A Project Profile
Sri Sathya Sai Veda Pratishtan
Virtual Veda University
Internet (Distance) Education
Learning of Veda in India
The Sanskrit word Veda is derived from the root vid,meaning to know without end.
Veda literally means knowledge without beginning and end. It may be of interest
to note that the Vedic Texts are believed to have been revealed to great Seers.
The seers are not their authors. They are only receptors of what has only existed
in the universe, but in the shape of sounds. Inspired by the Divine will, different
seers are believed to have comprehended the sounds into structured hymns and the
texts of the Veda, through their inner sense. All of them have been realized in
their own way, in the absence of which it would not have been possible for them
to comprehend the Vedic texts. It may be for this reason that the philosophies in
India, which are the Brahman-centered, are considered Darsanas or perceptions of
Truth or God. The names of the seers are associated with what has been comprehended
In fact, the Sanskrit language is stated to have been structured out of the Vedic
texts to convey the meanings comprehended by the seers. The structure of this language
is subsequent to the coming of the Veda into the experience of the seers.
The Veda is called 'Sruti' or that which is heard. Without being recorded in writing,
the Veda-sakhas have been passed from generation to generation, in the ancient method
of learning, by word of mouth to listening and repeating, in the Guru-Sishya (master-disciple)
tradition. One main reason for not learning from the written text is that several
sounds do not lend themselves to be accurately reproduced phonetically. They fall
in between two syllables and can be transmitted only orally.
By the time of Patanjali, about twenty-five centuries ago, one thousand one hundred
and thirty one Samhitas, which constitute the core text of the Veda, were stated
to be in the knowledge of the Vedic seers. But the number of the Samhitas presently
in the knowledge of the Vedic scholars is only ten.
Without resort to writing, our seers have devised many ways to prevent even a very
small error to creep into the Veda-sakhas. The fullest benefit from the Veda mantras
can result only if no word is changed; and no unauthorized upward or downward drift
in the note occurs in the recitation. Hence numerous safeguards have been built
into the system. How much time it should take to utter each word is indicated by
resort to the notation by 'maatras' - the time it takes to pronounce a short vowel.
How to regulate breathing so that the vibrations can occur at what part of the body
to give birth to the pure word-sound is laid down in the Vedanga 'Siksha'.
A foolproof method of Veda recitation is to chant each mantra in various patterns
and combinations known as Samhita (Vaakya), Pada, Krama, Jata, Maala, Sikha, Rekha,
Dhwaja, Danda, Ratha and Ghana. The main object of reciting in so many modes is
to make no mistake in the original meaning and sound pattern of the words.
Just, as in a laboratory, a life giving elixir is preserved with the utmost care,
the Veda mantras, which are for universal benefit, have been preserved by the ancient
seers, without resort to writing, by very exacting methods of recitation.
The system of complicated recitation has been devised in very early times in order
to preserve the purity of the word, sound, intonation, pronunciation, accent and
sound combination of the mantras. By repeating the words in manifold ways, the correct
tally of the words is always kept which alone naturally ensures the purity of the
texts. To enable the scholars to take up the difficult methods of recitation, it
has been laid down that the more difficult the methods of chanting are, the more
merit the chanter earns.
While the learner of a Veda-sakha is initiated by the preceptor beginning with Samhita,
he is taught the method of chanting in Pada and later in Krama. For Rigveda, Yajurveda,
etc, it takes about 10 years for a learner of Veda to arrive at the level of Krama-pati,
the one that has learnt the way of chanting the Veda-sakha in the way of Krama or
Krama-patha. Past the stage of Krama-patha, the learner is, if he so desires, to
take the ways of Jata and Ghana to arrive at the level of Ghana-pati, the one that
has learnt the way of chanting the Veda-sakha in the way of Ghana or Ghana-patha.
This normally takes between three to five years for a brilliant learner who has
very high level of memory.
Most learners of Veda-sakhas drop at the level of Krama-patha, as the upward march
is quite arduous and difficult of achievement. Very, very few take to learning the
modes of chanting such as Maala, Sikha, Rekha, Dhwaja, Danda and Ratha because of
the very difficult nature of pronunciation in those modes. It is, therefore, no
surprise that there may be only one or two living Vedic scholars that can recite
all the eleven modes of chanting of Rigveda for which sakha these modes of chanting
Though the Veda is the most ancient, organized, spiritualized and intellectual literature
of the human race, its very nature and content, both in word and in sound, has not
allowed any systemized social recognition of scholarship or accomplishment, except
in personal contact, in any of its sakhas. Vedic seers have sought to transmit the
Veda-sakhas in word and in sound, by word of mouth, to their disciples who are mostly
their sons or that have approached them. As there has been no other organization
for systematic transmission of Vedic texts, it is no surprise that only a handful
of Veda-sakhas have survived to date.
