Wednesday, 4 December 2013

5th National Conference Convened by Ärsha Vidyä Vikäs Kendra - 2014

5th National Conference Convened by Ärsha Vidyä Vikäs Kendra 
on February 7th (Friday), 8th (Saturday), and 9th (Sunday) 2014 

In order to appreciate the richness and diversity of Indian Culture in the contemporary society, AVVK is planning to host yet another Conference on various aspects of Vedic Culture, Post-Vedic Indian Culture, Sanskrit/Odia Literature, Buddhism, Bhakti Movement etc. Thrust Area of the Conference "Dimensions of Indian Philosophy, Literature and Culture’’ 

1. The Vedas 
Division of the Vedas - Rgveda, Yajurveda, Sämaveda, Atharvaveda
Division of the Vedas - Samhitä, Brähmana, Äranyaka, Upanishads
Subject matter of the Vedas
Apaurusheyattvam of the Vedas
Vedic Culture
Vedic Society
Vedic Rituals

2. The Vedängas 
Chandas/Sanskrit meters: their evolution
Chandas – Their divisions
Vedic Chandas and Classical Sanskrit Chandas
Vyäkarana – Ashtädhyäyi of Pänini
The spiritual outlook of Sanskrit Grammar/ Ashtädhyäyi

Brief introduction of the (10-15) Major Upanishads
Mahäväkyas in the Upanishads
Upanishadic Meditation (Upäsanäs)
Brahmavidyä in the Upanishads
Ekaväkyatä in the Upanishads
Adhikäritvam in Study of Vedänta - Sädhana-Catushtaya
Sruti as Pramäna

 4. Buddhism 
Some aspects of early Buddhism
Various Schools of Buddhism – Hinayäna, Mahäyäna, Yogächära, Sunyaväda
Emergence of Mahäyäna Buddhism
Mahayänic Pantheon
Introduction of Tantra in Buddhism
Karma and Nirväna in Buddhism
Buddhism in relation to Vedänta
Buddhism in Indian life and thought
Shramana or Non-Brahmanical sects

5.Sanskrit Literature 
Classical Sanskrit as a vehicle of Indian Culture
Sanskrit Kävya literature: A general survey
Sanskrit Drama: General characteristics
Sanskrit Prose Sanskrit Fables/Kathä Literature
Sanskrit histories and chronicles (e.g.Räjatarangini)
Sanskrit Poetics

6. The Epics – Rämäyana and Mahäbhärata 
The Rämäyana: its history and character
The culture of the Rämäyana
The Mahäbhärata : its history and character
The Mahäbhärata : Some aspects of its culture
Change of matrix of dharma in Mahäbhärata (compared to Rämäyana)
Religion and Philosophy of Rämäyana and Mahäbhärata
The influence of Rämäyana and Mahäbhärata on Indian life and literature
The Rämäyana and the Mahäbhärata in South-East Asia

Bhagavad-Gitä as part of Prasthänatraya
The teachings of the Bhagavad-Gitä
Karmayoga in Bhagavad-Gitä
Synthesis of various Philosophies in Bhagavad-Gitä
Bhagavad-Gitä: Shankara’s commentary
The two lifestyles in Bhagavad-Gitä – Karmayoga and Sannyäsa
Dialogue as a teaching method in Bhagavad-Gitä

8.Women in India Some aspects of the position of women in ancient India 

9.The Puränas 
The subject matter the Puränas
The Puränas as chronicles of Indian History

The Dharma-sütras
The Smärta-sütras
The Manu-Smrti
The Hindu Samskäras
Subject matter of Arthashastra
Various Nitishästra
The State in relation to Religion in ancient India

11.Indian Philosophical Systems
Rise of the philosophical schools
Materialists, Sceptics, and Agnostic
Philosophy of Sämkhya
Philosophy of Yoga (not äsana and pränäyäma)
Philosophy of the Nyäya and Vaisheshika
Pürva Mimamsa (w.r.t. works of Jaimini, Shabara, Kumärila Bhatta, Prabhäkara)

12. Essential of Vedänta
Philosophy of the Advaita
Philosophy of Shankara
Advaita and its spiritual significance
Post-Shankara Advaita (of Padmapäda, Sureshwara and continuing Äcäryas)
The continuing Teaching Tradition of Advaita

