Archive for the ‘Seminar’ Category

Haryana Grantha Academy, Panchkula


One Day Inter-Disciplinary National Seminar Cum Panel Discussion


Different Dimensions of Knowledge Management in Indian Tradition

भारतीय परम्परा में ज्ञानप्रबन्धन केविविध आयाम

Academic Collaboration – Departments of Sanskrit, Central Library, Hindi, History, Mass Communication & SDHDR & T Center, S. D. College (Lahore), Ambala Cantt

Date – 5th August 2017, Saturday, Time- 09.30 A. M.

Place – Seminar Hall, Haryana Grantha Academy, Academy Bhavan, Plot No 16, Sector 14, Panchkula. (Hr)


Knowledge management seminar 5 august2017

Knowledge management seminar 5 august2017

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Haryana Grantha Academy, Panchkula


One Day Inter-Disciplinary National Seminar Cum Panel Discussion


Different Dimensions of Knowledge Management in Indian Tradition

भारतीय परम्परा में ज्ञानप्रबन्धन केविविध आयाम

Academic Collaboration – Departments of Sanskrit, Central Library, Hindi, History, Mass Communication & SDHDR & T Center, S. D. College (Lahore), Ambala Cantt

Date – 5th August 2017, Saturday, Time- 09.30 A. M.

Place – Seminar Hall, Haryana Grantha Academy, Academy Bhavan, Plot No 16, Sector 14, Panchkula. (Hr)

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(Registration No.477, 2000-2001)

(Website : http://www.philosophicalcounsellingindia.org)


Existential predicament and Transformational philosophy

(December 15-16, 2017)

Venue : Department of Philosophy, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur


Registration fee for Indian participants   is Rs.2000/ (It includes lodging & boarding)

Registration fee for foreign delegates is $ 200/(It includes lodging and boarding)

Note: These rates are applicable till the 15th November, 2017

Send D.D. in favour of Secretary, Society for Philosophical Praxis, counseling and Spiritual healing, Jaipur (Rajasthan)

You may directly transfer the amount in the Society’s bank account :

Pan No. AABAP3656R

ICICI Bank, Rajasthan University Campus, JLN MARG, JAIPUR-302004


Philosophical Praxis, Counselling and Spiritual Healing, Society, C-207, Manu Marg, Tilak Nagar, Jaipur-302004





Existential predicament and Transformational philosophy

Philosophy, the activity carried under this name in the academic world, is suffering contemporary crisis. The crisis is partly due to the postmodern criticism of reason and its subsequent relativism, partly to the divide between Analytical philosophy and continental philosophy. Remaining solely theoretical threatens its very being. Its powerful rivals who want to replace it are those who want to emphasize that it should be practical and be applicable to everyday life.

There are at least two senses in which the term philosophy is used: formal and an informal sense. In the formal sense, philosophy is an academic study of the fields of aestheticsethicsepistemologylogicmetaphysics, as well as social and political philosophy. One’s “philosophy of life” is philosophy in the informal sense, as a personal philosophy, whose focus is resolving the existential questions about the human condition.

“Philosophy of life” also refers to a specific conception of philosophizing as a way of life, endorsed by the German Lebensphilosophie  movement* whose main representative were Wilhelm Dilthey** and several other Continental philosophers such as Henri Bergson+ and Pierre Hadot***.    Hadot is of the view that the philosophy teacher’s discourse could be presented in such a way that the disciple, as auditor, reader, or interlocutor, could make spiritual progress and transform himself within. By “spiritual exercises” Hadot means practices intended to effect a modification and a transformation in the subject who practices them.

The human situation appears to be a struggle between what is (existence) and what ought (essence) to be.

Turning inward is the way to free oneself from sorrow and desire, to reach wisdom and even immortality.

