All posts tagged: Indic Knowledge Systems

Weekend With Wisdom

Are you a research student or a public intellectual who in parallel is pursuing your passion for our civilizational thought and Indic Knowledge Systems? Are you suffering a writer’s block or seeking fresh ideas for your research? Indic Academy has just the right program for you. Weekend with Wisdom Under this program we are inviting five research students or committed public intellectuals for a weekend retreat with a chosen venerable and erudite scholar. The scholars are curated from our network and will be from different fields and background. The selected students should already be familiar with the scholar’s work and those who are exploring new ideas to build upon the scholar’s work or create a new stream of thought inspired from the scholar’s work. The retreats are meant to be for free-flowing exchange of ideas. The structure of the retreat is open and flexible. The participants can themselves determine the pace, intensity and depth of learning they seek from the retreat with the scholar. Lessons can be taught during a walk or after a silent …

Upasana: Understanding the Hindu notion of Worship

Upasana is one of the central practices of almost all Hindu spiritual traditions, regardless of their philosophical or theistic orientations. Often translated as worship or meditation it comes from the Sanskrit root ‘up’ and ‘asana’ which means ‘to sit near’ or ‘to stay close by’. The oft-used phrase ‘Devata Upasana’ would thus imply being near the Devata by continuously either fixing up the mind on the form of the Devata or directing the mind to meditate on the formless Brahman, who is the substratum of all manifestation and who Himself manifests as different Devatas. As Swami Achalananda describes, ‘Upasana is the process of practising the proximity of God and of progressively feeling his presence till one merges in Him’ (1). While Upasana in its primary sense refers to Dhyana or meditation, especially in the Upanishads- either on formless Brahman, or on various aspects of Brahman, or through metaphors indicating Brahman, or lastly on different Devatas that are manifestations of Brahman; in its expanded sense, it actually came to be associated with two interrelated but distinct …

G-20

You are working for the Govt or a PSU or a University or any Institution that is bound by Govt rules. You are 59, going on 60. You are thinking of a word beginning with ‘RE’. We are thinking of 20 words that begin with ‘RE’. Difference? Retire means inaction. Each one of our 20 words signifies action. We have also framed a new rule for you. We call it the 60:20 rule. (Apologies Mr. Parito) We believe the next 20 years of your life can be more active and enriching than your previous 60 years. How, you may wonder. You lead a good life and were making all those plans for a quiet retirement and here we are promising the next 20 years to be even more active than the previous 60! Haven’t we heard of Vanaprastha? Isn’t that how it was supposed to be as per our scriptures? Well. Longevity has increased. Times have changed, but Universities, PSUs and Govt haven’t. So, we have this peculiar imbalance between your ability to work and …

Experience The Wisdom First Hand – An Interview with Madhulika Sagaram

Dr Madhulika Sagaram is an educator working on re-conceptualizing learning systems across India. Her wisdom comes not from books and texts but from a refreshingly fresh lived experience. Her experience shows us that Indian culture and tradition is alive and well in our temples, our customs, and in the lives of ordinary Indians going about their lives. Across India, in hamlets, temples, in ashrams, in evening fairs and festivals in villages, in the art of the folk artist, traditional knowledge has been passed on seamlessly. Madhulika’s journey began as a quest to heal herself, to becoming an advocate of indigenous knowledge. “Three years ago, after a series of personal losses, I realized I had to shift my perception of life. Not knowing what to do, I decided to go on a goalless journey to find myself, the meaning of life and correct the repetitive patterns of life I was stuck in.” She locked her home and travelled from Kerala to Uttarakhand sometimes alone and sometimes with interns. “As I travelled through various parts of India, …

The Play Of Consciousness and The Śiva Sūtras

Who are we? Why are we here? Are we free? If yes, what is the source of our freedom? Science tells us we are machines, and looking from it our freedom is an illusion. In science there is no place for the spirit. We are sure that there is something real to our inner world. But ordinary science cannot reveal to us the nature of consciousness. This is because science can only tell us of the laws of objects which are expressed in language. With language we can only speak of objects. But Consciousness is not an object. It is the searchlight with which we see objects in our inner or outer spaces or through the medium of the senses. Consciousness is the perceiving subject. Science, through its study of the brain in the search of the source of awareness can only reveal its limitations. It can show that the brain is like a machine but it cannot create a machine that is like the brain. We face paradoxes; science has reached its limits. That …

Book Review: ‘The Sabarimala Confusion: Menstruation Across Cultures: A Historical Perspective’ By Nithin Sridhar