13.Vaishnava Vedänta 
Vishishtädvaita of Rämänuja
Dvaita of Madhva
Dvaitädvaita of Nimbarka
Shuddhädvaita of Vallabha
Acintya-Bhedäbheda school of Caitanya
The philosophy of Saivism
Philosophy of the Yogavasistha
The philosophy of Mysticism

14. Ethics and Values 
Indian ethics and Values
Non-separation of Religion from Philosophy in India

15. Indian Hymnology 
Rituals of worship
Indian Hymnology (Vedic Süktas, Classical Sanskrit Stotras, Sahasranämas)
Various Festivals and their importance in Cultural Integration
Pilgrimage and Fairs: their bearing on Total Indian life

16. Bhakti Movement 
Philosophy in popular literature
Early history of Vaisnavism
Bhagavata Religion: the cult of Bhakti

17. Religious/Philosophical Literature 
Buddhist Literature
Advaita Vedänta Literature
Vaishnava Literature

18.Odia Literature

Swamini Atmaprajnananda Saraswati
Founder Acarya
Arsha Vidya Vikas Kendra
A 1/1 Palaspalli
Bhubaneswar - 751 020
Mob - 094370-62034
website -
Blog -

Registration Form
5th National Conference on
Dimensions of Indian Philosophy, Literature and Culture
on February 7th (Friday), 8th (Saturday), and 9th (Sunday) 2014 
organised by
Arsha Vidya Vikas Kendra

Name of the Participant:

Educational Qualification:

M.A./ M.Phil./ Ph.D./D.Litt.

with address

Area of Specialisation:

Specific area of Indian Culture -


Complete Mailing Address

Mobile No.: (mandatory)

Email address: (mandatory)

Title of the Paper:

Theme of Paper:

Certified that the Paper to be

.presented is an unpublished one.



 Participation details

Faculties of the Universities, Research Scholars, and Independent Researchers are invited to participate in the Conference.

Submission of Abstract
Abstracts not exceeding 300 words along with Registration Form may be sent by email to so as to reach by 15 January, 2014, followed by the hard copy and the CD/DVD by Speed Post/Courier.

The final paper in around 3,000 words (10 pages) may be sent by 1st February 2014 by email to Followed by the hard copy and the CD/DVD through Speed Post/Courier.

Address for Correspondence/Contact
Swamini Atmaprajnananda Saraswati (Mob +91-094370-62034)
Arsha Vidya Vikas Kendra
A 1/1 Palaspalli
Bhubaneswar - 751 020, Odisha

Instructions for Delegates

Delegates are requested to furnish ‘Suggested Readings’ in the paper, which will be of immense benefit for the audience/readers/scholars.

They are further encouraged to present a visual presentation through Power Point, which will arouse more interest in the audience. Papers found suitable may be published by AVVK.

Last date for Submission:
The abstract by 15th  January, 2014
Final paper by 1st February, 2014 must reach the Convenor.

Registration Fees -
Delegates      - Rs.500/-
Students       - Rs.150/-   

Arsha Vidya Vikas Kendra does not receive any support from any organisation, Government or Private or Corporate to organise the National Conference. Payment of Registration Fees will encourage us to continue holding such Conferences in future.


Lewis Road
Bhubaneswar 751 014

 Tentative Schedule

7th February 2014
Inaugural Session
Session I

Session II

8th February 2014
Session III
Session IV

Session V
Session VI

9th February 2014
Session VII
Poetry Reading

Session VIII
Valedictory Session

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Three-month Residential Course in Vedanta and Sanskrit

3-month Intensive Course on Vedanta, Sanskrit and Chanting

Arsha Vidya Vikas Kendra, Centre for Vedanta and Sanskrit, A 1/1 Palashpalli, Bhubaneswar, has started a 3-month short term Intensive Course on Vedanta and Sanskrit and Chanting.

8  - 10 am - Kathopanishad with Sankarabhashym
10.30 - 11.30 am  - Sanskrit Grammar
12 noon - 1 pm - Chanting
5 - 6 pm - Kathopanishad with Sankarabhashyam
6 - 7 pm -  Paninian Grammar

Swamini Atmaprajnananda Saraswati, student-disciple of Sri Swami Dayananda  Saraswati is conducting the Course. Interested students may email to to register to join the on-going class/es.


