Seminars and Workshops

Bygone programmes

Academic Programmes Conducted at Chinmaya International Foundation Shodha Sansthan Since 2008

Sanskrit Day Celebration [18th and 19th July, 2008]:

The two day programme was inaugurated by traditional scholar Dr. Pasupathy Nathan. Competitions on Sanskrit essay writing, recitation, story-writing, quiz etc. were conducted. About 200 students from various schools of Kerala, Tamilnadu, Andhra and Karnataka participated in various competitions.

Textual Workshop on Nyaya and Mimasa [15th - 29th Dec, 2008]: 

A 15 day Textual Workshop on Nyaya, Mimamsa and Advaitavedanta was conducted in collaboration with the ICPR, New Delhi during 15th Dec - 29th Dec, 2008. Eminent scholars like Prof. R. Balasubramanian, Pro. V. N. Jha, Prof. Ujjwala Jha, Prof. G. Mishra and Dr. Goda Venkatesha Sastri had led the sessions which was attended by about 40 eminent scholars. Sanskrit students and scholars have also participated in the workshop.

Two days Workshop on Anusaraka [February, 2009]:

A workshop on expounding the Anusaaraka project was organized at CIF. 25 ardently interested participants from all over India learnt the details of the project and prepared an action plan on how they could contribute to it.

Anusaraka Sevak Training workshop [20th - 25th April 2009]:

A training programme for volunteers for promoting and participating the Anusaaraka project got together at CIF for a 5 day workshop. They were given intense training on the concepts of the project by eminent scholars working in this field.

Sri Adi Shankara Jayanthi [29th, April 2009]:

Eminent scholars were invited for this seminar on Indian Philosophy and Advaita Vedanta. Chanting of the stotras of Shankara was also a part of this programme.

Academic Workshop on Tarkasangraha, Indian Logic and Epistemology [4th - 14th June 2009]:

This most popular and basic text on Indian Logic which was studied both in the traditional as well as in the modern higher educational context was taught in this 10 days workshop under the guidance of Prof. V N Jha. It gave the participants access to all Indian knowledge Systems and the illustrious intellectual and philosophical traditions of India. All the 40 students comprising of scholars, philosophy students from universities, seekers and monks enriched their knowledge on Indian logic. The study of this text also provided a good training in analyzing human thoughts. Once one captures the methods of cognitive analysis as presented in this system, one can handle any knowledge discipline with ease.

Academic Workshop on Philosophy of Oneness [24th - 31st Dec. 2009]:

This one week residential course was based on the texts Idealism - East and West by Prof. R.Balasubramanian, and Advaita Makaranda by Dr. Godabarisha Mishra. Dr. S. Revathi, Head of the Department of Vedanta of Madras University delivered a series of lectures on Vedanta Paribhasha. The workshop focused on acquainting the students with the fundamentals of Advaitavedanta and its subtle nuances. It also aimed at comparing and contrasting the idealism of East and West with special reference to the contributions of western philosophers.

Lecture by Prof. George Cardona on the Brahmakanda of Vakyapadiyam:

Prof George Cardona, an authority in Paninian rules since 1960, pointed out the importance of sabda for gaining knowledge that Brahma sabdrupena vivartate na parinamate . The session was attended by around 25 participants including scholars like Smt. Ratna Basu, Prof. Muralimadhavan and other research scholars from nearby institutions.

Foundation Day Celebrations [21st – 22nd February 2011]:

The Foundation Day of Chinmaya International Foundation Sodha Samsthan was marked by a two day seminar. Dr. Pankaj Chande, Vice Chancellor of Kavikulaguru Kalidasa Sanskrit University, Nagpur, Dr. Maureen P. Hall, Massachusetts University, USA, Dr. N. P. Unni, Former Vice-chancellor of Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, Kalady and Dr. P. V. Ramankutty, Director of Kanippayyoor Granthasala were special invitees in the function. Cultural programmes like, Aksharasloka Sadas by Kairali Sloka Rangam, Palai and Bharatanatyam of Dr. Venugopal of Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, Kalady have held the audience captivated. Dr. P. C. Muraleemadhavan, Former Chairman, CIFSS welcomed the audience. The function was presided over by Dr. N. P. Unni and the Foundation day lectures were delivered by Dr. Maureen P. Hall and Dr. P. V. Ramankutty.

