IAM at Amritapuri Campus
Amritapuri, May 30, 2012
"To provide value based education and to mould the character of younger generation through a system of wholesome learning, so that their earnest desire to achieve to progress and prosperity is matched by an ardent desire to extend selfless service to society; one complementing the other.” - Amma
“The knowledge that teaches us how to live on this earth, how to lead a contended life in the face of all obstacles, is spiritual knowledge - the knowledge of mastering the mind.” - Amma
The Chancellor, Mata Amritanandamayi, known simply as Amma (Mother), to millions of her admirers throughout the world.
Through its curricula, no doubt Amrita imparts excellent professional education to individuals, but it also revels in creating individuals who are wholesome. By adding qualities and nurturing ideals missing sorely in today's growing up. It is in the youth that Amrita sees the future.
Students at Amrita* learn the virtues of selfless service by involving themselves in student run activities such as Amrita Sanjeevani and Amala Bharatam Cleaning (ABC) Campaign. They also get the unique opportunity to learn systems of traditional yoga and meditation through participation in Amrita Yoga and IAM Technique under trained professionals. These programs not only teach them the joys of love, service and sharing but imbue a holistic perspective of life, – not to mention the generous doses of wholesome entertainment.
Because, at Amrita - dedicated to building a world-class university - learning happens not just in the classrooms. Extracurricular activities are encouraged, with students forming clubs and associations. With equal verve, be in the outside world or in the world inside – of matter or mind.
Only a generation that is content, peaceful and happy can retrieve the world from corruption and immorality towards which it is inexorably heading. Only a generation driven by the ideals of selfless love and a sense of service for the world, can save civilization from extinction.
Our driving spirit is value based education, so beautifully enunciated by Amma, “There are two kinds of education; one to earn a living and the other to learn to live.” The problem with modern-day education is that it teaches us to think and to analyze (and to become intellectually great), but not how to stop thinking and be still!. So apart from world class academic education, man-making education is also sought to be instilled.
"With 15 schools, 2,000 faculty (of them 300 doctorates), 17,000 students (500 Ph.D. students), Amrita University, or more fully, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, being perhaps the sole Indian university with 5 campuses spread across three Indian states, offers 150+ UG and PG academic programs. Also dual degrees and twinning options are provided, in collaboration with American and European Universities. There are, today, 76 international research, industry and academic collaborative initiatives. "
The Year 2011-12
This year about 800** first year students learnt the intricacies of meditation.** Which will herald in their lives a new era of relaxation, peace, happiness, contentment and above all success. Through mental mastery; through IAM Technique.
This meditation course is being offered as part of Cultural Education - a credit course, to all the Sophomores. Amrita, this year also, has imparted five sessions of hourly course refreshers to firmly ground the Freshmen in their practice. Students who are more keen to pursue the practice of meditation will be considered for possible teacher training courses.
This time tested meditation technique, when practiced with dedication, helps bring about, a harmonious integration of body, mind and breath. In this simple technique of Amma is inherent, the timeless essence of yoga, pranayama and meditation.
This twenty plus minutes' practice is Amma's gift to a world that is buffeted by stress, fear, anger and lack of love – symptoms of life in the fast track.
Engineering campus as seen during a function.
"Amrita faculy members have authored more than 200 books and book chapters and over 1,800 papers. Apart from holding patents for major inventions, Amrita has filed for 30 patents."
What IAM Does
Integrated Amrita Meditation (IAM) technique refines one's mind — bringing relaxation, concentration and a more expansive sense of self, in addition to greater awareness.
IAM technique is devoid of any sectarian views and does not presume any belief in religious dogma or rituals. Though IAM is simple, it encompasses profound truths ever known to mankind.
This photo of the campus, sans Ayurveda College, is taken from the terrace of the Ashram building. On the right, a musical concert is in progress, in the open air, in-door auditorium of the Engineering College.
"Adopting the highest of technologies and equipped with satellite access, transfer of knowledge happens seamlessly sans frontiers, across international divides. Interactive sessions, in real time: a first for India."
At What Cost
IAM - Amma's Meditation Technique - is Amma's gift to the world. It is free and yet priceless. In a way, yes, there is a price to pay, and that is, the promise to practice this wonderful meditation technique regularly. Practice holds the golden key to success. Amma says,
"Spiritual knowledge is the birthright of humankind and that to charge for meditation classes is like charging a baby for breast milk. That is why Amma's meditation technique is always taught for free".
IAM Technique has been given to many of India's national security establishments, and Amma has never accepted any remuneration for these courses. Classes have been given to the Border Security Force (next to Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tibet, China, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Myanmar), the Central Industrial Security Force, Sahasra Seema Bal, the Central Reserve Police Force and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police. Classes have also been taught to soldiers of the Indian Army and Navy.
The Ayurveda Campus: The entrance and the main building.
"Established in 2004, in Amritapuri, Amrita School of Ayurveda is a trail blazing house of learning for Ayurveda in a state where Ayurveda is a living tradition from time immemorial. Dedicated to re-establishing the science and tradition of Ayurveda to its original glory, melding it with the best allopathy."
What Research Says
IAM technique is being subjected to extensive research and papers have been published in international journals. To read research report,
and here. More research is being conducted.
A five-year study published in 2011 in the international journal, "Evidence-based Complementary & Alternative Medicine" found that practitioners of the IAM Technique experience a reduction in stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. The levels of two major stress hormones shoot up during stress: adrenaline, which precipitates immediate stress effects and cortisol, responsible for long term stress effects. The research found that practitioners of IAM Technique experienced a sudden reduction in stress-hormone adrenaline within forty-eight hours of beginning the practice, along with a sudden fall in the levels of heart rate and respiratory rate. Conclusion: IAM is a great stress buster. IAM is a great stress buster.
Amrita School of Business, Amritapuri.
"One of the top ranking among the private B-Schools in India and one of the few to offer part time Doctoral Program in Management, Amrita has faculty with qualifications and experience from Harvard, Pittsburgh, Berkeley, Kellogg, Stern NYU, Texas-Austin, IIMs, IITs etc. The faculty is credited with several publications, in national and international journals. The chairperson has published two textbooks in Technology Management and and has supervised the writing of cases of Harvard Business School."
Patients also experience immunological benefits. Meditation is currently prescribed as a treatment for cancer specially breast cancer and prostate cancer. It has been well known and well documented that meditation boosts Melatonin levels. Melatonin is a hormone that suppresses the proliferation of cancer cells. Meditation also significantly reduces the stress level in cancer patients. Studies show a precipitous fall in stress scale and decrease in blood pressure.
In the US, a large percentage of doctors prescribe meditation along with medication. 15 million Americans are being prescribed meditation annually.
Individuals authorized by Amma teach the technique free of charge in all parts of the world - not only to individuals but also to corporations, universities, prisons and correctional institutions. Currently, MA Math is undertaking the massive project of teaching the technique to India's 1.3 million paramilitary personnel apart from teaching it in all of its campuses#.
Amrita School of Biotechnology
*Though its full name is Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, the university has, in common parlance become "Amrita".
**This number is for the Amritapuri campus. In Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, one of the fastest growing universities in India today, there are four more campuses, some of which are larger than the Amritapuri campus. About 17,000 students are being trained in engineering, medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, management, nanotechnology, visual arts, science, commerce etc, for bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. More info.
# IAM technique is also being taught in Amma's vast network of schools. Located throughout India, Amma's fifty six schools impart the finest in education, to about 70,000 students - education for life, and education for living - from kindergarten to class twelve. More info.
By: Janardana Krishna