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In pursuit of knowledge

By November 19, 2018No Comments

Source : The Pioneer

Six different books aimed at giving one a deeper insight into disparate subjects were released recently

From Gandhi’s friendship to critical theories on postcolonial Indian literature, the night was a rewarding one for readers and academicians.

The Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Rashtrapati Nivas, Shimla, organised, The Fifth Rabindranath Tagore Memorial Lecture, which was delivered by Padma Shri professor Ramesh Chandra Shah, a noted poet, novelist and critic on the rehabilitation of sacred.

Six books were launched during the lecture. In Gandhi’s Ark authored by Shashi Joshi, the focus was on Gandhi’s relationship with his Christian friends with whom he discussed religion and spirituality. The central theme of the book reveals his affinity to Catholic Christianity and openness to all the religious ideas, beliefs and practices while another book, Postcolonial Indian Literature Toward a Critical Framework by Satish C. Aikant takes a comprehensive view of Indian literatures from a postcolonial perspective.

Mahesh Champaklal’s Bhasa’s Ramayan Plays From Page to Stage, meanwhile involved the analysis of the epic ascribed to Bhasa namely, Abhisheka Natakam and Pratima Natakam both in terms of language in theatre. It tries to establish the inter-relation between both, the dramatic text composed by the playwright and the performance text designed by the director for the production of the play. How the dramatic text is transformed into the performance text forms the subject of the book thus establishing the relation between text and performance.

Dancing in the Sky of Consciousness authored by Aleksandra Wenta is an interdisciplinary attempt to look at various dimensions of aesthetics of power in medieval Cidambaram temple and beyond. It weaves its discourse around the figure of dancing Siva, to whom the temple was dedicated. Incidentally, the god is one of the most powerful icons in the history of world religions. The book tries to combine the fields of philosophy, history, aesthetics, performing arts, architecture, ritual and textual studies.

The last two books included Urban Spaces in Modern India edited by Partho Dutta and Narayani Gupta and Modernity and Changing Social Fabric of Punjab and Haryana which is edited by Yogesh Snehi and Lallan S Baghel.

In his lecture, professor Shah spoke about, “The Indian tradition of Advaita Vedanta emphasises on Jivanmukti, the idea that moksha (freedom, liberation) is achievable in this life in contrast to Indian philosophies that emphasises on moksha after death.”

Ven. Geshe Dorji Damdul who’s a Buddhist scholar, was the moderator of the lecture and he summed it up when he said, “We have to admit that modern science has changed the world but to get the inner freedom and peace of mind we have to maintain a fine balance between modern science and philosophy. This balance helps us in setting our minds free from the materialistic world. The philosophy of west and India tried to seek and explore the ultimate reality and same was also searched through the rule and principals of Physics. Knowing the complete truth is very important, for instance, one could have tremendous craving for cheese cake, but when you’ll see cheese from a microscope and you’ll see the bacteria in the cake your craving for the cake will go away. This is the result knowing the ultimate truth.”

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