‘Dhyāna’ is derived from the Sanskrit root ‘dhyāi’, which means to think of. In the Yogic parlance, the word means to concentrate on one point so as to know the truth behind it. The ethos of Dhyāna, therefore, is evenness and uniformity in vision. It can be expression, imagination, conception or a mere thought; all of them harping on the versatile yet concerted quest for knowledge. This path, however, is like taking small steps, which come to us as our environment, perception of the surroundings and constant interaction with our world.
We are a society dedicated to revising the concept of education, to focusing the mind into thought, and thought into awareness. Beyond the realm of textbook theory lies another world-the man made maze of gender, religion, race, class and caste worse than any God’s tangle of Time, Space and Physics –– this is the world we affect.
We realize that in a world where black and white are so much more than opposite ends of the Spectrum, where saffron and green can be potent means of destruction, there is no time left to be a silent participant. In our schizophrenic world, it is necessary to realize and exercise the rights of active citizenship.
Our aim is not to offer simple solutions to compare problems or to fix easy scapegoats to bear the brunt of ancient wrongs. Our attempt is to understand the psyche of a people, trapped in their geography, history and politics.
Thus we create a space where young minds can meet, where ideas can be expressed, where the clues are provided not on ‘what’ to think about, but on ‘how’ to think. At the bottom of all issues lies one basic strain –– the right to and the duty towards knowledge, knowledge of self and of our environment, knowledge that alone activates, that alone questions. That alone which questions is that which liberates; and that alone which liberates is that which fulfills
|Staff Advisors : Dr. RenuBahl, Ms. MeghaDhillon, Dr. Sangeetha K S, Ms. Shruti Chopra
On 6th February 2014, Dhyāna welcomed Ms.SumedhaOjha, a Geneva based author for a book reading and discussion session on her book, "URNABHIH - a Mauryan tale of power, seduction and espionage".It was an enthralling tale of Ancient India.
On 30th October, Dhyāna screened 'Hindu Nectar', recipient of the ' best documentary film award' at the FIJI International Film Festival 2014, by AkankshaDamini Joshi. It gave us an insight into the unfathomable depths of simple rituals, the concept of flux, joy and sorrow. An alumna of LSR, AkankshaDamini Joshi, an award winning filmmaker and photographer used film, sound, text and dance to share her experiences of the visible and inner worlds.
On 11th September, AkankshaDamini Joshi brought forth the first ever Dhyāna Dance.Combining the flavours of Sufism with those of Bhakti in her unique contemporary style, she led us into an experiential workshop on the fundamentals of the two traditions. Threading the Hoo (the sound for Sufis) with Om (the sound for Hindus), she led us into the ecstatic world of music and harmony.
Short Term Certificate Course With Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies (OCHS)
On 6th April 2015, we began the live taught sessions for the short-term certificate course, titled 'The Perennial Philosophy', conducted by the Oxford Centre for Hinduism Studies (OCHS) at the Aung San SuuKyi Centre for Peace Studies at the college. The society had been offered scholarships by the OCHS to participate in their Online Learning program in Hindu Studies.
The course, formally known as 'Introduction to Hinduism 1: History, Text, Philosophy' by the OCHS flew its professor out from London to Delhi, Prof. Anuradha Dooney, a Fellow of OCHS to deliver live sessions.
The sessions took place from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. on Saturday. The students and a few faculty members extensively participated in discussing the Hindu identity, its origins and history, and the religious domain sprouting from them.The course saw its end on the 13th April 2015 and transgressed the boundaries of religion and bigoted notions as students from different faiths came together to understand the umbrella term called ‘Hinduism’.
Lecture by Dr. Haragopal, on “Conflicts and Rights: Abduction Cases”
A guest lecture by Dr. Haragopal on “Conflicts and Rights: Abduction Cases” was delivered on August 27th, 2015 in a packed Upper Seminar Room at Lady Shri Ram College for Women. Prof. Haragopal is a human rights activist and an ICSSR National fellow at TISS, Hyderabad.
Following a warm welcome address by Dhyāna’s senior coordinator, Shivani Sharma, the guest speaker initiated his lecture session with an overview of how conflicts and rights fall within each other’s domain. Quoting Einstein, he emphasized that ‘understanding social theory is much more complex than studying physical sciences.’ He explained the advent of the massive revolution of Naxalism and associated agency of the government and media.
