9 May 2016
I’d like to share the story about the Endowment Fund behind the Vedic Pandits project—how it started and how far it has come.
On the afternoon of January 11th, 2008, Maharishi asked all the people who had gathered in Holland at his request to come to the main meeting tent. There in his last public address to his Movement, he asked that the Prime Minister, Dr. Bevan Morris, read out the plan he had dictated that morning to create a permanent legacy of peace for the world, a permanent legacy of Maharishi’s work in the world over more than 50 years.
Maharishi reminded everyone that the Maharishi Vedic Pandits had the unique ability to perform both Yogic Flying and Yagya in large groups. These groups have the ability to create and perpetuate peace, harmony and affluence in the world. What we need therefore, Maharishi said, is a permanent endowment, what he called a Reserve Fund, the principal would never be drawn on, only the interest would be used. This endowment would only be used to support the Maharishi Vedic Pandits—in perpetuity.
Maharishi asked that such a new organization be founded and named for his master—the Brahmananda Saraswati Trust. He said that his leaders would arrange to put into the trust a few larger properties that the Movement had, which could be sold and the money used to start the Trust (or Foundation in the US). His hope was that, all together, the whole Movement would make this new organization large enough to create this beautiful permanent influence of peace for the world.
Highlighting the importance of the new organization, Maharishi named Maharaja Adhiraj Rajaraam as its perpetual president. He named also five leaders to serve as the Executive Committee—the Prime Minister, the Rajas of the United States, China and India, and the Minister of Finance and Planning. As he felt this Trust was the responsibility of the whole Movement, Maharishi asked that every Raja and Minister be on its board of directors.
Two Brahmananda Saraswati Trusts have now been created to make it easier for donors from around the world to bring their support—one in Holland (Brahmananda Saraswati Trust) and one in the United States (Brahmananda Saraswati Foundation).
Thanks to the past donations of property—plus the support of a number of donors—Brahmananda Saraswati Foundation now has approximately $12 million in the Endowment Fund, along with ownership of two large properties with values together of approximately $40 million. In addition, there are many bequests, both large and small, that donors have indicated will be coming in the future.
The legal documents governing the Brahmananda Saraswati Foundation (BSF) and Brahmananda Saraswati Trust (BST) endowment funds state that only the interest earned on these endowments may be spent. Every year BSF and BST publish how the interest funds were used. You can find this information in the audited financial statements on our website. Publishing these statements is part of the Foundation and Trust’s commitment to transparency and accountability in its stewardship of donor gifts.
All the endowment funds for both the foundation and the trust are held in accounts in the USA under the control of the Foundation’s endowment fund management team. These funds are very carefully managed in accordance with the best practices for endowments used by leading educational institutions.
The Brahmananda Saraswati Foundation endowment management team is composed of several of us from North America and Europe. We have many years of experience in money management, public and private financial markets as well as leadership positions in Maharishi’s movement. We in turn hire experienced asset allocators and money managers to help us manage the endowment assets.
As Maharishi said on the day he launched the reserve fund, “The future of the world is bright and that is my delight.”
Through your support of the Brahmananda Saraswati Trust and Foundation, Maharishi Vedic Pandits will continue to create a powerful and sustained influence of peace and prosperity for every nation in the world for generation after generation.
If you are considering a legacy gift to the Foundation or Trust you can find a comprehensive page of FAQ on our website.
With all best wishes for a bright future,
Jai Guru Dev
Raja Harris Kaplan