Bharata's rich tradition of intellectual inquiry goes back to thousands of years. The vast Vedic and Agamic literature forms the principal source of Indian tradition, with non-Vedic traditions such as Buddhism & Jainism being later tributaries. Sanskrit, Prakrit, Pali, and the country's various regional languages, are repositories of knowledge in various elements of civilization: spirituality, culture, philosophy, art, aesthetics, trade, management, human health, law, material science, etc. This knowledge is enriched through "Shruti" and "Smriti" and subsequently transferred to generations in oral as well as written form.
Para and Apara vidya are two major classifications of the ancient knowledge system, and they collectively represent the entire wisdom of Bharata. Para leads to the spiritual enlightment and liberation (mukti), and Apara to the enjoyment of worldly pleasure by practicing Dharma.
In Bharata, Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha have been the four goals (viz. purusharthacatustaya) for human beings. Achieving these goals is through the knowledge preserved in Veda, Vedanga, Dharmashastra, Sankhya, Yoga, Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Mimansa, Vedanta and Lokayata, Jaina, Bauddha, Agamas - Sakta, Vaishnashva, Shaiva, etc.
The entire tradition and way of life in accordance with these enables our culture to be recognized as a highly developed one in the history of world culture.
Rationale behind establishing the "Bharata Adhyayana Kendra"
Bharata's contribution to various fields of studies is often underestimated, unrecognized, and often distorted to such an extent that the western world, and even Indian modern generation, fails to understand that Bharata has contributed in a variety of modern academic fields, not just in literature, metaphysics and mysticism. A great deal of confusion and lack of awareness persists. Studying and perpetuating our country's rich tradition, knowledge, and culture, should be a key goal of our nation, both as a source of stimulation to the generations to come, as well as to assure our place in modern and future global society.
अंगानि वेदाष्चत्वारो मीमांसा न्यायविस्तरः ।
अर्थषास्त्रं पुराणं च विद्या ह्येताष्चतुर्दष ।।
Despite the fact that Bharata had a long and glorified intellectual tradition, the present education system fails to equip the younger generation with the knowledge of our roots, traditions, culture and sciences. Our students are likely to be much more aware of Democritus, Archimedes, Plato and Newton, just to name a few, than Panini, Badarayana, Patanjali, Manu, Baudhayana, Kanada, Shankara, Aryabhata, Bhaskara, Varahamihira, Brahmagupta, Chanakya, Nagarjuna, Dhanavantari, Sushruta, Akalanka and many others. New research on the glorious Indian intellectual tradition is scant. It is because academic texts in Indian education system are mostly eurocentric. Several historians have recognized such omission of intellectual contribution of non-western cultures in various academic fields.
It is felt that Bharata gradually lost touch with its ancient literature, and thus lost much of its hold on the precious knowledge. Besides the documented ancient literature, the ancient wisdom and knowledge stored and conserved, more in informal form is also slowly waning. This also needs documentation, preservation and interpretation for the general understanding of all. The wisdom and knowledge generated by the modern Bharata seems incompatible with the achievements and inventions of the ancient Bharata. Perhaps, with the passage of time, under the effect of natural degeneration and external rule, many discrepancies crept into records of our glorious past, and slowly we became unaware and disconnected with our acclaimed traditional knowledge in areas such as art, culture, language, philosophy, religion, polity, science, engineering, and medicine, etc. In modern times, especially with the emergence of a globally connected society, this disconnect with Bharata's foundations is glaringly perceptible. Many persons in the society don't even know what the real Bharata was centuries ago.
Consequently, there is a need to investigate the reasons for this disconnect and also to take steps to build upon wisdom and knowledge of ancient Bharata, to bridge the gap between the modern and the ancient Bharata. This could be achieved by undertaking inter-disciplinary study of our ancient literature and thought, in order to rediscover our lost identity, and regain our national pride.
The Bharata Adhyayana Kendra (BAK) will study the 'Bharata' and its treasure of knowledge; further the aim is to document and communicate it for the enrichment of modern knowledge.
The BAK will attempt to explore the ignored or lost ancient Indian literature on various disciplines and conduct multidisciplinary research. It would also attempt to find out why and where we lost contact with the past thought and tradition, how to continue further innovations and progress based on new leads emanating from the study of ancient knowledge system.
With the above background, the Bharata Adhyayana Kendra shall have following objectives:
1. To explore and research the rich indigenous intellectual heritage for holistic understanding of Indian Civilization and to conduct interdisciplinary research in philosophy, language, literature, culture, art, aesthetics, history & science.
2. To bring together Sanskrit scholars who evince a great deal of interest into literary cultural heritage of Bharata, and modern scholars and scientists interested in Vedic knowledge, for coordinated synthesis of modern knowledge with the Vedic knowledge.
