Sarva Dharma Maitri Pratisthan (Inter-faith Harmony Foundation)

 

“Never quarrel about religion. All quarrels and disputes concerning religion simply show

that spirituality is not present. Religious quarrels are always over the husks. When purity,

when spirituality goes, leaving the soul dry, quarrels begin, and not before”. Swami

 

Vivekananda

 

What Swami Vivekananda said years back, is all the more important in the present world.

Bhavan’s motto is “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” – The World is One Family. Bhavan’s

credo is “An No Bhadraha Kratavo Yantu Vishwataha” – Let Noble Thoughts Come to

Us from Every side.

 

On the eve of Gandhi Jayanti in 1990,the Bhavan set up the Sarva Dharma Maitri

Pratisthan The Sarva Dharma Maitri Pratisthan seeks to provide a forum for like-minded

people to come together. The Pratisthan’s long –term aim is to help people appreciate

all faiths better and to realise that each faith is one of several steps in man’s ascent to

Divinity. Its first major activity was the organization of a massive Sarva Dharma Maitri

Yatra in Chennai,on April 21, 1991, led by Jagadguru Sri Jayendra Saraswati Swamigal

Maulana Syed Muzaffar Hussain Kichhouchhavi, representing the Shahi Imam of Jama

Masjid, New Delhi, Fr.Joseph Thyparambil, Archbishop of Chennai,Ervad Hosang N.

Bhandara, High Priest of the Parsi Community,Sardar D.Grewal, Vice –President of Guru

Nanak College, Chennai and Dr.Usha Mehta, Chairperson of Mumbai Gandhi Smarak

Nidhi.

 

The second Sarva Dharma Maitri yatra was organized in Mumbai, on December15,1991

the 41st death anniversary of Sardar Patel. It was a major event in which more than

50,000 people belonging to all religions from all over India participated. Some of the

important participants in the Yatra were Bharat Ratna Shri.JRD Tata, Bharat Ratna

Shri.C.Subramaniam, President of the Bhavan, Shri.Achyut Patwardhan, Legendary hero

of the 1942 quit India Movement, who administered the Sarva Dharma Maitri Pledge,

Justice Shri. M. Hidayatullah, Shri Sadiq Ali, His Eminence cardinal Simon Pimenta,

Shri, J.H. Taleyarkhan, Shri. Ramankrishna Bajaj, Maulana Syed Muhammed Musavi,

Dr. Ishaq M. Jamkhanawala, the –then Vice Chancellor of Mumbai University, Miss

Mehroo Bengalee and Smt. Suman Chitnis, the-then Vice Chancellor of SNDT Women’s

University.

 

National Recognition

 

The Bhavan was chosen for the “Rajiv Gandhi Award” for national integration (1992)

by the Priyadarshini Academy,Mumbai, for its outstanding contribution to National

Integration, particularly through its Sarva Dharma Maitri Pratisthan.

 

The Bhavan has been awarded the Communal Harmony Award 1999 by the Government

of India for its outstanding contribution to the cause of communal harmony and national

integration.

 

The Sarva Dharma Maitri Complex – Thrissur

 

It is a dream project for all at Thrissur Kendra, especially the Secretary Mr. K.S. Unni. .

The Sarva Dharma Maitri Complex is visualised and designed as a landmark edifice

epitomizing the unique unity and incredibly rich diversity of Indian society. It stands for

the projection and propagation of Bharatiya Sanskrit founded on Sanatana Dharma and

Sarva Dharma Maitri

 

Location of the Project

 

The complex will be built on a half acre plot and is expected to be an architectural

landmark amidst several other institutions of excellence such as Sahitya Academy. Town

Hall, Kerala State Guest House and the Sports Complex – all situated in the immediate

vicinity of the famous Vadakkunnathan Temple. The land in the prime area of Thrissur

town was made over to the Bhavan at the instance of Swami Ranganathanandaji at a very

concessional rate. In fact, very idea of the Sarva Dharma Maitri Complex was conceived

by Swamiji, and whole-hearted spiritual, moral and material support came from him.

Translating his dream into a reality, the Thrissur Kendra of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan

has been assigned the task of conceiving, organizing and executing the entire project at

Thrissur.

 

Thrissur is located in the central region of Kerala State and is known for the historical

amity of different religions, the veritable confluence of cultures, and the catholicity of its

populace. Thrissur is also an outstanding educational and cultural centre.

 

Thrissur has a sanctity of its own, its very name in Malayalam being Thirushivaperur

(the town of Sacred Shiva). The presiding deity of Thrissur is Vadakkunnathan, Lord

Shiva. The Shiva Linga in the Vadakkunnathan Temple is Swayambu or self-emerged.

Indeed, the entire town is built around this centuries-old Vadakkunnathan Temple which

has been sanctified by Bhagavan Parasurama. Legend has it that Jagadguru Adi Sankara

was born to the devout Namboodiri couple, Sivaguru and Aryamba, through the blessings

of Lord Vadakunnathan in response to their prayer for a son. Guruvayur, the sacred town

famed for its Krishna Temple and one of the foremost pilgrim centres of India, is also in

Thrissur District. St. Thomas, the Apostle of Christ, landed at Azhikode near Cranganore.

The oldest Jewish Synagogue in India is also established in Kerala.

 

STATUS OF THE PROJECT:

 

Although Bhoomi Pooja and Shilanyas of Bhavan’s Sarva Dharma Maitri Complex was

consecrated at the hands of his Holiness Swami Ranganathanandaji Maharaj, President

of Ramakrishna Math and Mission, during 1997, the ambitious project is yet to take off

for financial as well as technical reasons. All efforts are being made to start the project by

middle of 2011.

 

As the land is available at a prime spot in the heart of the City, only the complex need to

be constructed and the estimated cost is Rs.10 crores. With the goodwill, blessings, moral

and material support of the well wishers of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan at the national as

well as local level, we expect the project to be completed by 2013.

 

We appeal to all the supporters and well-wishers of the Bhavan, both in India and

abroad to contribute generously to this project so that the dream can be realized.

All contributions made to Bharaiya Vidya Bhavan are eligible for exemption under

Section 80(g) (2) of the Income Tax Act. The Bhavan is beholden to one and all for the

immeasurable goodwill and support that they have ungrudgingly bestowed on it all these

years.