In 1938, about a decade before the dawn of Indian Independence, Kulapati Dr. K.M. Munshi, a far-sighted visionary and practical idealist, along with three of his close associates, founded the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan to preserve and propagate Sanskrit, the mother of languages.
Over the years, from being a modest indological research institution, the Bhavan, which was founded with the blessings of Mahatma Gandhi, has steadily grown into a comprehensive, co-operative national movement, with an international outlook, for the promotion of ethical and spiritual values.
Bharatiya Vidya or Indian Culture, stands for the age-old but ever young Vedic concepts of Rita, Satya, Yajna and Tapas which, in modern parlance, mean the supremacy of the Majesty of the Moral Law anchored to Dharma; complete accord of thought, word and deed, which is Satya; discipline or self control by obliterating selfishness, erasing the ego, which is Samyama; and acting with a sense of dedication to God — an attitude of Ishvara Pranidhana — which is Samarpana. Dharma by itself encapsules Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram — the ideals of Truth, Goodness and Beauty.
The Bhavan's activities touch "all aspects of life from the cradle to the grave and beyond" as Prime Minister Nehru (Founder Member of the Bhavan) averred on the first of his many visits to the Bhavan in 1950. The Bhavan is an adventure in faith. We seek to inculcate the value-based life through (1) Comprehensive educational institutions: from kindergarten to post-graduate training in Sanskrit and Vedic studies; Dance, Drama and Music; Arts, Science, Commerce, Engineering, Management, Sociology, Life and Health Sciences; and (2) Publications named Book University which cover a wide range and variety of subjects of ancient and modern thought.
Ancient insights are sought to be correlated to Modern discoveries.
From small beginnings, 60 years ago, with just a promise of a monthly contribution of Rs.250/- each for one year from three of Dr. Munshi's friends and himself, the Bhavan has today over 90 Centres and 200 educational institutions spread all over India, and also 6 Overseas Centres. The size of the annual budget has increased from Rs.12,000/- to Rs.550 million. From a staff of two, the Bhavan has now on its rolls 6000. The student strength is now about 3,00,000.
The Bhavan is committed to the ideal of the Father of the Nation. Gandhiji is a luminous symbol of the noblest and best in Indian Culture — Sanatana Dharma, which has an amazing unbroken continuity of over 5000 years and more.
The Bhavan's effort is to build up a modern bridge spanning the past, present and the future.