Dr Nagendra, a former space scientist at NASA, returned to his native India, changing, as he says, from engineering to human engineering “in search of truth.” According to him, the search for ultimate truth through external means (science) did not take him far enough and that is why he chose to dive deep into his own consciousness in search of reality through yoga. He then proceeded to deal with this subject in the scientific manner he has become accustomed to.
In 1975, Dr Nagendra established the internationally famous Vivekananda Kendra Yoga Research Foundation (or V K YOGAS) which has been renamed Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandana Samsthana (S-VYASA).
Dr Nagendra Born on Jan 1, 1943, Nagendra is at present the President of S-VYASA, Bangalore, S-VYASA, International, VYERTI, Melbourne and Vice-Chancellor of S-VYASA Deemed University. He has authored and cop-authored about 35 books on yoga, nearly 35research papers in engineering and 60 in yoga. He has awards from the Ministry of Health, a Yoga Sri award from BKS Iyengar and a senor Citizens award from New Delhi. He is a consultant in Yoga to many Universities in Australia and the USA, member of several bodies in Govt. India. After graduation, Nagendra got ME and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Science in 1965 and 1968, researched at the University of British Columbia, Canada, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL as Post Doctoral ResearchAssociate and at Harvard University Engineering Sciences laboratory as a Consultantbetween 1969 and 72 and Imperial College of S and T, London before he returned to IISc.
He joined Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari, a service mission as an honorary director of training in 1975. Developing yoga and yoga therapy programs for the modern youth and ailing sick with Dr Nagarathna, he spent nearly a decade before shifting his head Quarters to Bangalore, Prashanti Kutiram to translate the vision of Swami Vivekananda to combine the best of the East with the best of the East by combining modern scientific research to examine the efficacy of yoga to solve the challenges of the modern era. As the team developed, the campus Prashanti Kutiram took shape, the research papers started getting published in leading mainstream journals of the world, S-VYASA started gaining greater momentum with nearly about 70 research publications on yoga, about 200 dissertations by students of Certificate and Diploma Courses, about 65 dissertations of Masters degree in yoga and 6 theses of PhD, acquiring accreditation from DST, Ministry of Health and FW, Dept of AYUSH, UGC recognizing it as one of the premier yoga institutes of the country, recognized by Bangalore, Mysore, Mangalore and Rajiv Gandhi Universities from 1991 to 2001, the Hindu University of America in 2002 and finally acquiring the status of a Deemed University named Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana(Research Foundation) SVYASA for short, in 2003 offering courses from Certificate to Doctoral programs in Yogic Sciences.
In search of reality, Dr HR Nagendra found that modern science has only touched the physical and creation has many subtle and causal dimensions which ancient Seers of India had fathomed, realized, documented and time tested for its usefulness. So he jumped into this wisdom contained in Upanishads of Yoga and spiritual lore. He was fascinated by the teachings of Swami Vivekananda who brought out his great wisdom in modern terminology and urged to combine the best of the West with the best of the East.
He has been instrumental in coordinating the efforts of several people to bring up a 35 Acres campus of scenic beauty twenty miles from Bangalore and 5kms from Bannerghatta-Jigni-Anekal National Highway. The campus is the developing Head Quarters of S-VYASA with research as the main aim. Prashanti has developed into a 250 bedded in-depth research centre of the yoga of international acclaim called Arogyadhama including Surabhi — a Naturopathy and Ayurveda facility .to treat the patients and promote positive health. Prashanti also houses an intensive, holistic 30 beds Cancer CaIre Center.