National Seminar on
Indian Psychology: Theories and Models

Creating together a new approach to Psychology
based on Indian Philosophy and Yoga

26 -- 28 December 2007
Venue: SVYASA, Bangalore 

jointly organized by
Indian Council of Philosophical Research, New Delhi
Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana, Bangalore

Abstracts of papers presented


Since the ICPR sponsored in January 2000 the first Seminar in Pondicherry devoted entirely to the development of a new approach to Psychology based on Indian Psychology and Yoga, there has been an enormous increase in interest in this subject. There have been conferences and seminars devoted to various aspects of Indian Psychology in all corners of India. Over these years the awareness has grown that the Indian tradition, with its emphasis on consciousness as the primary reality, can provide psychological knowledge that is reliable, rich and meaningful. There is now in India a rapidly growing, dedicated group of psychologists, studying psychological theories and methods based on the rich intellectual, philosophical and spiritual tradition of India. The outcome is an increasing body of literature that highlights the contemporary relevance of Indian ideas, models and practices, not only for India, but for the world at large.

Objectives of the Conference
To strengthen the efforts

  • To develop an Indian approach to Psychology relevant for today’s world
  • To evolve a vision of human nature and its possibilities according to Indian Philosophy
  • To work out how this vision can contribute to the evolving global civilization
  • To develop applications of Indian psychology in the fields of health, psychotherapy, education, management, and social work
  • To develop research methodologies and educational practices in harmony with the Indian knowledge system.

To enlarge the field

  • Share efforts and explore new processes and techniques
  • Update colleagues on new theories and applications
  • Create an overview of available literature and ongoing research
  • Make this information reach universities colleges and other psychology-related institutions
  • Frame recommendations for curricula, teaching and research methods.


Conference themes and structure

The conference will have seven plenary and five concurrent sessions. The first plenary session will be devoted to the philosophical foundations of Indian psychology. The two closing sessions will include an open discussion on its future. The four plenary sessions in between will be devoted to various areas of psychology in which the Indian tradition can make a major contribution: Cognition and methodology; The individual and his/her development; Yoga, health and therapy; Education, organisational and social development. Each of these subject areas will be taken up during one plenary session and as many concurrent sessions as required.

Together, the plenary sessions should give a comprehensive overview of the whole field. The five concurrent sessions will be used for more specialised theoretical issues, research projects, practical applications, etc. They will be an hour and a half each, which can be used in many ways: for two long papers, for six short ones, for a panel discussion, an experiential session or whatever else seems appropriate. We will try to ensure that the same subject is dealt with within the same room throughout the five sessions, so that there will be one room for philosophy and studies based on specific Sanskrit texts, another for cognition and methodology, a third for yoga and health, a fourth for counselling and psychotherapy, and so on.

While the plenary sessions are visualised as an almost tutorial-like overview of Indian psychology as a whole, the concurrent sessions will enable participants to explore one of the specialised areas in more depth with colleagues having the same interest. We will leave plenty of time for discussion especially in the concurrent sessions.


Tentative timetable


The application of Indian philosophy and yoga to contemporary issues in psychology:
Suggested subjects for the concurrent sessions

  1. Foundations of Indian psychology
    • Philosophical foundations
    • The nature of consciousness
    • Presentations based on specific literary sources
    • Indian psychology and science
  2. Pathways to knowledge
    • Cognition, perception and memory in the Indian tradition
    • Research methodologies
    • Intelligence
    • Language
    • Emotions and aesthetic appreciation
  3. The Individual and his/her development
    • The structure of the personality
    • The centre of identity: ego, soul and Self
    • Child development; aging; ashramas
    • Human types; gunas and varnas
    • Values and motivation
  4. Health and healing
    • Hathayoga and health
    • Abnormal psychology in Ayurveda and other Indian knowledge systems
    • Scientific research on the effects of yoga
  5. Counselling and psychotherapy
    • The role of pain and suffering
    • Yoga and personal growth
    • Counselling and psychotherapy in the Indian tradition
    • Art and therapy
  6. Education
    • Indian theories and practices related to teaching / learning
    • Students: svabhava, svadharma and integral development
    • Teachers: the need for self-knowledge and self-development
    • Curriculum and evaluation
    • How to teach Indian Psychology
  7. Social issues
    • Yoga and yogic knowledge in society, past and present
    • Gender issues
    • Family, community and society
    • Indian models of socio-economic development
    • Organisational Psychology


Organising Committee

Programme Committee

H.R. Nagendra (President)

Anand Paranjpe (Chairman)

N.V.C. Swamy (Vice-President)

Thaiyar Srinivasan

Ramachandra G. Bhat (Vice-President)

Girishwar Misra

R. Nagarathna (Vice-President)

Ajit Dalal

R. Venkatram (Secretary)

Kiran Kumar

R. Ramachandra (Joint-Secretary)

Chaya M.S.

Sudhir Deshpande (Joint-Secretary)

Sangeetha Menon

Chaya M.S. (Organising Secretary)

Matthijs Cornelissen (Secretary)

Shanmugappa (Treasurer)

Some of the Speakers

Ramakrishna Rao

P. Ram Manohar

Anand Paranjpe

Matthijs Cornelissen

Shirley Telles

Sangeetha Menon

Sudhir Kakar

Bharati Baveja

Chaya M.S.

Ramesh Bijlani

Kiran Kumar

Vladimir Iatsenko

Suneet Varma

George Mathew

N.V. Raghuram

S.R. Bhatt

Neeltje Huppes

Bahman Shirazi

Ajit Dalal

Naveen V.

H.R. Nagendra

Satbhir Khalsa

A.N. Tripathi

N.V.C. Swamy


Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana,
“Prasanthi Kuteeram”
Jigani Industrial area,
Anekal Taluk,
Bangalore 562102

Prasanthi Kuteeram is about 33 Kms away from Bangalore. Spread over approximately hundred acres of land, the atmosphere is very tranquil. During December the temperatures may vary between 12-23°C. Light warm clothing is recommended. Transport to and from the Airport and the Bangalore City Railway Station can be arranged on request.


More than 120 papers were presented at the conference.
The abstracts are available, sorted on the name of the presenting author.

Fees, Registration & Information

Fees before September 30: Rs. 900
Fees after September 30: Rs. 1350
Students 50% reduction

Last day for submission of abstracts: September 30.
Last day for submission of papers: November 15.

Email for registration, accommodation, etc.:
Email for presentation proposals, abstracts and papers: