Among the glories of Indian culture, Vedic heritage occupies a central place. The eternal truths and laws of the spiritual world regarding man’s true nature, the nature of the ultimate reality, everlasting freedom and peace were discovered by the ancient Indian sages, and are enshrined in the Vedas. The Vedas are the perennial sources of all Dharma and Moksha. They alone can guide us to the knowledge of the Supreme, Perception, inference etc. are of no avail here. Hence, according to Swami Vivekananda, we must study the Vedas and know what is proclaimed by them.
However, for centuries this spiritual treasure remained in the hands of a few privileged people. One of the important achievements of Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902), the illustrious of Sri Ramakrishna (1836-1886), was to make available the spiritual wealth of the Vedas to all people without any distinctions of caste, class or creed. The best part of his all-too-brief life was spent in disseminating the noble ideas of Vedanta, the essence of the Vedas, in different parts of the West and the East.Swamiji believed that these lofty ideas can free humanity from superstition and bigotry, and can also solve the personal and collective problems of modern man. However these noble ideas can be effectively imparted to the minds of people at tender age through education alone. Swami Vivekananda, therefore, wanted to start a school to teach the Vedas. In fact, on the last day of his earthly sojourn, Swamiji expressed the wish that such a school should come up within the precincts of Belur Math, the monastery he founded on the bank of the holy river Ganga. The prediction of a man of unfailing resolve can never go in vain. Even after the lapse of a considerable period of time, the prophetic vision of Swamiji came to be fulfilled with the establishment of Vivekananda Veda Vidyalaya at Belur Math in August, 1993. With the march of time the Vidyalaya got affiliated with the Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan and thus the students of this Vidyalaya have been accessible to higher studies after they pass out from here.
This Vidyalaya imparts Vedic and Sanskrit education to students in secondary (Purva Madhyama) and higher secondary (Uttara Madhyama) levels. The study of Vedic and Sanskrit literature make students aware of India’s unique contribution to the world in the fields of knowledge and wisdom. Apart from the usual curriculum, the students (only boys are admitted) are taught how to develop their character, under the direct supervision of monks, following the Gurukula system of education.
The effects of intonation of Vedic mantras and study of Sanskrit spiritual literature are elevating. The boys are, hence, taught Sanskrit scriptures and traditional Vedic chanting. Thus, at an impressionable age (14 to 15), they are introduced to Vedic hymns and the Upanishads, rich in moral and spiritual values. The Veda Vidyalaya boys are generally drawn from the economically backward families of rural areas. Swami Vivekananda always wanted that India should combine modern science and technology with its ancient wisdom. In keeping with this view, these boys have access to computer education too, which is so much a part of higher learning today.
The Vivekananda Veda Vidyalaya is affiliated to the Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, New Delhi. This Sansthan is a deemed university under the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India. The Vidyalaya boys have consistently performed well in the annual examinations conducted by the Sansthan.
Consequent upon the MOU signed between National Institute of Open Schooling, (NIOS) and Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission on 6th August, 2014 for the purpose of promoting education particularly for underprivileged, marginalized and disadvantaged section of the society, Ramakrishna Math Vivekananda Veda Vidyalaya has been accredited as a Special Accredited Institution for Education of Disadvantages (SAIED) to work as a Study Centre of NIOS for Secondary and Senior Secondary (without Science, i.e. without Physics, Chemistry and Biology) from academic session 2014-15. Study Centre number is SAIED – 450159