IGNCA’s inaugural BharatVidyaPrayojana lecture focuses on ancient wisdom


New Delhi, Oct 6: Humans must seek their needs in their own surroundings and strive towards self-sufficiency because the deepest knowledge is to be found in closest proximity to nature, according to renowned artist and philosopher ShriRavindra Sharma.

A co-founder and the current head of the RashtriyaKarigarPanchayat, a guild of artisans, Shri Sharma was on Wednesday delivering the first of a new series of talks titled the “BharatVidyaPrayojana” introduced by the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) to rekindle the discourse on traditional Indian educational philosophy and practices.

“Villages in ancient India had always been self-reliant; basic life skills and knowledge needed to survive existed within communities. A carpenter or blacksmith had the expertise and the tools to practice their trade within their village, the knowledge was gathered and honed there,” Shri Sharma said. “It is a life lesson for us too. When we are within our boundaries and understand our surroundings our knowledge becomes profound. If we step outside this, in search of things that do not belong to us, we end up giving in to greed.”

Shri Sharma, a multi-faceted personality who has excelled as an artist, sculptor, teacher, writer, historian, sociologist and economist, had been invited as the first speaker at IGNCA’s BharatVidyaPrayojanaprogramme that intends identify the varied modes of knowledge sharing that have existed since ages and to conserve and promote them.

Dr Sachchidanand Joshi, Member Secretary IGNCA, who introduced the talk, said the Bharat VidyaPrayojana intends to create a community of young researchers who will look at and understand Indian culture in a completely Indian context, a project that will hopefully result in scholarly works in the future.

The first session of the talk was chaired by Dr. Mahesh Chandra Sharma, Trustee, IGNCA, who noted the dynamic shift in the society that has taken place over the ages, from educational to social and economic changes.

ShriPawan Kumar Gupta, Director, Society for Integrated Development of Himalayas (SIDH), who spoke on the occasion recounted that parents of old dismissed formal education as a waste of time. Communities were often resistant to change, especially adoption of new technology. This perception changed much after campaigns by Mahatma Gandhi and others who enlightened people on the value of education.

ShriRambahadurRai, President, IGNCA, who chaired the second session, emphasized the need for knowledge to be passed on through generations. He said education was necessary to build an equitable society that is self-dependent and satisfied. “It is important for us to remember our heritage and to ensure that our traditional knowledge base is not lost.”

The IGNCA will organize more such lectures as part of the  BharatVidyaPrayojana and is hoping to attract audiences of young people interested in joining its mission to preserve Indian heritage.

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