About Event

YES Institute, Embassy of Israel and India International Centre (IIC) in association with ILF Samanvay are presenting a talk on ‘Global Interface with the Philosophical Texts of India’ under the YES Institute ‘Idea of India’ Series on 10th June 2016 at India International Centre, New Delhi.

The Upanishads (800-400 B.C.E) have inspired hearts and minds ever since their creation, originally as part of India’s sacred canon, the Veda. In 1958 David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, motioned for a translation of world classics to Hebrew, specifically mentioning the Upanishads. What is it about the Upanishads that makes them appeal to people even today, far away from their place of origin? In this talk Dr. Yitzhak (Tzakhi) Freedman will try to answer this question with insights from his research as well as from his personal story, which led him to author the first translation of the Upanishads from Sanskrit to Hebrew.


1. Dr. Yitzhak (Tzakhi) Freedman

Dr. Freedman is a lecturer at Tel Aviv University and the author of book ‘The Upanisads and Brahmanas: An Anthology‘, a Hebrew translation of the vedic text. He holds a PhD in South Asian studies and an MA in clinical psychology from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. 

2. Shri. Tarun Vijay

Shri. Tarun Vijay is an Indian author, thinker, social worker, journalist, and parliamentarian. He was the editor of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) weekly in Hindi, Panchajanya, from 1986 to February 2008. He also writes for the Daily Pioneer. He is currently working as the director of the Dr. Syamaprasad Mookerjee Research Foundation (DSMRF). He is also an elected member of Rajya Sabha, the upper house of Indian Parliament and president of Parliamentary Group on India China Friendship.

3. Prof. Indra Nath Choudhuri

Prof. Choudhuri is an India author and renowned scholar of Indian and comparative literature. He was a distinguished Cultural Administrator of India and held various positions – Secretary to Sahitya Akademi and Minister (Culture), Indian High Commission, London and Director, The Nehru Centre, London. He was also a Member Secretary and Academic Director, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi.

4. Dr. Rizio Yohannan Raj (Moderator)

Dr. Raj is a writer, educationist, translator and governance thinker. She is the Founder and Executive Director of LILA Foundation for Translocal Initiatives, a think-tank engaged in multidisciplinary and intercultural knowledge production, dissemination and conservation.  She is also the Creative Director of Samanvay, an Indian Language Festival.