Historical and Civilisational Studies
Talk on ‘Chinese Masters in India’ by Dr. Shashi Bala

During her third lecture Dr. Shasi Balas spoke on Chinese pilgrims who came to India in search of Buddhist sutra texts and to pay homage to the sacred land. She spoke about Chinese monks Faxian, Zuanxang, Yijing and relatively less-known Chinese travelers. Indian scholars from universities and monasteries in Kashmir, Gandhara and Nalanda who visited China and carried texts with them were also mentioned.

Talk by Ku. Nivedita Bhide, Vice President of Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari on ‘Swami Vivekananda and his Contemporary Relevance’

In commemoration of 125 years of Swami Vivekananda’s famous Chicago speech, the Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF), New Delhi, invited Sister Nivedita Raghunath Bhide, the Vice President of Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari to dwell upon the subject of ‘Swami Vivekananda and his Contemporary Relevance’ as part of the Vimarsha session of public talks.

Talk on ‘Indian Scholars in China: Voyages for Cultural Advancement’

Dr. Shashi Bala, Dean, Centre of Indology, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, gave a talk on ‘Indian Scholars in China: Voyages for Cultural Advancement’ at the Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) on 13 Aug 2018. This was the second in a lecture series on India-China Cultural Linkages slated to be held at the VIF at regular intervals. Dr. Bala spoke on Indian monks and scholars who travelled to China and spread the message of Buddhism and other aspects of Indian culture.

Vimarsha: Talk by Shri Swami Avdheshanand Giri ji Maharaj, Acharya Mahamandaleshwar of the Juna Akhara on ‘Desh, Samaj aur Vyakti’

The Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF), New Delhi, hosted its monthly event, Vimarsha, on in the commemoration of 125th years of Swami Vivekananda's Chicago Speech. The topic was ‘Desh, Samaj aur Vyakti’ and to speak on the topic, Swami Avdheshanand Giri ji Maharaj was invited who himself is a dedicated saint and philosopher. Swami ji is Acharya Mahamandaleshwar of the Juna Akhara and a guru to thousands and an inspiration to millions. He has delivered philosophical speeches worldwide and has vast knowledge of Indian scriptures and texts.

Either Side of Historical Conclusions: Evidences and Interpretations

… historical narratives should be right, as far as possible accommodative of duly qualified civilisational memories, and so balanced and trust worthy … dignified or infamous, balanced historical narratives bring great advantages to the society, the state and the military… it is for the independent India’s learned historians to take a rational call and commit to the updating of the formal versions of Indian history …

Asian Buddhist Media Conclave – Mindful Communication for Conflict Avoidance and Sustainable Development

Organised by the International Buddhist Confederation in association with the VIF, and attended by luminary intellectuals like Dr Dhammapiya and Dr S Gurumurthy, the Conclave delved into the salience of mindful communication in conflict avoidance and sustainable development. Developing Buddhist media network like films, TV, print and social media and cultural festivals to spread peace and development through Buddha dhamma culture was emphasized.

UIHC Lecture Series, ‘Dharma & Ecology’ by Dr. Pankaj Jain

The first in a new VIF lecture series ‘Understanding Indian History & Civilisation’ was a talk on ‘Dharma and Ecology’ by Dr. Pankaj Jain, Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy & Religion, University of North Texas, USA. Dr. Arvind Gupta introduced the speaker and presented the issue at hand: In an age of intense competition and drive for profit, how can ideas developed in ancient Indian culture be brought into the modern discourse? It is high time that philosophy and history step out of their shells and work at an interface with strategic affairs.

Shared Values and Democracy in Asia - 4th Samvad Conference at Tokyo

The Conference on the theme of ‘Shared Values and Democracy in Asia’ was addressed by PM Abe in which he returned to the theme that democracy in Asia was not a foreign idea introduced from the West. Prime Minister Modi in his message emphasised the shared heritage of democratic spirit pointing out that the philosophical and cultural heritage of Hinduism and Buddhism helps us promote better understanding amongst people.

Talk by Dr. Shashibala, Dean, Centre for Indology, Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan, on ‘Echoes of Indian Culture in China’

Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) organised a lecture cum discussion by Dr. Shashibala, Dean at the Centre of Indology, Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan. The topic of the lecture cum discussion was ‘Echoes of Indian Culture in China’. Dr. Arvind Gupta, Director VIF chaired the proceedings. The major theme of the discussion was to highlight the prominent aspects of Indian influence in shaping and moulding the Chinese culture as we know it today.

Vimasha: Dr. Bibek Deb Roy’s talk on ‘Understanding the Ancient Indian Texts: Puranas and the Bhagavad Gita’

Dr. Bibek Deb Roy, eminent scholar and Chairman, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, gave a talk on the Bhagavad Gita. He announced at the outset that he would not deal with the ‘big things’ about the Gita—dharma, karma, tyaga, bhakti and so on, but with small things that often escape our notice.

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