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International Seminar on Sister Nivedita, Gol Park, Jan 2018

An International Seminar to commemorate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Sister Nivedita was organized on 02, 03 & 04 January 2018. The Seminar highlighted, (i) Sister Nivedita’s Interpretation of Swami Vivekananda and (ii) Cross-Cultural-Multidisciplinary Philosophy. The Seminar was inaugurated on 02 January 2018 at 05-00 PM in the Vivekananda Hall.  After the Vedic chanting by the Monks of the Institute and Felicitation of the Speakers, Swami Suparnanandaji, Secretary of the Institute delivered the Welcome Speech. Swami Abhiramanandaji, Assistant General Secretary, Ramakrishna Mission, Belur Math, gave a talk on the subject “Why do we adore Sister Nivedita?”. Prof. Radharaman Chakrabarti, Programme Director, IUHU Course, delivered the next talk on “Sister Nivedita–Her Social Philosophy”.  Sri Sakti Prasad Mishra, Nivedita Chair, Centre for Indological Studies and Research of the Institute, spoke on the topic “Sister Nivedita and Indian Nationalism”. Prof. Jaysankar Lal Shaw, Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand, delivered the Key Note Address. Prof. Hemadri Chatterjee, Ramakrishna Mission Shilpapitha, Belgharia, proposed the Vote of Thanks.

Seven Academic Sessions were held on 03 and 04 January 2018 in Shivananda Hall.  In the First Academic Session Prof. Malcom Keating, Humanities Division (Philosophy) Yale-NUS College, Singapore, delivered a talk on “Kumarila Bhatta and Mimamsa Philosophy with a special reference to gunavritti in Tantravaartika”.  Prof. Prabal Kumar Sen, Former Head, Deptt. of Philosophy, University of Calcutta, Centre for Indological Studies and Research of the Institute delivered the lecture on the topic “Samshaya and Samshayavaada”.  The Coordinator of the First Academic Session was  Dr. Debabrata Sen Sharma, Former Professor of Sanskrit, Kurukshetra University, Haryana. In the Second Academic Session Dr. Laura Guerrero, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Utah Valley, University delivered the lecture on “Indian Buddhist Philosophy” in place of Prof. Kalyan Bagchi, who could not attend the Seminar due to his ill health. Prof. Amita Chatterjee, Former Head, Deptt. of Philosophy, Jadavpur University, spoke on the subject “Do our epistemic intuitions vary across cultures?”. The Coordinator of the Second Academic Session was Prof. Arun Kumar Mukherjee, Former Professor of Philosophy, Jadavpur University. 

In the Third Academic Session Prof. Purushottama Bilimoria, Affiliate Scholar, Institute for South Asia Studies, University of California at Berkeley, CA (USA), gave a Power Point presentation on “Aestheticizing Dharma’s Pathos: Mahabharata to Tagore’s Paintings and Poems”. Prof. Samiran Chandra Chakrabarti, Former Director, School of Vedic Studies, Rabindra Bharati University gave a talk on “Evolution of Vedic Rituals”. The Coordinator of the Third Academic Session was Prof. Krishna Roy, Former Professor of Philosophy, Jadavpur University. In the Fourth Academic Session Prof. Indrani Sanyal, Former Professor of Philosophy, Jadavpur University, spoke on “Sister Nivedita and Sri Aurobindo: History and Myth surrounding their Interaction and Exchange of Ideas”.  Prof. Tapan Chakraborty, Former Professor of Philosophy, Jadavpur University, delivered the lecture on “Philosophy of Sister Nivedita”. The Coordinator of the Fourth Academic Session was Prof. Tara Chatterjee, Former Professor of Philosophy, Lady Brabourne College, Kolkata.  In the Fifth Academic Session Prof. Ananda Vaidya, San Jose State University, USA, gave a power point presentation on “Perception and Panpsychism: Nyaya and Vedanta Philosophy in conversation with Analytic Philosophy”. Prof. Rupa Bandyopadhyay, Professor of Philosophy, Jadavpur University, spoke on “The Nayaya and the Advaitic theories of erroneous perception”. The Coordinator of the Fifth Academic Session was Prof. Sati Chatterjee, Former Professor of English, Jadavpur University. In the Sixth Academic Session Prof. Ramakrishna Bhattacharya gave a talk on “Materialism in the East and the West”.  Prof. V N Sheshagiri Rao, Professor of Philosophy, Vivekananda Chair Visiting Professor, University of Mysore, delivered a talk on “Sister Nivedita’s Humanistic Interpretation of Swami Vivekananda–A reappraisal”.  The Coordinator of the Sixth Academic Session was Prof. Prabal Kumar Sen, Former Head, Deptt. of Philosophy, University of Calcutta. 

The Seventh Academic Session was meant for Panel Discussion.  The Moderator of this Session was Prof. Sabujkoli Sen, Director of Studies, Educational Innovation & Rural Reconstruction, Visva Bharati University.  Br. Ayon, Department of Philosophy, Vivekananda University, Belur Math, spoke on “Hard Theological Determinism and the illusion of free Will: Sri Ramakrishna Meets Lord Kames and Saul Smilansky”. Prof. Uma Chattopadhyay, Former Head, Deptt. of Philosophy, University of Calcutta, spoke on “The Concept of Upamana as Comprehended in Cross-System and Cross-Cultural Analogy”. Dr. Kuntala Bhattacharya, Associate Professor, Rabindra Bharati University, spoke on “Buddhist Reductionism: A few Queries”. Prof. Nirmalya Narayan Chakraborty, Professor of Philosophy, Rabindra Bharati University, delivered the lecture on “Cross-Cultural–Multidisciplinary Philosophy”.

There was an Interactive Session which witnessed a lively discussion among the speakers and between the speakers and the delegates.  This was part of the Valedictory Session.  the Valedictory Session that followed the Interactive Session, Prof. Jaysankar Lal Shaw summed up the proceedings and passed concluding remarks. The Vote of Thanks was proposed by Swami Prajnatmananda, In-charge, Centre for Indological Studies and Research of the Institute.

In addition to the Inaugural Session and Valedictory Session, there were six Academic Sessions with two talks in each Session.  The Seventh Academic Session was devoted to Panel Discussion in which four Panelists presented short speeches on four different topics.  Dr. Laura Guerrero was dropped from the Panel as she spoke as one of the main Speakers in the Second Academic Session in place of Prof. Kalyan Bagchi.  The total number of Participants who attended the Seminar was as follows: Number of Speakers—28 (including 5 Speakers from abroad), Registered Delegates—239, Guest Observers—35=Total Participants–303.  A total number of 45 office staff and supporting staff served during the Seminar leading the grand total to 348 persons. Refreshments and lunch were served to all those who attended the Seminar.


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