Workshop on Preparing Sanskrit Texts suitable for Computational Research – [18-20 March 2011]:

In this three day workshop Dr. Amba Kulkarni, Head, Dept. of Sanskrit Studies, University of Hyderabad and Dr. Tirumala Kulkarni, Assistant Professor, Poornaprajna Vidyapeetham, Bangalore, Shri. Shridhar, Systems Analyst, Bangalore were the faculties. 35 students, Sanskrit as well as technical, from different parts of the country participated in the workshop. In this workshop, Brhadaranyakopanishad, Mandukyopanishad, Chandogyopanishad, Bhagavadgita – II,III,IV chapters with Shankara Bhashya have been tagged.

Adi Sankara Jayanti [8th May 2011]:

The jayantis of H. H. Swami Chinmayananda and the glorious saint Adi Sankara have fallen on the 8th of May. Thus it turned out to be the Adi Sankara Mahotsavam, starting on 4th May and concluding on 8th May. Each of the five days was devoted to a detailed scholastic and spiritual examination of one of the texts of Sankaracharya. On the opening day, there was an exposition on Sri Sankara’s works. The 5th was dedicated to Soundaryalalari, 6th to Tattva Bodha, 7th to Siva Manasa Puja and 8th to Dasa Sloki. Apart from these, each day saw the chanting of Sankara’s verses, study and reflection on some of his texts in the serene surroundings of Adi Sankara Nilayam.

Colloquim on Indian Aesthetics: Discourse on Dhvani [25th September 2011]:

Chinmaya International Foundation Shodha Sansthan and Centre for Heritage Studies, Tripunithura have jointly conducted an intellectual exercise on Indian Aesthetics: Discourse on Dhvani on. The formal inauguration of the course was done by Dr. K. K. N. Kuruppu, Former Director General, Centre for Heritage Studies, Hill Palace. While delivering the inaugural address, he emphasised on the need to organize such types of discourses and its applicability in different fields of knowledge. Dr. Dilip kumar Rana, Director of Chinmaya International Foundation Shodha Sansthan welcomed the gathering. Prof. K. G. Paulose, Chairman, Managing Committee, Chinmaya International Foundation Shodha Sansthan presided. Dr. C. M.  Neelakandan Elayath gave an overview of the entire course. The sessions were chaired by Dr. Chathanath Achyuthanunni, Dr. P. V. Ramankutty, Dr. K. M. Krishnan, Dr. K. A. Raveendran, Prof. T. K. Sarala, Dr. K. P. Sreedevi, Dr. P. V. Narayanan and Dr. K. V. Vasudevan. Around 60 participants from all over Kerala have attended the colloquium. V. P. Udayakumar, N. S. Sharmila, Jayanisha Kurungot, Anilkumar, M. Vijayakumar, M. Sathian, N. A. Shihab, Jeena George, Anil Narayanan, G. Sudev Krishna Sarma, K. G. Ambika, D. Pramitha, V. R. Arun Jagannathan, V. Nirmala and Saritha Maheswaran presented papers. Detailed discussions were also held and all the participants have actively contributed to make the discourse fruitful.

Sanskrit Day Celebrations [2nd – 3rd November 2011]:

This year’s Sanskrit day celebrations went on for 2nd and 3rd November 2011 marked by several competitions conducted for the students of school and colleges such as Gitaparayanam, Kathakathanam, Recitation, elocution, essay writing, versification and quiz. Around 184 students from different schools and colleges of Kerala have participated in the programme. Chinmaya Vidyalaya, Tripunithura and Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, News Print Nagar stood in first and second place respectively. The function was inaugurated on 2nd November by Prof. K. G. Paulose, Chairman, Chinmaya International  Foundation Shodha Sansthan. Dr. Dilip Kumar Rana, Director of CIFSS welcomed the gathering who stressed the need of encouraging the learning of Sanskrit language that exhibit the rich culture of our heritage. A Book entitled Bandhanastho’aniruddhah , Sanskrit translation of Vallathol Narayana Menon’s BandhanasthanayaAniruddhan by late Sri. V. Raman Master was released on this occasion by Prof. K. G. Paulose. Prof. K. P. Prasanna, Principal, Govt. Sanskrit College, Tripunithura was the chief guest in the valedictory session conducted on 3rd . She opined that such competitions were an encouragement for the students and they become aware of the hoary culture of India and her tradition. H. H. Swami Ramakrishnananda, Acharya, Chinmaya Mission, Chennai pointed out that the students are getting chances to revitalize the sastras and that learning of Sanskrit language is becoming a part of their education. Mementos and certificates were distributed to all the winners.

