Ancient wisdom: Learn more about Chanakya, Vidur and Indian culture at Banaras Hindu University

BHU’s  Bharat Adhyayan Kendra  will invite students of various departments in batches to spread awareness of ancient art and knowledge by holding a series of lectures and seminars.

Do you know what Chanakya Neeti is, or for that matter Vidur Neeti or sage Kamandak’s treatise on military techniques and warfare management?

If not, enrol at Bharat Adhyayan Kendra (BAK) of the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in Varanasi to learn more about ancient Indian streams of knowledge.

BAK aims to promote Sanskrit as well as ‘sanskriti’ (culture) and will initiate professors and students into Chanakya Neeti, Vidur Neeti and Vedic sciences and other skills and techniques.

The centre will invite students of various departments in batches to spread awareness about ancient art and knowledge by holding a series of lectures and seminars.

The initiative has been taken to preserve ancient Indian knowledge by giving an idea to students, professors and research scholars of polity and state management as mentioned in Vidur Neeti and Chanakya Neeti. The ancient texts are mainly in Sanskrit.

“Vidur Neeti and Chanakya Neeti can be utilised in the management of state administration. In the present scenario, a large number of students haven’t even heard about these texts, let alone studying them. Therefore, scholars at the centre started working on these texts to find out its relevance in present times,” he added.

The subjects to be covered in the programmes include 64 ‘kalas’ (art forms), 18 ‘vidyas’ (techniques or skills), Vedic studies, Vedanga (including Jyotish, Dharmashastra and Puranas), and schools of Indian philosophy.

It will also focus on research on rajshastra (polity), ayurveda (ancient medical science) and arthshashtra (economics).

Foreign students at various faculties of the BHU will also be invited to the seminars and lectures by scholars and professors who have indepth knowledge on these topics.

Only one topic will be covered in a lecture.

Five centenary research fellows and three centenary chair professors –including Prof Kamlesh Dutt Tripathi, Prof Yugal Kishore Mishra and Prof Rakesh Upadhyaya – have been roped in to carry out research in ancient disciplines. Foreign scholars will also be involved in research work in future.

“Research on 64 ‘kalas’ (art forms) and 18 ‘vidyas’ (techniques or streams) has already been completed. We will inform the students and professors about its importance in present times by holding a conference in the near future,” said coordinator, BAK, Prof Sadashiv Dwivedi.

The scholars will prepare papers on these subjects and discuss these in detail.

“Our students should be aware of ancient Indian knowledge widely discussed in classical texts,” he added.

“Professors and students of political science, management, Vedic sciences, military science and management will be invited to the programmes to discuss ancient topics. We will inform them why Sanskrit and ‘Bharatiya sanskriti’ are equally important and complementary to each other. One who knows Sanskrit will understand the essence of ancient texts,” Prof Dwivedi said.

In ancient times, sage Kamandak gave ‘Kamandak Neeti’ on warfare management and techniques. “Not many know about sage Kamandak today,” Prof Dwivedi he said, adding regular programmes and efforts would help in generating interest among students and teachers.

“Students may start learning Sanskrit. Scholars at BAK are trying to study and preserve ancient Indian texts and promote Sanskrit. If the language flourishes, Indian culture will be further consolidated,” he said.

BAK was founded about one and a half years ago on the initiative of BHU vice-chancellor Prof Girish Chandra Tripathi to study, preserve and promote ancient knowledge.

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