Indica Chicago in association with Chinmaya Mission Chicago (Badri) hosted a very successful Grateful2Gurus Event to honour Scholar Dr. Subhash Kak. The event was held on Saturday, December 21st at Chinmaya Mission (Badri) in Willowbrook, Illinois, a south-west suburb of Chicago.
The planning for the event started mid-summer 2019 with the decision to honor Dr. Subhash Kak in the United States. Indic Academy found an extremely supportive partner in Chinmaya Mission to host the event.
The organizers from Chinmaya Mission and Indic Academy put together a compelling agenda that attracted a cross-section of audience estimated in the vicinity of 200. The primary items on the agenda included:
- Felicitation of Dr. Subhash Kak by Swami Sharanananda
- Opening talk by Swamiji on Guru-Shishya parampara
- Talk by Dr. Kak on “Indian Foundation of Modern Science”
Swami Sharananda ji, the Acharya of the Chinmaya Mission Chicago, welcomed and felicitated Dr. Subhash Kak with Grateful2Gurus Award. Swamiji gave a brief talk on spirituality and how each one of us is a spiritual being expressing our own human experience. Swamiji also talked about Guru-Shishya Parampara and how Sanatana Dharma emphasizes on knowledge. He emphasized how Guru is considered supreme and it is through a Guru that one can understand the true nature of reality.
Following the felicitation, a packed audience listened to Dr. Kak’s talk on a wide array of subjects. His wisdom came to the fore as he listed and elaborated on the significance of a number of mathematical and scientific works from India that helped advance scientific development in the West.
He started off by offering his thoughts on the antiquity of number zero and its possible linkages to the concept of shunyata in the 1st century BCE (few centuries prior to Aryabhatta as is popularly believed). He then moved on to opine about Kerala School of Mathematics and its work on Infinite Series and Calculus a few centuries prior to Newton and Leibnitz.
He continued to enthrall a rapt audience further on the influence of Panini’s Ashtadhyayi and Bharata’s Natyashastra on modern linguistics, mathematical logic, and social sciences. He talked about Vivekananda’s interaction with Nicola Tesla on mass and energy; and explained the Vedic basis for the interaction. He pointed out the influence of Upanishads on Schrodinger and his work on Quantum Mechanics (the central idea of superposition) as well.
Dr. Kak also touched upon Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, six Darshana of Vedic Science and Navya Nyaya. Dr. Kak rued the fact that since becoming independent, India has increasingly discarded these philosophical and logical texts of Sanatana Dharma as religious texts. These texts are a gold-mine of logic and should not be viewed/read through the narrow prism of “religion” defined by West.
Dr. Kak spoke about the significance of number 108 in Sanatana Dharma and how the practices and rituals of 108 tirthas, 108 japas, etc. relate to the astronomy of Sun and Moon and their relationship to earth. Dr. Kak believes Vedanta is that Kamadhenu or Kalpavriksha that keeps giving us knowledge and the Vedic way is totally opposite to the modern way of education, “Vedic way is that, the mind is a flame to be lit not a vessel to be filled”.
Towards the end of the talk, Dr. Kak also shared his thoughts on Artificial Intelligence, Divinity, Consciousness & Spirituality and future path for humanity followed by a brief Questions and Answers session.
The event was attended by an estimated 200 Indics. There were few who drove long-distance, some close to 150 miles, to listen to the talk. This big crowd, during the middle of a holiday season, is a testimony to the scholarship of Dr. Kak as well as the effort put in by the organizing team (of both Chinmaya Mission and Indic Academy) to publicize and prepare for the event.
Indic Academy is grateful to Chinmaya Mission and their volunteers for hosting the event. Indica Chicago is looking forward to more such collaboration to advance dharmic thought in the region.
The videos of the talk is available on the following links:
2.Honoring Dr Kak and the talk thereafter:
3.Questions & Answers Session and Conclusion:
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