Special Talks

We have invited a very good number of eminent scholars for the discussion on the theme of the conference. There will be a total of two-panel discussions throughout the conference. The themes of the panel discussions with invited scholars are as follows:

 

Keynote speaker

 Prof Rajaram Shukla, Vice Chancellor, Sampurnanand Sanskrit Vishwavidyalaya, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

 

Panel Discussion – 1

आधुनिकेषु शिक्षणक्षेत्रेषु भारतीयविद्यानां सन्निवेशः – सार्थः संवादः[Application of Indic Knowledge in contemporary fields]

 

अस्मिन् विषये विद्याप्रणयिनाम् ऐकमत्यम् अस्त्येव यदाधुनिके शिक्षणक्षेत्रे प्रायः सर्वेषु विषयेषु तद्विषयकाणां भारतीयस्रोतसाम् उल्लेखः तत्सम्बद्धो विचारश्च विरल एव । तदिदं वैरल्यमपाकर्तुं महान् यत्नो विधेयः, विशिष्य Philosophy, Ethics, Social Science चेत्यादिषु नैकेषु क्षेत्रेषु भारतीयस्रोतोगता अपि विषयाः सन्त्युपादेयाः, अतस्तेषु पाठ्यक्रमेषु तत्तद्विषयाः भारतीया विचारधाराः सन्निवेश्या इत्यभिप्रयन्ति भूयांसो मतिमन्तः ।

किञ्च सन्निवेशोऽयं‍ न सुकरः । तत्र समुचितानां विषयाणां प्राप्तौ पाठ्यरूपेण सज्जतायां च गभीरं चिन्तनं निरन्तरम् उद्यमनं युक्तायुक्तताविवेचनं च महता प्रमाणेन सम्पद्येत । सम्पन्ने च तस्मिन्, तत्फलं स्वपाठ्यक्रमे समानेतुम् अधुनातना विश्वविद्यालयाः सज्जेरन् । एवंविधान् पाठ्यान् पाठयितुं क्षमेरन्नध्यापयितारः, पठितुम् ईहेरन्नध्येतारश्च । एवं चिन्तनस्यास्य कार्यान्वयनं न तावत् सुकरमिति निश्चप्रचमेव ।

तस्मादयं विषयश्चितो वर्तते विपश्चित्संवादेऽस्मिन् । अस्मिन्नेव विषये चिराच्चिन्तने प्रयतने च निरतास्त्रयो विद्वांसोऽत्र स्वान् विचारान् प्रस्तोष्यन्ति सदःसद्भिः सह संवादं विधास्यन्ति च ।

[There is unanimity among scholars regarding the idea that in the modern stream of education, Indian thoughts and discussions are limited. Scholars have expressed the opinion that, a lot of hard work is required to combat this limitation, especially in the fields such as Philosophy, Ethics, and Social science, many thoughts from Indian knowledge can be adopted and in those fields of education, the study of Indian knowledge systems can be introduced. But this inclusion is not an easy task, because the finding of topics and the preparing of a syllabus or courses needs very serious discussion, hard work, and the ability to discriminate between proper and improper. Once that is done, institutions must agree to bring that syllabus into their curriculum. Professors must get ready to teach and students must get ready to learn such courses. So this thought is difficult to bring into practice.

Hence, this is one of the topics selected for the panel discussion. Three scholars, who have grappled with this issue for quite a while, have been invited for this discussion.]

Invited Scholars and Topics

  1. Prof. Shrinivasa Varakhedi, Vice Chancellor, Kavikulaguru Kalidasa Sanskrit University, Maharashtra

Topic – तानि आधुनिकानि शिक्षाक्षेत्राणि यत्र भारतीयविद्यानां सन्निवेशः सुयुक्तः । [The modern streams where Indian Knowledge tradition can be applied]

  1. Prof B Mahadevan, Professor, Productions and Operational Management,  IIM Banglore

Topic – विश्वविद्यालयानां साम्प्रतिकी स्थितिः, पूर्वोक्तस्य सन्निवेशस्य [Present situation of institutions, and how the inclusion discussed can be brought into practice]

  1. Prof Madhusudan Penna, Professor & Dean, Faculty of Bharatiya Dharma, Kavikulaguru Kalidasa Sanskrit University, Maharashtra

Topic – अस्मिन् सन्निवेशे शास्त्रज्ञानां कर्तव्यम् [Duties of traditional śāstra scholars in this context]

 

Panel Discussion-2

Invited Scholars and Topics

  1. Prof. S.R Bhatt, Chairman, Indian Council of Philosophical Research, New Delhi

Topic – Samvāda: what it was & what it can be?

