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Tutorial Workshop On Śāstric Research Methodology


India had a long, rich tradition of critical inquiry and scientific output spanning at least thousand years prior to the advent of European education. This tradition produced monumental works in numerous fields of human endeavor including spirituality, art, architecture, wellness, linguistics, engineering, which have acknowledged value even today.

What was India’s traditional approach to scientific research? Is there anything in it distinct from the prevailing research methodologies? What perspective is required to decipher the true value of India’s literary and scientific output i.e., the śāstras for the modern times? Is there anything that the modern scientific community can learn from observing the Indic methods? Are Indic śāstras amenable to innovation and how?

To help answer such questions and to equip aspiring Indic knowledge researchers with the right skills and attitude for approaching Indic treatises for contemporary applications, a novel 4-day tutorial workshop on Śāstric Research Methodology is coming up in Nagpur on Oct 20-23 2018. The organizers are MIT-ADT University Pune’s School of Vedic Sciences and Kavikulaguru Kalidasa Sanskrit University, Ramtek, Nagpur.

Indic Academy is sponsoring scholarships for deserving 10 student scholars to attend this workshop. Interested applicants should apply to the Dean of MIT School Of Vedic Sciences at mitsvs@gmail.com.

The workshop’s objective is to raise awareness regarding India’s native śāstric methods of inquiry and to skillfully integrate them with modern methods of research. It is designed for aspiring researchers in India’s scientific knowledge whether they be traditional śāstri-s, students or modern-educated professionals. It will be taught by celebrated traditional scholars who are well-versed in both Indian and modern methods.

According to the organizers, this workshop is first-of-its-kind and timely for several reasons. Till now research methodology courses in Sanskrit departments and Rashtriya Samskrita Vidya Pithas have been just the same as taught everywhere else. These courses are rooted in western academics originating from European Enlightenment. They turn out to be largely a misfit for most research in Sanskrit studies as they ignore the cultural and intellectual context of India’s output, its methodology and worldview leading to misrepresentations.

Earlier, there have been attempts to critique the existing social sciences and humanities methodology from the śāstra point of view, for instance, by the department of Exact Humanities, IIIT, Hyderabad under the leadership of late Prof. Navjot Singh. There have also been attempts (e.g., at Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth) to tune the existing methodology to fit the needs of the Sanskrit Studies.

In contrast, this workshop, for the first time, focuses on India’s traditional method of critical inquiry and discourse, evidence-based discovery of truth, interconnection among various branches of knowledge, analyzing Indic texts with fidelity to the native cultural and philosophical context of India, and how to propagate the Indic scientific discourse forward. Specifically, the lectures focus on the following:

  • Thought process and methodology of śāstras rather than their content
  • Evolution of thought over time in different Indic knowledge domains
  • Higher-level philosophical observations abstracted out from textual details

For instance, they elucidate the analytical method of Ayurveda for diagnosing hitherto unknown symptoms, handling new herbs and leveraging new medical observations. Another area covered is the language modeling method underlying Panini’s monumental work on Sanskrit grammar. Another first-time addition is the śāstric method of thesis-writing unique to India.

Details

  • Dates: Oct 20-23, 2018 – Saturday to Tuesday (4 days), 9.00am – 5.30pm
  • Venue: Nagpur City
  • Audience: Aspiring researchers and faculty in Indic knowledge studies
  • Eligibility: Bachelors’ degree, familiarity with a śāstra. Admission by screening
  • Workshop fee: ₹ 6,800 (includes food and accommodation)
  • Last Day For Registration: September 30, 2018. Click here to register online
  • Contact: info.mitsvs@gmail.com
  • Website: https://mitvedicsciences.com/sastric-research-methodology-2018/

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