Exploring Indian Knowledge Systems: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Applications
The University Grants Commission (UGC) is training over 1,000 university teachers to teach Indian Knowledge Systems (IKS) at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
The six-day training is divided into four parts, focusing on 'parampara' (tradition), 'drishti' (perspective), and 'loukik prayojan' (modern relevance).
It begins with an overview of ancient Vedic texts and covers philosophical foundations like Darshana Shastra.
The training also includes vocabulary lessons on terms like 'karma' and 'dharma.' The final part equips teachers with innovative pedagogical methods, such as 'Tantra Yukti,' for teaching IKS effectively.
Indian Knowledge Systems (IKS):
Indian Knowledge Systems encompass a wide array of intellectual traditions and wisdom that originated in India. Rooted in ancient texts like the Vedas,
Upanishads, and other classical literature, IKS covers various disciplines including philosophy, mathematics, medicine, and the arts.
Philosophical foundations like Darshana Shastra provide a comprehensive understanding of life, ethics, and the universe.
Concepts like 'karma' (action and consequence) and 'dharma' (righteousness) are integral to understanding human behavior and morality in IKS.
In medicine, Ayurveda offers holistic approaches to well-being and has been practiced for thousands of years. In mathematics, ancient Indian scholars like Aryabhata and Brahmagupta made significant contributions that are foundational to modern mathematics.
The arts, including classical dance and music forms, have rich traditions and techniques that are part of IKS..
Moreover, IKS is not just a relic of the past; it has 'loukik prayojan' or modern relevance. For instance, the principles of Ayurveda are increasingly being integrated into modern healthcare.
Similarly, ancient Indian environmental practices offer sustainable solutions to contemporary challenges..
The aim of integrating IKS into mainstream education is to preserve this rich heritage and make it accessible to the younger generation, thereby fostering a deeper understanding of India's contributions to various fields of knowledge.
Indian Knowledge Systems (IKS):
Zero and Decimal System: Ancient Indian mathematicians introduced the concept of zero and the decimal system. Aryabhata's work in the 5th century is a testament to this..
Algebra and Geometry: Brahmagupta in the 7th century laid down rules that applied to zero and negative numbers in algebra. Bhaskaracharya's "Lilavati" covers several theorems in geometry.
Ayurveda: One of the oldest systems of medicine, it uses herbs and natural substances for treatment. Modern research often turns to Ayurvedic texts for drug discovery..
Surgery: Sushruta, known as the father of surgery, performed complex surgeries. His techniques are studied even today.
Earth's Rotation: Aryabhata was among the early astronomers to suggest that the earth rotates on its axis..
Calendar: The luni-solar calendar, which is widely followed in India for traditional purposes, is based on astronomical calculations.
Iron Pillar: The rust-resistant Iron Pillar of Delhi, dating back to 402 CE, is an example of advanced metallurgy..
Zinc Extraction: The ancient method of distilling Zinc was developed in India.
Panini's Grammar: The "Ashtadhyayi" by Panini is one of the most comprehensive and scientific works in the field of linguistics.
Agroforestry: Ancient texts like "Krishi-Parashara" offer insights into early sustainable farming practices..
Water Conservation: Traditional methods like stepwells and tanks were used for water conservation.
Yoga: Beyond the physical postures, Yoga involves a deep understanding of the mind and consciousness, now backed by psychological studies.
Arthashastra: Written by Chanakya, this ancient treatise offers principles of economics, politics, and military strategy, some of which are studied in modern management courses.
These empirical aspects of IKS have not only historical significance but also modern applicability, and they often intersect with contemporary scientific research and practices.