About The Mahābhārata Project
Created for the documentation of digital endeavours made for
"Yoga Consciousness in Mahabharata and Bhagavadgita : The Ethical Value
for Societal/Political Well-being", a project under the aegis of SPARC.
Tinges of orientalism still pervade the way we read Indological texts. The joyous moment of global celebration of Yoga as a form of physical fitness sets one to question this misrepresentation. Using this as a starting point for analysing the problematics, this research project strives ahead.
The unitive effort of the scholars rooted in the study of Mahābhārata and Bhagavadgītā consists of revisiting these texts with unadulterated minds and to project them in their traditional patterns as they were written to address and solve human problems.
The project intends to explicate dharma as a result of Yoga consciousness for political and societal wellbeing. Through episodic and ethical analysis within Mahābhārata and Bhagavadgita it hopes to emphasise the need to revisit the ancient India wisdom to revive the concepts of social responsibility and value embeddedness.
1. Build a new approach to Yoga that combines theoretical and practical perspectives.
2. Understand Yoga as neither a specialized school of philosophy nor a set of postures, but an overarching term for salvific practices and its embedding in social and political reality.
3. Re-appropriate texts of classical Hinduism, which have suffered from Orientalist approaches, to articulating the vision of Yoga consciousness.
4. Demonstrate how answers to question of ‘right action’ at societal and political levels can be explored through the conception of Yoga consciousness in Mahabharata and Bhagavadgita (smrti literature) that transcends sectarian and doctrinal boundaries to create a global system of thought and practice.
5. Explicate the universal, philanthropic, and humanitarian aspects of Hinduism as echoed in Vyasa’s message about dharma in Mahabharata and Bhagavadgita
Impact of the project and targeted beneficiaries :
This project aims to uncover novel ways to understand the Mahabharata and the Bhagavadgita from the perspective of Yoga. These texts were subjected to suspicion and misunderstanding for long—which originated in the Indological reception of Mahabharata as a heroic epic corrupted by power-hungry Brahmins which prevented a deeper understanding of the text’s social, political, ethical and soteriological potential. Both Mahabharata and Bhagavadgita are contemporary relevant and radically egalitarian. We expect to encourage the reception of these texts amongst youngsters to inspire a renaissance in Yoga Consciousness in Indian philosophy. The training workshops will benefit junior scholars and college teachers for novel learning while valuing and cultivating Yoga consciousness. This will be a step towards new appreciation of Indian Philosophy—its textual foundations, basic doctrines, conceptual sophistication and political and social importance. The project intends to transcend academic boundaries and bring forth the message of Yogaconsciousness to a larger audience.
Novelty and Scope of IP:
The Mahabharata and the Bhagavadgita are not thickly touched upon from the perspective of Yoga consciousness thus this project will focus on exposition of this less explored understanding of the texts. The intellectual discourse of today is confined to either colonial, post-colonial, modern, or post-modern leanings. The proposed project aims at viewing, understanding, and analyzing the Indian traditional texts through traditional methods without being influenced by western methodologies. The honest reading of the text as it is while maintaining loyalty towards its composition, style, and contents for deriving lessons for solving the problems of today's age is the novel element of this project.
The project is rooted in the Indic tradition and brings forth the global concerns in terms of life, leadership, polity and society while searching for answers through Yoga consciousness in Mahabharata and Bhagavadgita.