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The Foundation

The idea of Coomaraswamy Foundation originated with the late Professor A. K. Saran (1922-2003), known as the foremost authority in India on traditional thought and one of the most radical critics of modernity in the contemporary world: the idea was born out of his acute perception of the unprecedentedly formidable nature of the predicament of man in modern times and of the profound pertinence to it of the basic doctrines for which Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy, together with other contemporary traditional thinkers, stood distinctly. Being inspired from Saran, a group of teachers and students of the University of Lucknow shaped Coomaraswamy Foundation at Lucknow.

​The Foundation is a tribute to Coomaraswamy and his peer group who have carried forward this precious heritage. This heritage, though of timeless origin, stand on a tripod formed by Ananda Coomaraswamy (1877-1947), René Guénon (1886-1951) and Frithjof Schuon (1907-1998), ‘who were fully qualified in our time to build an intellectual two-ways bridge between the Indian and European wisdoms.’

​The contribution of this triumvirate to traditional studies has been duly summed up by Professor Seyyed Hossein Nasr: ‘If Guénon was the master expositor of metaphysical doctrines and Coomaraswamy the peerless expositor of Oriental art who began his exposition of metaphysics through recourse to the language of artistic forms, Schuon seems like the cosmic intellect itself impregnated by the energy of divine grace surveying the whole of reality.’

​Professor A. K. Saran was an insightful spokesman of this Tradition, whom Dr. Rama P. Coomaraswamy considered ‘the foremost Indian exponent of what has come to be recognized as the traditional view of life, or more specifically Philosophia Perennis.’ His holiness the Dalai Lama observed, ‘Professor Saran’s intellect is as keen as his learning is wide. He is equally at home in the social sciences as in philosophies - modern and traditional.’ Professor Saran’s thinking is distinguished by a rigorous dialectic and disregard for fashionable discourses meant to syncretize incommensurables.

​A framework for the formation of the Foundation was visualized just after the demise of Professor Saran but the Foundation was registered later in 2013 by his friends, admirers and disciples. In pursuance of his vision and will, Coomaraswamy Foundation is established for the aims and objectives as follows:

  • To promote the understanding of the Traditional Perspective: to explore the whole consistent vision of man, society and the universe that has been essentially shared by all cultures and civilizations except the modern, recovered and renunciated by Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy and other contemporary exponents of Tradition.

  • To promote both wider appreciation and in-depth studies of the works of Coomaraswamy and of other contemporary exponents of Tradition: to catalyze a metanoia, radical transformation of our heart and mind in the direction of Truth.

  • To contribute, following in these masters’ footsteps, to the reaffirmation of the Eternal Verities (Sophia Perennis): lying at the heart of all authentic traditions, Eastern and Western, issuing from the suprahuman Source via diverse modes of ‘Revelation’.

  • To strengthen the integrity of religious life in all authentic traditions.

  • To ensure and make widely available, in the face of all rampant varieties of ‘false spirituality’ or ‘pseudo-tradition’, the authentic traditional knowledge grounded in the Sophia Perennis in a comprehensive manner,  even in the midst of the most adverse anti-traditional circumstances of our darkening age.

  • To make for the preservation and revitalisation of various branches of traditional heritage - including sacred texts, rituals, mythology and other literature, arts and crafts, sciences, meditative techniques, and all other traditional ways of life faithfully practiced and transmitted over generations - through elucidating and restoring their deeper symbolical meanings and thus redeeming and ensuring their latent spiritual efficacy.

  • To conduce, by presenting ‘a common universe of discourse’ pertaining to the Sophia Perennis, towards worldwide inter-faith, inter-cultural mutual understanding based on the genuine sense of the Transcendent Unity of Religions, dispelling both the secularist (or the relativist) and the communalist or fundamentalist (or the pseudo-absolutist) errors: not to forge a syncretic or eclectic form of ‘new planetary religion’ nor to seek ‘ecumenism’ by diluting and reducing the substance of each tradition to the minimum ‘common denominator’, but to make a common front against various challenges of the modern anti-traditional secular forces rather through corroborating and reassuring each other’s traditionally inherited faith rooted in the Sophia Perennis.

  • To work for the thorough-going critical examination, in the light of the Sophia Perennis, of the constitutive ideas and beliefs of the modern industrial outlook, and thus to prepare and foster the active intellectual spiritual forces for effectuating a metanoia that is a prerequisite for any real remedy for our global crises and for a veritable renewal of normal traditional order.

  • To function as an all-round Centre - which is both firmly ‘rooted in Indian soil’, and ‘globally open’ for all kinds of intellectual/ educational/ cultural activities which may be conducive to the fulfilment of the aforementioned purposes and the general advancement of the better understanding and regeneration of the traditional teachings and life in the contemporary world.

  • To bring out (compile, edit, publish or otherwise produce) and distribute books, periodicals, journals, pamphlets, and other products which are pertinent to traditional studies and/or helpful to the dissemination of the right understanding of traditional thought and way of life, and serves as an international, interfaith, transdisciplinary vehicle for renewing our contemporary thinking in the light of the Sophia Perennis.

  • To hold, organize, arrange seminars, symposiums, conferences, lectures, workshops, or performances, exhibitions, and other intellectual/cultural functions and programmes which may serve, directly or indirectly, the aforementioned purposes.

  • To do all such other things, either alone or in conjunction with similar organisations having the same or allied objectives, as are related, incidental and ancillary to any or all of the aforementioned purposes.

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