The Contributors – Foundations of Indian Psychology, Volume 1

The Contributors

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Priya Ananda

Priya Ananda's research interests are in transformational psychology and comparative religion. An engineer by background, she has been exploring various philosophies and practice systems for many years. Five years back she came across Tibetan Buddhism which changed her perspective dramatically. Thereafter she left her career in technology to delve deep into philosophical studies and spiritual practice. She has studied with eminent Tibetan Buddhist masters like HH Penor Rinpoche, Khenchen Tsewang Gyatso, Khenchen Namdrol and Khenchen Pema Sherab. She is involved in running Thubten Lekshey Ling, a Buddhist Meditation and Study Centre in Bangalore.

S. R. Bhatt

Professor S. R. Bhatt is an eminent philosopher and Sanskritist, internationally known as an authority on ancient Indian culture, Buddhism, Jainism and Vedanta. He was General President of the Indian Philosophical Congress and Akhil Bharatiya Darshan Parishad (All India Philosophy Association) and retired as Professor and Head, Department of Philosophy, University of Delhi. His research areas include Indian philosophy, logic, epistemology, ethics, value-theory, philosophy of education, philosophy of religion, comparative religion, social and political thought etc. He is a Regional Coordinator of the Council for Research in Values and Philosophy, Washington DC, USA, which has brought out more than 170 volumes on world cultures and civilizations. Prof. Bhatt has organized more than 50 national and international conferences, seminars and workshops. He has authored and edited 19 books and has more than 120 published research papers to his credit. Some of his most important publications are: Studies in Ramanuja Vedanta; Knowledge, Values and Education; Buddhist Epistemology; The Concepts of Atman and Paramatman in Indian Thought; Vedic Wisdom, Cultural Inheritance and Contemporary Life; Buddhist Thought and Culture in India and Japan (Ed).

William Braud

William Braud earned his Ph.D. in experimental psychology at the University of Iowa in 1967. At the University of Houston, he taught and conducted research in learning, memory, motivation, psychophysiology, and the biochemistry of memory. At the Mind Science Foundation (San Antonio, TX), he directed research in parapsychology; health and well-being influences of relaxation, imagery, positive emotions, and intention; and psychoneuroimmunology. Currently, he is Professor and Dissertation Director, Global Programs, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (Palo Alto, CA), where he directs doctoral dissertation research, and continues research, teaching and writing in areas of exceptional human experiences, consciousness studies, transpersonal studies, spirituality and expanded research methods.

R. M. Matthijs Cornelissen

R. M. Matthijs Cornelissen teaches Integral Psychology at the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education in Pondicherry. He is a Dutch physician who settled in India in 1976. From 1977 to 1992 he worked in the Delhi Branch of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, where he co-founded Mirambika, a research centre for integral education. In 1992 he moved to the main Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry. Presently he is involved in a variety of projects concerned with the development of a new approach to psychology based on the Indian tradition. To this end he founded the Sri Aurobindo Centre for Consciousness Studies in 2001, and the Indian Psychology Institute in 2006. He edited two earlier volumes on Indian Psychology, Consciousness and Its Transformation (2001), and Indian Psychology, Consciousness and Yoga (2004), the latter together with the then Chairman of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research, Kireet Joshi.

Brant Cortright

Brant Cortright, Ph.D. is a Professor of Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies, where he has been teaching for over 25 years. He is the author of Integral Psychology: Yoga, Growth, and Opening the Heart (2007, SUNY Press). He is a licensed psychologist with a private practice in San Francisco. He has also written Psychotherapy and Spirit: Theory and Practice in Transpersonal Psychology (SUNY Press).

Ajit K. Dalal

Ajit K. Dalal is Professor of Psychology at the University of Allahabad. He has obtained his doctoral degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, and has published in the areas of causal attribution, health beliefs and indigenous psychology. He received the Fulbright Senior Fellow and worked at the University of California, Los Angeles, and at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is also a recipient of the UGC Career Award, Rockefeller Foundation Award and ICSSR Senior Fellowship. He was a visiting faculty at many places, including Queen's University, Canada, National Institute of Health and Family Welfare, New Delhi, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and Calcutta University, Kolkata. His books include Attribution Theory and Research, New Directions in Indian Psychology (vol. 1), Social Dimensions of Health and Handbook of Indian Psychology. Presently, he is editor of the journal Psychology and Developing Societies published by Sage.