Three-month Residential Course by
Arsha Vidya Vikas Kendra
Bhubaneswar, India

With the permission and blessings of Pujya Sri Swämi Dayänanda Saraswati, Ärsha Vidyä Vikas Kendra, Bhubaneswar, announces a Short Three-month Residential Course on Vedanta, Sanskrit, Chanting, and Indian Culture commencing from October 6th, 2013 (open-ended).

The course will be conducted, by Swämini Ätmaprajnänanda Saraswati, student-disciple of Pujya Sri Swämi Dayänanda Saraswati.

Brahmacäris/Brahmacärinis familiar with the traditional Gurukula teaching paramparä may apply to,

Swämini Ätmaprajnänanda Saraswati
Founder Äcärya
Ärsha Vidya Vikäs Kendra
A 1/1 Paläshpalli
Bhubaneswar – 751 020

providing requisite details. One may also see the following, for various activities of the Centre.

The Kendra will provide facilities that are possible.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Swämini Ätmaprajnänanda Saraswati is a student-disciple of Swämi Dayänanda Saraswati (b.1930), founder of Ärsha Vidyä paramparä - tradition. She is a Dasanämi Sannyäsini of Sankara-Bhagavatpäda order, belonging to Niranjan Akhädä.

She is an Advaita Vedantin, and Vedic and Sanskrit Scholar (holding a Ph. D. in Sanskrit). Her other areas of study and research are - Vedic Studies, Temple-Architecture, Buddhism, Bhakti and Sufi Movement in India. (Her other technical degrees are MBA (in Finance and Marketing), and PG Diploma in Journalism, Certificate in Human Rights, which she earned in per previous äsrama).

Her published books are “Dasasänti” (2008), “Rupasiddhi” (2008), “Nomenclature of the Vedas” (2012) published by DK Printworld, New Delhi, and “Rsikäs of the Rgveda” (2013) also published by DK Printworld, New Delhi. Her next research work “Om: The Sound Symbol” is under publication.

Swämini is the Founder Äcäryä of ‘Ärsha Vidyä Vikäs Kendra’, a Teaching and Research Centre for Vedänta, Sanskrit, and Indian Culture.

In addition to her teaching and research activities, she has convened four National Conferences in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2013. She is involved in many community services in areas of primary education and health.


Saturday, 19 January 2013

Sri Särangapäni Temple, Kumbakonam

Sri Särangapäni Temple, Kumbakonam

My first visit in July 2010 to this temple was a quick one, hence this time in August 2012, it was my second priority in my list (first being Kumbeswara which I had not seen at all). Among the sacred 108 Divyadesam in Vaishnava sampradaya, Sarangapani Temple is given the third place next to Sri Rangam and Tirupati.

The Builders
The central shrine (vimanam) was built during the Chola period (900-1150 CE), while the rest of the huge temple (Gopuram etc.) was built by the Vijayanagara emperors (1350-1565 CE) and their Nayaka successors (1600-1750 CE).

The Rajagopuram
The 12-tiered Rajagopuram is 7th tallest in India, standing tall at 44 metres (146 feet).

Famous Gopurams
Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple
240 feet
Arunachaleswara Temple

217 feet

Ekambareswara Temple

194 feet

Sri Andal Temple
192 feet

Southern Rajagopuram of Minakshi
-1511 sculptures
Sevvanti Murty Chettiar in 1559 CE
Eastern Rajagopuram of Minakshi

153 feet
Sundara Pandyan
Sarangapani Temple
146 feet


134 feet


126 feet

Erotic art is visible in the first tier of the Rajagopuram, not in stone, but in cement and rather crude.

Various karanas are also sculpted on the outside as well as inside walls of the Rajagopuram.

Some Ganas – dwarfs are seen with musical instruments, on the Rajagopuram wall.

There are yalis on the entrance of the mandapas

Temple architecture/style
The central shrine resembles a chariot on wheels, complete with elephants and horses pulling it.

(Other Chariot Temples that I have visited are Konark in Odisha, and Airavateswara Temple in Darasuram. However in Konark, the mukhasala is built as a chariot. In Airavateswara, the mandapam  is in the form of a chariot. In Sarangapani, the central shrine is in form of a chariot.)

