Chaturvedi Badrinath

Living in modernity, what I have
most learnt from living in the
Mahabharata is to have
distance from experience.

Lectures & Articles


From 1989 onwards, for four years, the Times of India published Badrinath's articles on Dharma and human freedom every fortnight. Here are two from that series:

Jainism and Relativity

The Karma Conundrum

He wrote a series of articles for the Jansatta as well on Dharma and governance in 1993.

Badrinath's Introduction to the Kama Sutra published by Roli Books, New Delhi (1999), has been translated into the German, French, Italian and the Dutch editions of that work. Excerpt.

He was busy writing till the end of his life. Working from home, he finished writing an article titled Living with the Mahabharata on Feb 11th. This was his last article. Having met the last of his professional commitments, his affairs in order, he entered hospital on Feb. 14th. On Feb. 16th 2010, he was presented the 2009 Sahitya Akademi Award for Literature, a day before he passed away.



Several public lectures on Indian and Western Philosophy given by Chaturvedi Badrinath.

Lectures given at the Goethe Institute Madras and New Delhi from 1964 onwards

Nietzsche, 23 July 1964.

The sufferings and the loneliness of Franz Kafka, 3 February 1965.

Hinduism-a study, 3 September 1966.

History & Meaning, 29 March 1967.

Are we persons? 27 March 1968.

The Raja, the Monk, and the Mahatma (Raja Rammohun Rai, Swami Vivekananda, and Mahatma Gandhi), 22 January 1969.

Gandhi and social change, 26 September 1969.

Symposium on 'Gandhi & Social Change' with Prof. Nirmal Kumar Bose and Prof. A.K.Saran, 17 October 1969.

"Is the idea of a secular society compatible with the Hindu society?", 11 April 1970.

The idea of the other in Jean-Paul Sartre - An essay on the impossibility of love, a lecture delivered at Alliance Francaise of Madras, on Wedensday, 8th April 1970.

Germany - a cleansing experience, 28 August 1970.

Swami Vivekananda and the West: The man and his work, 18-19 August 1976.

Attitudes towards sex in India and the west, a lecture delivered at Goethe Institute, New Delhi, on 30th September 1979.

A history of German misunderstandings of India, a lecture delivered at Goethe Institute, New Delhi, on 7th October 1982.

Max Weber's misunderstanding of Indian civilization, a lecture delivered at India International Centre, New Delhi, at an International seminar on 'Max Weber's study of Hinduism and Buddhism - A new evaluation', on 1st-3rd March 1984.

Ordering of life, the essence of Indian civilisation, a lecture delivered at a National Symposium on 'Perspectives in Indian Philosophy', at the Radhakrishanan Institute for advanced study in philosophy, University of Madras, on 3rd -4th October 1989.

The problem of individuality in Indian and Western thought, two lectures delivered at Goethe Institute, Madras, on 30th and 31st October, 1989.

Dharma, wealth and management, some thoughts, a talk at the 'Global conference on the new paradigm in management : the Constructive Role of Business in Transforming Society', organised by the Holistic Bulletin and Foundation for Integral Academy, San Francisco, New Delhi, on 17th -19th January 1992.

Dharma as universal responsibility, a lecture delivered at a workshop on education and universal responsibility arranged by the foundation for universal responsibility of his Holiness the Dalai Lama, with his holiness participating in it, on 10th November 1992.

At the end of 1992 Badrinath gave a series of three lectures, called Spaces, Times and Relationships- Three lectures on the Mahabharata, at the India International Centre, New Delhi. These evoked such an appreciative response in a sensitive audience that an informal group called Drishti was formed, which met once every month at the IIC to discuss ideas of Indian philosophy and thought as they relate to one's relationship with oneself and with the other. Badrinath devoted his energies to Drishti from 1993 to 1994.

Modern science and dharma, three lectures delivered at India International centre, New Delhi, sponsored by India International Centre and Sanskriti Pratishthan, New Delhi, on 3rd - 5th January 1994.

The question of truth, a lecture delivered at India International Centre, New Delhi, at a seminar on 'Religious Fundamentalism, Tolerance and Secularism', on 11th - 14th October 1994.

Chaturvedi Badrinath at IIC - Delhi-1999

Chaturvedi Badrinath at IIC

Dharma and the essence of Islam, a talk at the Iran Cultural House of the Islamic Republic of Iran, on 4th January 1995.

The Women of the Mahabharata, two lectures delivered at India International centre, New Delhi, on 5th - 6th July 1995.

A talk at the symposium on 'RTA, Cosmic Order and Chaos', at Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi, on 18th -22nd December 1995.

Buddhism in the flow of dharma, a talk at the symposium on 'Hindu and Buddhist Traditions', Max Mueller Bhavan, at India International Centre, New Delhi, on 29th February 1996.

Swami Vivekananda and western women-The Living Vedanta, two lectures delivered at India International Centre, New Delhi, on 27th -28th March 1996, organised by the Goethe Institute, New Delhi.

In search of religious identity: towards the Hinduism- Christianity dialogue, a lecture delivered at India International Centre, New Delhi, lecture arranged by the Austrian Embassy, on 10th October 1996.

Conversation with Raimon Panikkar: 1. The speaking of the word, 2. The listening of the word, 3. The linguistic word at Indira Gandhi National Centre for the arts, New Delhi, on 10th -12th January 1996.

A talk at a Max Mueller Bhavan seminar on Hans Joan's 'Ethics Today', Lucknow, on 17th -18th March 1997.

Dharma as the Foundation of Human Relationships and its Method, a talk at the International Symposium on 'Dharma', at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Simla , 16th -22nd July 1997.

A talk at the symposium on 'Memory, Politics and Forgiveness', at Vidya Jyoti, College of Theology, Delhi, 6th -7th January 1997.