Ancient philosophy was primarily practical in its aims, not theoretical. Wisdom was not identified with whole of the theoretical knowledge , but happiness or wellbeing, which was to be attained by bringing about proper internal ordering of the soul. Any and all accounts of the cosmos or what goes on in it were subordinated to this goal. One did not have to be an original theorist in order to be a philosopher. Nor did one have to be up-to-date to opinions of various theorists. Instead, one had only to adopt a particular way of life, a life centered on the pursuit of wisdom. Thus one can be original theorist or a learned scholar, but not a philosopher in the classical sense. Just as professors who teach novels do not thereby call themselves novelists, so professors who teach philosophy should not thereby call themselves philosophers. Being a’ philosopher’ was not a matter of education or vocation, but was conceived as a new way of being in the world arising from an internal spiritual conversion.

The transformational philosophers, throughout the ages have taught us to see our own limitations and superficiality of life and suggested to go beyond existing situation or stepping out of cave of our normal life, out of our perimeter . Getting in touch with our inner dimension, awakening it and cultivating it leads to the greater and wider horizons of life. On the basis of this understanding it may be said that transformational philosophical process has two stages: philosophical self-examination / (investigation) that would reveal our existing limited and distorted vision of life and second stage tells us to step out from this situation or from narrow approach towards life. The main emphasis of first stage is on the analysis of an existing situation and the second stage consists of realizing of unrealized positive potentialities of life ( or Self). These stages are not completely separate from each other. The main issue is how to recognize the need for self- investigation and the process or method of self- investigation.

The process of self -examination is always based on the understanding of one’s own limitations. The understanding of one’s own limitations or emotional, behavioural and thought patterns helps the person to overcome them. The limited or perimeteral understanding of different issues such as meaningful relationships, understanding what is fair and just, understanding what self is and so on. Sometimes the different understandings are caused by different situations. For example when I am with strangers I have suspicious understanding and on the other hand when I am with my best friends I have trusting understanding.

Stepping out from the personal limitations or from the CAVE (Plato’s Cave)++ may be understood as a process of self- transformation or a return to the Self. The idea of self- transformation seems to be unrealistic and difficult one. The stepping out of the cave is not simply overcoming one’s dissatisfaction or distress or dysfunctional behavior or satisfying one’s own needs. This psychological approach is fundamentally inadequate for a number of reasons.

A better understanding of the meaning of ‘stepping out from the cave’ can be found in the writings of transformational philosophers. As we have mentioned earlier that there are two attitudes towards life: limited and fuller. The first attitude indicates only superficial aspects of ourselves and in the fuller attitude we engage ourselves in the deeper aspects of our being.

The transformational thinkers like J. Krishna Murthy, Raman Maharshi, Osho, texts like Upanisads, Gita, and philosophers like Stoics, Bergson, Martin Buber ,Buddhism, Yoga philosophy, Bhakti movement, etc. have envisioned self -transformation from limited, mechanical and fragmented life. Every one has a dormant yearning- a call to transform, and wants to live a greater, fuller and richer life. The views of transformational thinkers help us to recognize this yearning and encourage the person (you can transcend, you ought to do so) to transcend his limitations.

All these sources, in spite the different insights of the process of awakening and cultivating our inner dimensions , have common belief that the transformed state have a special value. Normally we feel that our everyday moments are insignificant, barely conscious, dull forgettable but in the transformed state each moment is experienced as valuable. Each moment gives us special significance- it is significant itself. For Stoics this moment is tranquility in harmony with cosmos. For Bergson it is ‘rich symphonic flow, for Buber it is togetherness.’

Due to the sense of being fully and directly conscious of reality we appreciate the moment in its fullness. This appreciation of fullness is alive in us and is intense. It is not a theoretical concept but we are directly aware of the fullness and richness of reality within and outside us. My psychological mechanism and forces make me fragmented. My incoherent attitude and understanding are  the result of my psychological dynamics. In the transformed state I am one. My emotions, thoughts and behaviours are no longer separate and isolated and are part of a unified whole. It may be expressed as natural self, flow, togetherness of I-you, one with myself.

In my everyday life I experience myself at the centre of world and working to manage and control it. I am preoccupied with various agendas, needs and concerns. This is the ego centricity which needs transformation. In the transformed state I experience that I am the part of larger reality that extends beyond myself. I feel as if I am an integral part of cosmos, a small entity in the vast cosmos. Before the transformation I was controlled by fixed psychological forces and patterns. In this sense I was not liberated from psychological mechanism. After the transformation I am free from all psychological forces. I am the one who determines myself. Everything I do and feel and think emerges from unified source of energies.