For some decades now, with a view to protecting the purity and chastity of the available
Vedic texts, both in word and in sound, to the extent they are taught by Vedic scholars
to their disciples, some organizations have sprung-up in different parts of India
to grant recognition to the Vedic learners at the level of Krama-patha, Ghana-patha,
Veda-bhashya, etc. The organizations hold some kind of tests to the learners and
qualify them to be Krama-pati, Ghana-pati, Bhashya-ratna, etc. The organizations
have no locus-standi except that they are run by scholars in the Veda-sakhas, recognized
as such or self-recognized. Such recognition by these organizations for different
Veda-sakhas is something that sustains some kind of recognition to the new learners
in the society. This recognition does not give any legal validity to the Pattas
(Degrees) granted to the learners, as the organizations are not affiliated to any
legally or validly constituted University.
For the same reason, there are no serious takers for the study of Veda bhashya including
Vedangas, Upavedas and Upangas, or research into them as there is no academic recognition
for their study and research, even though such study spans over several years.
This system needs to be re-oriented and re-organized in an orderly and legally valid
manner conforming to the exacting standards of Vedic learning at different levels
that have been handed down to date since times immemorial.
Virtual Veda University
In the background of the learning of Veda in India, the constitution of a Virtual
Veda University may meet the needs of systematizing and regularizing the study of
Veda including Sanskrit and grant of Degrees for different facets.
The functions of a Virtual University as stated by the Commonwealth of Learning
1. To provide a vehicle for collaboration in the development and use of emerging
technologies that are needed to develop virtual education models such as subject
matter databases and learning management systems;
2. To provide leadership in the planning, design and delivery to learners of programs,
curricula and courses that are pertinent to the human resource development needs;
3. To provide support services to students, which would include assessment of current
skills and knowledge, advice regarding academic plans, quality-assured access to
courses, record of learning and the provision of awards where these are not available
from other organizations.
The core activities of such a University are
1. Program development and delivery;
2. Development and maintenance of
3. Provision of learner support systems;
4. Development of quality assurance
5. Leadership on policy development and
6. Research on virtual education; and
7. Internal staff development and
training for staff in participating
Sri Sathya Sai Veda
Pratishtan as Virtual
Based on the concept of a Virtual University and the need for award of diplomas,graduate,post-graduate
and doctoral degrees to the learners of and researchers in Veda including its subsidiaries,and
also in Sanskrit,Sri Sathya Sai Veda Pratishtan is conceptualized to be a Virtual
1. To complement and supplement Vedic learning in the Guru-sishya
(preceptor-disciple) tradition at their own places of living;
2. To institutionalize teaching of Veda in different modes for different
Veda-sakhas fixing parameters of standards for word and sound, and in bhashya including
Vedangas, Upavedas and Upa-angas;
3. To secure uniformity in the levels of learning of chanting as well as bhashya;
4.To award diplomas, degrees at the graduate, post-graduate and doctoral levels
for Vedic learning including Vedic studies, and also Sanskrit, by being a consortium
of institutions that are presently engaged in the provision of awards to the Vedic
learners, and through the Internet (Distance) Education mode; and
5.To do all other acts consistent to achievement of the objectives stated above
Structure of the
1 a) There shall be the Chancellor for the Virtual Veda University who may be requested
to hold the office, on the resolution of the Board of Trustees of Sri Sathya Sai
Veda Pratishtan (Trust), hereinafter called SSSVP.
b) The Chancellor may preside at convocations called for conferring Degrees. He
may guide the functioning of the Virtual University whose guidance and advice shall
be binding on its management for utmost consideration
a) There shall be the Vice-chancellor of the Virtual University. The Chancellor
of the SSSVP is to nominate the Vice-chancellor of the University according to the
procedure formulated by the University Grants Commission.
b) The Vice-chancellor shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the Virtual University
and shall exercise general control over its affairs.
c) By virtue of his office, the Vice-chancellor shall preside over the meetings
of the Academic Council. He shall be entitled to preside over any meeting of any
Authority of the University created for any general or specific purpose, anytime
in the future.
