The Indian Knowledge Systems (IKS) Division of AICTE, an innovative cell operating under the Ministry of Education (MoE) for promoting interdisciplinary research, as well as preservation and dissemination of IKS-perspectives, is awarding a substantial research grant to two proposals put forth by Rishihood University faculty members. Following a rigorous peer review process, 14 of 361 research proposals received by the IKS centre from institutions across the country have been selected for the grant.
We are delighted that the two proposals put forth by Rishihood University faculty members – Dr. Sampadananda Mishra, and Dr. Mala Kapadia & Dr. Ayan Chatterjee, in the areas of Consciousness Studies and Ayurveda respectively, have received due recognition and got selected for funding.
Avadhānakalā and Consciousness Studies by Dr. Sampadananda Mishra
Mind is a mystery of human life. It is an instrument of Absolute Consciousness. Through the mind, Jīva perceives the world, and is therefore called the “divine eye” of the Ātman.
Modern Science, obsessed with physical discoveries and the sole existence of matter, has “founded itself upon physiology and the scrutiny of the brain and nervous system” (Complete works of Sri Aurobindo – Vol 25 – The Cycle of Society). In contrast, the Śastra-s record the mapping of the human mind through different epistemologies.
The nature of mind is such that it becomes what it focuses on. Through pure concentration, we can become anything that we want. But unless trained and disciplined, the mind shows a persistent tendency to scatter its energies into numerous directions, and get drawn into random thoughts and impulses. The science of yoga, postulates several techniques to solve this existential problem, thus expanding consciousness.
This research project, spearheaded by Dr. Sampadananda Mishra, will explore the grounding of Avadhānakalā the art of “multiple-concentration” in the Indian tradition – exhibiting the power of simultaneous and manifold concentration on different things or items belonging to literature, music, astronomy, astrology, medical science and much else, and explore its possibilities for present applications.
Hita and Sukha Āyu Index by Dr. Mala Kapadia and Dr. Ayan Chatterjee
Humanity has reached the peak of destruction, at individual and collective levels, ecology, and climate change levels. If we review the history of Industrial Revolution 1 to 4, we will find that it is we who have created the VUCA and Pandemic-ridden world. By over emphasising on economic and technological growth, we have overlooked the foundations of ethical living and the interconnectedness of life on Earth. The indexes that have measured the success of the economy, health, wellbeing, and wellness, or even happiness, is based on fragmented understanding of human existence.
India, as Bharat, needs to reconnect with the wisdom of Rishis, who were great visionaries rooted in Ṛta, the Cosmic Principles. Ayurveda, Upaveda of Atharva Veda and the science of holistic living, defines the life which is lived in accordance to ṛta as Hita and Sukha Āyu – one that is sustainable and interconnected. Life lived against ṛta, is called Ahita Āyu and creates also a Dukha Āyu. Hita is auspicious, beneficial, and good for oneself, thereby showing our interconnected harmony with everything around, and hence requires value-based conscious living. Sukha is living with inner and outer harmony, not just happiness. This understanding is the need for humanity today.
This research project, led by Dr. Mala Kapadia as Principal Investigator and Dr. Ayan Chatterjee as the Co-Principal investigator, aims to develop an Index of Hita and Sukha Ayu, to know wellness, wellbeing and happiness from the Indic perspective.
May these research works become milestones in the world of academia and research and give the academic paradigm the IKS-orientation that it needs.