Manuscript-ology Meeting [24th November 2011]:

A meeting of officials from Indira Gandhi National Centre for Culture (IGNCA) and Chinmaya International Foundation Shodha Sansthan was held on the 24th of November 2011 to undertake publication of manuscripts and rare books related to the art-forms of this region.

Workshop on Computational Tools to Understand Sanskrit Texts [22nd - 27th December 2011]:

A six day workshop from 22nd to 27th December 2011 on Sanskrit Computational Tools to understand Sanskrit Texts was organized at Chinmaya International Foundation Shodha Sansthan in collaboration with Sanskrit Consortium Project funded by TDIL, MCIT New Delhi and Department of Sanskrit Studies, University of Hyderabad. The Workshop was inaugurated on the 22nd morning by Prof. Mallepuram G Venkatesh, Vicechancellor of Karnataka Sanskrit University. Prof. Venkatesh opined that the current areas of research in Sanskrit such as the present workshop has the capability of reaching out to the masses with the invaluable wisdom of the literature and philosophies propagated in this language. The inaugural session was presided over by Prof. K. G. Paulose, former Vice-chancellor of Kerala Kalamandalam and Chairman of the Shodha Sansthan’s Managing Committee. Prof. Paulose expressed hope that the use of computers would act as teaching tools and was hopeful that the machines would be made capable of deciphering the classical texts to the extend of extracting the inherent and latent meaning than the surface level verbal expressions. Around 30 School/College/University teachers of different states were got benefited from the workshop. The sessions were both theoretical as well as practical. The computational tools developed by various institutions are introduced and given to each participants for their further use.

National Workshop on Navya Nyaya Language and Methodology (Level – I)  [2-13 July 2012]:

This programme was inaugurated by Prof. M. A. Babu, Principal, Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, Guruvayur Campus. Exchairman of CIFSS Prof. Muraleemadhavan chaired the session. Thirty-eight participants belonging to diverse academic branches from various parts of the country joined this course. This introductory course forms part of a 3 level course designed and taught by Prof. V. N. Jha, former Director, Centre of Advanced Study in Sanskrit (CASS) University of Pune and Prof. Ujjwala Jha, the present Director of the CASS. The objective of the course was to expose the students to the language of the new school of Indian Logic which is considered essential for a meaningful discourse among different systems of knowledge and to practice and protect the Shastras and Indian traditions with a new approach and vision.

Sanskrit Day Celebration [30-31 July 2012]:

The two day long celebrations of the Sanskrit Day at the Chinmaya Shodha Sansthan began on 30th July. The function was inaugurated by Dr. Baladevananda Sagar, News Reader, All India Radio. Prof. P. A. Sahasranaman, Retd. Sanskrit Professor, and Head of Sanskrit Department of Maharajas College, Ernakulam presided. In his inaugural address Dr. Baladevananda Sagar laid emphasis on the importance of Sanskrit and its inseparable relationship with our culture. H. H. Swami Ramakrishnananda blessed the gathering. Smt. K. Usha, Principal, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Velloor was honoured at the occasion. Various competitions like recitation of several poetic works such as Bhagavadgita, kathakathanam, elocution, essay writing, versification, and quiz were conducted. Around 250 students from different schools and colleges of Kerala have participated in different items. Chinmaya Vidyalaya, Tripunithura and Bharatirya Vidya Bhavan, News Print Nagar, Vellor bagged first and second respectively for their overall performance. On 31st, in the valedictory session, the chief guest Dr. N. P. Unni, former Vicechancellor, Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, Kalady, pointed out the necessity of learning Sanskrit language. Certificates and mementos were distributed to all the winners.

