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Seeking Cosmic Harmony: National Seminar at IIAS Delves into Vedic Wisdom

Kerala Governor Shri Arif Mohammad Khan Inaugurates Two-Day National Seminar

Shimla, April 29, 2024 – A two-day National Seminar exploring “Vedic Wisdom for Cosmic Harmony” began today at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS), Shimla. The seminar is a collaboration between the IIAS and esteemed knowledge partners, the Universal Veda Research Institute (Thiruvananamali, Tamil Nadu) and the Santhigiri Research Foundation (Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala). The Honorable Governor of Kerala, Shri Arif Mohammad Khan, inaugurated the event as the Chief Guest.

The inaugural session commenced at 11:30 AM with a traditional lamp-lighting ceremony and the National Anthem. Professor Nageshwar Rao, Director of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, extended a warm welcome to the Chief Guest and participants. Professor K. Gopinathan Pillai, Fellow at IIAS and Senior Fellow at the Santhigiri Social Research Institute, introduced the seminar’s central theme.

Delivering the keynote lecture, ‘Padma Bhushan’ Professor Kapil Kapoor, Former Chairman of the IIAS Governing Body, provided insightful context. Professor Shashi Prabha Kumar, Chairperson of the IIAS Governing Body, delivered the Presidential Address. She also talked about relevance of conference topic in contemporary time.

Chief Guest Shri Arif Mohammad Khan delivered the inaugural address, emphasizing how Vedic wisdom offers unique perspectives on knowledge and tradition. He stated, “The greatest contribution of Vedic wisdom is its unique perspective. It emphasizes the divine nature of humanity while recognizing the human aspects of the divine. Vedic wisdom asks us to transcend individualism and embrace our interconnectedness. It rejects superficial distinctions based on language, society, religion, or appearance. Instead, it focuses on the shared essence within all beings – the soul. This soul is the unifying element of existence. Vedic wisdom reminds us that there is no concept of ‘other’. The supreme spirit (Parmatma) and the individual soul (Jeevatma) are fundamentally connected.”

He elaborated on the enduring power of ideas, saying, “The monuments of mind are more durable than the monuments of power.” He connected Vedic wisdom to conflict resolution and personal development, explaining that an integrated personality is one of the highest achievements it fosters.

The Governor concluded by highlighting the holistic nature of Vedic wisdom: “The relevance of Vedic wisdom is characterized by an integral, holistic, and spiritual view of Reality and a way of life based on that. It advocates the fundamental unity of all existences, both animate and inanimate. This is the grand Vedic vision, and it aligns with the Rigveda’s exhortation, ‘Let noble thoughts come to us from all over the universe.”

The seminar organized by IIAS features approximately 20 renowned scholars from across India. IIAS recent publications titled as “The Charisma of Masks in the Context of Indian Mythology” authored Sharmila Chandra and “Maharashtra ki Ghumantu Janjatiyon ki Drishykala Paramparaen” authored by Vikram Kulkarni, former Fellows of IIAS, were also unveiled during the event. The event concluded with the National Anthem.

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