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This talk will try to get to the heart of Swami Vivekananda’s legacy and his relevance in the contemporary world. It will examine hitherto lesser-known aspects of Swamiji’s life and work, including his contributions to practical Vedanta, universal religion, science-spirituality and inter-religious dialogue, dharmic secularism, educational philosophy, poetry, and, above all, to the problem of Indian modernity.
Despite the abundance of literature available on him, Swami Vivekananda is still not understood adequately, remaining somewhat of an enigma. A fresh reading of the life and times of the Swami by someone who has studied him closely, Makarand R. Paranjape’s detailed, thought-provoking account will show that in Vivekananda’s visionary thoughts lay the seeds of the creation of a modern India.
Makarand R Paranjape
Makarand R. Paranjape is currently Director, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla. He was educated at Bishop Cotton Boys’ School, Bengaluru, St. Stephen’s College, Delhi, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he got his Masters and PhD in English. He has been Professor of English at Jawaharlal Nehru University for over twenty of his thirty-nine years as university teacher. He is the author of some twenty and editor of over two-dozen books, in addition to hundreds of academic papers and popular articles. His latest books include Swami Vivekananda: Hinduism and India’s Road to Modernity (HarperCollins 2020), New Perspectives in Indian Science and Civilization (Routledge 2020), Debating the ‘Post’ Condition in India (Routledge, 2018), and The Death and Afterlife of Mahatma Gandhi (Penguin Random House, 2015). Makarand is currently a columnist in Open Magazine, Mail Today and The Print.