Bhubaneswar: 11th All India Students Conference on Science and Spiritual Quest (AISSQ) 2018 is organized by Bhaktivedanta Institute on October 6th and 7th 2018 at prestigious campus of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bhubaneswar. This two day conference was dedicated to the theme of “Mathematics and Reality”. Often, mathematical discoveries are taken for granted and their foundations are not explored thoroughly to delve deep into the associated linkages with philosophical, mystical and spiritual dimensions of the reality. It is well known that the founding fathers in mathematics, science, philosophy and spirituality have always regarded consciousness as an important subject or theme in the reality. Thus, the conference attempts to target three major themes namely (a) philosophical foundations of mathematics to gain deeper and profound understanding of the reality (b) mathematical exploration of consciousness and (c) mathematics and its foundational correlation with the theistic views of Vedanta and other theological disciplines.
The conference was inaugurated by Prof. Ganeshi Lal, Honourable Governor of Odisha, India as a chief guest along with other guest of honors Prof. Raja Kumar, Hon. Director, IIT Bhubaneshwar, Sri K Vasudev Rao, President Bhaktivedanta Institute, Kolkata, Dr. Edward N. Zalta, Stanford University, USA etc. Prof. Lal has remembered his time as a mathematician both as a student and as a teacher and encouraged the unique themes of the conference because such topics are not the part of conventional curriculum, however, have important implications and relevance in real life. His Excellency has discussed the importance of Bhagwat Gita in search of reality while addressing the gathering of intellectual minds that arrived not only from different parts of the country but also across the world. Shri K Vasudev Rao, President of Bhaktivedanta Institute, has read the message of Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, sent to the conference for the participants and delegates.
The 11th AISSQ deliberations have been delivered by distinguished speakers from world class Universities in USA, Europe and India including Dr. Edward N. Zalta (Stanford University, USA), Prof. Bhudev Sharma (Clark Atlanta University, USA), Prof. Lu Bergmans (Sorbonne Universite, France), Prof. Luigi Luisi (ETH Zurich, Switzerland), Dr. Christoph Benzmuller (University of Luxumbourg, USA), Dr. Teun Koetsier (VU-University, Amsterdam, Ms. Jordan Bergmans (Royal Academy of Music, London), Prof. Henk Barendret (Radbound University, Netherlands), Prof P.B. Sharma (Vice Chancellor, Amity University, Gurgaon), Prof. Manohar Lal (former faculty, IGNOU, New Delhi), Prof. V. Kannan (SRM University, Amaravati), Dr. Bhagawati Prasad Chamola (JIIT, Noida), Prof. Sudipto Ghosh (IIT Kharagpur), Dr. Debasish Khan (IIT(BHU), Varanasi), Prof. Sandeep Kumar (IIT(BHU), Varanasi) and Prof. Ramagopal Uppaluri (IIT Guwahati). The conference also hosts scintillating lectures by the experienced administrators and faculty members of Bhaktivedanta Institute, Kolkata namely Sri Varun Agarwal (Director, Bhaktivedanta Institute, Kolkata) and Sri Vasudeva Rao (President, Bhaktivedanta Institute, Kolkata).
Students, research scholars, faculty members from various academic and research institutions have participated in the mega academic event. These include delegates from IITs, IISc, NISER, IISER Kolkata, KIIT, Utkal University and other reputed organizations and institutions in and around Odisha.
To further enthuse the student community, the conference hosted two important sessions with greater participation from young scholars of India namely Quick Thoughts on Mathematics and Reality and a Workshop on Holistic Living and Practical Spirituality for Students. Experienced mentors from the Bhaktivedanta Institute and young research scholars adequately doing deep research in the field of mathematics and reality have hosted these sessions and deliberations. Finally, the conference also launched the short-term course on science and spirituality that was developed by the members of the Bhaktivedanta Institute. The short-term course promotes philosophical and spiritual foundations in the younger generation through a greater interaction and is a natural outcome of the continued successful organization of the AISSQ conference series.
Bhaktivedanta Institute, a non-profit organization that spearheads and catalyzes the need for philosophical and spiritual foundations in the younger generation through the confluence of science and spirituality is all set to host the Mathematics and Reality Conference as the 11th All India Students’ Conference on Science and Spiritual Quest (AISSQ) at the prestigious Indian Institute of Bhubaneshwar community centre from 06-07 Oct 2018. The AISSQ conference series is the brain child of the institute’s founding director Dr. T. D. Singh (His Holiness Bhaktisvarupa Damodara Swami), who had significant concern with respect to the holistic growth of the younger generation of the world. Dr. Singh opined that while scientific advances have contributed enormously towards enhancing their rational skills, they simultaneously favored negligence towards philosophical and spiritual foundations, which are the most essential for the holistic success of a student or a professional. Hence, there is an immediate need to supplement scientific rationalism with deeper insights of rationality itself to drive its coherence with philosophical and spiritual or Vedantic foundations of the reality. Launched by Dr. T. D. Singh himself in 2005 at Vrindavan, India, the AISSQ conferences were successfully held at various avenues of India including NITs (Trichy, Allahabad), IITs (Varanasi, Kharagpur), IISc (Bangalore) with an enriched academic treatise of subtle topics of the reality.