This Vision Statement implies a whole series of objectives that JDV has set before itself, within an overarching interface of science, philosophy and religion.
As a basis, we shall need to evolve a philosophical vision of being human that will promote personal, social and ecological well-being. On the theological level, we will attempt to spell out Jesus’ vision for India, in the light of Scripture and Tradition. Contextualising this will demand processes of information, analysis and critical and creative reflection on the Indian reality, religious pluralism, the Christian Faith, and the relationship between science, society and religion. Such an inter-disciplinary perspective will enable us to articulate and develop an Indian Christian response to the situation of our country, with special reference to the oppressed and marginalized sections of our society, such as women and the poor.
In response to its vision, JDV will seek to promote dialogue among religions,cultures, communities and secular movements, all of which will be facilitated by a positive thrust towards inculturation. In our intra-Christian pluriform sphere, we shall strive to foster dialogue with other denominations, as well as communion among individual Catholic churches, motivated by a respectful recognition of other traditions. Finally, in its avowed aim of service to the Church in India, JDV will endeavour to form Christian leaders imbued with the outlook and motivational principles outlined above.
The text is from the Mokṣadharma section of the Mahābhārata. Continuing a classical upaniṣadic thought, it speaks of seers who control their senses and imagination, and who are thus ready to ‘see’ (paśyati), that is, experience the Ātman (Self), not through their minds but through their own ātman (self). This‘seeing’ takes places in an atmosphere brightened ‘by the kindled light of insight.’ The fuller text reads: jñāna-dīpena dīptena paśyaty-ātmānam-ātmanā –“by the kindled light of insight, the seer sees the Self through his own self” (Mahābhārata 12.242.10ab).
Jñāna, in the context, means insight. “Vedanta obliges us to recognize in man a level of consciousness deeper than that of reflective thought, more basic than man’s awakening to himself through a sense-perception or mental activity” (Swami Abhishiktananda).
The education which Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth offers is meant to lead to this insight into the mystery of God. It then leads to action in the service of people.