Chakra Announcements

All India Students' Essay Competition

by Bhaktivedanta Institute, Kolkata

Posted September 28, 2006

Topic: India Should Focus on A Balanced Growth of Scientific Temper and Spiritual Wisdom

In Srimad Bhagavad-Gita 7.2, Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna says:

jnanam te 'ham sa-vijnanam idam vaksyamy asesatah
yaj jnatva neha bhuyo 'nyaj jnatavyam avasisyate

Translation: "I shall now declare unto you in full this knowledge both phenomenal and noumenal, by knowing which there shall remain nothing further to be known"

Since ages the scholars in India as well as abroad have been inspired by the knowledge available in the revealed scriptures like Vedanta. The knowledge according to Vedanta is of two types: apara-vidya (scientific knowlegde obtained through sense perception) and para-vidya (scientific knowledge beyond sense perception). Vedantic scholars have accepted the importance of both types of knowledge and indicated that the sincere seeker of scientific knowledge must come to a stage where he will be able to appreciate the knowledge available beyond sense perception, which is known as para-vidya. The self-realized saints are perfect in utilizing this para-vidya and have also gifted that knowledge in the form of scriptures. Many sincere seekers, both from India and abroad, like the great Indian mathematician Srinivas Ramanujan, and western scientists like Erwin Schroedinger, Oppenheimer, Albert Einstein and many others have discovered profound and thought provoking insights from the study of ancient thoughts contained in Vedanta. Oppenheimer exclaimed from the Bhagavad-gita, after the explosion of the atom bomb, "Time I am, the great destroyer." Albert Einstein says, "Science without religion is blind and religion without science is lame." Similarly the great Indian mathematician Srinivas Ramanujan exclaimed, "An equation for me has no meaning, unless it represents a thought of God."

The Founder Acharya of the Bhaktivedanta Institute, the great saint and scholar of the 20th century India in the Vedantic tradition Srila AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who was a great visionary, felt a great need for uniting precious scientific knowledge of modern age with the ancient knowledge and wisdom contained in the form of the essence of Vedas, called Vedanta, which includes Upanisads, Srimad Bhagavad-Gita, Vedanta-Sutra and Srimad Bhagavatam. He said, "When the scientist, philosopher, and medical man will get the opportunity to study systematically what is God, what are His energies, what is my relationship, how to approach Him, then only there will be paradise." Continuing in the spirit of vision given by Srila AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the Bhaktivedanta Institute has been actively engaged in the study of science and vedanta. India is a country respected for the treasure of its spiritual knowledge and heritage. This essay competition by the Bhaktivedanta Institute is a humble attempt to scientifically explore the priceless treasurehouse of both scientific and spiritual wisdom. All India essay competition is an open invitation to all students to contribute their thoughts on the topic, "India should focus on a balanced growth between Scientific temper and Spiritual wisdom."

No participation fee for the essay competition

Benefits for Participants:

i) Can get 15% discount on purchase of Bhaktivedanta Institute publications.

ii) Will get an article on Vedanta and science written by Dr. T.D. Singh, International Director, Bhaktivedanta Institute through email.

iii) Will get the free subscription for Bhaktivedanta Institute's e-Magazine.

Award for the Best Essay:

i) The Essay will be published in Tattva-Jijnasa, the annual student's magazine of the Bhaktivedanta Institute (subjected to changes suggested by the Editorial Board).

ii) Will get the opportunity to present the essay in up coming conference AISSQ-2006 at Puri (December 9-10, 2006).

iii) Prizes (Gold Medal, publications of Bhaktivedanta Institute and Cash Prize).

Essay should be submitted on or before

November 1 st , 2006

Results will be announced on 10th November. Winner will be informed through e-mail and by post.

Instructions for Participants:

  1. Graphs, Tables, Pictures and Schematic Sketches may be included. References must be cited.

  2. Submission Procedure: Can be submitted online (in MS Word Format) to the following e-mail address:

Essays can also be sent by post to the following address:

RC/8, Raghunathpur,
Manasi Manjil Building,
Fourth Floor, VIP Road, Kolkata - 700 059, India

Organized by
Bhaktivedanta Institute, Kolkata

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