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India Discovery Center Seminar III – Classical Period (700BC-200BC)

Bijoy Misra

India Discovery Center is pleased to announce its third seminar in the series of “Let us Explore India’s Cultural History” on Saturday, October 28, at Bemis Hall, 3 Bedford Road, Lincoln.  The full day seminar will include presentations and discussion of research of various aspects of India’s cultural history during the period 700BC-200BC.  There will be guest lectures on Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism, the three principal religions that flourished during the period.  Presentations will include (i) Geography and People, (ii) Art and Culture, (iii) Language and Literature, (iv) Philosophy and Religion, (v) Science and Technology and (vi) Economy and Politics.  There will be a book and artifact display for the period.  All are invited.  

Registration is done through the IDC website http://www.indiadiscoverycenter.org.  The registration fee of $20 will cover the seminar handouts, lunch, snacks and tea.  Registration will be restricted to a hundred attendees.  Registration will close on October 20.  A late fee of $5 will be added if any seats remain after the cut-off date.

India’s cultural history is rich in the period 700BC-200BC, called the Classical Period in the world.  While both the Greek and Chinese civilizations had tremendous intellectual diversity during the period, the Indian developments have become almost unchanged foundation of India’s culture.  Fundamental inquiries on human life, conduct and mind made India the scholarly center of the world.  Human speech got analyzed and the grammar of the speech sounds were compiled as a mammoth treatise that has become a reference work in the world of linguistics.  Research of human health and well-being led to the discovery of herbs, nutrition and treatment plan in curing diseases.  Metaphysical thinking of communicating to the cosmic elements led to understand the capacity of human voice and its rendering potential of harmonic control.

While art and artisanship have been traditional values in India, the new discoveries led to a wholesome integration of human activity with the cosmic processes and nature.  Trends in music, dance and performing arts led to the development of a vast literature that has no parallel in the world.  The oral transmission and communication through performance eventually were converted to the scripts and documents got stored in massive libraries.  Buddhist monks are credited to copy and preserve documents in colder climate in northern latitudes.  Economists and policy makers came on the scene and formulated ways to maintain social order of art, literature and culture in a prosperous economy.  The state and the administration became the supporters and endorsers of the creative efforts. The society did elevate itself to a higher model of human living of mutual support and cooperation.

India was invaded during the period by the Greek prince Alexander, who failed to proceed to the heartland.  Intrusion of Persians and Greeks did create a hybrid form of art and architecture in the northwest areas.  Massive monuments were carved on the mountains.  The southern India flourished with maritime trade and developed an independent prosperous culture.  The native King Ashoka tried to integrate much of the area together to create the homogeneous Indian State.  Influenced by the principles of friendship and mutual respect, he could propagate India’s cultural ideas across the mountains and over the seas.

We will make efforts to summarize our observations and findings for the period.  We request all to visit our website and review the previous presentations on the Indus Civilization and the Vedic Period posted there.  We plan to continue our effort by hosting two seminars a year and getting a full view of the cultural history by 2020.  We welcome you to join us and participate in the exploration.  Please feel free to write any comments or feedback to idccomments@gmail.com for our attention.  

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