(Now I understand the Temple-plan better.)

Beyond the 100-pillared hallway is the sanctum, which was reportedly modified several times by the rulers of many dynasties. The inner court is guarded by images of huge dvarapalas, while between them stand perforated stone screens.

The sanctum enshrines Lord Vishnu in anantasayana posture, very similar to Sri Rangam posture.

There are two entrances to the sanctum, enough to confuse me. One is kept open throughout the Uttarayana period, and the other during the Dakshinayana period. I think both my visits were in dakshinayana, so I would have entered through the same dakshinayana entrance.

Balustrade at Sarangapani
Balustrade at Darasuram

On both sides at the entrance steps are small balustrades in the form of elephants (better such style is seen Darasuram Temple).

The lion-pillared corridors resemble similar style seen in Vaikuntha Perumal Temple in Kanchipuram.

Lioned Pillar in Sarangapani
Lioned Pillars in Vaikuntha Perumal Temple

There is an intricately carved pillar (perhaps of granite), with striking filigree work.





The outside corner of the central sanctum is richly sculpted resembling Brhadiswara and Kailashnath.


Kailshnath, Ellora

Brhadiswara, Tanjavur

Sarangapani, Kumbakonam


Sarangapani Temple

Darasuram Temple


I remained confused for years seeing the position of the elephants and horses, trying to pull the chariot-temple in opposite directions. After much exposure I now understand it as – the elephant is in the balustrade, and the other elephant (in Sarangapani) and horse/s are pulling the chariot-temple.


The dhvajastambha – flagstaff, and the balipitham are outside the sanctum. 




The Temple Tank named Hema-Pushkarini separates Sarangapani Temple and Kumbeswara Temple.


Temple Paintings



Connection with Nathamuni

The Temple is associated with Nathamuni, one of the twelve Äÿvärs. He is said to have meticulously pieced together the scattered portions of the Näläyira-Divya-Prabandham (Vaishnava Legends) by invoking the blessings of Aaravamudhan, another name for Lord Sarangapani.




Näläyira-Divya-Prabandham has 4,000 Tamil verses of the Äÿvärs, the Vaiñëava Saints.

The twelve Alvärs are – i) Periyä* Äÿvär (600-900 CE), ii) Äëòaÿ* (600-900 CE), iii) Kulaçekhara Äÿvär (600-900 CE), iv) Tirumaliçai Äÿvär, v) Tiruppän Äÿvär, vi) Madhurakavi Äÿvär, vii) Tirumaìgai Äÿvär, viii) Nammäÿvär, ix) Bhudattäÿvär and x) Pey Äÿvär, xi) Näthamuni (824-924 CE), xii) Yamunä (918-1038 CE).

*Äëòaÿ was the foster daughter of Periyä Äÿvär (600-900 CE).

Of the 4,000 verses, the last 1,000 verses were written by Nammalvär known as Tiruvaimozhi. The ecstasy of the madhura-bhakti of the Gopis for Kåñëa that creates a divine intoxication is the rasa of Nammalvär's poetic compositions.


Contribution of various Dynasties to South Indian Temple Architecture
(4 of the Temples are World Heritage Sites)

The Pallavas of Kanchi
(Initiaters of Rock-cut Temples)
600-900 CE
Five Rathas,
Shore Temple

(World Heritage Site)

Kailasanath Temple

Chalukyas of Badami
(in west/north?Karnataka)
500-753 CE

Aihole(cradle of Indian Architecture), Pattadakal
(World Heritage Site)
Rashtrakutas of Manyakheta
750-983 CE
cave temples,
Monolithic rock-cut Temple
(World Heritage Site)
Of Kalyani
983-1195 CE
Lakkundi, Dambal, Gadag

Of Karnataka??
1100-1350 CE

Belur, Halebid
Somanathapura (proposed as World Heritage Site), Srngeri
Of Tanjavur
900-1150 CE
Brhadiswara Temple
(World Heritage Site)


(World Heritage Site)


(World Heritage Site)

Sarangapani sanctum

Of Hampi?
1350-1565 CE


Sarangapani Gopuram/s


Rajagopuram of

Of Madurai
(succeeded Vijayanagara)
1600-1750 CE
Sri Rangam

* Period is indicative since historians will not agree to one period.

Work in Progress