The Classical Period defined Conduct and established Literature-

Report of IDC seminar, October 2017

Part I – Review 

Satyendra Sharma

India Discovery Center 

India Discovery Center hosted its third seminar in the series “Let us Explore the Cultural History of India” in a day-long event on Saturday, October 28, 2017.  A beautiful Fall day became warmer with intricate analyses of the society, art, literature and philosophy in the post-Vedic India period from 700BC-200BC.  This period formed the foundation of the “Indian Union” spanning from the north of the Hindukush mountains to its border with Mynamar, and covering the whole of south India.  This large subcontinent was diverse in its population but was homogenized through culture, administrative, and social principles.  Fundamental contributions in arts, music, theory of language, grammar, number theory, astronomy, medicine and administration were made by independent scholars and many were supported by the State.  Education reached its peak and the economy was strong with sustained production and export.

The guest of honor at the event was His Holiness Phra Bhavanawachirarachtis, the Head Monk of the Buddhist Temple and Meditation Center Wat Nawamintararachutis in Raynham, MA.  Opening the seminar, he explained the Buddha’s life and his path to enlightenment.  Life is karma and one must be disciplined in one’s conduct and habits.  The accompanying monks chanted Buddhist invocation chants to inaugurate the Conference.  Threeracht Charlie Sontachalert, the Honorary Vice-Consul of Thailand at Boston conveyed the goodwill message through his presence.

Dr. Bijoy Misra, the President of India Discovery Center explained the goals of the Center and welcomed all to the event.  He was particularly thankful to all the presenters who researched the material and created the presentation material.  The presentations are now archived in  Dr. Sonal Jhaveri, the moderator for the seminar gave an overview of the contents and the process in preparing the presentations.

The seminars were organized in six tracks.  Dr Hemendra Acharya spoke on Geography and People.  Mrs.Srilaskshmi Srinivasan took care of Art and Culture.  Mr Prem Nagar continued Language and Literature.

Dr. Satyendra Sharma handled the Philosophy and Religion and Dr. Bijoy Misra helped summarize Science and Technology.  Finally, the last presentation on Economy and Politics was made by Dr. Arun Karna.  The segment reviews are in Part II of this report.

Two guest speakers graced the day.  Shivacharya Pandit Bharavasundaram, the Head Priest from SriKalikambai Temple in Bellingham, MA, spoke of “Shaiva Agama”.  He gave an illustrated talk on the temple construction and the worship methods in the Shaiva tradition.  He supplemented his talk with devotional Shiva mantras for the occasion.  Professor Vimal Prakash Jain, the veteran Jaina scholar gave a lecture entitle “The Concept of Soul in Jainism”.  He tried to separate the similarities and the differences between the Vedantic view of the soul and the Jainistic view of the soul.  The soul, according to the Jaina faith does get tainted through the human actions and is in the process of constant modification.  The soul in the Vedantic view on the other hand is not affected by the human conditions and always remains pure and clear.  He went on to explain the processes that Jainas believed that would clean the soul towards final liberation.

The seminar was divided into two sessions with a lunch break in between.  The lunch was catered by the Holi Restaurant in Bedford, MA.

The presenters and the speakers did join in Q&A session and the seminar ended with a vocal rendering of Kaushalya’s blessings to Rama from the immortal epic Valmiki’s Ramayana.  The next seminar on the Golden Period in India 200BC-500AD is scheduled for April 28, 2018, at Bemis Hall in Lincoln.  A vote of thanks was proposed for all volunteers and the attendees with a special note to Ms. Carolyn Bottum, the Director of Lincoln Town Council of Aging for the support with the facilities and to the Universalist Unitarian Church for the parking convenience.

India Discovery Center is a non-profit tax-exempt organization.  All donations to the organization are tax-deductible in the US.