Teaching Indian Psychology
a collaborative workshop

Indian Psychology Institute
17-22 March, 2011

NB. A short report on this programme is available as a blog on the IP blogs page.
       For further information, see our special web-page on Teaching Indian Psychology.



The Indian tradition is exceedingly rich in psychological insight and know-how. It is based, however, on a different ethos and on different methods of enquiry than those of other fields of modern science. An important aspect of this is, that modern psychology is almost entirely third-person, while atmavidya is intrinsically first-person. As a result it looses its meaning and much of its value when we try to teach it like any other subject. In other words, if we want to incorporate Indian perspectives on psychology into academics, we have to find new ways of teaching and new methods of research and development.

In this collaborative workshop we'll focus together on methods of "teaching" Indian psychology.


We envisage this workshop as a small, collaborative venture, in which the participants either have been teaching Indian psychology already, or intend to do so in the near future. There will be six resource persons -- Girishwar Misra, Ajit Dalal, Kiran Kumar Salagame, Suneet Varma, Neeltje Huppes and Matthijs Cornelissen -- who will be present throughout the workshop. We are inviting, besides, a few other scholars who will come for one or two sessions in which they will take up some issue of special interest.

We will begin each day with a short introduction to one significant aspect of Indian psychology. Typical issues we may take up in this manner are, for example, Indian concepts of self and personality, methods of knowing, views of motivation and the aim of life, emotions (rasa & bhava), the role of suffering, stages of development, methods of inner change, the application of Indian psychology in education, therapy, OB/HRD, etc. Obviously, it will not be possible to cover the entire domain of Indian psychology in these few days, but we hope that these introductions will still give us a direct feel of the incredible beauty and richness of the material at our disposal. At the same time they should also bring to light the unique difficulties that are bound to come up when we try to introduce the treasures of the Indian tradition within the framework of contemporary psychology.

In our subsequent discussions, we will focus on the following major issues:
basic philosophy, objectives and orientation; methods of teaching/learning; syllabus and resources; research and evaluation; challenges and possibilities.

All participants will be asked to take up an individual project of their choice during the course, and present their findings at the end.


The workshop will be held from March 17 (Thursday) to March 22 (Tuesday), 2011.
As the worskhop starts on 17th at 9am sharp, participants are requested to arrive in Puducherry by the preceding evening, i.e. on March 16th. Return bookings can be made for 22nd late evening or, more conveniently, for 23rd morning. (Travel between Puducherry and Chennai takes about 4 hrs.)


The workshop sessions will be in one of the most beautiful buildings of Auroville, Savitri Bhavan.
Accommodation will be arranged at Puducherry in Sri Aurobindo Ashram's Park Guesthouse.


We suggest a minimum contribution of Rs. 4000/-. This will include meals etc. during the workshop, and dormitory style lodging in double or triple rooms from the afternoon of March 16th to the morning of 23d. As this amount does not include any charges for the (amazingly beautiful) venue, and only part of IPI's expenditure for this event, we humbly request those who can afford, to make an additonal donation during or after the seminar.

If informed well in advance, we can assist with the booking of alternative accommodation in single, AC, and/or sea-facing rooms. The charges for such accommodation should be paid directly to the guesthouse at arrival.


Please email the following information as early as possible,
and not later than January 25, 2011, to: tip2011@ipi.org.in

  1. A 300 word “biographical note”
    Focus here on the work you have already done in the fields of psychology, Indian philosophy and yoga.
  2. A 300 word “motivation note”
    Focus here on why you are interested in this course, what you expect from it, and how you plan to use what you will learn after completing this course.
  3. Factual information
    • Name:
    • Gender:
    • Year of birth:
    • Educational qualifications:
    • Present position & place of work:
    • Preferred Postal Address:
    • Email address(es):
    • Telephone / Mobile:

NB. A short report on this programme is available as a blog on the IP blogs page.
       For further information, see our special web-page on Teaching Indian Psychology.