The Centre for Human Sciences at Rishihood University is delighted to announce a unique conference on Avadhānakalā, titled “Avadhāna Saṅgama: Cultivating Cognitive Mastery”, from 11th to 14th September, 2023 at Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh.

This conference is being organised by the Centre for Human Sciences (CHS), Rishihood University, as part of the Avadhānakalā and Consciousness Studies project funded by the Indian Knowledge Systems (IKS) division of Ministry of Education, Government of India. We are glad to organise this conference in collaboration with the National Sanskrit University Tirupati (NSKTU).

Avadhānakalā has been a cultural phenomenon across India for millennia, but has not been studied or documented as extensively as it deserves to be. In a world where focussing attention even for a few seconds can be a challenging task, there are people of rare capacity who stand out for their extraordinary power of attention, concentration, creativity, focus and memory. The secret of this rare capacity can be found in Avadhānakalā – the ancient Indian art of multiple concentration.

Through the Avadhāna Saṅgama, we hope to offer a unique cultural experience that transforms the attendees by exploring the ancient Indian art of multiple concentration, memory and extempore creativity across varied spheres. Therefore, we aim to bring forth this unique cultural legacy and shine a spotlight on the cherished performers across diverse spheres of Avadhānakalā, such as:

  • Chitra (painting)
  • Ganita (mathematics)
  • Ghanta (gongs and bells)
  • Netra (eye movements)
  • Nritya (dance)
  • Sahitya (literature)
  • Tala (music)

Embracing the 5 Dh’s – Dhairya (perseverance), Dhārana (retentive capacity), Dhārā (creative flow), Dhoraṇī (creative style) and Dhīṣaṇā (sharp intelligence) – Avadhānīs (those who have mastered the art of Avadhāna) keep refining their memory power, concentration, creativity, and ability to simultaneously handle multiple challenges, which have been designed specifically to test their power of Avadhāna.

Through experiential, dialectic and performance-based interactions with the Avadhānīs, we hope to offer a treasure trove of knowledge and inspiration for those who attend the conference. For the young attendees, we aim to sow the seeds of inspiration and cultural revival. By showcasing the Avadhānīs’ skillful performances and providing opportunities for interactions, we hope to inspire a deeper appreciation of this art form in the younger generations too.

As today’s entertainment and media consumption landscape evolves, we find that art forms like Avadhānakalā need to be brought to even more people. Instead of lowering the bar of attention spans from minutes to seconds, we can learn from the Avadhānīs to optimise our vital energies to hold mental attention for hours together. Coupled with the sacred sounds of Sanskrit, or Telugu, Kannada or Hindi, Avadhānakalā offers a dazzling entertainment form that displays human potential and creativity, inspiring us to strive for our highest level of mental and personal development.

Avadhāna Saṅgama Schedule

We cordially invite you to join us for this conference, “Avadhāna Saṅgama: Cultivating Cognitive Mastery”. Kindly register your interest via the link below.

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