Chinmaya International Foundation

in collaboration with

Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth

organizes a 5-Day Workshop on

Chinmaya International Foundation

in collaboration with

Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth

organizes a 5-Day Workshop on

Indian Knowledge Tradition Workshop Series - 5

Lessons from Mahābhārata for Modern Bhārat

Course Description

The Mahābhārata is an Ārṣa-Mahākāvya.The purpose of Ārṣa-kāvya is to nurture dharma,bravery, confidence, enthusiasm, and conviction for the truth among its readers which in turn leads to growth of character in the individual and society. The Mahābhārata, the grand undertaking of the master poet Veda Vyāsa, has influenced the culture of Bhārat through millennia.

One view is of the literary value of Mahābhārata,with its intricate plot, complex and archetypal characterization, fascinating interplay of the divine, semi-divine, demonic, and human, superheroic deeds, and dramatic visualization of magical weaponry. Others view it as providing a window into the life-style and culture of a bygone era. Some grant that it might contain certain knowledge aspects, but that knowledge was relevant and valid only for the ancient times.

What is disputed is whether the knowledge in the Mahabharata is relevant and applicable to the modern times.

In this workshop, the view that the knowledge is relevant and applicable in the modern timeswill be put to a thorough scrutiny and verification.From the encyclopedic coverage of knowledge in the Mahābhārata the workshop will focus on two aspects: Statecraft & Astronomy.

The workshop is aimed at students, researchers and professionals. It will provide a fresh outlook on modern challenges based on Indian cultural ethos. This course will serve as a refresher course for professionals, an idea generator for researchers and a holistic view for students. In India, with the current social scenario and the global challenges, all avenues for creative solutions should be explored.

Lessons from Mahābhārata for Modern Bhārat


This section will discuss aspects of governance, diplomacy, war, and peace

Mahābhārata is an epic of the great war among the Bhāratas, cousins in the Kuru Dynasty, drawing in all of the kingdoms of the Ārya-varta. Thus, the war aspect of this Ārṣa-kāvya is obvious. Yet, the statement ‘ahiṃsā paramo dharmaḥ’ i.e. non-violence as the highest ethic, occurs scores of times. How can a book of war repeatedly declare that non-violence is the best ethic? There are several of the eighteen parvas – devoted to the pain and sorrow resulting from war! Isn’t this all utterly confusing?

The relationship between violence and non-violence, war and peace, explored in the Mahābhārata, is quite deep, profound, consistent, and intricate.

Ideas of governance, policy, rule of law and justice with insights into original and refreshing concepts presented in the Mahābhārata will be explored, with implications for the current dilemmas and challenges.

The discussions on Statecraft would employ the extensive theoretical framework and case studies drawing on a close reading of the Mahābhārata.

Prof. Nagaraj Paturi, with his background of extensively teaching from the Mahabharata, will be conducting these intensive sessions over three days.

Lessons from Mahābhārata for Modern Bhārat


The focus will be on understanding astronomical data in the Mahābhārata with implications in Indian history and possibilities for future investigations

The Mahābhārata text contains enormous astronomical evidence. It contains evidence of star pairs and their unique movements, descriptions of planetary positions through multiple contexts, phases and positions of the moon, lunar and solar eclipses, lunar month and lunisolar calendars, and records of long-term corrections to the calendars. We will show how these can be decisively used to establish the chronology of Mahābhārata

The timing of Mahābhārata would be used as the sheet anchor to establish the chronology of ancient Indian civilization, corroborated with the astronomy & non-astronomy evidence from other ancient Indian narratives.

We will narrate, explore and discuss current and future applications of Indian astronomy

Prof. Nilesh Oak in his extremely engaging and interactive style will conduct the process of determining and deriving the meaning that utilizes the most modern techniques to investigate ancient science.

