Overview of Advaita
A 5-day programme from 1st to 5th of Jan 2009 was organized at CIF for 50 members from Orissa and Bihar to study books of Adi Sankara, Manisha Panchakam and Dhyanashtakam, under the guidance of Jaganmitra Chaitanya and Sucheta Chaitanya.
Anusaaraka Workshop February 2009
A second two-day workshop was conducted at the Chinmaya Centre for World Understanding (CCWU) with the objective of sharing the steps involved in the process of Language Resource Development for Anusaaraka. A group of 12 people who have been working on the basic steps of Language Resource Development since the first workshop, went through theory and practice sessions of subsequent steps, such as Information Book Keeping, Grammar for Framing Rules, Framing of Rules, Transfer Verb Frames and Padasüträs, that form part of the resource development process. The workshop also had participation from 'first-timers' with a profile ranging from Chinmaya Mission devotees, people with a curious interest in Language, to Linguistics/Language lecturers at Universities and Heads of Departments.
Swami Nikhilananda lit the inaugural lamp along with Dr. Dipti Sharma and Dr. Aditi Mukherjee and addressed the participants. Swamiji mentioned how language is fascinating and words are like mantras. 'Language is alive' exclaimed Swamiji, with an infectious joy for study of language. During the concluding session Swamiji blessed the participants and encouraged each one to continue working on the project with inspiration and enthusiasm.
The second day of the workshop began with participants sharing their attempts to do the work assigned to them the previous evening. Interactive sessions interspersed with humour brought to the forefront the beauty in the study of language. Questions such as how Paninian Grammar is used in Anusaaraka were addressed by Dr. Dipti Sharma. The concept of 'word watching' was introduced.
All Kerala Acharya Shastra Sadas
Brahmasutra Study is taken up in these workshops of 3 day duration. Participants are the 20 Acharyas of Chinmaya Mission of Kerala Centres. From March 9th to 11th, 2009 the All Kerala Acharya Sastra Sadas under the guidance of Swami Viviktananda, Regional Head of Kerala was conducted. Detail study of Sankara-Bhasya is done with regular sessions every quarter.
Anusaaraka Sevak Training Camp
The first camp for Anusaaraka Sevaks was held at CIF from April 20-25, 2009. Focussing on the Language Resource Development aspect of the Anusaaraka Project, the camp had a mix of spiritual and academic sessions. The inauguration of the camp was graced by Swami Advayananda, Swamini Niranjanananda. K. K. Rajan (Trustee, CIF), Dr. Subramanian (Director, CIF) and Dr. P. Geervani (Project Coordinator, Hyderabad), Br. Sagar Chaitanya (Acharya, CIF Vedanta Home Study Courses) were also present.
Sri Adi Sankara Jayanti Celebrated on 29th April 2009
Eminent scholars were invited to have a seminar on Indian Philosophy and Advaita Vedanta. Chanting of the stotras of Sankara was also a part of this programme.
Language Resource Development Workshop
Chinmaya Vidyalaya, Hyderabad (May 5 & 6, 2009)
Dr. Aditi Mukherjee Consultant – Anusaaraka, conducted a two day workshop on the language resource development (LRD) of the Anusaaraka. Day one saw a group of 7 eager participants going through an introduction to the project and also, the entire process involved. On day two the theoretical inputs on the process, which were shared on the first day, were put into practice. Discussions and one-to-one were possible as this was a small group. The faculty and the participants felt that frequent workshops will be beneficial as each workshop led to greater clarity on the process. The Anusaaraka Team invites more people to join them.
