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Thu 25 Jan 2024
Sat 27 Jan 2024

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM (UTC+5.5)

IKS Meta-Retreat: Hinduism: The Hope Of Philosophy



Bilvam Foundation Retreat
Tiruvannamalai, Tamilnadu 606601 India


INDICA is pleased to organise a Meta-Retreat “Hinduism: The Hope of Philosophy” with Dr. Joydeep Bagchee as Acharya at Bilvam Foundation, Tiruvannamalai from 25th Jan to 27-Jan.

IKS Meta-Retreats are immersive intellectual explorations spanning 2-3 days, led by an Acharya in the ambience of a Gurukula and conducted with an attitude of Shraddha. Acharya, is the subject matter expert (SME), seeking to explore a specific topic, discipline, or domain along with a cohort. 9-12 participants who possess shradda and the right experience in the chosen theme form the cohort. This cohort then comes together with an upanishadic attitude of learning through immersion at a location that echoes the ambience of a Gurukula.

Hinduism has faced several challenges in the last 200 years – a combination of direct religious pressure, colonial domination and industrial dynamic. It has undergone several transformations both desirable and undesirable. These transformations are a combination of force applied and internal reformations, both organic and inorganic. That it was thriving itself may have invited significant religious and colonial pressure from outside to conquer. In this Retreat, Dr. Bagchee will present his visionary perspective.

In Dr. Bagchee’s words, “All nineteenth-century reformers agree in the diagnosis that Hinduism has failed and that, if Indian society is to be saved, Hinduism will have to be radically reformed. Thus began a massive project of transforming Indian society—away from the archaic pattern to a modern society. This analysis, however, is premised on the equation of a successful society with Western society or, rather, with the limited glimpse that colonisation afforded the colonised of Western society. Traded by Baptist missionaries into believing that the material and military advantages of European powers resulted from the superior moral consciousness of Christianity, Indian reformers concluded that the defeat of native polities was evidence of God acting in history. The logical consequence was to jettison Hindu “idolatry,” and to break the power of the Brahmin “priesthood” that kept Hindus in a condition of slavery. Today, of course, we can no longer share Hegel’s view that the philosophy of history is a theodicy, “a justification of the ways of God.” Neither can we share the Enlightenment’s faith in the inevitability of progress.

As two hundred years of environmental, societal, and human casualties rack up, we are learning to become sceptical of all utopias—whether Marxist or consumerist. In such a situation, the tragic, egalitarian, and conservative worldview of Hinduism may hold valuable lessons for us. Above all, I wish to revisit the question: exactly how and on what scale of values has Hinduism ‘failed’?”

The 2-Day program broadly has 8 sessions which were organised around the sustaining and thriving elements of Hinduism and the hope it brings to Philosophy – weaving together an immersive and transformative experience.

The Evenings shall be spent in informal conversations around the subject

INDICA is pleased to invite applications for the participant cohort. It will consist of specially curated 12 members consisting of academicians, scholars and scholar-activists deeply immersed in Hinduism studies from different stand-points and seeking to shape an aspect of our civilization in their own chosen domains. Please send us your bio at namaste@indica.org.in. A 300 word summary mentioning the subject, domain, or discipline you seek to explore along with the names of cohort participants they would like to invite should also be furnished.

Travel, logistics, and accommodation at the Retreat will be hosted and managed by INDICA.


Dr. Joydeep Bagchee

Core Doctoral Faculty at the Hindu University of America

Prof. Joydeep Bagchee is Prof. Adluri’s student and a Berlin-based researcher and intellectual historian. He has a PhD from the New School for Social Research, New York in Philosophy. He has studied Indian and Western philosophy and completed a PhD in German philosophy under Dr. Adluri’s guidance. He is a co-author of The Nay Science: A History of German Indology (OUP) and Philology and Criticism: A Guide to Mahābhārata Textual Criticism (Anthem). He has also co-edited the volume Argument and Design: The Unity of the Mahābhārata (Brill). Prof. Bagchee serves as core doctoral faculty at the Hindu University of America. Prof. Bagchee’s work may be downloaded here: https://independent.academia.edu/JoydeepBagchee