Saraswati Mahavidhyalaya is an institution whose vision is to be a centre for artistic and scientific learning, in keeping with holistic values. The institute is the brainchild of our late patron Swami Shantanand Saraswati.
He envisioned an institute where arts and sciences, ancient and modern, can be learned and explored, synthesised into a holistic experience for the student, since “Truth is One and Paths are Many”. The ultimate goal is to serve humanity through education.
‘Saraswati’ literally means ‘that which is constantly flowing’. ‘Maha’ means great and ‘Vidhyalaya’ translates ‘to seat of knowledge’, therefore “a great seat of knowledge that constantly enlightens the ever changing and moving mind”
In 1975, a Hindu monk, Swami Shantanand Saraswathi set foot in Perth Australia. Swamiji (as he is reverently addressed), held Satsangs or spiritual discourses at the homes of devotees wherein he taught the simple, universal truths of serve, love and give - selflessly.
His approach was all embracing and his ideology simple: “Follow any path, religion or doctrine, but believe in it sincerely, because the sincerity of your belief will illuminate your path and guide you to the ultimate common goal - Self-Realisation - Oneness with God. He taught that all the great Prophets, since time immemorial came to show mankind that the only way to lasting peace and happiness was to realise “your oneness with God”. The only difference was how they expressed this to the masses who heard them. Christ declared “Be still and know that the Kingdom of Heaven is within you”. Buddha declared “Every soul, every pebble is destined to one day reach the ultimate state of Nirvana”. Krishna declared that “The Jivatma (Individual Soul) after having passed through thousands of births and deaths will eventually merge and become one with the Paramatma (Universal Soul)”
The path toward this ultimate goal, Swamiji taught, can be many and varied but the goal is but one. To illustrate this he quoted a well known verse in the Hindu scriptures “Many and varied are the rivers on the face of this earth. Starting at different points on the earth they meander, twist and turn along their arduous journey but ultimately end in the same Ocean.” Thus is our journey - the journey of the Soul - whatever be its chosen religion, creed or path it finally merges the One Universal Truth.
With foresight of this ultimate Goal , Swamiji conceptualised two institutions in Perth for his followers and all who wished join in. The Institutions “Annalakshmi “ and “ Saraswati Mahavidhyalaya” (SMV) would become vehicles for volunteers to practice an ancient and time tested form of Yoga - “Karma Yoga” or the Yoga of Selfless service.
He taught “ Whether you cook, serve, sweep or dance do it with passion, dedication and single mindedness not for financial gain, name or fame but with the singular purpose to bringing a little joy to your guest”.
This process he taught not only benefits the guest but purifies you hastening your journey to the Ultimate.