Saṃvāda, a series of symposia held by the ICPR in the last decades of the 20th century, was a significant attempt to bring together traditionally trained pandits and academicians trained in modern universities. As a member of this dialogue, we would like Prof. V.N.Jha to share his experiences about the benefits (and perhaps demerits, if any) of such an experiment and also present his opinion about why such dialogues have not been continued consistently in the recent past. If such saṃvāda-s are to be held today, what are the methodological questions one must address so as to ensure its success and continuation?

  1. Prof. C Rajendran, Calicut University, Kerala

Topic – Comparative Philosophy & what it ought to be?

Writing about comparative philosophy in 1982, Matilal said: “‘Comparative philosophy’ has acquired a bad reputation mainly because of the failure and lack of depth of early comparativists”. More than three decades later, how has the situation changed? What is the job of the contemporary philosopher who chooses to work on the classical Darśana-s? Drawing from Prof. Rajendran’s extensive research in comparative poetics and philosophy in general, we would like him to address the question of “Comparative Philosophy and what it ought to be” (A title inspired by Daya Krishna’s essay on the same topic).

  1. Prof Raghurama Raju, Professor, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Tirupati

Topic – The “temporal imbalance” in comparative philosophy & the place of “the modern” in Indian Philosophy.

Writing about the “temporal imbalance” in comparative philosophy, Prof. Raghurama Raju has observed that “most of the comparison between Indian and Western philosophy is between modern Western philosophy compared with classical Indian philosophy” and that “This temporal imbalance did not take this philosophical activity much further” (In ‘Modern Philosophy in India’ in History of Indian Philosophy, ed. Purushottama Bilimoria, Routledge 2018). How does this temporal imbalance affect a comparative exercise? And how do we “take stock” of this imbalance? What role can modern Indian philosophy play in overcoming this hurdle?

  1. Prof Shashishekhar Toshkhani, member of the research committee of Kashmiri Education, Culture and Science Society

Topic – Internal Samvāda & lesser known Darśana-s

One of the unfortunate trends with the curriculum in philosophy departments in the country (which teach Classical Indian Philosophy in English) is the over-emphasis on ‘śad-darśana-s.’ Students are taught these 6 “systems” more or less in isolation from each other. As a result, the dialogical nature of classical Indian philosophy is not highlighted. Another consequence of this has been an utter neglect of lesser-known darśana-s like Kaśmira-śaivism, Vaiyākaraṇa darśana, etc. Moreover, in our enthusiasm to compare Indian philosophies with non-Indian philosophies, we seem to forget the need for (or rather a rejuvenation of) an internal saṃvāda. Can Naiyāyika-s or Mimamsaka-s profit from studying these ignored philosophies? What are some of the ways in which these philosophies can be given their due and be accommodated meaningfully in the M.A (or B.A) curriculum?

 

