Guest Lecture on Dharmic Ecology for Mother Earth


To make learning extend outside classroom for the students, another guest lecture was organized on 23 July 2018 by the Department of English, The IIS University, Jaipur for the students of UG (Pass/ Hons), MA and Ph.D. Prof. Pankaj Jain, Associate Professor at the Department of Philosophy and Religion, University of North Texas was invited for the same to talk about ‘Dharma and Ecology for Mother Earth’.The formal welcome with flowers and a token of gratitude followed the brief introduction to the guest. Prof. Jain then began his talk with a self-introduction to share how an IT based software engineer got allured by the charms of philosophy, religion and literature and pledged to never let any foreigner introduce something unknown to him about India. He continued with a quick critique of Lance Nelson’s reading of Vedanta and Gita. The discussion moved ahead to enlighten the students about the ‘world-denying’ philosopher named Shankara, the founder of Advaita Vedanta and Ascetic Order who wrote great commentaries on ancient texts such a Brahmasutra, Gitaetc. Prof. Pankaj informed the students about the traditional as well as the academic versions of studying his works.The description of the various ecological movements that have taken place under a few great Dharmic leaders was the next to enlighten the students about the principles followed by the Bishnois (Rajasthan), Athavale (Swadhyaya) and Bahugunas (Chipko movement).The lecture was opened for queries and observations after his concluding words on the equations of Ecology with Hindu and Jain Dharma. After addressing all the queries of the students related to Ecology, Balance of Nature, Dharma and Karma, difference between needs and wants etc., Prof. Jain suggested the students to read about Amrita Devi, the first environmental martyr hugger, and the Amrita Devi Award Winning book The People who Hugged the Trees adapted by Deborah Lee Rose.
The lecture ended with a formal vote of thanks and appreciation by Dr. Rimika Singhvi.