d) The Vice-chancellor shall be mainly responsible for the administrative and financial
functioning of the University and shall be entitled to exercise all powers as may
be necessary for or incidental to the carrying of the administration of the University
and its affairs.
e) The Vice-chancellor shall be the custodian of the records, the common seal and
the properties of the Virtual University. He shall represent the University in suits
or legal proceedings by or against the University, sign powers of attorney and conduct
all official correspondence of the University and its authorities.
a) There shall be the Dean of the University. Initially, the Chancellor appoints
the Dean of the University. For further appointment of the Dean(s), the procedure
approved by the University Grants Commission of India will be followed.
b) The Dean is the convener of the Academic Council and is to implement the decisions
of the Council as the most important academic executive arm of the University. In
the absence of the Vice-chancellor, he presides over the meetings of the Academic
Council and shall be responsible for maintenance of the highest standards of the
The Academic Council
a) There shall be the Academic Council consisting of eminent scholars representing
the Veda-sakhas at the rate of at least one for each of the Veda-sakhas for which
Diplomas or Degrees at different levels are to be awarded. It shall also have an
eminent scholar in Sanskrit. The Dean of the Virtual University will be the convener-member
of the Council.
b) The strength of the Academic Council shall be not less than seven members including
the Dean. The appointment of members to the Council is generally according to the
scheme of the University Grants Commission of India. The non-availability of any
member on the Academic Council representing any particular Veda-sakha does not vitiate
the proceedings of the Council in respect of the academic decisions relating to
c) The Academic Council shall be the principal Academic Authority of the Virtual
Veda University. It shall be responsible for prescribing standards for teaching
of different Veda-sakhas as to chanting in different modes, Veda-bhashya including
Vedangas, Upavedas, Upa-angas, and Sanskrit, and also of holding examinations for
them either directly by the Virtual University or through the Institutions affiliated
to the University. It shall have the authority to determine the award of Diplomas
and Degrees at different levels.
d) The Academic Council shall have power to make regulations relating to all academic
matters and, in particular, shall perform the following, among other, functions.
i) To grant recognition to the Institutions presently holding examinations for
award of Pattas (Degrees) at different levels for different Veda-sakhas
ii) To prescribe course content for award of Degrees at different levels for
different Veda-sakhas including Veda-bhashya;
iii) To prescribe standards of evaluation for award of Degrees at different
levels for different Veda-sakhas including Veda-bhashya;
iv) To nominate an eminent scholar from among the members of the Council
or from outside to associate with the Institution(s) recognized by the
University, at the time of evaluation for award of a post-graduate or
doctoral Degree (such as Salakshana Ghanapathi);
v) To determine the course content and the standards of evaluation, and
hold the examinations for the award of Diploma, Graduate, Post-graduate
and Doctoral Degrees to the candidates taking examinations in Vedic
studies of different branches, Sanskrit, etc through the Internet
(Distance) Education mode on the portal www.vedamu.org
vi) To constitute a committee or committees of Vedic and / or Sanskrit scholars
and experts for specific or general purposes with a view to implementing the policies
and programmes of the University. Such committees may generally be associated with
one or more members of the Academic Council;
vii) To determine finally the award of Degrees to Vedic and Sanskrit scholars at
the Diploma, Graduate, Post-graduate and Doctoral levels, and to recommend award
of Special Honors to very eminent men / women of learning and accomplishment in
the Ancient Indian Heritage and Spirituality; and
viii) To make byelaws for any or all of the following among others.
a) Admission of candidates for the conduct of examinations either through Institutions
affiliated to the University or directly, as the case may be;
b) The actual conduct of examinations including the terms and conditions of appointment
c) Conduct of Convocation and conferment of degrees; and
d) Any other matter which the Virtual University requires to be dealt with in byelaws.
Internet (Distance) Education
The Virtual Veda University will function essentially through the medium of the
Internet. The Internet (Distance) Education mode is an important arm of the University.
There will be a Department of Internet Education headed by Director who functions
subject to the superintendence and guidance of the Academic Council. The syllabus
prescribed for different courses in languages such as Sanskrit, different areas
of Vedic studies including Sastras such as Jyotisa is to be according to the guidelines
prescribed by the University Grants Commission of India.