Transformed state has been portrayed differently by different thinkers. But this state is different from ordinary moment before transformation. Each moment is precious and full with a sense of inner unity, openness beyond myself and inner freedom. Such a transformation is more than a subjective experience. Transformed state of mind is not just experiential, it is also a window to a deeper knowledge of our human reality.



Footnotes :

*Lebensphilosophie (“philosophy of life” or life-philosophy in German) is a philosophical school of thought which emphasises the meaning, value and purpose of life as the foremost focus of philosophy. This philosophy pays special attention to life as a whole, which can only be understood from within. The movement can be regarded as a rejection of Kantian abstract philosophy or scientific reductionism of positivism.

**Wilhelm Dilthey(1833-1911) strongly rejected using a model formed exclusively from the natural sciences (Naturwissenschaften), and instead proposed developing a separate model for the human sciences (Geisteswissenschaften). His argument centered around the idea that in the natural sciences we seek to explain phenomena in terms of cause and effect, or the general and the particular; in contrast, in the human sciences, we seek to understand in terms of the relations of the part and the whole.

+ Bergson, the philosopher of intuitionism and of creative evolution, conceives Reality as a vital impetus, an élan vital, whose essence is evolution and development. The élan vital is a growing and flowing process, not a static existence which admits of no change whatsoever. Logic and science, intellect and mechanism cannot fathom the depths of the vital impetus which is the basis of all life. There is change and evolution everywhere, nothing merely is. All existence is a flux of becoming, moving and growing, a succession of states which never rest where they are. The intellect works mechanistically. Consciousness is the essence of the élan vital which is the great Reality. It is impossible to know Reality through logic and science. It is known only in intuition which is a direct vision and experience transcending intellectual processes and scientific observations and reasoning.

Intuition has nothing of the mechanistic and static operations of the logical and the scientific intellect. Intellect is the action of consciousness on dead matter, and so it cannot enter the spirit of life. Any true philosophy should, therefore, energise and transform the conclusion of the intellect with the immediate apprehensions of intuition. Reality has to be lived, not merely understood.

** *The thesis of the book by Hadot –“Philosophy As a Way of Life: Spiritual Exercises from Socrates to Foucault”is that ancient philosophy was not the abstract theoretical discourse that philosophy is today, but was a way of life, a means of transforming one’s perception of reality, and was accompanied by spiritual disciplines to help people transform their lives. Philo-sophia, the love of wisdom, was for living. It was considered therapy, to end suffering and bring joy and happiness. Ancient Western philosophy was no different from ancient Eastern philosophy in this respect. The book gives you suggestions on how to think for yourself and for the present moment. The book recommends how to practice philosophy as ‘a way of life’.

Hadot was greatly influenced by Marcus Aurelius’ book-Medatations. The book presents a series of spiritual exercises filled with wisdom, practical guidance, and profound understanding of human behavior, Marcus Aurelius’s “Meditations remains one of the greatest works of spiritual and ethical reflection ever written. Marcus’s insights and advice–on everything from living in the world to coping with adversity and interacting with others.

++ See Plato’s The Republic, Book 7, Editor, Betty Radice,pages 316-325,Penguin Classics 1974

Your research paper is expected on one of the topics mentioned below:

  1. Existential situations
  2. Individual’s outlook
  3. Understanding meaning and process of transformation of life
  4. Transformation and introspection as methods of self- change
  5. Methods of transformation : Philosophical approaches

Indian philosophy

  1. Upanisadas, b) Gita, c) Buddhism, d) Jainism , e)Vedanta (bhakti movement) and f) Yoga.
  2. Contemporary Indian thinkers : J.krishna Murthy, Osho, Raman Maharshi etc.

Western Philosophy

Stoics, Epicurus, Martin Buber, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche

Note: You are free to choose any other thinker whose philosophy has transformational value.