3. To promote the rational scientific outlook and relevance of Vedic seers and scholars towards various burning issues concerning humanity at large and to resurrect the lost faith in our heritage; one of the aims is to generate appreciation and pride for the nation, particularly among the youth.
4. To collect Sanskrit, Pali and Prakrit and other Indian language manuscripts of importance for digitization, documentation and further study, translation, research, edit and publication.
5. To look for references in Vedic literature on subjects familiar in Lokavidya (subjects that pertain to emotions, beliefs, faith practice of art forms and science preserved in oral traditions, etc).
6. To project relevance of Indian knowledge and wisdom for the benefit of mankind.
The mandate of the Bharata Adhyayana Kendra demands deeper multi-disciplinary interactions of the existing Departments of the University in the areas, which have not been extensively explored so far. Interdisciplinary research work has been undertaken by the Departments; however, they are by and large limited to contemporary subjects. The objectives of the Bharata Adhyayana Kendra essentially require undertaking a holistic study on the varied subjects, which had their roots in ancient Indian scriptures and literature. With this in view, on the recommendation of the Academic Council, the Executive Council vide ECR No.17 of 21.04.2015 approved the creation of "Bharata Adhyayana Kendra" in BHU. To start as a Centre for interdisciplinary Vedic studies with following areas of study and research. It is envisioned that once the activities grow, it will take the shape of 'Bharata Adhyayana Sansthan'.
The proposed Bharata Adhyayana Kendra shall lay emphasis on interdisciplinary research and study in the following areas:
Classical Language (including Vyakarana) & Literature (including Kavyashastra)
Philosophy(including Nyaya, Mimamsa & Agamas)
Culture & Civilization
Arts and Aesthetics
Polity & Management (including Rajashastra, Dandaniti, and Arthashastra)
Vedic Sciences (Ayurveda, Chikitsa & Rasayana, Physical, Chemical, Mathematical, Geological, Life, Engineering and Material Sciences)
Dharmashika & Mahamana Malaviya Study in BAK, a separate Department of Research Publication IPR Management will function for integrating and preserving the knowledge created in these fields.
BAK will pursue the following strands of work:
A. Textual Study -
Study primary sources of traditional knowledge in Sanskrit, Pali and Prakrit texts along traditional lines, based on the holistic cosmic vision, and combine it with the modern critical awareness.
B. Academic Interaction -
To formulate ideas and understanding of the subject through lectures by eminent scholars at close intervals; workshops to discuss some of the debated issues in depth and Seminars shall be the regular feature of the Centre.
C. Multidisciplinary Projects-
Multi-disciplinary research projects on Indic Studies of SHORT TERM (about 6 months to one year duration), and LONG TERM (2-3 years). The Investigators shall submit the results of investigations in the form of manuscript to the Centre for publication.
D. Courses -
Articulate and implement courses/programmes that combine traditional and modern thought in Vedic heritage and Sanskrit Language, and integrate the knowledge from these courses into the texts currently taught in the Indian educational institutions and universities so that a true and fresh appreciation of Indian traditional knowledge may emerge among the youth.
E. Publication -
Publication of old classic works and manuscripts which are out of print. This may include both the ones published by the University and by the other institutions. Publish research work carried out by different scholars and experts on various aspects of Indian knowledge system after proper review, and prepare indices for providing standard reference system in humanities.
Areas of research
1. Veda (Mantra, Brahmana, Aranyaka, Upanishad).
Vedanga with special emphasis on Vyakarana, Jyotisha & Kalpa (Dharmashastras, shrautasotras and Aulbasshtra); Ugama & Tantra; Itihasa & Puraàa as well as later Dharmashastra. 2. Darshana : Nyaya-Vaisheshika; Sankhya-Yoga; Purvottara Mimamsa, Lokayata, Jaina and Bauddha; Interfaith reality.
3. Kavya and Kavyashastra.
4. Art and Architecture - Murti, Chitra, Sthapatya and other art forms.
5. Ayurveda - Bhasma & Rasaushadhi, etc.**
6. Arthashastra & Rajashastra.
7. Sangita - Ganavidya, Nartana/Natya &Vadya.
8. Lokavidya - oral tradition, knowledge as well as folk arts forms.
9. Vedic Sciences.
Teaching of short duration courses of classical language and text, interdisciplinary research, preparation of research material for advance researches, and indexing shall be conducted in the above areas of researches.
Bharata Adhyayana Kendra will have:
a) Advisory Committee.
b) Steering Committee.
c) Centenary Chair Professors and Centenary Visiting Fellows.
d) Collaborating Faculties.
e) Adjunct Faculties.
f) Core Academic Staff.
h) Supporting Staff.
