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Dr. Manohar Shinde, M.D, Ph.D, Los Angeles, California, USA.  Chair person, Dharma Civilaisation Foundation (DCF)  Retired from private medical practise  Clinical faculty in general and child psychiatry at UCLA & USC [email protected] Ph: 001-818-470-2666. My Theme:

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dr manohar shinde m d ph d los angeles california usa

Dr. Manohar Shinde, M.D, Ph.D,Los Angeles, California, USA

Chair person, Dharma Civilaisation Foundation (DCF)

Retired from private medical practise

Clinical faculty in general and child psychiatry at UCLA & USC

[email protected]

Ph: 001-818-470-2666

My Theme:

“Wisdom traditions of India”,

its relevance and challenges.

what i will like to touch upon today
What I will like to touch upon today:
  • What is Sanatana Dharma ?
  • Historical context and current scenario in academia.
  • Some examples of the richness of our world-view or Indian paradigm on life.
  • Why it is important, its relevance & applications to current context.
  • Today’s civilisational challenges.
what is sanatana dharma
What is Sanatana Dharma ?
  • It is not one book or one prophet or one set of dogmas.
  • An accumulated wisdom of Rishis, in the quest of unraveling mysteries of the inner & outer world.
  • Discoveries of eternal truth, laws & guiding principles, beyond time & geography (SHRUTIS)
  • Also provision for ever-changing systems , applications, institutions & arrangements, according to the changing times (SMRUTIS)
  • Why it is also called Hindu Dharma (analogy of Newton’s discovery of the law of gravity)
historical context
Historical context:
  • Two water-shed moments:

a) Lord Macaulay in 1840’s.

b) Attitude of political leadership of post-independent India towards its civilisational roots. (raising standard of living, at the neglect of nurturing civilisational ethos became the guiding policies).

consequences and current scenario
Consequences and current scenario:
  • No accurate & authentic knowledge of our rich heritage nor any vision about what could be our contribution to the world.
  • It fostered

ignorance or

indifference or

shame, disdain & contempt towards our past.

 It created a psychology of being cut off from our roots.

illustrative examples of richness of our wisdom traditions
Illustrative examples of richness of our wisdom traditions:
  • We will breifly touch upon three domains:

a) Economic Domain

b) Clash of civilisations domain.

c) Ecological domain.

economic domain
Economic Domain:
  • The concept of four-fold Purusharthas (An integral and balanced vision of human pursuits, covering both material & non-material aspects of life)
  • Aimed at neither a shortage nor over-valueing or dominance of material prosperity(Artha).
  • A metaphorical comparison between Ayodhya, Lanka & Kishkinda
  • Questioning of the current economic models after the 2008 global economic crisis
  • Aurobindo’sprespective on the goal of an economic model.
  • Two different approaches to happiness:

a) Western approach: “what gives happiness?”

b) Eastern approach: “ what is the nature of happiness?”

ecological domain
Ecological Domain:
  • Indian attitude towards environment:

a) seeing an all-pervasive divinity in the creation.

b) not to conquer or exploit but milking the nature.

c) can provide valuable spiritual & philosophical foundations to the contemporary green movement in the west.

in the domain of clash of civilisations international terrorism
In the domain of clash of civilisations & international terrorism:
  • Two differing approaches:

a) Dharma perspective: “Ekam Sat, ViprahaBahudaVadanti” (pluralistic & inclusive attitude)

b) Abrahmic perspective:

 In religious idiom: world divided between believers & non-believers.

 In the secular idiom: insisting that democracy, free market economy & capitalism are to be the only suitable models for everybody.

  • A striking example:

a) American prayer: “god bless America”

b) Amma’s prayer: “Lokha samastha sukhino bavanthu” or praying for the well being of every body.

why this is important
Why this is important:
  • The voice of dharma & eastern wisdom is presently largely absent at most of the global discourses on vitally important issues confronting humanity & our planet.
  • They have a tremendous potential to make valuable contributions to the above dialogue, if a legitimate & respectable place is carved out for them.
need of the hour
Need of the hour:
  • A rediscovery of this timeless treasure of insights & wisdom.
  • To elaborate on its relevance & applications to the current times.
  • A need to communicate it in a contemporary & effective idiom, language & terms.
  • To articulate “Yuga Dharma” in the light of “Sanatana Dharma”.
the civilisational challenge
The civilisational challenge:
  • To create a world-class community of scholars, academicians & thought-leaders, to generate a rich source of intellectual capital in the field of humanities & social sciences.
  • Recently announced amma’s centre on spirituality & study of Sanatana Dharma heralds an auspicious & historic beginning.