  1. Existence and Essence : A journey from limited life to fuller life
  2. Human reality and possibilities of life
  3. The concept of authentic life
  4. Exploring the self
  5. Human seeking of meaning of life
  6. Role of philosophy in social transformation
  7. Role of Literature in awakening and cultivation of our inner dimensions.

Note: We would need to receive your completed paper by the end of October, 2017. There are plans that we will publish the accepted articles in a book form.

Mail your paper to :

Dr. Rajkumar : e-mail : rjkdarshan@gmail.com

Or Secretary, PPCSHS , e-mail : sppcsh@gmail.com




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1. ICPR seminar on “Philosophical Analysis of Kautilay’s Arthashastra” scholarly papers are invitedSee Details… Last Date 15th September, 2017

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Land Questions in Neoliberal India

09-Oct-2017 to 11-Oct-2017
Event Type:
Venue of Event:


In recent years, questions pertaining to land in India have become more relevant and critical for policy planners, bureaucrats, civil society activists and academics than ever before. Earlier land revenue was a critical factor for the consolidation of the British Empire. In the post-colonial period, the contribution of the land revenue to the national exchequer has lost its central place. Yet the importance of land ownership/land tenure/land rights as the basis of the Indian state’s vision for a just and democratic social order continues to be an important concern. Land questions /issues in India can be said to have appeared, disappeared and reappeared in the policy agenda of the Indian state since the 1990s thanks to the neoliberal economic reforms. Demographic pressure, massive and uncontrolled changes in land use, conversion of agricultural and irrigated land for non-agricultural purposes and related sustainability issues, vanishing common property resources, changing agrarian relations, marginalisation of landless agricultural labourers and tenants, growth of landlessness across all social categories, decline in per capita landholding size, rise of the  rich agrarian classes, continuities and change in tenancy, gender issues in land, forest rights to tribals and other forest dwellers, are some of the indicators of the importance of remerging land issues in India. The state in India, in the contemporary political economy, has virtually abandoned its redistributive agenda of land reform and instead is pursuing land titling regime in a “reform by stealth” approach. Land management issues have taken the place of land reform agenda.

India’s rural-agrarian scene is undergoing massive changes. Urbanisation and peri-urban growth, the rise of the so-called rurban phenomenon and urban villages, point towards important short term and long-term policy implications. In urban areas, massive investments initiated by the Indian state to develop the so-called ‘smart cities’ in order to make them emerge as engines of growth, have brought up the hitherto unexplored subject of urban property rights and records. The commodification of urban land and rapid growth of real estate sectors   in the Indian cities have created the problems of the urban commons, right to city and inclusive city. The focus of this three day seminar will be to initiate critical policy-related thinking on all these emerging interconnected land questions that confront us today and to suggest a way forward by encouraging a dialogue between scholars, policy planners and civil society activists involved in the land issues of the common people.

An abstract of 500 words is being invited from interested participants. This abstract should foreground a problematic and provoke a discussion around the land questions outlined earlier.  A three day seminar would be held with focus on the following thematic areas:

  1. The Indian land reform agenda in the context of the contemporary neoliberal political economy of land in urban and rural areas, emerging land-agrarian relations and commodification of land in urban areas,
  2. Emerging legal and policy issues around land in Special Economic Zones/Expert Processing Zones/ Coastal Regulatory Zones,
  3. The governance challenge of the new land acquisition and rehabilitation Act, 2013 (RFCTLA&RR Act, 2013),
  4. Issues and challenges in legalising/recording tenancy,
  5. Conferring land rights on the landless, dalits/tribals, CPR users and to women
  6. Constraints and way forward in implementation of the Forest Right Act, 2006
  7. Conclusive land titling (secure property rights/records in land) in urban and rural areas,
  8. Emerging legal/policy issues governing the Commons in urban and rural areas,
  9. Emerging land questions and their legal/policy implications in the North-East and the Scheduled Areas with focus on community control and ownership versus individualisation of land holding, internal land alienation, concentration of land and impact of commercial plantation and cash crops,
  10. Emerging policy issues in sustainable land use in mining, agriculture, common property resources, reality sector and industry,
  11. Issues and the way forward in strengthening land/revenue administration as techno-managerial strategy and private sector participation in land records digitisation and management: and
  12. Emerging trends in land grabs, land conflicts, land disputes and land frauds.