Seminar on Unpublished Manuscripts of Kerala [1-2 July 2012]:

The Chinmaya Shodha Sansthan (CIFSS) has organized a two day seminar on Unpublished Manuscripts of Kerala on 1st and 2nd August 2012. Director, Dr. Dilip Kumar Rana welcomed the august gathering. Prof. P. C. Muraleemadhavan, Founder chairman of CIFSS presided over the function despite himself presenting a paper on Unpublished Manuscript of Kutallur family . H. H. Swami Ramakrishnananda blessed the function. CIF nominee to the Shodha Sansthan Managing Committee Sri K. K. Rajan was also present in the function. Dr. N. P. Unni, former Vice-chancellor of Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, Kalady was the chief guest. Dr. Baladevananda Sagar, News Reader, All India Radio delivered a lecture on the relevance and applicability of this kind of workshop. He opined that manuscripts are the treasure house of our culture and heritage and these workshops shall pave the way for the finding and publication of hidden manuscripts. Dr. P. V. Ramankutty, Principal (Retd.) and former Professor and Head, Department of Sanskrit, Govt. College, Pattambi, Dr. C. N. Neelakanthan, Director, Books and Publications Division, Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, Kalady, Dr. N. P. Unni, former Vice-chancellor of Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, Kalady, Dr. T. P. Sankaran Kutty Nair, Director, Institute of Kerala Studies, Trivandrum have chaired various sessions. Faculty, students and researchers from different colleges and universities took part in the workshop. Following is the list of papers presented in this seminar: Unpublished Manuscripts in Kutallur family by Prof. P. C. Muraleemadhavan, Sanskrit Tradition in Kerala by Dr. P. V. Ramankutty, Kerala Manuscripts on Sanskrit Literary Criticism by Dr. C. M. Neelakanthan, Keralite Manuscripts on Gan/ita by Dr. P. V. Narayanan, Manuscripts Collections in Kerala by Dr. N. P. Unni, Visacandrika an Unpublished Manuscript on Toxicology by Smt. Visalakshi, Unpublished Manuscripts on Kerala by T. P. Sankarankutty Nair, Aksaraprasna - An Edition by Ashok Kumar N. K., Krsnapadi – A commentary on Srimadbhagavatam by P. N. Sudarsanan and Pandulipiprasthanam Keralesu by Dr. Rajan. E. M 

Workshop on Introduction to Knowledge Representation in Eastern (Navya Nyaya) and Western Logic [3rd to 8th September 2012]:

This Six-day Residential Workshop at the Shodha Sansthan was inaugurated by Prof. Geervani, Former Vice-chancellor of Sri Padmavathy Mahila Viswavidyalaya, Tirupathi who lauded the contributions of Chinmaya International Foundation to traditional Sanskrit knowledge and commented that the government initiative of granting the status of a research centre is a much needed fillip to begin active research in Sanskrit and allied subjects. The participants were welcomed by the Sodha Sansthan’s Director Dr. D. K. Rana. Prof. Srinivasa Varakhedi, Director & Dean, Karnataka State Sanskrit University, Bangalore, spoke on the course content. He said that his interest in protecting the Shastric texts from extinction by evolving strategies to interact with emerging technologies was the driving force behind this workshop. Prof. Pradyosh Sarkar of Yadavapur University has opined in his address that a fusion of the ancient and modern system of knowledge is the need of the present. Prof. Amba Kulkarni (Head, Department of Sanskrit Studies, University of Hyderabad), Prof. K. S. Kannan (Director of Projects, Karnataka Sanskrit University), Ms. H. R. Meera (National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore), Prof. Ambuja, (Head department of Computer Science, Bombay University) Dr. V. Sheeba (Asst. Director, Chinmaya International Foundation Shodha Sansthan) were the faculties.