Lessons from Mahābhārata for Modern Bhārat

Course Outline

Astronomy (2 days) Nilesh Nilkanth Oak

Session 1 – Overview
  • Introductions of participants & instructor
  • Expectations of participants
  • How to extract best out of this course & ground rules
  • Principles of adult learning
Session 2 – Mahābhārata & Astronomy
  • The Mahābhārata text (Introduction – MSS, BORI, Gita Press, Southern)
  • Skeleton of the Mahābhārata text
  • Astronomy evidence (पृथक्करण/वर्गीकरण)
  • Classification of astronomy evidence (महत्वमापन / तारतम्य)
Session 3 – Precession of the Earth’s axis
  • The precession of the Earth’s axis – An astronomy phenomenon
  • Key to understand ‘mystery’ of astronomy observations of Mahābhārata
  • Why the testing of evidence in specific ‘अनुक्रम’matters?
Session 4 – Mahābhārata astronomy in 60 minutes
  • AV observation (celestial clock)
  • Bhīṣma-nirvāṇa observations (terrestrial clock)
  • Planetary observations (Triśankuvian dilemma)
Session 5 – Indian Luni-solar calendar (Who said there is no beauty in astronomy!)
  • The Earth, the Sun & the Moon
  • The ecliptic – reference orbit
  • The Nakshatras – Reference milestones
  • Phases of the moon, Tithi, Pakṣa, Lunar month
Session 6 – Indian Luni-solar calendar
  • Solstices, equinoxes & Solar year
  • Lunar year, solar year & Luni-solar year
  • Lunar months & their names
  • Effect of precession of Earth’s axis on seasons & lunar months
Session 7 – 18 days of the Mahābhārata war
  • The logic of scientific discovery
  • Proving/disproving vs corroboration/falsification
  • Truth-likeness score & Tennis match
  • Lunar pakṣa & lunar month of the Mahābhārata war
  • Seasons of the Mahābhārata War (Mahābhārata text descriptions)
Session 8 – What Mahābhārata astronomy teaches us, beyond astronomy!
  • Visual & poetic allegories (Saturn & Jupiter)
  • Transformation- meanings of words through time (Mars mystery)
  • New problems & solutions (Oblique & retrograde motions of planets)
  • Precision & accuracy in antiquity (Venus & Mercury evidence)
  • Why chronology matters? (5561 BCE)
Session 9 – Scientific theories & Growth of Knowledge
  • How to compare multiple claims?
  • 7 claims for the year of the Mahābhārata war (out of 130+)
  • ‘Factual historical search’ vs ‘Clash of perspectives’
  • Revolutionary theories, new predictions & new problems
Session 10 – Multidisciplinary evidence (5561 BCE)
  • River Sarasvati evidence
  • Relative chronology of Ṛgveda
  • Kings & sages (Mahābhārata, Rāmāyaṇa & Ṛgveda)
  • Flooding & destruction of Dwārka (where is original Dwārka?)
Session 11 – Astronomy in the Mahābhārata - Applications
  • How is old is Indian civilization? Why is this important to know?
  • Falsification of dogmatic, justificatory & fantastical perspectives
  • Prosperity (agriculture/monsoon/calendar/navigation)
  • Ayurveda (experimental)
Session 12 – Astronomy in the Mahābhārata - Applications
  • Calibration standards (Golden standards) – Modern astronomy
  • Empirical astrology
  • Insights for studying Dharma (nothing trivial, nothing esoteric)
  • Bringing it all together (12 sessions worth of Astronomy in the Mahābhārata)

Statecraft – (3 days) Dr. Nagaraj Paturi

  • Overview and Relevance of Mahābhārata
Governance and Policy
  • Upadeśa or Theory
    • Vidura Nīti
    • Nārada’s Upadeśa to Yudhiṣṭhira (Sabhā Parva)
    • Raj Dharma (Ṣānti Parva)
Case Studies and Models
  • Vasu (Ādi Parva)
  • Śakuntala-Duṣyanta
  • Women’s issues through Śakuntala and Draupadi (one-two sessions with spill-over into discussion session)
War and Peace
  • Is Mahābhārata an Epic of War? Or Peace?
  • Priorities in Statecraft in times of peace and in preparation of war
    • Ethics
    • Strategies
    • Alliances
    • Reconciliation
    • Negotiations and Diplomacy
    • Qualities of a Diplomat
Understanding and Reconciling “Ahiṃsā Paramo Dharma”
Contributions to Contemporary World Order

Lessons from Mahābhārata for Modern Bhārat

Eligibility and Credit

This workshop is open for all above 18 years of age.

For Professionals:

This would serve as career enhancement /  refresher /  continuing education Course

For Researchers:

In Indian Civilization, Chronology of Indian Civilization, Epic Culture, Governance and Administartion, Defense, Diplomacy, War and Peace, Indian Science of Astronomy

For Students:

Interested in Career in Indian Civil, Defense, or Foreign Service, History, Astronomy, Application of Indian Knowledge Traditions, Culture Studies, Journalism (print and media)

For ALL who wish for an access key to the ‘secret’ treasure trove of knowledge in the Mahabharata


Those who wish to take the course for credit should explicitly note their wish on the application form.

Institutional credit: The course, when satisfactorily completed, with full attendance, should count for two credits at mainstream college or university, since its faculty are derived from credited Universities In India and the USA combining research in traditional and modern fields with extensive teaching experience.

Its content will be richer than that of most two-credit college and university courses.

However, it would naturally be up to individual institutions of higher learning to decide whether credit should be granted and what it should be. Enrollees in need of credit are advised to present the course description to the appropriate authorities, preferably with copies of the course outline*, course content* and schedule, (to be distributed at the beginning of the course), and curriculum vitae* of the faculty

(*available at

Lessons from Mahābhārata for Modern Bhārat


To be updated shortly.....

