in engaging with these Gurus and Dharma
Acharyas, to encourage them to invest in building this College of Hindu
Dharma Studies. This will lend enormous prestige to the College.

Dharmaarthi Volunteer
We need a 108 Volunteers (called Dharmaarthi’s)

Will raise $1008 from 10 people each for a total of $10080
each, during a one year period.
This will raise a total of $ 1,088,640 in a one year period.
We will ask the donors to give over a 3 successive years.
108 Volunteers * $1008 per person * 10 people * 3 years = $ 3,265,920
This will be used to jump start the Chair over a 3 year period

Please get us started on this journey !
Donate generously !
Become a Dharmaarthi Volunteer !!
Contact us at the following numbers :
Kalyan Viswanathan : Gopal Ponangi :
Hari Ramasubbu :
Srinath Chakravarty :