Sri Dakshinamnaya Sharada Peetham, which is in Sringeri in Karnataka, India, is a serene, divine, and glorious abode of the Goddess Sri Sharadamba and the great Acharyas, in the lineage of Adi Shankara. The Acharayas (akin to the Pope) are born to propagate the value of the Sanatana Dharma (Righteous Path). The present Acharya of the Peetham, the 36th Pontiff, is His Holiness Jagadguru Sri Sri Bharathi Tirtha Mahaswamiji, who is also the current Shankarcharya of Sringeri. This institution has facilities for visitors from all over the world and the local devotees to stay over and offer their respects to His Holiness and seek His Blessings.
Sringeri Vidya Bharati Foundation (SVBF), USA is an extension of this Peetham and operates the Sringeri Sadhana Center in Stroudsburg, located in the scenic lush green hills of the Poconos in Pennsylvania. SVBF, USA follows all aspects of its parent institution in India. The mission of SVBF, USA is identical to that of its parent, namely, to protect and propagate Sanatana Dharma in the footsteps of the Pontiff while existing as a law-abiding citizen of the USA. The Sringeri Sadhana Center in Stroudsburg has a tradition of welcoming visitors similar to that of the parent institution in India. The facilities of both the institutions are built specifically with the needs of the devotees in mind.
SVBF was created with the specific intention of keeping the ancient heritage of “Sanatana Dharma” alive in this distant land of the USA, which has become the home to almost all of us. It has become particularly important to keep this heritage alive and well for the sake of our children in this highly volatile, technological world. The existence of this center in the midst of our community allows us to continue our traditions and inculcate the values of our culture, with the blessings of His Holiness. In addition, in order to preserve Vedic rituals at the temple, the center has plans to conduct religious classes, seminars, family retreats and conferences throughout the year for individuals and families. SVBF actively participates in humanitarian and charitable community services in the USA and India.
The mission of the foundation is as follows:
- Educate the devotees – particularly the youth in the values of Hindu religious scriptures (pujas, japa, meditation, yoga and various aspects of Gods worshipped in Hinduism).
- Establish and operate religious retreats for community participation.
- Conduct seminars, Youth Forums and conferences for those interested in learning more about Hinduism and Vedanta..
- To actively participate in humanitarian, Cultural and Charitable Community services in accordance with the prescriptions of our Dharma*
- To organize special events with scholars from the USA, India and other parts of the world, in Hindu religion, philosophy, culture and tradition, as required by our devotees.
* For instance, SVBF sent contributions to help victims of natural disasters (earthquake, floods, hurricanes, and tsunami) in various parts of the world including USA.
With this brief introduction, we would like to focus on a specific vision we have for this center and discuss its various facilities.