Ravi Ravindra

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Ravi Ravindra

Biography

Ravi Ravindra was born and partly educated in India before moving to Canada. He was a Member of the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton in 1977 in the School of Natural Sciences, and a Fellow of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study at Shimla in 1978 and 1998. He was the founding Director of the Threshold Award for Integrative Studies (1978-80), and pilot Professor of Science and Spirituality at the California Institute of Integral Studies in 1989. At present Ravindra is the Professor and Chair of Comparative Religion, Professor of International Development Studies and Professor Emeritus at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Ravi's spiritual search has led him to the teachings of J. Krishnamurti, G. I. Gurdjieff, Zen, Yoga, and a deep immersion in the mystical teachings of the Indian and Christian classical traditions. He is the author of several books on religion, science, mysticism, and spirituality.

Professional

Theosophical Work

Ravi Ravindra and Vedanta

When Ravi Ravindra was a teenager, he was searching for his own way in the world, as most adolescents do. He doesn’t remember how it happened, but one day he found himself reading from the works of an Indian sage who made a deep and lasting impression on him. In the writings of Swami Vivekananda, the principal disciple of the nineteenth-century mystic Sri Ramakrishna, Ravi discovered someone who spoke to his longing to understand the mystery and significance of life—a very tall order for a precocious teenager, or any adult for that matter. At the time, Ravi was struck by one particular statement made by Vivekananda: I am a voice without a form.

Vivekananda opened a door to a new dimension of understanding for a young man whose curiosity and energy were impossible to contain. Vivekananda had a very big influence on me, he recalls. He appealed to me because he said with clarity what I was vaguely feeling. Of course, he spoke from an inner authority; I was just a kid, but that's how I felt. Ravi was about fifteen years old when he first encountered Vivekananda's published essays and lectures. He resonated with what he describes as Vivekananda's religious fire. Ravi is now seventy-four years old, and his admiration for Vivekananda is as strong as ever: "I'm still inspired by him more than any other religious figure" Ravi says.

Ravi Ravindra and Krishnamurti

Ravi Ravindra and Gurdjieff

Awards and Honors

Commonwealth Scholarship from Canada in 1961.

Several Leave fellowships from the Canadian Science Research Council and from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada; Senior Killam Research Fellowship (1968-69); Fellowship for Values in Higher Education (1973- 74); Senior Fellowship from the Shastri Indo-Canadian Inst. (1977-78). Several visiting professorships and lectures at various universities and conferences.

Numerous research grants from various agencies for research in the fields of Physics, Philosophy and Religion, including one from the John Templeton Foundation for investigating the relationship between science and religion in the Indian philosophical tradition.

One of the courses of Ravi Ravindra, Mystical Consciousness and Modern Science, was selected by the Templeton Foundation for an award in their Science-Religion Courses Program in 1996.

Publications

Journal Articles:

More than one hundred twenty articles in various journals dealing with Physics, Philosophy and Religion. (Detailed list can be sent on request.)

Encyclopedia Articles:

Ravindra, R.: "Yoga: the Royal Path to Freedom," in Hindu Spirituality: Vedas Through Vedanta; ed. K. Sivaraman; New York, Crossroads Publishers, 1989, pp. 177-191. [This is volume 6 of World Spirituality: An Encyclopedic History of the Religious Quest.]

Ravindra R.: "J. Krishnamurti: Traveller on a Pathless Land," in Hindu Spirituality: Flowering of Tradition, ed. R. Sundrarajan; New York, Crossroads Publishers, 1997. [This is volume 7 of the World Spirituality: An Encyclopedic History of the Religious Quest,]

Ravindra, R.: Five articles –on "Physics and Religion", "Albert Einstein", "Isaac Newton", "Johann Kepler", and "Galileo Galilei" –published in the relevant volumes of The Encyclopedia of Religion; gen. ed. Mircea Eliade; New York, Macmillan Press, 1987.

Notes