Special Talks

Invited Scholars and Topics

  1. Prof Amba Kulkarni, University of Hyderabad, Telangana

Topic – Relevance of Paninian tradition for NLP

Pāṇini’s Aṣṭādhyāyī  describing the rules of Sanskrit Grammar is considered by many as the holy book of Sanskrit, and  is held in high esteem by language lovers.”The modern age of information technology has provided a new boost to the studies of the Aṣṭādhyāyī from the perspective of information coding. The importance of the Aṣṭādhyāyī is three-fold. The first one, as is well known, is that it is an almost exhaustive grammar for any natural language with meticulous details, yet small enough to memorize. Secondly, though the Aṣṭādhyāyī was written to describe the then prevalent Sanskrit language, it provides a grammatical framework which is general enough to analyse other languages as well. This makes it important to study the Aṣṭādhyāyī from the point of view of the concepts it uses for language analysis. The third important aspect of the Aṣṭādhyāyī is its organization. Its set of fewer than 4000 aphorisms(sutras) is similar to any computer program, with one major difference: the program is written for a human being and not for a machine, thereby allowing some non-formal or semi-formal aphorisms(sutras), which require a human being to interpret and implement them. Nevertheless, we believe that the study of the Aṣṭādhyāyī from a programming point of view may lead to a new programming paradigm, because of its rich structure. The Indian grammatical tradition provides a scientific base for language communication, which Information Technology mainly deals with. Where a language codes information, how much information it codes, and the manner in which this information is coded in a language, are important for Language Processing. Pāṇini’s Aṣṭādhyāyī provides insights for this analysis. There are some commentaries on the Aṣṭādhyāyī by the later grammarians Kātyāyana, Patañjali, etc. Based on commentaries by later grammarians, we can get insights into language and it is possible to apply those ideas in language processing. The principles defined by these later grammarians will help computer scientists to resolve structural ambiguity and to establish compatibility in a given sentence.

  1. Prof Arknath Chaudhary, Former Vice Chancellor, Shree Somanath Sanskrit University, Gujarat

Topic – शास्त्राणां पारस्परिकमवलम्बनम् [Interdependency of śāstra-s]

किमपि शास्त्रं सम्यगधिगन्तव्यं चेच्छास्त्रान्तराणामपि ज्ञानमावश्यकमित्येतन्निश्चप्रचमेव । स्वसिद्धान्तप्रतिपादनावसरे क्वचिच्छास्त्रकाराः शास्त्रेतराणां मतमुपन्यस्य निरस्यन्ति । क्वचित्तु स्वमतस्य दृढीकरणाय शास्त्रान्तरीया युक्तीरालम्बन्ते । तथा च शास्त्रान्तरीयाः ते ते विषयविशेषाः यदि न विदितास्तर्हि स्वशास्त्रीयस्य सिद्धान्तस्य निष्कृष्टोऽवबोधो नोत्पद्यते । सोऽयं विषयो नैकशास्त्रनदीष्णैस्तत्रभवद्भिराचार्यैः कानिचिद् हृद्यान्युदाहरणाणि पुरस्कृत्य प्रस्तोतव्य इति नः सप्रश्रयोऽनुरोधः ।

[If one wants to understand a śāstra in detail, he/she must have the knowledge of other śāstra-s too. While presenting their final thesis/conclusion regarding one śastra, scholars also present their opinion of other śāstras. At some places, they use principles of other śāstra-s to strengthen their own point of view. Thus, an understanding of the principles of any śāstra is difficult if there is a lack of knowledge of other śāstra-s. We have requested Prof Arknath Choudhary ji to throw some light on this topic, and help young scholars to understand its importance.]

 

  1. Prof Subrahmanyam Korada, University of Hyderabad, Telangana

 

Topic – साम्प्रदायिक्यां वाक्यार्थपद्धतौ संशोधनत्वम् अस्ति किं न वा? [Is there research in the Vākyārtha tradition?]

 

वाक्यार्थपद्धतिः साम्प्रदायिकस्य शास्त्राध्ययनविधेः शास्त्रार्थविचारविधेश्च अविभाज्यम् अङ्गम् । सेयं पद्धतिः शास्त्रधुन्याः निरन्तरे प्रवाहे अत्यावश्यकीति मतं मतिमताम् । वाक्यार्थेषु न केवलं ग्रन्थस्था विषयाः प्रस्तूयन्ते, तदतिरिक्ता अपि नूतनाः पूर्वपक्षा उद्भाव्यन्ते सिद्धान्ताश्च प्रतिष्ठाप्यन्ते । क्वचित्तु अप्रसिद्धासु व्याख्यासु स्थिता भूयोभिर्विपश्चिद्भिरज्ञाताश्चापि विषयाः प्राकाश्यमृच्छन्ति । तदिदमनभिजानाना आधुनिकाः केचन विद्वांसो वाक्यार्थविषये न तथाऽदधत्यादरम् ।

