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Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy

Introduction: The Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy which is aunique institution, was formally consecrated by its holy founder, most Worshipful Gurudev Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj in 1948-His Sannyasa Silver Jubilee Year. Regular classes were commenced from the 3rd July, 1948. It is a Department of The Divine Life Society which came into existence in a humble way in 1936 and has now grown into a huge International Organisation.

Location: The Academy is situated at Shivanandanagar(Rishikesh) in Tehri-Garhwal District of Uttarakhand, India, within the Sivananda Ashram premises which is beautifully laid out on the sylvan Himalayan foothills on the right bank of the holy Ganga. The Ashram serves as a haven of peace to spiritual seekers from all over the world. Here live and work a band of dedicated monks and seekers trained by the great Master Swami Sivananda for the service of humanity. The Academy is at a distance of about 3 kilometers from Rishikesh town and is served by auto rickshaws and taxis. Rishikesh itself is 24 kilometers away from the renowned pilgrim centre, Haridwar, and is linked by rail and road. Regular buses, autos and taxis are available throughout the day. Haridwar is also on the banks of the river Ganga at a distance of 263 kilometres to the north of Delhi on the Delhi-Haridwar-Dehradun rail route.

Aims and Objects: Widest possible dissemination of spiritual and cultural Knowledge is the primary object of The Divine Life Society, under which the Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy functions. All its activities are tuned to this one aim. The Branches and Members of the Divine Life Society work for furthering this lofty object. Its illustrious Founder, Sri Swami Sivananda tirelessly worked for three decades from his hermitage on the bank of the Ganga, in pursuance of this worthy goal.

The aim of the Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy is not merely an academic equipment of students, but a providing of the requisite training to enable them in their endeavour to blossom into truly humane, serviceful, integrated personalities, so that they succeed, at least in an appreciable measure, in living a life of goodness and wholeness personally, and of dedication, unselfish cooperation and constructive work socially. It needs no special mention that this achievement in one's own person and in society is obviously rooted to the extent to which one's practical life is attuned to the Ultimate Reality of the Universe. Philosophical discipline, thus, is the precondition for leading a perfectly sociable, ethical and progressive life of an onward expansion towards the realisation of the Supreme Goal of existence. The teachers of the Academy will strive to hold aloft this objective set before the students, and are not just instructors in the well-known intellectual sciences. The basic spiritual foundation of all life is the principal motif governing the curriculum of the Academy, and students with this elevated spirit of quest will seek admission.

As it would be clear from what is stated above, the objective of the Academy is to prepare the person for a successful life in the world and to facilitate the living of a wholesome life with an integrated personality. As such, applicants will kindly note that the intention of the Academy is not merely to provide them with scriptural learning or textual information, though the lessons will also include profound studies in the essential scriptures such as the Upanishads, the Bhagavadgita, the Yoga-Sutras of Patanjali, etc.

Founded with a view to bringing about an effective revival of the grandest inner aspect of Bharatvarsha's great Adhyatmic and Dharmic Culture, the Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy (formerly Yoga-Vedanta Forest University) chiefly aims at teaching one and all the way of attaining Perfection of life through the well-established and time-honoured methods of Yoga-Sadhana.

It seeks to give to all students a comprehensive knowledge of developing their inner nature, their mental faculties and physical health as well. The students are also trained in the practical methods of Yoga and Vedanta.

Therefore, the Course conducted in the Academy is of the nature of a discipline and not merely an occasion for Darshan or Satsanga with Saints and Mahatmas, though the latter too will be an advantage of which the students can avail themselves simultaneously with the training imparted during the course.

Anyone who fulfills the required qualifications can join the Academy, if he is really eager to practise Sadhana and attain Perfection. He must be able to adapt, adjust and accommodate, to the circumstances that prevail here. He must be willing, ready and eager to do service as Sadhana. He must be active, peaceful, kind and mindful of his own development. He must be humble, simple and eager to learn. He must be obedient and imbued with a spirit of self-sacrifice. Such a one will surely profit by his stay here.

Number of courses conducted:

The Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy will be conducting regular course in Yoga-Vedanta on a systematic basis. At present the Academy conducts 3 Courses in a year, each of two months duration.

The details are as follows:-

First Course: March to April

Second Course: May to June

Third Course: September to October

(These details are tentative and can be changed as and when necessary)

The Lectures and Classes will be for six days in a week, from Monday to Saturday, including special lectures, group discussions, homework and reflection by students.

Number of Seats: 40

Age Group: Normally between 20 years and 65 years.

Qualifications: Preferably a Graduate. Good knowledge of English, keen spiritual aspiration and sound health are necessary.

Medium of Instruction: The medium of instruction is English.

Conditions: Smoking, use of intoxicants and drugs and such other dissipating habits are strictly forbidden. Students are expected to live an austere life in the Ashram and should be mentally prepared and physically sound to stand the rigour of the Course.

The selected candidate alone is expected to come. He is not permitted to bring along any other family member or relative with him.

Class Room: Students will have to sit in the Lecture Hall on the floor, on a cushion seat cross-legged. A desk will be provided for writing purposes.

Accommodation: Double-seated room or dormitory will be provided.

Food: Strictly vegetarian food will be provided.

Fee: No fee will be charged for training, boarding and lodging, but any voluntary donation will be gratefully accepted.


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