Conferences - 2004 II

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International Seminar on Integral Yoga Psychology

June 26 – 27, 2004

A Report of the Proceedings

The Pondicherry Psychology Association in collaboration with the Indian Academy of Applied Psychology organised an International seminar on Integral yoga Psychology on 26 and 27 June 2004 at Hotel Anandha Inn, Pondicherry. This seminar brought together scholars and practitioners from across the globe with a common aim to discuss the variety of issues related to the relevance and application of Eastern and Western psychological and spiritual approaches in meeting the challenges facing the humanity. Twenty-one psychologists and academicians from the USA, France, United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, and Italy, and 71 delegates from various parts of the country attended this seminar. The Inaugural Session on June 26th commenced with an invocation by the teachers of Achariya College of Education. Dr. Panch. Ramalingam, the Organizing Secretary of the seminar welcomed the dignitaries and delegates, and presented the scope of the conference. The main objectives of the conference were:

  • Discussion of various models of psychology with special reference to education
  • Discussion of various indigenous schools of thought in Integral psychology
  • Exploring important issues in making Eastern Integral approaches become a living force for the future
  • Developing practical strategies to facilitate teaching and learning of Indian Integral approaches in the West

Prof. A. Gnanam, Former Chairman of the National Assessment and Accreditation Council presided. Following the Indian tradition he lit the Kuttuvilakku (traditional lamp) to inaugurate the seminar and released the books "Psychological Approaches to Teacher Education" edited by Dr Panch. Ramalingam and "The Yoga of Religion" authored by Mr. William Stephan, Antioch University, USA. Mr. J. Arawindhan, Chairman, Achariya College of Education received the first copy of the book. In his inaugural address Prof Gnanam reminded that in an age when whole world is being "networked", there is also a need for networking and integration among the best of physical, spiritual and psychological world. He added, "If the traditional values can not withstand the test of time they have to be replaced." With rapid integration of world economy and increasing mobility of capital and knowledge, there is also a need for integration in other aspects including spiritual and psychological aspects of our being, he reasoned out.

Prof. Kittu Reddy of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry delivered the keynote address. While highlighting the salient aspects of the progression of Indian philosophical thought, he reminded that spirituality was not the monopoly of Indians, but "Indians have had the advantage of opening out to spirituality." Prof. K. V.Kaliappan, Convenor, Federation of Psychology Associations in India delivered special address. He stressed the need for replacing the old McCauley-ite model of education which is a remnant of colonialism, with a model that is rooted in Indian worldview. Mr.Roger Foord-evans of United Kingdom and Ms. Margo Borden of France felicitated.The Plenary Session I was held on the theme: Yoga Psychology – Dharma: The Bed Rock of Consciousness. Yogacharini Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani, Director, International Centre for Yoga Education and Research, Pondicherry and Dr. Anandha Balayogi Bhavanani, Chairman, Yoganjali Natyalayam, Pondicherry led a thought provoking demonstration-lecture session .

Scientific Session I - Eastern and Western Integral Approaches was Chaired by Prof.V.Suresh, Prof. and Head, Department of Psychology, DDE, Annamalai University and. Co-Chaired by Dr. V. Muthu, Chairman, King Nandhivarman College of Arts and Sciences, Thellar. Dr. D. Dutta Roy, Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, Dr. B. Muhkopadhyay, Prof and Head, Department of Educational Management, National Institute of Technical Teachers' Training and Research, Chennai, Ms. Margo Borden, Psychotherapist, Paris, France and Mr. William Stephan Brashear, Antioch University, USA presented their papers.After tea break, the Scientific Session II - Integral Approaches by Sri Aurobindo was chaired by Dr. Soumitra basu, Sri Aurobindo International Institute of Integral Health Studies, Kolkata and Shri K.V. Jayajhothi, Principal, Kendra Vidhyalaya, Pondicherry. Dr. P. Mourthy, Reader, School of International Studies, Pondicherry University, Ms. Sharvani Prasad, USA and Dr. Yogesh Mohan, JIPMER, Pondicherry presented.

The special session on Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam: Dialogue between Cilvilisations in an Age of Globalisation was Chaired by Dr. K.Srinivas, Reader, Department of Philosophy, Pondicherry University. Dr. Beloo Mehra, Associate Professor of Education, Antioch University, USA and Dr. K. Krishnamohan, Institute for Subjective Well-being, J and S Medical Foundation, London presented.On Sunday, 27th June 2004 at 10.00 am scientific session III on Integral Approaches in Education was chaired by Mrs. Sabrina Griefeo, Director, Gitanandha Yoga Centre, Milano, Italy and Prof. Mamota Das, Professor and Head, Department of Education, Annamalai University. Dr. P. Subramanian, Founder Chairman, Society for Integral Education, Dr. V .Aruna, Lecturer in Sociology, Pondicherry University, and Mr.S. Suresh presented their papers.

In continuation of the presentation made by Dr. Beloo Mehra, the workshop on Indian Integral Studies was held under the chairpersonship of Yogacharini Meenakshidevi Bhavanani and Dr. D. Dutta Roy, Kolkata. Based on the interest of the delegates six areas were identified and groups were formed to brainstorm what it would take to develop courses on these themes. Each group was led by an identified delegate:

  • Readings in Indian Philosophy – Dr. K.Srinivas
  • Integral Education – Dr. Panch. Ramalingam
  • Integral Health - Dr.Yogesh
  • Indian Psychology and Psychotherapy – Dr.Soumitra Basu
  • Spirituality - Dr. P. Subramanian

Each group presented the key points from the discussion and Yogacharini Meenakshidevi Bhavanani and Dr.D.Dutta Roy consolidated and highlighted the important issues related to the Indian Integral Studies.Valedictory session was held under the chairmanship of Rev. Fr.A. S. Antonisamy, Chairman, Centre for Universal Ethics, Pondicherry. Yogacharini Meenakshidevi Bhavanani released the souvenir of the seminar. Dr. A. M. Sekar, Principal, Achariya College of Education, Pondicherry received the first copy. Dr. Panch. Rmalingam, Organising Secretary presented the report of the seminar. Dr. Beloo Mehra delivered valedictory address. Dr. P. Subramanian presented the views of the participants and appreciated Dr. Panch. Ramalingam for making the necessary arrangements. Mr Abdul Majeed proposed a vote of thanks.

Immediately after lunch a trip was arranged to Auroville. Mr. Uli, acted as coordinator and made all the arrangements to visit the Auroville.

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