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Vaishnavism is the tradition that follows the divine protector Vishnu or one of his myriad avatars, such as Rama or Buddha. Yes, according to Vaishnava traditions, Buddha is revered as Vishnu himself, as much as there is the presence of Vishnu in Buddhism. According to some of the most recent scholarly estimates, Vaishnavism is the third largest group of religious practitioners on planet Earth, after Roman Catholicism and Sunni Islam, and comprises people mainly from the South and South East Asian cultures. Thus, according to Vaishnava's self-understanding, it is engaging in protecting the Earth or mother Bhumi as a way of life revolving around the love of Vishnu or one of the other forms, such as Krishna or Rama.
Scholars often trace back the roots of Vaishnavism to the Vedic period, even though it flourished more fully as a cultural phenomenon in the puranic and post-puranic ages. The Ramayana and Mahabharata, epics that are the cultural backbone of Indic civilization, continue to inspire all forms of literary and artistic performances in countries as diverse as Indonesia and Malaysia and, due to the Indian diasporas, in western countries as well.
The IVS seeks to combine and utilize the resources of scholars in academic and religious communities, to further the understanding of all aspects of Vaishnava culture, from its ancient Indian roots to its present manifestations. We seek to do this by providing opportunities for collaboration through various publications (including the Journal of Vaishnava Studies), conferences, and seminars.
We currently offer two courses as part of our Research Training Certificate -the Graduate Application Workshop and the Critical Thinking & Effective Writing Seminar. We are scheduled to provide more elective courses starting in 2023, so keep an eye out for announcements!
The IVS is not a degree-granting institute but instead focuses on conferences and research publications.
The IVS seeks to create a robust field of Vaishnava studies that caters to the needs of continuing education seekers in the field of Vaishnava or Hindu Studies, Vaishnavas from various backgrounds looking for an intellectual community, and our experts are often available upon request.
For more information, click here.