Sunil D. Gaur

Sunil D. Gaur, Ph.D. passed away before Foundations of Indian Psychology could be brought out. At the time of writing his chapter, he was a Reader in Psychology at Zakir Husain College (University of Delhi), Delhi. Earlier he had been awarded a short-term fellowship at the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Simla, to carry out research in the area of ‘Self and Identity’, which remained his main domain of research interest. He has completed two projects sponsored by NCERT and a major UGC project on ‘Implications of Identity for Wellbeing’. A volume on Human Values in the Mahabharata is in press.

Vladimir Iatsenko

Vladimir Iatsenko, a Sanskrit scholar in Auroville since 1993, is working as a researcher at Savitri Bhavan and at the University of Human Unity, Auroville. He has graduated in Sanskrit and General Linguistics from St. Petersburg University, Russia and studied Panini Ashtadhyayi in Puna University in 1991–1992. He is a life-member of BORI in Pune, and a teacher and facilitator of on-line courses at ICIS in Delhi, IPI and SACAR in Pondicherry.

R. L. Kashyap

Professor R. L. Kashyap, the Director of SAKS Institute, Bangalore, is the author of over thirty books in English on the psychological wisdom in the Vedas, including Why Read Rig Veda. His books have been translated into six Indian languages. The Vedānga Vidvān award was given by the Government of India for his three volume translation of the Krishna Yajur Veda Taittiriya Samhita. He is also Professor Emeritus of engineering at Purdue, where he has authored 350 papers, guided 50 doctoral students and received several international awards, including the K. S. Fu Medal.

Girishwar Misra

Girishwar Misra, Ph.D. is currently Professor and former Head, Psychology Department & Dean Faculty of Arts, University of Delhi. He has been a Fulbright Fellow at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. During his academic career spanning over three decades, he has previously taught at the Universities of Bhopal, Allahabad and Gorakhpur. The Government of Madhya Pradesh has conferred upon him the Radhakrishnan and Doctor Hari Singh Gaur awards. He is also a recipient of Govind Ballabh Pant Award for his work on Juvenile delinquents and by National Human Rights Commission on his writing on children's rights. His research interests include poverty, self-processes, well-being, pro-social behaviour, and qualitative methods. He has supervised 22 doctoral students and undertook research projects on various aspects of human development and well being. His publications include over 100 research papers in international and national journals including American Psychologist, International Journal of Psychology, International Journal of Behavioural Development, International Journal of Intercultural Relations. He has authored or edited 14 books including Psychological consequences of prolonged deprivation, Applied social psychology in India, Perspectives on indigenous psychology, Psychological perspectives on stress and health, Contributions to psychology in India and Psychology and societal development. He has been President and Convener of the National Academy of Psychology. He is the Chief Editor of the Fifth ICSSR Survey of Psychological Research in India. He is also editor of Psychological Studies, the official journal of NAOP since 1999. He has been on the UGC Panel of psychology and is a Member, Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR).

Minati Panda

Minati Panda is an Associate Professor of Social Psychology of Education at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Minati Panda is a cultural psychologist with special interests in culture, cognition and mathematics. Her research and publications are mostly in the area of mathematical discourse and learning, curricular and pedagogic issues, creativity and social exclusion. She has studied extensively over past one decade the everyday discourse and school mathematics discourse in tribal areas of Orissa (India) and has tried to theorize the common epistemological ground of these two discursive practices. She has published two books and is currently working on a project, ‘Women, Art and Globalization: A study of creative processes in Raghurajpur village in Orissa’. She has been a Fulbright Senior Fellow in the Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition, University of California, San Diego and a Commonwealth Visiting Faculty at the University of Manchester, UK. She is also the Director of ZHCES-BvL Foundation Project, ‘MLE Plus’ and Co-Director of NMRC, JNU.

