The Second Annual International Conference in Memory of Vsevolod Sergeyevich Sementsov, 2023

The Second Annual International Conference in Memory of Vsevolod Sergeyevich Sementsov «Philosophical Sanskrit Texts: Problems of Reading and Interpretation» will be held on 8-14 November 2023 in Savitribai Phule University of Pune (Pune, India).

The Conference Organizing Committee is pleased to invite Indian scholars to present the results of their research in classical Indian philosophy and related fields (Sanskrit Studies, Linguistics and Literary Studies). The aim of the conference is to bring together specialists working in different but adjacent areas of research of Indian intellectual traditions, to establish a continual online and offline platform for the exchange of scholarly results and ideas, and to envisage new research directions in this domain. Thus, participation in the conference may be of interest and fruitful for philosophers, historians of philosophy, literary historian, specialists in cultural and religious studies.
The conference is dedicated to the memory of the outstanding Russian Indologist Vsevolod Sergeevich Sementsov (02.07.1941 — 12.01.1986) — one of the leading Russian specialists in the field of research of classical Indian philosophy. For those who read in Russian, Sementsov is reknown as the author of an unrivalled poetic translation from Sanskrit of the the Bhagavadītā. His study of this classical text remains amazing in its relevance, deep thinking, talented an penetrative description of the most important content of the poem.
The results of the conference will be summarized in the form of an electronic and printed edition of the Proceedings of the conference.
The main directions of the conference are:
— Sanskrit philosophical texts: problems of reading and interpretation.
— Classical Indian philosophy: terminological analysis of basic philosophical terms on the examples of Yoga, Sāṅkhya, Vedānta, Mīmāṃsa, Nyāya, Vaiśeṣika, Buddhist schools, Jainism.
— Methodology of study of highly developed non-European philosophical traditions.
— The role of Sanskrit in the history of Indian literature.
Submissions are also being accepted For the following topics:
— Sanskritology
— Buddhist studs
— Literary studies
— Research methodology and history of indology
— Reception of Indian culture in Russia and the West
Within the framework of the conference will be held:
— Scientific seminar: «Intellectual Theatre».
— Scientific seminar: «Hermeneutic Circle: Breaking Points».
The official working languages of the conference are English and Russian. Conference is in a mixed format including face-to-face and online platform ZOOM. For participation in the conference, please, address: or


1. We would like to invite colleagues to participate in this conference.
2. To cooperate with the Moscow delegation which consist of several Indologists from RUDN and MSLU (Moscow) universities and Institute of Oriental Manuscripts (Saint-Petersburg).
3. During this period (8-14 November 2023) we are ready to make an open lecture and joint workshop in online format or in person with YouTube live stream.

Abstracts of Prof. Andrei Paribik’s open lecture:

The First Lecture

Textual material is not the only one (certainly being the main one) used in the explanation and presentation of Indian philosophical and spiritual traditions. Along with it, the visual (graphical) method of meaning presentation is also of considerable importance. For a researcher, particularly interesting are cases when new conceptual and structural content is added by the graphic image but lack in the texts and this content removes some perplexities and inconsistencies which remained despite of the perusal of the texts.
In the lecture, three he following examples will be expounded:
1. The structure of the five skandhas according to the drawings of Buddhist Tantric (Vajrayāna) mandalas. The data of such images make it possible to understand the structure of this conceptual pentade, which was left unexplained both in the sutric and tantric texts. This structure consists of a pair of conceptual pairs which stay in a mutual opposition as well as contain interlal oppositions; the fifth central component makes them a conceptional multiunit. It turns out, further, that quite a number of five-term lists in other traditions have exactly the same structure. Illustrations from Yoga-darśana will be given: cittavṛttayaḥ, kleśāḥ, cittabhūmaḥ (Vyāsabhāṣya ad &c.).
2. Underlying conceptual symmetries in the scheme of the Buddhist CentralAsian Buddhist (Tib. taṅka) called saṃsāracakra. Ṣadgatayaḥ (= devasuramanusyatitiryagyonapretanārakāh) are a consistent symmetrical structure which is to be in understood from such date, as abstract formulation of the type of existence (human &c), colors and attributes of Buddhas appearing in these worlds, symmetry at the edges of diameters, &c. It turns out that this image displays a group of permutations.
3. A notion of the 12 great deeds of the Buddha. There are serious ambiguities of the textual presentation which an be fully clarified by means of a symmetry scheme. The list of these acts does not include such famous events as the miracle in Śrāvastīi, the demptation of the bandit Aṅgulimāla, etc., and on the other hand, the serene enjoyment of life in the palace by the young Gautama Siddhārtha mentioned among them is not an «act» at all. The reconstruction of the graphic scheme allows us to see in this representation the metaphorization of the annual cycle, including the lunar and solar halves of the year, the pair pravṛttinivṛttidharmau and the axial symmetry of the pairs of acts #N and #N+6.
The lecture will be accompanied by a presentation of graphic illustrative material.

The Second Lecture

1. Anagrams in the Dhammapadaṃ. Some aspects of the Buddhist teaching and mārga were encrypted by means of the ancient poetic anagram technique (to be partially found already in Ṛgveda, cf.X, 125 ). The mental act of listerer’s (viz. śrāvaka’s) grasping of the hidden purport of a stanza or line is structurally similar to his would be successful siddhi on the yogic path. It is argued that in the anthologies of stanzas pronounced by the Buddha viz. the Pāli Dhammapadaṃ, the Sanskrit Udānavarga, the so called “Gāndhāri Dhammapada” (it is not excuded that there existed other compilations standardized according the morphonology and grammar of some early Middle Arian local idioms), were included stanzas originally pronounced by the Buddha in different local versions of early Middle Indian or Sanskrit. Here are the numbers of some Pāli stanzas which will be analysed: DhP 9–10, 98, 99, 150, 21, 153-154 (the very first words of the Buddha after the enlightment according to the Theravāda tradition).
2.On sophisticated comparisons as isomorphic models in Buddhist philosophical texts. Firstly, there will be analyzed in detail na ancient predecessor, namely the famuos archaic symbol of the chariot in the Kāṭhopaniṣad, and then the comparison (opammaṃ) of the vedanā-skandha with the king in the Atthasālinī as well as some other examples. The pedagocical function of these comparisons will bу discussed by means of a hypothesis based on the notions of anumāna and upamāna in the Nyāyadarśana. Also, some suggestions concerning an extremely compex ambopamā in Atthasālinī will be mentioned.


Ruzana V. Pskhu

Professor, DSci,
Head of the Centre for the Study of
Philosophy and Culture of India
Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia
25 October, 2023