Historical and Civilisational Studies
Samvad: Global Hindu-Buddhist Initiative for Conflict Avoidance - Inter-Religious Understanding and Interdependent Sustainability, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, September 6 and 7, 2019

The III Edition of Samvad at Ulaanbaatar was a great success in many ways. In particular it cemented the relation between India and Mongolia as Spiritual Partners. It was held in the premises of Gandan Monastery in Ulaanbaatar.

Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam Revisited: Exploring India’s Soft Power Assets

In January 2019, Vivekananda International Foundation organized the seminar Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam: Relevance of India’s Ancient Thinking to Contemporary Strategic Reality to mobilize the Indian repository of ideas—ancient and modern—and bring them to practical and strategic use in building an Indian narrative in today’s world order. This is a flagship series of conferences instituted by the VIF. The second edition of the Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam seminar this year was held on 3rd and 4th March and it was titled Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam Revisited: Exploring India’s Soft Power Assets.

Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam - Relevance of India’s Ancient Thinking to Contemporary Strategic Reality

The adoption of 21st June as International Day of Yoga by the United Nations General Assembly in 2014, in response to an India-led resolution with a record high number of co-sponsors, was a landmark event. In this backdrop, it is all the more important to mobilize our ancient resources of ideas and bring them to practical and strategic use in building an Indian narrative in every domain.

History of Ancient India-VIII : Sculpture, Painting, Terracottas, Performing Arts and Architecture

The present volume provides a thorough and meticulous introduction to India’s sculpture, painting, terracottas, performing arts and architecture. In each case the coverage is extensive, supported by detailed references and should lead to further research and studies. What we would like to emphasize is that the volume does not claim to be even a reasonably exhaustive survey and analysis of the total range of ancient Indian data on art and architecture, but what it has certainly tried to convey is the depth and scale of all such artistic endeavours in the subcontinent.

Book Discussion on Dilip Chakrabarti’s Ancient Rajasthan

On 24 February 2020, VIF organized a book discussion on Prof. Dilip K. Chakrabarti’s latest book Ancient Rajasthan: Research Development, Epigraphic Evidence on Political Power Centres, and Historical Perspectives (New Delhi: Aryan Books International 2019). Prof. Rupendra K. Chattopadhyay (Vivekananda Chair Professor of Social Science, University of Calcutta), Dr. Radha Madhav Bharadwaj (Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College, University of Delhi), and Dr. Birendra Nath Prasad (Jawaharlal Nehru University) were the discussants.

Hindu-Buddhist Philosophy on Conflict Avoidance and Environment Consciousness

Driven by the myopia of profits and an ego that craves superiority over fellow brethren, man is leading a life of wanton devastation, and going through what is perhaps the most violent time in history. At stake is not just our own lives and values, but the environment that sustains us, and by extension therefore, the very future of our planet.

Vimarsha: Vivekananda and National Regeneration

“My faith is in the younger generation, the modern generation, out of them will come my workers. They will work out the whole problem, like lions.”

Talk by Ambassador Basant Gupta on Spirituality and International Politics: India’s Role

VIF organized a talk by Ambassador Basant Gupta on Spirituality and International Politics: India’s Role on 9 January 2020. The purpose was to cull out strategic insights from our ancient texts. Amb. Gupta spoke about the Bhagavad Gita. He said, the beauty of the Gita is in the fact that it brings out the divine wisdom of our scriptures from its exclusivity and makes it available to the ordinary men, living their daily lives in the world. The Gita tells us that the sacred knowledge is for all of us. The Gita's timeless appeal are emphasised by its total avoidance of dogma and bigotry.

Dilip K. Chakrabarti, The Borderlands and Boundaries of the Indian Subcontinent. New Delhi, Aryan Books International, 2018. 232pp.

Prof. Dilip Chakrabarti has undertaken a stupendous task of studying and recording the borderlands and boundaries of the sub-continent right from the Hindu Kush and Karakoram through Chitral, Gilgit, Hunza, Ladakh, and Arunachal Pradesh upto the Arakan Hills in Myanmar. This study delves into the geographical, historical, religious and economic interaction and complexities of the borderlands, which have been a zone of interaction through history.

Talk on ‘Indian Impact on Chinese Art’ by Dr. Shashi Bala

The Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) organised a lecture by Dr. Shashibala, Dean at the Centre of Indology, Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan, New Delhi, the topic being, ‘Indian Impact on Chinese Art’. Dr. Arvind Gupta, Director, VIF, chaired the proceedings. There are various aspects of Chinese art where Indian impact is clearly visible, however, due to the wide range of Chinese arts, Dr. Shashibala’s presentation mainly focused on sculptures.

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