WMU News

Expert on Hindu thought to discuss self-exploration

Sept. 30, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- Indian philosopher Dr. Sangeetha Menon will discuss the concept of consciousness in Hindu thought when she gives a presentation at Western Michigan University Monday, Oct. 7.

Menon will discuss "Self Exploration and Consciousness in Classic Hindu Thought" beginning at 7 p.m. in Room 2302 of Sangren Hall. Her talk, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by WMU's Department of Comparative Religion.

An acclaimed expert on Hindu philosophy, Menon will examine a cross-section of Indian thinking on the concept of consciousness, including the importance of self-exploration. She will draw from three Hindu texts: "Tarka-samgraha," the classical text of epistemology that illuminates Indian ways of thinking; "Natya-sastra," the classical text of dramaturgy, or performance, which explains Indian ways of acting; and "Narada-bhakti Sutras," the classical text of devotion, which gives insight into Indian ways of experiencing the world.

For the past six years, Menon has been an associate fellow of the National Institute of Advanced Studies at the Indian Institute of Science. Her philosophical approach is grounded in the ancient tradition known as Vedanta, but she also draws on a variety of interests and experiences including classical Indian dance, theatre, painting, poetry, photography and Web design. "Dialogues: Philosopher Meets the Seer," Menon's book co-written with her spiritual guru and frequent West Michigan visitor Swami Bodhananda Sarasvati, is set to be published later this year.

Menon has won a number of awards for her academic work and for her studies on classic Hindu treatments of consciousness. She earned her doctoral degree at India's Kerala University, where the title of her dissertation was "The Concept of Consciousness in the Bhagavad Gita--A Study." Her work on a variety of topics has been published in philosophy journals around the world.

For more information about Menon's visit, contact Dr. Nancy Falk at (269) 387-4393.

Media contact: Jessica English, 269 387-8400, jessica.english@wmich.edu

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