Anand C. Paranjpe

Anand C. Paranjpe is Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Humanities at Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Poona in India; did post-doctoral work at Harvard and taught at Simon Fraser University from 1967 to 2001. His main research interests are self and identity, theoretical psychology and psychological concepts from the intellectual and spiritual traditions of India. He was awarded Smith-Mundt and Fulbright scholarships for post-doctoral research under the direction of Prof. Erik H. Erikson in 1966-67, and was elected Fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association in 2004. His publications include: In search of identity (Macmillan/Wiley Interscience, 1975), Theoretical psychology: The meeting of East and West (Plenum, 1984), and Self and identity in modern psychology and Indian thought (Plenum, 1998).

Aster Patel

Aster Patel came, as a child, with her father, Dr. Indra Sen, and her mother to live in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry. She studied at the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education of the Ashram till the Higher Course, both in Philosophy and Psychology, which was taught by Dr. Sen. She was closely associated with his work. Later she studied at the University of Paris (Sorbonne), receiving a PhD in Comparative Philosophy. Has been teaching at the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education. Was invited to hold the ‘Sri Aurobindo Chair of Philosophy’ at Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. For more than three decades, engaged in the experiment of Auroville – with responsibility at the ‘Sri Aurobindo Centre for Studies…India and the World’. Written and published papers in Philosophy, Psychology, Education and Yoga and created and participated in conference-events.

John Pickering

John Pickering lectures in psychology at Warwick University, UK. His background is in science and experimental psychology, although his interests have broadened over the years, taking him to America, India, Sri Lanka, Japan, Korea, Thailand and China. His research covers process thought, globalisation and environmental issues, all of which he sees as fundamentally linked. He has an enduring interest in Eastern traditions in general and believes that Indian Psychology in particular has much to contribute to solving the geopolitical problems that we face.

Ajith Prasad

Ajith Prasad's principal areas of interest are Buddhist philosophy and the study and practice of Buddhist methods of psychological transformation. Ajith is also interested in comparative study of the eastern wisdom traditions. Ajith completed his post graduation in Engineering from the Indian Institute of Science in 1994. During a career in technology and management, he continued his personal quest for understanding mind and transforming it. After choosing Buddhism as his path, from 2007 onwards, Ajith is focusing fulltime on the study of Buddhist philosophy and the practice of spirituality. He studied with many masters of Tibetan Buddhism, particularly under the guidance of HH Penor Rinpoche, Khenchen Tsewang Gyatso, Khenchen Namdrol and Khenchen Pema Sherab. He is involved in running Thubten Lekshey Ling, a Buddhist Meditation and Study Centre in Bangalore. He gives lectures on Buddhism in various forums.

K. Ramakrishna Rao

K. Ramakrishna Rao is currently Chairman of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research and President of the Institute for Human Science. He also serves as the President of the Asian Congress of Philosophy. His previous academic appointments include Professor of Psychology and Vice-Chancellor of Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, Director of the Institute for Parapsychology and the Executive Director of the Foundation for Research on the Nature of Man, Durham, NC, USA. He was also Advisor on Higher Education and Vice-Chairman of the State Planning Board in the Government of Andhra Pradesh. His publications include about 200 research papers and 15 books including Consciousness studies: Cross-cultural perspectives (McFarland, 2002) and Cognitive anomalies, consciousness and yoga (Matrix Publishers, 2010).

Kiran Kumar K. Salagame

Kiran Kumar K. Salagame is a clinical psychologist and a Professor of Psychology at the University of Mysore. Integrating Indian psychological concepts with mainstream psychology is his current focus. His publications relate to meditation and yoga, states of consciousness, Indian psychology, holistic health, positive psychology, transpersonal psychology and social cognition. He has authored The psychology of meditation: A contextual approach. The Indian Association of Clinical Psychologists conferred on him the ‘Psycho Award’ in 2006 for his significant contributions to the field of psychology. He is a former Fulbright fellow. Currently he is a member of the Board of International Transpersonal Association and has been serving on the Editorial boards of national and international journals. He has been a visiting professor/ faculty/ occasional lecturer in national and international universities and institutes of higher education. He is a Fellow of the Indian Association of Clinical Psychologists, and Member, National Academy of Psychology, India.

