UK hosts first 'Bhagvad Gita' conference
London, Sept 25: A first-of-its-kind conference on the contemporary relevance of the 'Bhagvad Gita' was held here in the UK, during which Indian and British experts came together with an aim to seek answers to the "innumerable questions that exercise and confound all of us today."
"The conference aims to deal with the innumerable questions that exercise and confound all of us today, like how does the 'Bhagvad Gita' help us tap into our own unique transformational energy.
"It has been said that, of all the sacred texts of Hinduism, the 'Bhagvad Gita' is the most widely read and crucial one for the understanding of Eastern mysticism," said the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR), one of the organisers of the conference that concluded today.
The ICCR and the High Commission of India organised the conference in collaboration with the Department of the Study of Religions at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.
Experts and historians from India and Britain got together for the two-day sessions which included aspects such as 'Bhagvad Gita and Yoga', 'Impact of Bhagvad Gita on Modern Sanskrit Writings' and 'The Bhagvad Gita Timeless Values for Today.'
"This started with a small discussion and here we are today. I hope this will go some way in opening up prospects of a centre for the study of Hinduism at SOAS," said Peter Flugel, founder-chair of the Centre of Jaina Studies at SOAS.
"The reason the Gita has survived the test of time is that it is an intellectual text. It is an embodiment of Indian thought and world view. It has relevance for the contemporary world and needs to be analysed in this perspective," said Prof Kapil Kapoor, Chancellor of the Mahatma Gandhi International Hindi University, Wardha.
The initiative of bringing together the delegation for the London conference was led by Suryakanthi Tripathi, former Indian ambassador to Spain. "The 'Bhagvad Gita' offers limitless perspectives," she said.