SI – 3: FAQs

Some Essentials

  1. All papers should have an Abstract (250-300 words). Papers without abstracts will not be accepted.
  2. The length of the paper should be a minimum of 5000 words and not exceeding 8000 words
  3. References to existing claims that are being refuted or challenged , should be comprehensive.
  4. Please do not make or challenge “supposed” claims which are not “present” in previous scholarship. In case such claims are based on other sources  like oral knowledge or non-scholarly media (as there is a dearth of journals and similar scholarly channels related to these themes ) , please indicate as relevant.
  5. A section discussing contribution/s of author/s in this specific paper is essential and compulsory. This should help clarify to  reviewers/readers the scholarship that has been presented.
  6. Paper Formatting needs to be strictly as indicated here – SI Paper formatting guidelines in .doc format for authors.
1. How long should my abstract be?

Your abstract should be around 250-300 words. Please describe the overall focus of the paper. Also explain specific positions of the purva-paksin that you are examining and/or refuting. In case you are not explaining your position vis-a-vis the purva-paksin – please do so. Else – the focus of the paper will not be clear and it will become difficult for us to assess the quality of paper/scholarship.

2. What should I focus my paper on?

Your paper should focus on specific topics that have been provided as part of the conference “Call for Papers”. Examining specific scholars or schools of thought are to be done in a scholarly and focused manner. No personal (ad-hominem) attacks or argumentative tones of such nature shall be entertained.

3. How long should my paper be?

Your paper should be a minimum of 5000 words. You should be able to explain your position clearly and explicitly demonstrate your understandings of the positions of the purva-paksin and your critiques/observations on it. Your position will possibly be based on primary and secondary texts – or can be your own synthesis of the subject matter.

4. I know X concept/theory really well, should I include X in the paper?

We are NOT expecting tutorials or textbook-type discursive material. Your knowledge of X – if it needs to be so demonstrated – should be used to examine/critiques the established by the purva-paksin. A generic knowledge-display will be of limited use to the conference referees. Please refrain from unfocused scholarship and exhibitions of genius – however unique or  scintillating they might be.

5. I like to know about Y, Should I research Y and write about it ?

If you feel that research of Y, will help you in assessing the positions of the purva-paksin – please do so. Make sure the overall structure and argumentation of your paper is coherent and focused and not just about your newly acquired knowledge of Y.

6. I think some claims have implications on  topic  Z , that I am interested in / have worked on. However, I am not sure on what areas to focus on. Can you help?
If you have worked deeply on Z and have perused  the themes provided in the website and have come to the conclusion that some claims have an implication on that, thereby making a rebuttal necessary, please write to us – a short abstract on the topic and the related claims. Our scholars can help you regarding what aspects to focus on.
7. Can you explain a possible structure of a paper?

Based on your area of expertise and motivations and scholarship goals – the topic that you have chosen should be examined fairly and in an unbiased manner.

  1. Please examine the established claims /positions of the purva-paksin for its veracity, validity and correctness.
  2. The argumentation, methods employed and the references used by the purva-paksin, will in general be good guides to unravel and examine the topic.
  3. The paper should then establish the validity or otherwise of the claims made and then refute / examine the alternative claims/hypotheses uniquely based on texts / references – thereby demonstrating your original scholarship.
8. How does writing for SI differ from writing for other conferences?

SI scholarship requires deep analytical and synthesis skills – both. It is also not just “your” area/s of expertise but also of the “opponent”. The ability to understand a position, the claims made and the structure of argumentation of the purva-paksin – however convoluted and dense is a primary requirement. In addition – you will need to have your own clarity on the traditional sources and bodies of knowledge. The paper (English, Tamil or Sanskrit) should be able to argue out coherent positions and provide genuinely new ways of examining the purva-paksin’s positions.

9. I don’t like to accuse any person or attack anybody specifically, I am a peace lover  – What do I do ?

ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः || . We all love Peace too. Please do not attack any person specifically. We are not asking you to do so either. Please examine only the scholarship and the claims made by the scholars of the school. Also read the related FAQ on – Conference focus.

10. Can I explain my feelings and experiences in the paper?

In case you feel that your personal experiences and feelings need to be used to explain your positions – whilst arguing or critiquing positions of the purva-paksin  please do so. Make sure that such experiences are given the proper basis/background and also describe/examine how such a description will help the referees/reader understand the arguments in the paper. First-person empiricism plays an important role in Sanatana dharma and has its place. Make doubly sure, it helps in your arguments and positions – lest it be perceived as an emotional outburst/outpouring/rant.

11. Can I include or cite some aspects that I have learnt (orally) while studying with a guru? 
Many of our traditions are still alive and there are things we learn while studying with a guru that go beyond the written text. Please cite and refer to anything that you deem is contextually relevant and where possible with supporting textual evidence. Western scholarship disregards the oral tradition, but it is very much valid for us.
12. I have more questions – What should I do?

In case you have more questions, please feel free to email us – the organizers –