Workshop on Lessons from Mahābhārata for Modern Bhārat

Workshop Financial Requirement**

Eligible for all above 18 years

Indian National Foreign National US$
Residential Non-Residential Residential Non-Residential
General 8500 4000 300 NA
Student 4000* 1500 120 NA

** Non-Refundable

satvic food and twin sharing accomodation provided

* Scholarship available on a case by case basis

Lessons from Mahābhārata for Modern Bhārat

Academic Faculty (Statecraft)

Prof. Nagaraj Paturi

(Professor and Institute Designer at MIT School of Vedic Science, Pune, Maharashtra; Founder-member of the Academic Team of Flame University and also a former Senior Professor of Cultural Studies at FLAME School of Liberal Education, and School of Communication, Pune; former visiting Prof. at University of Chicago and Prof at University of Hyderabad; Board of Studies Member Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth, Kerala.)

Nagaraj Paturi, has been teaching Mahābhārata to post-graduate students focusing on its immense value to contemporary society for close to three decades.

His training spans Science and Humanities: Indian Aesthetics, Literary Criticism, Linguistics, Culture Studies, and undergraduate study in Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry.

He has contributed in two new aspects of Vedic Science in his Teaching and Research career.

One: He established that the very purpose of Bhartrihari’s Vākyapadiyam was to provide the universal theory of language underlying Ashtādhyāyi and proposed that theory as Pāniniyan Linguistic Theory, breaking the belief held till then that theoretical foundations of Panini’s Ashtādhyāyi were not there/known.

Two: He created a new Vedic model of Myth-study (bringing out and combining Vedic Cultural Anthropology, Vedic psychoanalysis, Vedic philosophy and Vedic Aesthetics/Poetics).

He has been teaching Aesthetics/Poetics as applied to Classical Literature, Traditional Indian Grammar and Modern Linguistics to post-graduate level students, in parallel to his university career in cultural studies specializing in folk-classical (Vedic) interface through his fieldwork based research. He has been teaching courses in Cultural Studies related courses such as Qualitative Research, Ethnography, Semiotics, Cognitive Cultural Studies etc. to students of Design, Communication, Classical Dance, and Business Management.

He has been the co-convener of Veda Vijnana Vedika which is an organization dedicated to popularizing Vedic Sciences through symposiums and monthly Seminars. He has 35 research publications covering a vast field and over 50 paper presentations.

He has composed scores of creative writing works for Classical Dance, Modern Theater and magazines, besides consulting for numerous research projects in Culture Studies and innovation projects in theater and dance.

Lessons from Mahābhārata for Modern Bhārat

Academic Faculty (Astronomy)

Prof. Nilesh Nilkanth Oak is an author and writes extensively on ancient Indian history at

Prof. Nilesh worked in the corporate world for 20+ years in Energy, Aviation, Materials and Business Development. He was executive corporate trainer for 15+ years in Lean Six Sigma, Change Acceleration Process, Action Workouts and advanced courses in Material Characterization, Reliability, Statistical tolerancing, and Design of experiments.

He is currently working on 4 books and has authored two critically acclaimed books: When did the Mahābhārata War Happen? The Mystery of Arundhati in 2011, was nominated for the Lakatos award given annually by the London School of Economics. His second book The Historic Rama was written in 2014

He has presented his works in various forums including International Conference on Saraswati River held in Jan 2018.

Nilesh holds an MBA and an M.S. in Chemical Engineering and is also Adjunct Assistant Professor at School of Indic Studies, Institute of Advanced Sciences, Dartmouth, MA, USA. He resides in Atlanta, GA, USA.

Lessons from Mahābhārata for Modern Bhārat

About CIF

Chinmaya International Foundation (CIF), the Centre for Sanskrit Research and Indic Studies, is the research wing of the Chinmaya Mission worldwide. It is a centre of excellence for the study, research and dissemination of knowledge in the areas of Indian philosophy, culture, art and traditional knowledge system

Established in the year 1989, CIF is housed in Adi Sankara Nilayam, the maternal birth home of Śrī Ādi Śaṅkara, CIF stands amidst luxuriant greenery, temple shrines and lotus ponds. There is an ambience of peace combined with old-world charm, ideal for study, research and contemplation.

Visit to know more.

Lessons from Mahābhārata for Modern Bhārat

About CVV

Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth (CVV), a newly established university, aims to equip the students with the educational foundation in the field of Sanskrit and Indic Knowledge System with the opportunity to combine with modern subjects. The objective is of conserving, exploring, and sharing the contemporary relevance of Indic knowledge traditions. The Chinmaya Eswar Gurukula campus near Kochi, Kerala, is established for Sanskrit and Indic Wisdom Tradition and the Chinmaya Naada Bindu Gurukula campus near Pune, Maharashtra for the Indian Performing Arts.

Visit to know more details.

Lessons from Mahābhārata for Modern Bhārat

Enquiry / Contacts

Programme Executive : Dr. Arundhati Mehta Sundar +91-90619-72220

Programme Coordinator : Manisha Makhecha Bhagat +91-99951-13322

Academic Coordinator : Dr Sushree Sasmita Pati +91-94898-37309