The Women of Mahabharata, a talk at the Navy House, New Delhi, organised by Mrs. Niloufer Bhagwat, Navy Wives Welfare Association, for the Diplomatic Community in New Delhi, on 11th March 1998.

Moksha as human freedom, two inaugural lectures, at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, inaugurating a monthly series of Lectures, 'Creeds of Our Times', organised by the Dalai Lama Foundation for Universal Responsibility, on 27th and 31st March 1998. (Later published by them in Creeds of Our Times, Full Circle Publishing, New Delhi, 2000, Pp.1-40).

Dharma as authentic living - the question of moral foundations of life, a lecture at Gargi College, New Delhi, on 12th November 1998.

Dharma as Foundation of Law and Governance, being the Xth Dr. Harekrushna Mehtab memorial lecture at Bhubaneshwar, Orissa, on 3rd January 1999.

The place of 'Individual' in Indian thought and polity, a talk at a workshop on 'Interface of Values in Indian Society and Politics', arranged by the Konrad Adenauer foundation, New Delhi, at Neemrana Fort Palace, Rajasthan, on 8th March 1999. (And later published by them in Pluralism and Equality. Values in Indian Society and Politics, Sage Publications, New Delhi, 2000; PP. 33-47)

Delivered four talks on Indian philosophy and its application to concrete human living, at the Chinmaya Centre of World Understanding, New Delhi, on 1st- 4th February 2000.

Delivered the following two lectures, in the Anekanta-series of lectures, set up by the Jain Vishva Bharati Institute (Deemed University), Ladun, Rajasthan, at the India International Centre, New Delhi:

  • Anekanta: freedom from hatred and violence on 16th December 2001.
  • Human relationships: a-parigraha and a-himsa, not-engulfing, not-violence on 4th January 2002.

Growing together-foundations of personal and collective relationships, a talk at the India International Centre, New Delhi, orgainsed by the Vikram Sarabhai Foundation, on 16 August 2002.

Enfolding and unfolding in knowing the self and the other. The foundation-day-lecture at the Central Institute of Education, University of Delhi. 19 December 2002.

Some thoughts on civilisational Dialogue: Hinduism and Islam. Contributed to the conference on Asian Civilizational Dialogue, under the auspices of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi, the Sasakawa Peace Foundation of Tokyo, and the India International Centre. At the India International Centre, New Delhi. on 9-10 March 2004.

Delivered the 2nd Justice Rangarajan Memorial Lecture, at the Indian Institute of World Culture, Bangalore, on 'the Ideas of Justice and Accountability in the Mahabharata'. 9 September 2004.

As a visiting professor, South-Asian Institute, Heidelberg University, Germany, gave a series of seminars on the idea of Dharma, and its application to society and politics. In the summer of 1971.

The Future of Great Civilizations - Rise and Fall Integrations and Differentiations. Seen from the perspectives of Indian philosophy, a talk delivered at Osterreishische College, Europaisches forum, Alpbach, Austria, on 24th August 1985.

As one of the main speakers, delivered a lecture, The Method in Dharmic thought and modern science at the first conference of the scientists of the E.T.H Zurich, seeking to relate the natural sciences with the wholeness of life, held in Cortona, Italy. August 1985.

Two lectures at the Reitberg Musum, Zurich, Switzerland: one, on The Universality of Dharma; and the other, on The Sense and the Nonsense of the Idea of Guru.

In Paris, 17-22 March 1993: invited by the Government of France, to participate in a dialogue between some Indian and French intellectuals, on L'inde Des Idees', during the Paris Salon Du Livre. on 17 March 1993, the dialogue was on private conflicts, social conflicts: "unexpressed/exressed violence". On 19 March 1993, on L'inde politique: unite et diversites-political India: unity and diversity.

As one of the two main speakers at the Plennary session of inter-religious federation for world peace conference, Seoul, South Korea, 28th April - 2nd May 1994, on 'The reality of evil and the response of world's religions', delivered a lecture the problem of evil from the Dharmic perspectives.

Delivered a series of the following three lectures, as the M.P. Birla Memorial Lectures, in London:

  • Dharma as freedom from fear. At the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, London, 6th December 1997.
  • Dharma, the question of violence and not-violence. at the School of Oriental and African Studies (Soas), University of London, 8th December 1997.
  • Moksha as human freedom at the King's College, London, 12th December 1997.

Goethe in the light of Indian philosophical thought, a talk at the International Symposium, 'Nature, being, human knowledge: Goethe's Natural Sciences, organized by the Goethe Institute, Munich, at Weimar, Germany, 17th -22nd March 1999.

Participated in a conference of the Inter-religious friendship group, of San Francisco, along with his holiness the Dalai Lama and personalities of other faiths, held in Jerusalem, Israel, 12th -14th June 1999.

Two talks at the Summer Festival 2000, Rittergut Bennigsen, Germany, at a Philosophy Symposium, on 19th-20th August 2000, and a public dialogue between him and Prof. Dr. Prinz Zur Rudolph Lippe, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oldenberg, Germany, on some aspects of Indian thought and their relation to human living.

The Upanishad and the Mahabharata: towards human freedom and the joy of life, a talk at an evening called 'Mysticism and Wine', organised by Mrs Marlen Karlen, a Sufi, at a Vineyard in a Village near Zurich, Switzerland, in August 2000.

Badrinath with daughter Tulsi

Chaturvedi Badrinath with daughter Tulsi
in Tokyo - 2002

Delivered the opening lecture at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation Symposium on 'Civilisational Dialogue', 'The concerns and the method in Indian Philosophy-towards peace with oneself and peace with the other', in Tokyo, Japan, 12 July 2002.