Turning away from the excesses of monotheism, more and more people are turning to ancient faiths which treasure openness and the environment. This is a very special episode from Iceland, on how it rediscovered its ancient faith which is now growing very fast. We speak to its chief priest Hilmar Hilmarsson.
Gabriella Burnel read Sanskrit, the language India’s most ancient Hindu philosophical texts, including its great epics, the Ramayan and the Mahabharat, at Oxford and has gone on to became one of the most loved Sanskrit singers in the world. But the knowledge of Sanskrit brought her more than just knowledge and fame - it brought her freedom and a sense of everyday bliss. It taught her how to live, and how to accept the reality of death. It gave her lessons in living that freed her from the anxiety of ambition and consumption. In this podcast, she talks about the universal lessons of Sanskrit.
Did the ancient world, Greek and Hindu, imagine robots and technology that are coming true today? Dr. Adrienne Mayor at Stanford University, a research scholar in classics, history and the philosophy of science, says yes. She has written a wonderful new book called Gods and Robots: Myths, Machines, and Ancient Dreams of Technology and spoke in this podcast about the nature of technology, whether human use and abuse of technology and whether artificial intelligence (AI) could ever develop the conscience for mercy, or even crack a dark joke.
Prof. Pankaj Jain at the University of North Texas is a renowned expert in philosophy and religion and especially in the philosophy of non-violence espoused by Jainism. In this episode he talks of how to eradicate every day acts of violence from our lives including the violence we commit on the environment and in our food habits.
Braja Sorensen is an Australian writer and poet. About 20 years ago, she moved to lived in the village of Mayapur in the eastern state of Bengal in India. Mayapur is the village which has been one of the most influential centres for the Vaishnavite tradition in Hinduism for more than 500 years. It is also the headquarters of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, more commonly known by the acronym ISKON. In this episode she talks about why she chose the spiritual life and what that decision has meant for her. (Editors note: There is a slight echo in a small portion of this conversation due to the shaky internet and voice connection from the village of Mayapur.)
Dr. Abdus Salam is Pakistan’s first Noble laureate, a scientist of global repute. But he was ostracised and denounced as a heretic in his homeland. This tragic story forms the backdrop of Pureland, a beautiful allegorical book by the New York-based author Zarrar Said. In this podcast Said talks about belief, fundamentalism and simplifying the idea of the divine.
The renowned Swiss teacher of meditation and scripture Acharya Vidyabhaskar talks about the enduring and eternal message of the Gita, the beloved book of sermon that has inspired people around the world including Mahatma Gandhi. What should we do about choice? How do we handle pain? What can we do about war? The Gita tries to answer all this and more.
Nirupama Menon Rao was the Indian Foreign Secretary and held some of the most important positions in Indian diplomacy around the world. She is now the innovative founder of the first South Asian Symphony Orchestra that aims to use music to bridge nations in a troubled region.
In this episode Prof. Lavanya Vemsani, Vice President of the Ohio Academy of History and Distinguished Professor of History at Shawnee State University, talks about the different approaches of feminism in the East and West and about India's magnificent, legendary feminists spanning many epics and thousands of years.
India and Pakistan, the two nuclear-armed neighbours in South Asia, are at war again. But something has changed over the last few years in India’s strategic doctrine. Historian and best-selling author Hindol Sengupta explains why the Shishupala Principle helps us understand this change.
Author Bridgitte Jackson-Buckley from Los Angeles talks about how financial failure made her homeless and devastated until she found ‘radical gratitude’ and god consciousness through meditation. She is the author of a lovely new book The Gift of Crisis: How I Used Meditation To Go From Financial Failure To A Life Of Purpose.
The Mahabharata is one of the world’s oldest and longest epics. At the heart of it is a dramatic and apocalyptic war, and a rousing philosophy of morality. In this podcast we talk about why this epic has never been studied, and why it should be studied, for its immense impact on strategic thought. (This podcast has a very slightly abrupt ending due to technical reasons but none of the content is missing or hampered in any way.)
Dr. Gautam Sen taught political economy and strategy for more than two decades at the London School of Economics. He has been an advisor to the government of India. He talks about his lifelong research interest - understanding how to make peace against the backdrop of the threat of nuclear warfare.
Trained in medicine at Cornell and Harvard, Dr. Bhaswati Bhattacharya turned to Ayurveda which changed her life. She went on to do a PhD in Ayurveda and talks about how the ancient system of medicine can change the way we look at health and how it taught her to be unafraid of cancer.