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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Culture is the sum total of ways of living

From our Correspondent
KARIMGANJ, Feb 16: The Pramesh Chandra Bhattacharyya Memorial Lecture 2009-10 was delivered by Prof Sarat Chandra Panigrahi of Department of Philosophy, Utkal University (Bhubaneswar), on Monday at Karimganj College. 

He spoke on the “values in Indian culture.” Culture, he said, is the sum total of the way of living built up by groups of human beings and transmitted from one generation to another. 

Culture is integrally related to values, Prof Panigrahi said adding that the theory of purusarthas is one of the central classical theories of human values or philosophy of life. Dharma one of the four purusarthas, does not mean religion, he said. “Dharma also does not stand for tradition, custom and ritual. Tradition, custom and ritual vary from person to person and from place to place and Dharma stands for those regulative and constitutive principles which are eternal in nature,” he added. 

Prof Panigrahi said the philosophy of Gita is the major source of values in Indian culture. The Bhagavad Gita has been viewed as a canonical text, a philosophical treatise, a handbook of ethics and a piece of philosophical poetry. The message of the Gita, he said, is the core of all religions system and philosophies.

Prof Panigrahi also said the global scenario today is one of utter decadence in all spheres of human existence. Humanity is passing through a transition when the age-old values are crumbling alongwith them the social, political and religions institutions which thrive on them and philosophy is not an exception. “Humanity, today embraces faulty paradigm of ‘progress’ where man is constructed as predominantly biological and psychic being. As a result there is proliferation of knowledge and know-how which can help man to improve his physical lot,” he said. 

He further added, in the contemporary perspective, it is not difficult to see the necessity of nurturing values that will create a good man and an ideal society. The function was presided over by advocate Abdul Basit Choudhury, the president of the Governing Body, Karimganj College. THE SENTINEL

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