तदेतत्सर्वं मनसि कृत्वा विषयमेनमचैष्म वयम् । तच्छास्त्राणां वाक्यार्थविचारेषु संशोधने चोभयत्राप्यनर्गलां गतिं दधानास्तत्रभवन्तः सप्रश्रयं निवेद्यन्ते यद् वाक्यार्थपद्धतेर्वैशिष्ट्यं तत्रत्यं संशोधनत्वं च कतिपयैरुदाहरणैः समुल्लसितं कृत्वा स्वमुपन्यासं प्रस्तुवन्त्विति ।

[The Vākyārtha tradition is an inseparable part of śāstra studies and discussions. Scholars believe that this tradition is extremely important in the flow of śāstra studies. Not only is there textual discussion in vākyārtha, but also new positions and conclusions are presented and established. In some instances, the positions from some lesser known commentaries come into light. This fact is less known by many present day-scholars, which makes them disregard this tradition.

Keeping these facts in mind, Prof Subrahmanyam Korada, who has indulged in both vākyārtha and research, is requested to shed some light on the vākyārtha tradition and the possible research areas in it, through some examples.]

  1. Prof C Rajendran, Calicut University, Kerala

Topic – साहित्यशास्त्रस्य शास्त्रत्वं तत्र संशोधनयोग्याः विषयाश्च [Śāstratva of Sāhitya and fields for research in this area]

अ) साहित्यस्य शास्त्रत्वम् –

सन्ति नैके शास्त्रप्रणेतारो यायावरीयप्रभृतयः, यैः साहित्यस्य शास्त्रत्वं प्रतिष्ठापयितुं समर्थयितुं वा भृशमायस्तम् । तथापि प्रतिपाद्येषु विषयेषु सर्वसम्मताः ‘इदमित्थम्’ इत्यात्मकाः सिद्धान्ताः यथा शास्त्रान्तरेषु विलोक्यन्ते, न तथा साहित्य इति कश्चिदाक्षेपो वरीवर्ति शास्त्रप्रपञ्चे । यथा – गुणदोषध्वन्यलङ्कारादीनां प्रभेदेषु भूयानस्ति मतभेदो मम्मट-विश्वनाथ-जगन्नाथादीनां शास्त्रकाराणाम् । न चैतेषु विषयेषु सर्वसम्मतः कश्चित् सिद्धान्त ऊरीकृतः । अयमपि कश्चन हेतुरस्य शास्त्रत्वस्य निराकरणे । तदेतान् प्राचोऽर्वाचश्च पक्षानुपस्थाप्य तान् विद्वज्जुष्याभिर्युक्तिभिर्निरस्य च साहित्यस्य शास्त्रत्वमुपपाद्यं तत्रभवद्भिरित्यभिलाषोऽस्माकम् ।

[There are many traditional scholars who have tried very hard to establish Sahitya as one of the śāstra-s. However, for various topics discussed under Sahitya, there is no established siddhanta, unlike in the case of other śāstra-s. For example, there is a divergence of opinions among the scholars like Mammaṭa, Viśvanātha, Jagannatha, and others, with regard to subjects like Guṇa, dośa, dhvani, alaṅkara, etc. No definite siddhanta is established for these topics. This is one of the reasons for rejecting the claims of Sahitya to being a śāstra. Prof. C Rajendran will be presenting the opinion of both ancient and modern scholars in this regard, and will present thoughts about Sahitya’s śāstratva.]

 

इ) तत्र संशोधनयोग्या विषयाः –

संशोधनक्षेत्रे चिरान्निरतानां प्रेक्षावतां योऽस्ति सुमहाननुभवः, तस्य लाभो युवभिर्गवेषकैः सम्प्राप्य इति धियायं विषयो गृहीतः । अतः साहित्ये साहित्यशास्त्रे च चिन्तयितुं योग्यान् त्रिचतुरान् संशोधनविषयान्, तत्फलेग्रहित्वे समुचितं पन्थानञ्च प्रस्तुवन्त्विति तत्रभवत्सु नोऽनुरोधः । तदिदं यूनामनुसन्धित्सूनामुपकाराय भविष्यतीति द्रढीयान्नो विस्रम्भः ।

[The intention behind giving this topic is that young scholars must benefit from the experience of eminent scholars in the field of Sāhitya. Hence, in this context, Prof C Rajendran is requested to highlight probable research areas in the field, and discuss the appropriate methodology required to study such topics. It is our deep belief that it will be very beneficial for our young scholars.]