Workshop on Indian Philosophical Tradition and Western Philosophical Methods [21st to 30th Nov. 2012]:

This workshop aimed at acquainting the students with the fundamentals of Advaita v edanta and its subtle nuances, especially in the context of other systems. It also highlighted the philosophical methods that have been made use of in other Indian and western philosophical schools. The seminar was inaugurated by Dr. K. S. Radhakrishnan, Chairman of Kerala Public Service Commission, erudite scholar whose speech accentuated the theory of oneness. He opined that such type of workshop gives the opportunities to interact with philosophers of dif-ferent schools which would enrich our knowledge on other systems as well. The course was based on the texts Idealism – East and West by Prof. R. Balasubramanian, Dr. Goda Venkateshwara Sastri, Dr. Goda-barisha Mishra, University of Madras and Prof. S. Revathi, Department of Sanskrit, Prof. S. Paneerselvam, Department of Philosophy, Madras University have delivered several lectures on Vedanta. H. H. Swami Ramakrishnananda, the acharya of Chinmaya International Foundation delivered the benedictory address. Certificates were distributed to all the participants in the valedictory session held on 31st. Around 45 students from all over India participated in the seminar.

Lecture by Prof. Ashok Narhar Aklujkar [14 December 2012]:

The Chinmaya Shodha Sansthan conducted a one day lecture programme on Sanskrit Research Today on Dec. 14, 2012. While delivering the address, Prof. Ashok Narhar Aklujkar, an eminent scholar in Sanskrit and Indology (Retired Professor, University of British, Colombia, Vancouver, Canada) provided several examples of the seriousness and dedication with which the Western and European scholars are approaching the different kinds of literature available in Sanskrit manuscripts which is alarmingly absent in the native scholars. He also pointed out the necessity to preserve such invaluable treasure of knowledge by individual scholars rather than relying on public funding alone. He expressed doubt that not even 20% of the manuscripts are brought to light and properly documented. Prof. C. Neelakandan, former professor of Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit chaired the session. Prof. Neelakandan narrated the motivating account of accompanying Prof. Aklujkar in his early days wherefrom he received inspiration to venture in to the field of manuscripts. The lecture programme was an eye opener to the present-day bleak attitude towards research which requires immediate change. The lecture was followed by discussions on problems faced by the researchers, such as selection of a topic, finding out a proper guide and the availability of data regarding the researches already conducted in a given area and the like.

Navya Nyaya and Language Methodology (Level – II) [18 February - 2nd March 2013]:

A National Workshop on Navya Nyaya Language and Methodology (Level – II) was organized during Feb. 11 - 23, 2013 at Chinmaya Shodha Sansthan. Dr. Dilip Kumar Rana, Director of the Shodha Sansthan welcomed the gathering where Dr. K. G. Paulose, Chairman, of the Shodha Sansthan presided over the function who spoke on the argumentative nature of Indians and their ancient academic practices as a result of which India achieved a covetous position in the world as the storehouse of perennial wisdom. This remark is a natural pointer towards the methodology adopted by the Nyaya school in establishing the padarthas , the core of its discourse. Prof. V. N. Jha, former Director of Centre for Advanced Study in Sanskrit, Pune and its present Director Prof. Ujjwala Jha were the faculties leading the course who in their inaugural addresses gave insights into the necessity of acquainting with the Nyayasastra for gaining mastery in all other kinds of literature. Those who attended the Level I course conducted in the month of July 2012 or those who have studied the text of Navya Nyaya Bhasapradipa in the traditional way were admitted to this course. Nyayasidhantamuktavali of Bhasapariccheda ( Sabdakhandam ) was the text prescribed for this course. The course comprised of three hours of lecture and three hours of textual reading. Around 25 students from all over India have participated in it. There was a friendly test at the end of the course. Certificates were issued to those who completed the course and they will be eligible to attend the Level III course.

Foundation Day Celebrations [21 February 2013]:

The memorable part of this programme was the constitution of the Swami Chinmayananda Gold Medal for young scholars which was awarded to Prof. Srinivasa Varakhedi, besides honouring the eminent Sanskrit scholar Prof. N. P. Unni. An academic seminar on Sanskrit Research: Retrospect and Prospects , was conducted as part of the celebrations which was chaired by Prof. C. M. Neelakandan, Retd. Professor of SSUS, Kalady. Prof. C. Rajendran, Dr. P. V. Ramankutty and Dr. Muthulakshmi have presented their papers. The Kulasekhara Theatre Festival conducted as part of the foundation day celebration in connection with the Govt. Sanskrit College, Tripunithura and International Centre for Kutiyattam was the focal attraction wherein a blend of traditional art forms and modern theatre came in close exchanges. Interactions and performances by several renowned Directors and artists with their masterpieces made the occasion memorable.

