The conference papers make up a presentation of Vedic and Upanishadic ideas of understanding and ahimsa to address some of the most urgent global problems in today’s world. The scholarly articles elaborate on principles of ahimsa as practised by the Buddhist and Jain traditions and by the Indian leader, Mahatma Gandhi. Scholars from India and other parts of Asia as well as the West here explore the scientific and systematic nature of life of the Vedic people. They examine aspects relating to linguistics, the Indian epic literature, and advaita, and study many individual topics like states of consciousness in Indian philosophy and concept of time in Indian heritage. They delve into the meaning and message of the Upaniùads as extremely relevant to us in the present century. A study examines festivals to determine the correlation between annual festivals and natural factors and conducts a scientific analysis that establishes a relation between lunar phases and human physiology, and more generally the relation between calendar and culture.
The thought-provoking papers present insights into the vision of Dharmic traditions for nourishing mutual appreciation and respect among religious traditions. They also reveal the abuses and distortions that the tradition has suffered from within over the ages. They call for a scientific analysis of human traditions so that their time-tested values can prove relevant to the present day.