Founder's History

Sri Ramcharitmanas Institute was started by our Guru Late Pundit Vishnu Prasad Kashyap in Sydney around March 1988. During the late 80s people of Indian origin having interest in Hinduism wanted to learn and better understand their Hindu heritage. At the same time the new migrants were settling into their newly adopted country where attractions of western life and the new dynamic environment significantly impacted many families. As a result these new migrants faced stressful times leading to family breakups and some resorting to alcohol and substance abuse and petty crimes.  

Pundit Vishnu Prasad Kashyap was a practicing priest, a marriage celebrant and a JP. He realised that if he could somehow communicate in simple language, how to guide our lives through the teachings of Ramayan, Gita, and other aras granths as reference, then he could help the community help themselves. As such  he exerted substantial effort on his own and at his own costs by running weekly classes teaching anybody who was able to see the value. 

Over time the class numbers grew and structure was formalised, the Institute was registered and volunteer managements were elected to run the classes for the benefit of all communities.

Background

Pundit Kashyap was born on 4th June, 1941 in Nandali, Nausori, Fiji. He was the Grandson of Pt. Guljaari Maharaj and son of late Pt. Krishna & Deoraji Prasad. He acquired his Primary education at Vunimono Primary School and secondary education at Lalean Memorial High School. 

In January 1965 he was married to Ms Saras Wati and moved to Suva in 1967 during which time his family expanded via the arrival of son Yogesh and daughter Jyoti. In 1988 he migrated to Sydney, Australia.

Thursday the 30th September, 2010, a call too sudden, we were stunned to learn that our beloved Guru had been called to rest in peace. It was a great loss to the Hindu community in Sydney, friends and families and to Sri Ramcharitmanas Institute.

As a spiritual scholar, he began reading the Ramayan and vedic teachings at the young age of 8 years. He started performing marriage ceremonies in 1972 and at that time was recognised at the youngest marriage celebrant in Fiji. He was a great researcher of Vedic religion and published five religious books which are being widely used by Ramyan Mandalis, Parachaks, Pundits and Purohits in Australia, Fij, Canada, USA, New Zealand and UK. 

He was a founder, Priest and Parcharak of Vedic Sanatan Society of NSW. He was the unopposed National President of Shree Sanatan Dharam Pratinidhi Sabha of Australia, from 1997 to 2007. During his time as the National President there were 50 affiliated Ramayan Mandalis. He was a life member and Board of Governors of Shree Sanatan Dharam Sahba of NSW and provided his invaluable services as the Head Priest for several years.

Being a community orientated person he helped in transferring knowledge from our religious text and preaching Ramayan to inmates in Naboro Prison, Navua with aim to help them understand wrong doings and improve their lives going forward. The community support was extended to Sydney hospitals to people of Indian origin admitted as a result of road accidents and or illness where he would pray for them to get better soon and provide moral support. He initiated Sanatan Soccer in NSW and performed activities such as faag samellan, Ramyan samellan, Bhajan nites, musical Nites and Indian Cultural Nites.

In Fiji he held several teaching classes to educate Purohits and propagate Ramayan to several Paracharaks and continued the tradition here in Australia. In the 1980s he founded the Shri Ramcharitmanas institute of Australia to promote the teaching of Shri Ramcharitmanas. This institute became his heart and soul, to which he committed most of his time whereby he provided teaching at his residence.  As the number of students grew he moved this Institution to a Council Community facility in Green Valley.

He provided free teaching service to a younger generation of people with the support of his be-loved wife. The youngsters were mostly born in Australia with very little to no Hindi and Sanskrit yet despite this he was able to communicate in a medium that was easily understood.

With his desire to help and transfer vedic knowledge in a format easily understood by all, he made it his mission to travel to most parts of the world where Indian communities are to Parachar katha and Ramayan teachings, perform wedding ceremonies and encourage people to learn the basics of vedic teachings. He set a goal for his life to spread the wisdom of Hinduism globally through his institute website.

He had many hobbies including listening to all forms of music and gardening. His garden would always be full of all sorts of seasonal fresh vegetables.

Late Pundit Vishnu Prasad Kashyap was a loving father, a caring aja and nana, understanding husband, and a true community worker. Due to his knowledge and respect in the society his students used to call him Guru ji. He was well liked by all religious denominations due to his ability to assimilate with all sections of society; his loving and caring nature; his outstanding ability to communicate with everyone.

At his funeral we acknowledged the presence of a record crowd in NSW and so many relatives, friends, acquaintances and religious leaders, many of whom had travelled interstate and from abroad to pay their last respects.

Today his wife, son, daughter-in-law with their two children (a daughter and son), and daughter and son-in-law with their two children, live in Sydney and are continuing the passion of keeping the name of our Lord alive and helping the community through free vedic knowledge.