Kulashekhara Theatre Festival [24 February - 2 March 2013]:

The Kulasekhara Theatre Festival conducted as part of the foundation day celebration in connection with the Govt. Sanskrit College, Tripunithura and International Centre for Kutiyattam from 24th February to 2nd March 2013 was the most important of our recent programmes. It paved the way for interaction among traditional art forms and the modern theatre. Interactions and performances by several renowned Directors and artists with their masterpieces were focal attractions. In continuation with the foundation day of Chinmaya Shodha Sansthan, on 24th February evening, the Kulasekhara festival was started with inauguration by Kerala cultural minister at Tripunithura Sanskrit College. From 25th to 2nd March, seminar session were held at the Chinmaya Shodha Sansthan and performances at Govt. San-skrit College, Tripunithura. The seminar was inaugurated by Prof. Radhavallabha Tripathi, Vice-chancellor of Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, New Delhi. He has delivered several important lectures despite being actively present in many of the events. The book enti-tled Indian Method in Acting authored by Mr. Prasanna was released on the occasion. Dr. N. P. Unni presided.

Mr. Prasanna, theatre Director, playwright gave a lecture on Indian Method in Acting followed by an interesting lecture-demonstration on Dhvani by Margi Madhu and Indu.G. P. Venugopal and Kalamandalam Shanmugham presented rasabhinaya in Kathakali. Prof. M. V. Narayanan, Head of the department English, gave a speech on Traditional Form and Contemporary Challenges and Possibilities . This session was presided by Terry Converse, Professor of Theatre, Washington State University. The lecture-demonstration by the theatre named Sopanam from Trivandrum on Decodificatio n and Encodification of images on Theatre was another notable event of the session.

Dr. Udayan Vajpayee from Bhopal gave a lecture on Theatre on Kavalam Narayana Panicker . Dr. Kirti Jain, National School of Drama, New Delhi presented different aspects related to the fusion of conventional and folk in the theatre of B. V. Karanth

A session led by Dr. N. K. Geetha on Understanding Women in Theatre was another remarkable event where rising stars like Sajitha Madathil presented papers. The performances of notable artists like Usha Nangiar, Sukanya, Salini, Kapila Venu, G. Indu have portrayed different characteristics of Draupadi, Madhavi, Kunti, Ahalya etc.

Dr. Sudhanva Deshpande of Jananatyamanch , Delhi in his speech on Tradition in Service of the Modern: The Theatre of Habib Tanvir explored the dialectics of Tanvir’s relationship with tradition in order to forge a uniquely contemporary expression

The last session led by T. M. Abraham, theatre Directors such as Shibu S. Kottaram, Sajitha Madathil and Chandradasan shared their experiences while encountering tradition. They are of the view that women’s social history is not documented.

Kathakali on Kalyanasaugandhikam by Tripunithura Kathakali Kendra, Kutiyattam on Tapati samvaranam by Usha Nangiar, Subhadradhananjayam Kutiyattam by Margi Madhu and Suraj Nambiar, Nangiarkuttu by Kalamandalam Sindhu and Kalamandalam Girija, Kathakali on Tapasattam by Renjini Suresh were some of the outstanding performances.

The dramas Draupadi directed by Chandradasan of Lokadharmi theatre, Malavikagnimitram by the theatre called Sopanam of Kavalam Narayana Panicker and Begum Panicker by the theatre repertory, FACS, Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, Kalady were interesting, fascinating and were based on social issues having perennial relevance. The last and notable item was the traditional art form called Mudiyettu performed by Kizhillam Unnikrishnan and Party.

Bharata’s Natyasastra was at the core of all these events. All seminars and performances provided a lot of insights on the values embedded on our invaluable traditional art forms and must have inspired the younger generation to feel that it is their bounden duty to preserve and protect them.

Up-comingProgrammes

  • Navya Nyaya Language and Methodology (Level -III) – 5th – 17th August 2013
  • Sanskrit Day Celebration – 21st and 22nd August 201
  • Seminar on Contribution of Kerala to Indian Philosophy – 23rd and 24th August 2013
  • Seminar on Eduction in all Inclusive Universal Spirituality – 14th to 19th November 2013