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Cambodia: Founding of Maharishi Vedic University supported by government, international community
by Global Good News staff writer
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17 August 2013
Maharishi Vedic University, founded in 1993 in Cambodia, was established with the help of several major organizations. In a recent interview Dr Lee Fergusson explained that there were invaluable contributions from Maharishi universities that were already well established, from Maharishi Ayur-Veda* physicians volunteering their expertise in Cambodia, from the Australian aid community, and from the Royal Government of Cambodia.
Dr Fergusson and his wife, Dr Anna Bonshek, the founding rectors of the university, have co-authored a new book about it, Maharishi Vedic University in Cambodia: Educational Reconstruction and Social Renewal, which includes a history of education in Cambodia since the country's independence. Dr Fergusson said that the international educational wing of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's worldwide programmes was the founding force behind this initiative. He cited help from both Maharishi European Research University (MERU), based in the Netherlands, and Maharishi University of Management in Iowa, USA.
These groups of educational experts, who were especially well versed in Maharishi's Consciousness-Based Education system, joined forces with the Australian Aid for Cambodia Fund, supported by a number of other countries including New Zealand, Japan, and Thailand.
The university, with its dual focus on modern and Vedic knowledge, also benefited from the knowledge of a number of Vaidyas, expert Maharishi Ayur-Veda physicians, who came to Cambodia to provide much needed health care to the population.
There were very few doctors in the country at the time, in the early 1990s, and the Vaidyas treated thousands of people in just a few months.
The Vaidyas also worked with local herbalists and traditional medicine practitioners to develop a local pharmacopeia. Their goal was 'to develop an herbal resource for the purpose of producing medicines at a low cost, because at this time Cambodia was the poorest country in the world and could not . . . afford to import modern medicines from America or Europe,' said Dr Fergusson.
This emphasis on local medicinal flora, and connecting it back to the Vedic tradition of knowledge, from where Cambodian traditional medicine originated, Dr Fergusson explained, was a key feature of the Vaidyas' work in Cambodia.
Also instrumental in the establishment of Maharishi Vedic University was the help of the Royal Government of Cambodia, whose Ministry for Education, Youth, and Sport supported the initiative from the beginning and gave input for its development, explained Dr Fergusson.
* Ayurveda is the world's oldest, most comprehensive system of natural medicine, which originated in the Vedic civilization of ancient India and is now officially recognized by the World Health Organization. Maharishi Ayur-Veda is the modern restoration by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi of the complete and authentic practice of Ayurveda as recorded in the Vedic texts.
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