Sanskrit Day Celebrations
Sanskrit language is a core part of CIF and for Shodha Samsthan celebrating Sanskrit Day is an endorsement and emphasis of the glorious 'language of the gods'. A two-day Sanskrit Day celebration was thus held in August 2009. The event which was blessed by Swamini Niranjanananda, presented a collage of events surrounding and applying Sanskrit language, including: Competitions such as Gītāpārāyaṇam, Kathākathanam, Recitation, Elocution, etc. Around 150 students from different schools and colleges of Kerala participated in the programme. Various speakers on this occasion highlighted different aspects of Sanskrit language as it arose in our culture, thereby entreating an ongoing emphasis be given to the language. Dr. D. K. Rana, Director CIFSS, presented some important suggestions for throwing the spotlight on Sanskrit in the future, such as: Celebrating Sanskrit Week, holding a World Sanskrit Conference every four years, changes in the methodology of research for unpublished Sanskrit manuscripts, incorporate the new prayogaśāstras (practical subjects) like Āyurveda, Yoga, Vāstu, Architecture, Artha-śāstra, etc. in the University curriculum, so that students will be encouraged to read and research in Sanskrit. The Sanskrit mood was taken to its logical conclusion when Dr. P. C. Muraleemadhavan, Chairman, CIFSS gave his presidential address in Sanskrit and in verse form! All kudos to the staff of CIFSS who gave this event the right importance and attention with their efficient coordination effort.
Academic Workshop on Tarkasangraha, Indian Logic and Epistemology June 4th to 14th, 2009
This most popular and basic text on Indian Logic which was studied in traditional as well as modern higher educational context in this 10 days workshop under the guidance of Prof. V N Jha. It gave the participants access to all Indian knowledge Systems and the illustrious intellectual and philosophical traditions of India. All the 40 students comprising of scholars, philosophy students from universities, seekers and monks enriched their knowledge on Indian logic. The study of this text also provided a good training in analyzing human thoughts. Once one captures the methods of cognitive analysis as presented in this system, one can handle any knowledge discipline with ease.
First Sanskrit Seminar at IGNOU
As an ongoing dedication to Sanskrit language programmes, CIF and IGNOU – India's largest distant learning university – jointly organized a one-day seminar in November 2009.
Manuscript Tradition of Kerala : A Tattvabodha Lecture
'Tattvabodha', the monthly lecture series of the National Manuscripts Mission (NMM) has established itself as a forum for intellectual debate and discussion in the traditional śāstras, where eminent scholars representing different aspects of Indian knowledge systems have contributed. The NMM publishes a compilation of these lectures under the same name. It was under the aegis of Tattvabodha of the NMM, that CIFSS conducted a one day lecture programme, on: 'Manuscript Tradition of Kerala', with the financial assistance of National Mission for Manuscripts (NMM). CIF remains grateful to Prof. N.P. Unni, former Vice-Chancellor of Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, Kalady for delivering the Tattvabodha lecture on 'Manuscript Tradition of Kerala'.
Around 60 members from different parts of the world visited CIF on a cultural awareness programme organized by Chinmaya Mission Worldwide. Sessions on Indina Culture and Advaita Vedanta and Works of Adi Sankara were highlight of this programme. The 4 day programme from 2nd to 5th Nov, 2009 created a strong impact on the participants.
Philosophy of Oneness Camp – Bridging East and West
CIF Shodha Samsthan (CIFSS) organized an Eight-Day Residential Textual Workshop on "Philosophy of Oneness – Bridging East and West". The camp aimed at acquainting the 30 participants with the fundamentals of Advaita-vedānta and its complex nuances. Additionally it sought to compare and contrast the idealism of East and West with special reference to the contribution of western philosophers. The seminar was inaugurated by Prof. R. Balasubramanian, former Chairman of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research (ICPR), an erudite scholar in Vedānta and also one of the faculties of the seminar. The course was based on the following topics: "Idealism – East and West " by Prof. R. Balasubramanian; 'Advaita-makaranda" by Dr.Godabarisha Mishra, Member Secretary, ICPR. Dr. S. Revathi, Professor of the Department of Sanskrit from Madras University delivered a series of lectures on Vedānta-paribhāṣā.
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