A limited number of participants will be invited for the seminar. We especially encourage young scholars to apply. Those interested in participating should send an abstract (500 words maximum) of the proposed paper along with their C.V. to the following Email ID:

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Indian Music and Dance: The Absence of Critical Attention and Analysis

04-Sep-2017 to 06-Sep-2017
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Venue of Event:


The classical Indian music and dance present a very rich, dynamic and sustained creative repertoire of Indian imagination. Their reach is wide; they exist in all regions of India and, lately, beyond India. They have ever-expanding followers of rasikas belonging to all generations especially the younger generation. They have survived the powerful and all-devouring onslaught of the Western music and dance. Arguably they are the only other forms of classical music and dance other than the western in the world.

Fortunately, the Indian classical music and dance have had a dynamics in which preservation of tradition and individual innovations have taken place together without any dissonance. Divested of the royal and feudal patronage soon after independence, these forms have in many different ways, democratized themselves winning large audiences and popular support. Though largely thought of as stubbornly conservative, the classical arts have embodied many changes and innovations. The grand narrative of the decisive changes in the jealously guarded tradition has yet to be written about and analysed critically.

It is truly amazing that the classical arts have survived and thrived in the absence of critical attention and analysis. This in a country like Indian where until the 18th-19th century elaborate critical thinking about music and dance took place. The shastric tradition of discovering and articulating new concepts got, more or less, abandoned or, at the least, not pursued vigorously.

There have been many changes, subversions, departures, deviations, innovations etc. in the classical tradition but they have all gone critically almost unnoticed or largely undernoticed. The institutions, both of dissemination and training, have done very little in this behalf. Compared to the largeness and complexity of a dynamic repertoire critical writing about music and dance is small and largely inconsequential. The classical concepts are not rejuvenated meaningfully nor any additions made in the light of several changes that have come about.

In modern times literature and the arts the world over have received vast and meticulous critical attention, appreciation and nurturing. Their absence in India in the face of thriving classical arts seems unusual, indefensible and surprising.

The Indian Institute of Advanced Study Shimla would organize a seminar on this theme bringing together musicians, dancers, music dance critics and historians and thinkers.

A limited number of participants will be invited for the seminar. We especially encourage young scholars to apply. Those interested in participating should send an abstract (500 words maximum) of the proposed paper along with their C.V. to the following Email ID:

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Need for Inclusive Reforms

21-Aug-2017 to 23-Aug-2017
Event Type:
Venue of Event:


India introduced a set of economic reforms in 1991 in the midst of severe internal and external crisis in the affairs of the Indian economy. The economic reforms were mostly successful in stabilizing the macroeconomic fundamentals and paved a base for further reforms to accelerate the growth process for the long run benefit of the economy. Repealing socialist legacy laws and creating state capacity is widely argued as necessary to address market failures and to ensure a framework for a well-functioning and evolving market economy. Creating the legal and regulatory framework for a well-functioning market economy involves legislative, regulatory and administrative changes. The reform processes in the past 25 years invariably were directed towards such attempts and are being intensively attempted for creative destructions. In every aspect, there are fundamental differences between the legal and regulatory framework of a command and control economy (Socialist economy) and an evolving market economy. These reforms accelerated economic growth rate which enabled the government to enact some rights based legislations largely favouring the poor during the last ten years. It is argued the necessity of further reforms to get the increased benefits of previous reforms and strengthening our various regulatory bodies and institutions. So the agenda of the government for further reforms needs to be assessed considering the larger interest of our economy, polity and society.

                 India started moving towards a market economy but still we follow the old socialist and colonial texts for governing economic and political institutions. There are inconsistencies between the texts and context. Some economic laws were framed in the colonial period and some other laws in the zenith of socialist thinking. Almost all labour laws were framed before 1990 and how can this socialist and colonial legacy labour laws suit the evolving market economy?. The institutions, governing and regulatory systems we framed on the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s need to be re-looked in the changing situations.