The whole issue of menstruation and related matters came to the fore during the recent Supreme Court Judgement which allowed women of the reproductive age to enter the sacred hill shrine of Lord Ayyappa at Sabarimala in the state of Kerala. The self branded liberal intellectuals viewed this judgement as a step towards the ‘empowerment’ and ‘emancipation’ of Hindu women. Women, especially those hailing from Kerala itself showed great resentment towards this judgement and initiated the ‘Ready to Wait’ Movement which was a clear indication that the Hindu women of the menstruating age had patience to visit the Sabarimala Temple after crossing this stage. There were a lot of misconceptions- many of them deliberately generated by the so called liberals about the Hindu view of menstruation and the entire issue of Sabarimala Temple Entry came to be linked to menstruation alone. Against the background of such rampant misconceptions Sri Nithin Sridhar’s book titled ‘Menstruation Across Cultures: A Historical Perspective’ has been published at the opportune moment to give a fitting reply to the wrong ideas …

Tantrayukti – An Indic Approach to Scientific Discourse

Ancient India’s scientific/shastric tradition is so insistent on coherent and concise expression of thought that it has even codified and classified the various conventions employed in any discourse or exposition of a topic. These conventions are called Tantrayukti. While they are used in numerous Indic texts, some have explicitly identified and enlisted them to help readers. Understanding Tantrayukti and identifying their usage is crucial for correctly interpreting seminal Indic scientific treatises such as Ayurvedic texts and Arthashastra. About 35-40 yuktis have been identified as most handy. Examples include “enumeration of a taxonomy, term definition, forward/backward reference, extrapolation, etc.). The word Tantrayukti has multiple meanings. One of them is the “logic/rationale (yukti) that binds a discourse (tantra or shastra) or its elements together. Through this workshop, we’d like to revive this glorious tradition for authentic study of Indic knowledge as well as contemporary applications. We will also take a look at what makes a thesis sound and some commonly seen shortcomings in many theses. Expected Outcomes Understanding the Indian systematic approach to organize thoughts and writing …

International Vakyartha Sadas

Indic Academy’s Inter-Gurukula University Centre in collaboration with Bharatiya Shikhan Mandal and under the auspices of Sampurnanand Sanskrit University is proud to present the 1st International Vakyartha Sabha. The Sabha will be held in Varanasi from the 12th to the 14th of July. Introduction to Vakyartha Sadas Sadas is a formal but affectionate assembly, especially of scholars. Vakyartha is a format of sadas. A proposition about a highly minute and profound aspect of a shastra is made by one of the members of the assembly. Arguments for the proposition and counter against all the possible objections to the arguments are also presented. A rigorously methodological and critical questioning of the validity of the same as per that shastra is done by the remaining members. The member defends his proposition using the rigorous dialectical and critical methodology referencing from all the relevant vast, deep and intricate aspects of the shastra. Such sessions are usually relished by the audience. Though various Vedic disciplines such as Mimamsa (hermeneutics), Nyaya (logic), Vyakarana (grammar), Vedanta (liberation) etc. have vakyartha as …

Travel Grants For Seminar On Purva Mimamsa

Pūrva Mīmāṃsā is one of the oldest School of thought, probably dating back to the 3 rd century BCE, that engages deeply in the interpretation of Vedic texts for a pragmatic application of prescribed rituals in the daily life of a Vedic adherent. In the early phase of philosophical development in the Indian sub-continent, the Pūrva Mīmāṃsā or simply the Mīmāṃsā school reigned supremacy over other schools owing to its popularity of practical ritualistic application. The Mīmāṃsā, emphasizing on the karmakāṇḍa portion of the Vedas, found its systematic presentation in the aphoristic work of Maharṣi Jaimini (300 – 200 BCE) which emphasized the philosophy of life, viz., karma in the form of dharma in the very opening aphorism – athāto dharma jijñāsā. The pre-Jaimini preceptors who are identified as authoritative sources referenced by Jaimini are Bādarāyaṇa, Bādarī, Ātreya, and Kṛṣṇājini, thus claiming the presence of Mīmāṃsā thought at least two centuries before Jaimini. Not withstanding the overpowering of the Vedāntic philosophical thought, the Mīmāṃsā school re-emerged as a darśana bifurcating into two main schools viz., …

Fellowship For Research And Book Writing

Indic Academy’s Inter-University Centre for Indic Knowledge Studies, as part of its commitment to promote quality research based book writing in Indic Knowledge Studies is glad to institute a “Fellowship For Research And Book Writing” program. This Fellowship program is not oriented towards a degree or title. The Fellowship carries an honorarium of Rs 10,000/- per month and publication of the book written through the fellowship. (In the case of a fieldwork-based research fieldwork expenditure is provided under the guidance/scrutiny of the guide). In all, five fellowships are awarded from one of the themes below. The fellowship is open to applicants from all over the world. Applicants from countries other than India will be paid the equivalent honorarium in dollars. Indic Academy with it’s global network will promote the sales of the publication and ensure great impact of the research work on the academic and public intellectuals. Research Topics: Applicants may choose topics from the themes listed below. Against each theme one topic is suggested by IUC for IKS. Among these themes applicants may also …