Gyan Sarovar is officially known as ‘The Academy for a Better World’. The name Gyan Sarovar is reminiscent of ‘Mansarovar’, about which a legend goes that anyone who dipped into the lake emerged in the form of a fairy or an angel. Gyan Sarovar is an environment which enables individuals to dip into the ‘Lake of Knowledge’ and emerge highly transformed.
Founded by the Brahma Kumaris in 1996, the Gyan Sarovar Academy for a Better World was inaugurated as part of the celebration of the University’s 60th anniversary. The Academy is an international campus – a place where men, women and children can reach their unique human potential and cultivate the values of our common humanity.
Gyan Sarovar Programmes
Because the Brahma Kumaris see spirituality as the key to an ethical and moral renaissance and lasting social harmony, the programmes offered at Gyan Sarovar include subjects such as self–empowerment, self–management, positive thinking, meditation, practical spirituality and organisational leadership. These programmes, courses and retreats focus on achieving long–term and lasting changes in attitude, behaviour and lifestyles. They draw on the experience and insights gained, and the methods, techniques and skills developed, during the Brahma Kumaris’ sixty–year history.
Gyan Sarovar Campus
Gyan Sarovar is a community development project that involved the construction of a complete village complex on 25 acres of land. On this land, which is located on Mt. Abu four kilometres from Madhuban, the Brahma Kumaris have created a retreat atmosphere without disturbing the natural topography and the original environment. The design integrates both urban and rural elements into a harmonious and holistic environment which lends itself to being eco–friendly and free from air and noise pollution.
The Gyan Sarovar complex includes the following facilities:
- Universal Harmony Hall, which seats 1600 individuals and provides simultaneous translation in more than 16 languages. It features both heating and cooling systems and excellent acoustics.
- A complete modular solar steam cooking system of 24, 7.5 square metre parabolic solar dishes capable of providing 2,000 meals per day.
- The International Centre for Higher Learning, an ideal setting for experiential learning processes. This building has 13 seminar rooms with seating capacities ranging from 75–150 individuals.
- 15,000 fruit trees and vegetable gardens irrigated by the recycled water from three man–made lakes.
- A residential complex, which offers comfortable accommodation for 250 people.
- A Meditation Dome, which features a newly–developed ‘dome–and–vault design/ construction technique’ of stabilised mud bricks. This deeply quiet room relies entirely on solar and wind energy for its electricity supply and has an internal earth tunnel ventilation system which maintains a relatively stable year–round temperature.
- A kitchen and dining building able to serve ‘Sattwic’ vegetarian food to 1200 individuals at a time.
- 10 kW hybrid wind–solar–diesel system with battery bank that ensures a 24–hour power supply to the Academy’s telephone and audiovisual systems (BK's and the Environment).
- A Spiritual Art Gallery, which combines high tech audio–visual interactive programmes with traditional Indian art, and features murals depicting international images.
- A unique waste treatment plant capable of treating 200,000 litres of wastewater (generated by kitchen, bathroom and laundry facilities) such that nearly 80% is available for re–use.
In 1996, the Academy was presented to Habitat II, the second UN Conference on Human Settlements held in Istanbul, Turkey. It was recognised as part of the Best Practise Initiative for Human Settlements.