A brilliant raconteur, he narrated the story of a tribal man whom he had interviewed, in a village of Bihar. A feudal landlord had kidnapped the man’s wife. The man went from village to village, narrating his tale of woe, gathering a vast popular support. The ensuing mob killed the landlord and helped him win back his wife. Prof. Haragopal observed that oppression of the poor was widespread in vast areas of Indian hinterland and that violence results as consequence of retaliation by under-privileged, illiterate sections of society.
In addition to this, he further narrated two episodes of hostage taking situation, where he served as the interlocutor. It involved the abduction of Indian Administration Service officers in Sukma district of Chattisgarh and Malkangiri district of Orissa, by Maoists. As a statement on the nature of legal system in India, he mentioned that Maoists rebels had a constitutional right to fair trial under the very law they defy. His tactful and unbiased narrative was very well presented and the audience readily connected.
Prof. Haragopal concluded his hour-long address to a thundering applause by summarizing the ideas of conflict, peace and its relevance. A round of question and answer session followed the lecture. Mr. Sanjay Roy Chaudhary, Vice-Principal, Lady Shri Ram College for Women, extended his gratitude to Dr. Haragopal for his valuable insights. The guest lecture concluded with a vote of thanks by Tanya Budholiya, senior coordinator of Dhyāna society.
Thus the first guest talk by Dhyāna, which began with a discussion on democracy, dealt with a variety of topics like women empowerment, reservation, war and peace, all linked to the common thread of abduction, made a lasting impression on the students as they left the room with more liberal and thoughtful ideas of their own.
Two Day Workshop By Dhyāna
Day One (13th October)-“Mind matters: Layers of Personality”
What is life ? What is soul? Who are you? These are some of the questions that we often forget to ask ourselves in today’s fast paced lifestyle. To make our task of searching for the right answers less perplexing, Dhyāna-The Society for Consciousness and Awareness, organised a guest lecture by Mr. SantoshMore , a renowned figure of Indian philosophy and Yoga.
Mr. More, an engineer, is also a silver medallist from Karnataka State University, who attained his masters degree in Sanskrit and is presently pursuing his PhD in Indian Philosophy. He is known all around the globe for conducting workshops on stress management, personal conflict resolution and meditation.
The workshop by Dhyana that was organised on the 13th of October began with an opening prayer by the guest as well as the students. In the course of the workshop, important questions regarding experiences, actions and thoughts, were both asked and answered by the guest and many enthusiastic students. The idea of stress and anxiety, a working mind and the significance of a peaceful mind were some relevant topics that were discussed. The workshop ended with a thoughtful note, to be continued a day after.
Day Two (15th October)-“Time Machine: Age Boxes and Milestones”
The talk by Mr. Santosh More, took place on 15th October, in Room 29, during Special Assembly. Dr. Suman Sharma, Principal, Lady Shri Ram College for Women addressed the gathering following which Shivani Sharma, coordinator of Dhyāna, invited Mr. Santosh More to grace the stage.
The talk begun with a chant invoking Lord Ganesha. Mr. Santosh More talked about how the timeline of our lives is heavily dependent on societal expectations. He placed importance on living life to the fullest and never regretting one's actions. To know what one truly demands out of life can be achieved through the “CPE Mantra”-
Clear thinking and clarity of our goals,
lan of action for those goals and,
of the plan to achieve our goals.
He further questioned the need of humans to act and seek happiness. He was of the opinion that one places highest priority on freedom and feels threatened when one's personal space is encroached. He wrote down the five layers of personality (given below), which he believed were fundamental to every individual, viz., bliss, intellect, mind, vital air and food. The state of bliss can only be achieved when one loves what one does and does what one loves.
He further stated that freedom and discipline are intrinsically linked to each other and shouldn't be thought of as rival entities. He summed up the session by asking us to be disciplined and determined, to have a clear line of thinking and to be free of all societal pressures by having the courage to carve our own lives- distinct from the rest. As the riveting session was brought to an end by a chant, Mr. Santosh More was greeted by a thundering applause.