Pre-Conference Workshops – Inauguration

The pre-conference workshops of New Frontiers in Sanskrit and Indic Knowledge (NFSI) 2019 began with workshops by Prof. Dharm Bhawuk and Prof. Kumar Ravi Priya on ‘Research Methodologies for Indian Knowledge Traditions in the Contemporary Context’ and ‘Qualitative Research Methodology’, respectively.

After the lighting of the ceremonial lamp and the garlanding of Devi Saraswati for an auspicious beginning, Dr. Shilpa Pandit, CVV faculty and coordinator of NFSI 2019, welcomed the gathering and introduced the dignitaries. Prof. Gauri Mahulikar, Dean of CVV, honoured the dignitaries and the workshop was declared open.

The first session on Indian Knowledge Traditions (IKT), by Prof. Bhawuk, was most engaging as he stressed the importance of study and research of the scriptures through original texts. He stated that to be effective in using research from Indian Knowledge Traditions, we need to think in an Indian language. This requires us to go to the source text. Further, he said that research does not necessarily need to have universal application; it can have a localised application based on local knowledge too. Prof. Bhawuk presented five methods of doing research based on original text sources. Click here to read more

In the first session of the workshop on ‘Qualitative Research Methodology’, Prof. Kumar Ravi Priya spoke on the need to know ourselves and our place in the world of research. He stated that the researcher is the medium for unravelling the secret of reality. Through a series of classroom exercises, he discussed the nature of data within human science research, the nature of the experience that a researcher tries to get, as well as the assumptions of the nature of reality that we claim to study. He clarified the validity of human experience sharing and emphasised that experiences are really concrete as we usually take these to be socially or contextually constructed. Click here to read more

In the interactive session that followed, the key requirements of human science research were discussed. Prof. Ravi Priya identified two gurus in human science research – 1) Research questions 2) Research participants. In his view, the primary function of sharing is to initiate or regulate some action rather than a mere representation of discourse-independent reality. The session ended with Prof. Ravi Priya stressing on empathy in action, trust relief and empowerment through empathetic listening and understanding, stating that dialogic partnership is the base from where human science research begins.