Their roles and functions are illustrated as follows:
a) Advisory Committee:
The Advisory Committee of the Bharata Adhyayana Kendra will be its apex body, and consist of:
The Vice-Chancellor of BHU, ex-officio Chairman.
Local members of the Executive Council.
Chief Mentor of the BAK (holding Centennial Chair).
Representatives of the collaborating Faculty/Faculties idendified by the Kendra.
05 Heads/Coordinators of the participating Departments/Centres/ Schools.
02 External Members (nominated by the Vice-Chancellor of BHU).
The Coordinator of BAK.
The Coordinator shall be the Convener of the Advisory Committee. The function of the Committee shall be to make such recommendations as are necessary to fulfill the objectives of the BAK.
b) Steering Committee:
The Steering committee will be the second level body for coordinating the activities of the Bharata Adhyayana Kendra. It would perform the following important functions -
a) To oversee the activities of different divisions of the Kendra as set out by the Advisory Committee of the Kendra and
b) To coordinate with different departments of the University and outside and all other stakeholders for achieving the objectives of the Kendra.
The Steering Committee will be headed by one of the holders of Centenary Chair Professor (who will also be the Chief Mentor of the Bharata Adhyayana Kendra), Centenary Chair Professors, Heads of the participating Departments, Centenary Visiting Fellows (in station) and Coordinator, Bharata Adhyayana Kendra (BAK) as its Convener. The Steering Committee may co-opt additional members, as and when required.
c) Centenary Chair Professors and Centenary Visiting Fellows -
The present faculty of the University, though experts of the respective fields, need to be motivated to undertake research in Indian Studies. This call for constitution of a working group comprising the Core Faculty of the Bharata Adhyayana Kendra, faculty from collaborative Faculties/Departments and eminent scholars of the relevant disciplines, from within the nation and outside as well, who have flair and proven track record of distinguished contributions in Indian Studies. These external experts can have intense involvement initially for a period of 3-5 years by when it is expected that they would induce the necessary culture and approach for undertaking multidisciplinary holistic research in Indian studies in the collaborating Departments/ Divisions.
Therefore, besides the existing permanent faculty in the collaborating Departments of other Faculties of the University and Core Staff in different Divisions of the Bharata Adhyayana Kendra, some of the best minds in the country and abroad would be invited to join the Institute through appropriate selection cum search committees as Chair Professors, Visiting Professors, Adjunct Professors, Professors on Sabbatical from other universities. The eminent scholars engaged on said positions are expected to mentor the young faculty through co-teaching and research, function as Lead Researcher for major projects, write/edit books & book series and to undertake any other specific assignment given to them to serve the objectives of the Kendra.
With the aforesaid in view, the Executive Council of the University has created
05 positions of Centenary Chair Professors and 10 positions of Centenary Visiting Fellows. These positions carry attractive honorarium, travel support and on campus accommodation. Academic excellence and reputation shall be the sole criterion for such positions.
While the honorarium to Centenary Chair Professors and Centenary Visiting Fellows would be met out of University's own resources, their travel, boarding and lodging would be met out of funding from the UGC.
d) Collaborating Faculties/Departments of BHU -
Faculties/Departments such as - Faculty of Sanskrit Vidya & Dharma Vijáana (SVDV); Faculty of Performing Arts; Faculty of Visual Arts; Faculty of Ayurveda; Faculty of Arts- Department of Sanskrit, Ancient Indian History and Archaeology, History of Art, Philosophy and Religion, Indian Languages, Pali and Buddhist Studies, Linguistics, English, Foreign Languages; Institute of Science; Indian Institute of Technology (BHU); some departments of Faculty of Social Sciences; Faculty of Law; Faculty of Commerce; Institute of Management; Yoga Sadhana Kendra; Malaviya Moolya Anusheelan Kendra will be associated with the BAK. More academic units may be added as and when required.
e) Adjunct Faculty
This critical mass of Faculty of the BAK will be aided by adjunct faculty from different collaborating Departments/Faculties of the University to broaden the expertise base and to initiate multi-disciplinary teaching and research. The Core and the Adjunct Faculty of the Kendra would be guided by the Centenary Chair Professors and Centenary Visiting Fellows for initiating activities in different spheres of activity of the Kendra.
f) Core Academic Staff
For smooth running of the BAK, it is proposed to have one post of Professor, 2 posts of Associate Professors and 25 posts of Assistant Professors.
Bharata Adhyayana Kendra will be headed by a Coordinator (Professor level) who will exercise the administrative and financial powers.
h) Research/Supporting Staff -
PDF, Senior Research Fellow (SRF), Junior Research Fellow (JRF), Information & Public Relation Officer, Professional Assistant, Lab Assistant, Multi Tasking Staff (MTS), Office Assistant, Stenographer.