Chandigarh

SPECIAL LECTURE ON “ BHARAT- BODH: BHARAT KA ARTH, BHARAT KI SOCH” IN THE PU BHARAT BODH VYAKHYAN SHRINKHALA,

October 30, 2019 08:21 PM

Chandigarh (Face2News) 

  Eminent cultural thinker and Chairman , Indian Institute of Advanced Studies (IIAS), Shimla, Professor Kapil Kapoor, delivered a special  lecture- “ Bharat- Bodh: Bharat Ka Arth, Bharat Ki Soch” in the PU  Bharat Bodh Vyakhyan Shrinkhala, here on Wednesday.

Professor Kapil Kapoor in his seminal lecture critically examined the coordinates of the Bharat-Bodh, which are manifest in its plural knowledge-traditions and also explained how the diversity of Bharat- Bodh is integrated into a Unity through a remarkable continuity and recovery of Indic knowledge systems despite several invasions and onslaughts.

Prof. Kapil Kapoor pg IIAS Shimla  illustrated this phenomenon by relating the dissemination of knowledge in India to the metaphor of “Bodhi- Tree”. Thé branches of the Bodhi Tree or the Tree of Enlightenment , situated at Bodhgaya, where the Buddha attained enlightenment, was taken to Anuradhapura ( Sri Lanka) by Ashok’s son, Mahendra and daughter, Sanghamitra, from Anuradhapura a branch of the same tree was brought to Sanchi in 2008 by Shri Mahendra Rajpakshe, suggesting the continuity of Bharat- Bodh or the Awareness of India.

He illustrated this phenomenon by relating the dissemination of knowledge in India to the metaphor of “Bodhi- Tree”. Thé branches of the Bodhi Tree or the Tree of Enlightenment , situated at Bodhgaya, where the Buddha attained enlightenment, was taken to Anuradhapura ( Sri Lanka) by Ashok’s son, Mahendra and daughter, Sanghamitra, from Anuradhapura a branch of the same tree was brought to Sanchi in 2008 by Shri Mahendra Rajpakshe, suggesting the continuity of Bharat- Bodh or the Awareness of India.

Indic knowledge- systems influenced the entire South- East Asian knowledge- traditions. For example, China not only borrowed Indian knowledge systems but also translated the Sanskrit and Pali texts into Chinese and thus preserved for posterity. This is how the major Indian of Hindu monuments are still preserved and kept the epics - The Ramayana and the Mahabharata at the centre of public life. are Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, , Bali, Java, and Sumatra, are grounded in the coordinates of Sanatan (eternal) dharma- centric values and cardinal principles of life ( purusharthas - righteousness or dharma, artha or wealth, kama (desire) and moksha ( liberation).

Moreover, Bharat/ India as a geo- cultural and political- social- historical entity is marked by differences which are eventually integrated into a cultural entity. Bharat as “ Desh”, became “ Rashtra” only because of its great knowledge- traditions which flowed and flowered throughout India.

In such fields as astronomy, astrology, mathematics, atomic physics , chemistry, medical sciences, surgery and biology etc knowledge- texts were composed not only in Sanskrit but also in other Indian languages. God example, the Bhakti saint poets translated the Vedic knowledge into the languages of the people ( from the Rigveda to the Guru Granth Saheb). About the “ Soch or Thought / Wisdom” of India, Bharat/ India offered an alternative of “ advaita or non- dualism” as well as “ polytheism” and “ polyphony” , to the dominant anthropocentric, monotheistic, oppressive, anti- nature world- view of the west. Like, the west, we, the Indians, did not destroy or massacre the natives or aborigines to make a new “ nation”. Our “ Bharat- Bodh” offers a cyclic notion of time or Kaal- and therefore , history is not a series of moments arranged in linear progression . That is why , “ history “ is “katha” - a narration of time tied to an ethical aim of life.

Through the concept of “ Rta( truth that manifests in the cosmic order ) thé self, the local, and the global or the cosmic - realities at all levels are inseparably inte rlinked. Through the philosophy of karma of action , a very practical method of action without attachment- bringing about contentment. Our “Soch” implies unity , not uniformity, pluralism embedded in its unity. The all embracing vision and practice of “ dharma “ ( ethical duty) is central to us , and we can never be “ dharma- nirapeksha of secular India this western sense. “ Samyam”(restraint), “Niyam”( Discipline), and “ “Sadachara”( noble conduct)  lié at the centre of Bharat- Bodh or the Meaning of India.

Professor Chaman Lal Gupta, eminent writer and Vice Chairman , IIAS , Shimla was the Guest of Honour on the occasion and he ulnderlined the idea , giving examples from literature and history, that without a proper and holistic understanding of Indian culture, the knowledge of the world ( Vishwa- Bodh) is impossible to be attained. This Vishwa- Bodh and Bharat- Bodh are interdependent and not exclusive of each other.

Professor Shankar Ji Jha , the Dean of University Instruction and officiating Vice Chancellor, in his Presidential Address, summed up the theme and underlined the increasing importance of the understanding of Bharat to know who we are and what the world is . Dr Teerthankar Bhattacharya gave a vote of thanks. Distinguished PU faculty members and students enriched the session with their participation.

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