Dr Meera Baindur – RV University

Dr Meera Baindur

Associate Professor, School Of Liberal Arts and Sciences

“Dr. Meera Baindur (she/her) is philosopher. She holds a doctoral degree from MAHE (Manipal) in the interdisciplinary area of environmental philosophy which she completed through the National Institute of Advanced Studies, (NIAS) Bangalore. With an earlier master’s in psychology from Annamalai university and an undergraduate course in Environmental Science, Chemistry and Zoology, she considers herself a multidisciplinary traveler in learning. She has worked as teacher for many years now, first teaching at a study abroad program called Global College, (for Visiting students from Long Island University, USA), located in Bangalore, then she taught philosophy at the Manipal Centre for Philosophy and Humanities, and also the Manipal University Jaipur with the liberal arts program. She is interested in teaching and research in Indian Philosophy, and environmental humanities such as conceptualization of nature in Indian thought, ecological and environmental ethics, religion and environment, environmental ethics, and sustainability issues. Recently her work on place studies, aesthetics, decoloniality, ecofeminism and gender issues in relation to Indian intellectual traditions explores alternative theoretical thought. She has presented papers in international conferences in many countries and is acknowledged as an expert in her area. In her spare time, she volunteers with a philosophy collective, barefootphilosophers.org, (established by eminent philosopher Dr. Sundar Sarukkai) and is the chief editor and coordinator of the program and website.

She also has a unique experience of having lived in a Himalayan ashram for seven years as an aspirant. She claims that this period of her life contributes to her deep faith and spiritual beliefs in humanity. As a person she likes to think of herself as talkative, warm, and friendly and has many hobbies such as journaling, reading, knitting, and gardening. “

Golden divider

“Be a light unto yourself; betake yourselves to no external refuge. Hold fast to the Truth. Look not for refuge to anyone besides yourselves.” - Buddha Shakyamuni

“Be a light unto yourself; betake yourselves to no external refuge. Hold fast to the Truth. Look not for refuge to anyone besides yourselves.” - Buddha Shakyamuni

  • Nature in Indian Philosophy and Cultural Traditions, Springer, 2015 (Nonfiction, International)

    Nature in Indian Philosophy and Cultural Traditions, Springer, 2015 (Nonfiction, International)

    Working within a framework of environmental philosophy and environmental ethics, this book describes and postulates alternative understandings of nature in Indian traditions of thought, particularly philosophy. It begins with a brief description of the concept of nature of nature in Western thought that provides readers with a context to the issues in environmental philosophy, setting a foundation . The book proceeds covers a wide array of textual and non-textual sources to link and understand nature from classical Indian philosophical perspectives as well as popular understandings in Indian literary texts and cultural practices. Popular issues in environmental philosophy are discussed in detail, such as: What is ‘nature’ in Indian philosophy? How do people perceive nature through landscape and mythological and cultural narratives? In what ways is nature sacred in India?To make the discussion relevant to contemporary readers, the book includes a section on the ecological and ethical implications of some philosophical concepts and critical perspectives on alternate conceptualizations of nature.

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  • “Teaching dissent: Epistemic resources from Indian philosophical systems,” Educational Philosophy and Theory, Nov: 2021

    “Teaching dissent: Epistemic resources from Indian philosophical systems,” Educational Philosophy and Theory, Nov: 2021

    How does one teach dissent in a classroom which is a disciplinary space? As a pedagogue whose work is to instil philosophical and critical thinking in students, in this article I reflect on the modalities of teaching dissent versus teaching about dissent. While it is very possible that teaching about dissent may create a model for students to emulate, teaching dissent must involve a proactive learning process within the classroom that may depend on the ethical and compassionate stand of the teacher. I draw from Indian philosophical traditions of argumentation and the tradition of debate and teaching to posit a methodology of two forms of dissent called Vimati, intellectual dissent and Upeksha, performative dissent. One notes that conceptualisations such as doubt, questioning, evidence, and advocacy are some of the epistemic ideas from Indian philosophical systems that can be adapted to contemporary pedagogy. Additionally, a form of performative dissent that involves ‘turning away’ from norms becomes a form of performative dissent. Such dissent is described through texts as practices in the lived worlds of people in the stories of epics and folk traditions. Finally, I conclude with similar concepts gleaned from contemporary thinkers in India to emphasise the ethical values of compassion and love that make teaching dissent possible.

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  • “Philosophical Education in Traditional and Buddhist Schools of Thought in South Asia.” In Sarangapani P.M., Pappu R. (eds) Handbook of Education Systems in South Asia. Global Education Systems. Springer, Singapore.

    “Philosophical Education in Traditional and Buddhist Schools of Thought in South Asia.” In Sarangapani P.M., Pappu R. (eds) Handbook of Education Systems in South Asia. Global Education Systems. Springer, Singapore.

    This chapter provides an overview of the way philosophy was taught and propagated in India. Often exclusive rather than inclusive, there are many continuities and discontinuities in philosophical propagation in the subcontinent. One could claim that the formal system within traditional education in the subcontinent has always been connected to the so-called other worldly pursuits and philosophical thinking, and also connected to learning about the supernatural and performing rites and rituals. While flagging certain periods and movements in education in this chapter, certain ideas particularly with respect to fundamental conceptualizations of the teacher, the student, the process of learning, and places of learning that are all connected to sacred and philosophical teaching are highlighted. Forms of dissent through dialogue, through devotional movements, or through literature are not only events in the history of philosophy but they manifest as pedagogic and social changes in the nature of both the content and methods of teaching. Buddhism as a religion firmly based on philosophical thinking, formalized a schooling system a long time ago. A separate section in the chapter has been devoted to the description of philosophical teaching within Buddhism.

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  • Indian philosophy and religion
  • Lived concepts in Indian intellectual traditions
  • Mytho-epics in Indian tradition
  • Philosophy of Aesthetics and performance
  • Environmental humanities
  • Philosophy of Place, landscape, and cultural geography
  • Ecofeminism
  • Philosophy of Gender
  • Philosophy of Education
  • March 2020 onwards, Honorary Consultant and resource person Global ethics.net, Geneva Switzerland

    A global platform for ETHICS: Empowerment, Transformation, Holistic, Integrity, Competence, Sustainability). Pool of Ethics Experts contribute to the organisation's offers and services in their capacity as academic teachers, authors of course modules and publications, researchers, translators, examiners and consultants, often in collaboration with partner institutions. Experts are accepted into the Pool by the Globethics.net Academic Committee upon the recommendation of the Executive Committee following a screening and selection process using strict criteria.

  • DAAD scholarship, Participated in the student exchange program with Freie University, Berlin, Germany October–December 2009.

    The Indo-German Partnerships programme aims to promote the internationalisation of German and Indian universities by intensifying cooperative collaboration at an institutional level and developing and delivering innovative teaching and research profiles for Master’s and PhD programmes. The programme is financed equally by Germany and India.

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