Peter Sedlmeier

Peter Sedlmeier, Ph.D. is a Professor of Psychology at the Chemnitz University of Technology, Germany. He teaches mainly courses on research methods and evaluation, but also on computer modelling, judgment under uncertainty, and cognitive science. He has written and edited five books, among them, Improving statistical reasoning: Theoretical models and practical implications, as well as numerous book chapters and articles in leading international psychology journals and edited books. His research focuses on the processing of time and frequency, psychology of music, judgmental errors, associative learning and, more recently, Indian psychology. He has held a two-year Humboldt-Fellowship at the University of Chicago, USA, and was a guest professor at Pondicherry University, India.

Shivantika Sharad

Shivantika Sharad is an Assistant Professor in Applied Psychology at Vivekananda College, University of Delhi. She is pursuing her Ph.D. from the Department of Psychology, University of Delhi in the area of authenticity of self. Her areas of interest include self and identity, Indian psychology, counselling and education, and social psychology. She was selected for the I.C.S.S.R. sponsored ‘Centrally Administered Doctoral Fellowship (open category)’ for the year 2004-2005 and also received University Post Graduate Scholarship during 2001-2003 from the University of Delhi. She has published a paper titled ‘Authenticity and its implications in the context of teaching-learning’ in the Journal of Indian Psychology, 24(1&2), 2006, and a review article titled ‘Rethinking the identity of psychology: Consciousness, Indian psychology and yoga’ in Psychological Studies, 50(2), 2005.

Kavita A. Sharma

Kavita A. Sharma, former Principal, Hindu College, Delhi University, is currently the Director of the India International Centre, also at Delhi. She has several single author as well as edited books to her credit. Kavita has a deep interest in the teachings of Sri Aurobindo, especially on how they help to transform the individual and thereby the collective. A person with a background in literature and law, one of Kavita's favourite texts is the Mahabharata. Apart from contributing articles on the Mahabharata in multi author books, she has written The Queens of Mahabharata and Birds, Beasts, Men and Nature in Mahabharata. She has been awarded many fellowships, amongst which is the Fulbright fellowship New Century Scholar for the year 2007–2008 programme.

Bahman A. K. Shirazi

Bahman A. K. Shirazi, Ph.D., is faculty member and former Director of Graduate Studies at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) in San Francisco. He has taught in the areas of integral psychology, research methodology, psychology of Sufism and cross-cultural counselling at Dominican University, John F. Kennedy University, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology and CIIS. His publications include book chapters and articles in the areas of integral psychology and Sufi psychology, including a book chapter titled: ‘Integral psychology: The metaphors and processes of personal integration’ (in Consciousness and its transformation, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 2001), and two book chapters on integral psychology: ‘Integral psychology: Psychology of the whole human being’ (in Consciousness and healing: Integral approaches to mind-body medicine, Institute of Noetic Sciences, Elsevier pub., 2005) and ‘Dimensions of integral psychology’ (in Unity in diversity: Fifty years of cultural integration, Cultural Integration Fellowship, 2004). Bahman has presented at a number of conferences internationally in the areas of integral psychology and Sufi psychology, including the 2004 Parliament of World Religions in Barcelona, Spain.

Kundan Singh

Kundan Singh is an adjunct faculty at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Palo Alto and at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), San Francisco from where he also obtained his doctorate in Humanities. The author of a recently published book titled, The evolution of integral yoga: Sri Aurobindo, Sri Ramakrishna, and Swami Vivekananda, and a few book chapters and journal articles like ‘Beyond Postmodernism: Towards a future psychology’, ‘Relativism, self-referentiality and beyond mind’, and ‘Relativism and its relevance for psychology’, his areas of research include Integral Yoga of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo, contemporary and traditional Vedanta, Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism, Sufism of the Indian subcontinent, spirituality and social action, globalization, Indian psychology, transpersonal psychology, social psychology, depth psychology, postmodern philosophy, philosophy of science and epistemology, critical thought and deconstruction, cross-cultural psychology and East-West studies, among a few others.

Suneet Varma

Suneet Varma is Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology, University of Delhi. His research interests include philosophy of psychology/theoretical psychology, the Indian perspective on psychology, and integral psychology. His most recent writing is titled, ‘Bhakti and well-being: A psychologist's perspective’.