Immediately on accreditation of the University, the Department of Internet (Distance)
Education will offer the B.A. (Hons) UG course in Sanskrit and the B.A. (Hons) UG
course in Jyotisa (Vedic Astrology) to start with. Different other courses will
be offered soon. The syllabus and the structure of examinations for the BA (Hons)
UG courses in Sanskrit and in Jyotisa, according to the guidelines of the UGC presently
in force, are appended. Several other Universities recognized by the Government
of India offer such courses.
As the accreditation of the Virtual Veda University is yet to take place and the
timeline when it happens is not known, the students intending to take the Degree
courses in Sanskrit and Vedic Astrology are advised to approach the Distance Education
Departments of the following Universities to get Degrees in the respective subjects.
Degree in Sanskrit
The Virtual Veda University will initially institute award of the following Diplomas
/ Degrees to the learners of Veda and Sanskrit.
a) Chanting of the full text of each Veda-sakha in Samhita-patha - Diploma
b) Chanting of the full text of each Veda-sakha in Krama-patha - Graduate Degree.
c) Chanting of the full text of each Veda-sakha in Ghana-patha - Post-graduate Degree.
d) Veda-bhashya with chanting of the concerned Veda-sakha in Samhita-patha or any
other patha - Post-graduate Degree.
e) Development of any patha for any sakha for which chanting in that patha is not
available in the country at present, or out-standing contribution by way of bhashya
to any sakha, different from the existing accepted bhashyas of the same sakha -
f) On qualifying at the examinations in Sanskrit or in Jyotisa held through the
Internet (Distance) Educaton mode based on the syllabus appended - Graduate Degree.
In due course, the Virtual University will consider awarding Diplomas, Graduate,
Post-graduate and Doctoral Degrees to the candidates taking examinations in varied
Vedic studies including languages and related areas.
There shall be the Finance Committee following the pattern approved by the University
Grants Commission of India. The Finance Committee may prepare the annual budget
of the University and seek to raise sources to meet the expenditure on maintenance.
The Finance Committee shall be responsible to prepare the annual accounts of the
Virtual University for every financial year and get them audited by a qualified
firm of Chartered Accountants, as required under the law providing for registration
of Trusts in Andhra Pradesh.
The website www.vedamu.org provides the academic infrastructure
for validation of standards for chanting of each Veda-sakha in different modes to
the extent available in the country, and the correct text in word of each Veda-sakha
with bhashya by the authoritative seers of the past, to constitute the basis for
award of Degrees to the successful learners of Veda-sakhas.
The portal has, and we continue to bring to it, considerable literature in Sanskrit,
in English and in Telugu to help researchers in Veda and related subjects for their
deep and detailed study. Such research will help enable the learners of Veda earn
As for Sanskrit, SSSVP progressively brings on to the portal texts and lessons in
Sanskrit and Vedic studies corresponding to the syllabus for award of Diploma, Graduate
and Post-graduate Degrees. The University will hold examinations at different levels
in Sanskrit and different Vedic studies through the Internet (Distance) Education
The Virtual Veda University shall have the ICT applications related services for
its administration and functioning provided initially by the Virinchi Consultants
Limited, Hyderabad, a leading IT enabled services provider. In due course, the Virtual
Veda University will develop the needed technical and administrative infrastructure
on its own.
with the Hindu University of America, Orlando, Florida, USA.
Sri Sathya Sai Veda Pratishtan, which is seeking Accreditation as Virutual Veda
University, has entered into the Memorandum of Understanding appended, with the
Hindu University of America, Orlando, Florida, USA.
The two Institutions agree,through this MOU, to collaborate as follows:
a. The SSSVP offers to HU its portal at www.vedamu.org to run some of its Distance
Education programs, either in full or in part, as the HU determines;
b. The two Institutions agree to exchange of Faculty and personnel for mutual benefit,
and for proper conduct of programs;
c. The two Institutions agree to placement of students admitted to either, to the
other, for part or for the whole of the program that is available with the two Institutions
in the Distance Education mode;
d. The two Institutions agree to sponsor research projects including publication
of books by way of translation, to one another, and in such cases, the outcome of
research / publications would be the joint property of the two Institutions;
e. The two Institutions agree to share the course material for studies of different
programs undertaken by either or both; and
f. The two Institutions agree to recognize the degrees awarded by either that constitute
the support qualification for award of higher degrees in the programs (disciplines)
available in either Institution.
Internet (Distance) Education Course Details
MOU with the Hindu University of America