            But the nature, content and intensity of the economic, political and governing challenges have got much deeper and wider dimensions after the introduction of the New Economic Policy of 1991. Even though our institutions and systems are in the best form of governance to address and accommodate the interests of different sections of our society, many economic and social problems of India remain unresolved and this should prompt initiation of reforms and changes in the priorities of the governments. It is presumed that the democratic system would take care of the diverse interests of the large sections of our population and it is perceived that almost all political parties in last 25 years have a common agenda and consensus on economic reforms.

The consensus on reforms notwithstanding, there is also a view that many vital sectors including agricultural and allied activities, small scale and traditional industries, concerns of retail traders, accelerated environmental degradation and decelerated decline of poverty, inequality, starvation, malnutrition and other vital health issues got back seats in the reform era. The economic and political agenda and policy decisions undermined the vital relevance of state intervention and accelerate the stepping back of the state from ensuring food security, public health and education, waste management and such basic amenities.

The economic and political ideology of economic reforms is the message that private is good and public is bad, on that market forces are good, and state regulation is bad. The main themes of this paradigm which find a great resonance in the present India state and media are:

  • The market always allocates resources where they are most needed;
  • Private ownership always ensures incentives to maximize efficiency;
  • Private management is intrinsically more efficient than public management;
  • Public investment ‘crowds out’ private investment;
  • People will pay for what they need and do not need what they cannot pay for;
  • The state should police the effects of inequality but not deal with its causes;
  • Collective provisions and action are enemies of individual liberty;
  • Competition is a sufficient defence against self-interest.

A little reflection would show that the liberal economic policy choices mentioned above are too far-reaching in their consequences, costs and implications, both for the immediate run well-being and quality of life of the Indian people as well as the long term future of India, to be justified only in terms of accelerated growth.

But the high rate of growth of GDP seems to be used for concealing the real status of the major problems such as poverty, unemployment, growing inequalities, farmers’ suicide, ecological imbalances and the level and rate change of human and social welfare by creating the smokescreen of a ‘national’ achievement. Thus, in practice reforms mainly aimed at, and influence, the pattern of growth in a manner that advances the interests and agenda of the top echelons of private, mainly the rich. So this form of economic and political governances faces challenges and there are increasing aspirations for making economic reforms and growth process very inclusive.

This issue invites special attention especially in the context of federal form of governance (now widely used co-operative federalism and competitive federalism) with laudable autonomy of the state governments. The most interesting in the era of economic reforms is that the political parties with diverse and mutually opposing interests and constituents of electoral base seem to have agreed on the common agenda of unregulated and unidentified flow of factors of production and products. It was expected that the parliamentary democracy would mitigate the basic livelihood problems of dalits and adivasis, poor farmers and villagers, problems of the workers in the unorganized sector, communities engaged in traditional economic activities and fisher men. But the problems remain unaddressed and seem to have worsened.

The entire issues stated above, therefore raises a series of questions:

  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of economic reforms in ensuring all-encompassing development and pro-poor social engineering?
  • Whether the parliamentary democracy is failing in genuinely addressing the undesirable social and economic developments in the era of economic reforms?
  • Whether we are able to ensure an inclusive development through economic reforms?
  • Will the present increased economic growth benefit out of demographic dividend?
  • Whether the Judiciary should restrain from interfering the economic policies of the government describing it as policy matters?
  • Whether our parliamentary democracy successful in mitigating the negative social developments caused due to economic reforms?.
  • What is the relevance of legislations today in the context of economic reforms?
  • What is the response of civil society in this regard?

The sub-themes of the national seminar are:

  • Legislations in the era of economic reforms in India.
  • Need for further reforms on governance and social security.
  • Economic reform lagging areas and the need for accelerating reforms.
  • Issues challenging parliamentary democracy in the context of economic reforms.
  • Strategy for making reforms inclusive and governance transparent.
  • Judicial pronouncements related to economic policy and economic reforms.

 A limited number of participants will be invited for the seminar. We especially encourage young scholars to apply. Those interested in participating should send an abstract (500 words maximum) of the proposed paper along with their C.V. to the following Email ID:

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