Department of Contemplative and Behavioural Sciences (DCBS)

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Psychology is the science of behaviour and cognitive processes. “Behaviour” encompasses all observable actions or reactions of living organisms that can be measured. “Cognitive processes” embrace every aspect of the working mind – thoughts, memories, mental images, reasoning, decision making and so on.

Progressive expansion of the Self is the central construct of Indian Psychology – an approach to Psychology based on ideas and practices embedded in ancient texts like the Vedas, Upanishads, Gita, Yoga Sutras – developed over thousands of years within the Indian sub-continent. One of its significant tenets direct us to the “Panchkosha,” that is the five sheaths covering the gross, subtle and astral bodies of the individual Self – annamaya kosha (body cell), pranamaya kosha (life cell), manomaya kosha (mind cell), vigyanmaya kosha (knowledge cell) and anandmaya kosha (bliss cell). And that Panchkosha embodies treasures of the human Self – attainment of which can remove deficiencies, complexities, stresses, worries, sufferings and agonies. The Chakras or meta-physical centres of energy in the body influencing the mind and human behavior is yet another very important consideration in Indian Psychology. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali delineate the five modulations of the human Mind with Yoga being the act of freeing the mind from the its clutches. This is a remarkable and unparalleled contribution to the science of behaviour.

“Contemplative inquiry” is a first person understanding of various cognitive and subtle dynamics that govern human behaviour. Such inquiry requires rigorous grounding in the epistemology and ontology of the system, since theories of mind and views of reality are intimately connected with how contemplative practices are structured, their relation to doctrines and expected outcomes for the practitioner. Therefore, Contemplative inquiry is set against a myriad of frameworks – traditions, texts, purposes, art, ritual, philosophy and embodied practices.

Further, “Contemplative Behaviour Studies” grounds itself on an inter and trans-disciplinary approach, amalgamating principles from fields such as psychology, neurosciences, cross-cultural studies, Yoga, Vedanta, spirituality, theology, musicology, psychiatry, astrology, visual and creative arts, performing arts, current conversations with modern science – with an interest as to how these reveal, conceal, reflect, guide or otherwise engage the scholar’s contemplative potential.

Contemplative Behaviour Studies does not limit itself alone to what one thinks. Instead, it reflects what thinking itself is. This in turn invites a meta inquiry into how we come to an intelligent understanding of our own experiences and what kinds of development, training, and intelligence is intended in these practices – oriented to subjective expansion, awareness and stillness.

A cutting– edge discipline, having real world implications, “Psychology and Contemplative Studies” is an emerging articulation of a comprehensive approach to understand, explore and transform human psyche and behaviour with a focus on a reflective involvement with inner life and external engagements.

Though the action of looking into and interrogating the nature of the mind as it operates in broad and nuanced contexts of neuro-biology, existential considerations, theories of development and object relations is the mainstay of Psychology and Contemplative Studies, there is also a subtle emerging attempt to grasp the inherently psychological nature of the universe in terms of the relationship between the individual mind and the laws of cause and effect (karma).

Recent studies have shown that meditation and mindfulness practices – a part of Contemplative inquiry can alter brain structure, improve attention and focus, enhance athletic and artistic performance, decrease anxiety and depression and strengthen self-regulation and resilience.

“Psychology and Contemplative Studies” as a field of specialisation is being seen as an approach to incorporate insights and pedagogical approaches to holistically understand human development and provide insights to deal effectively with various issues in a way that promotes one’s well-being and mental health.

“Psychology and Contemplative Studies” is expected to address not only the gaps in the mainstream psychological science which is becoming predominantly objective and behaviour centric but help promoting emotional, intellectual, social and spiritual empowerment in the scholars – eventually extending to optimal engagements in collaboration and service.



The second batch of the Certificate Course in Human Development and Counselling: Vedic & Modern Perspectives (HDCVM 2020) will commence from the 4th of  January 2020 – May 17th 2020; Saturdays and Sundays. For Detailed Programmatic Brochure HDCVM 2019 (Batch 2.0) Brochure

HDCVM 2020 Faculty Details & Session Outline

Vivechana ~ The Counselling Space

(a unit of DCBS)

Vivechana ~ The Counselling Space
Bhagvd Gita

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To provide a nurturing learning ecology towards

  • fostering knowledge, competence and research in Psychology and Contemplative Studies through creative and experiential methodologies, processes and responsivities
  • promoting personal and social transformation and developing sensitivity and sensibilities to honor the dignity of all life-forms
  • addressing global challenges and serving humanity by locating training and practice in socio-cultural contexts

1) Inter-Disciplinary Experts Meet

The First Inter-Disciplinary Experts Meet was held on the 25th & 26th of July’19 towards laying the foundations for the upcoming Faculty of Contemplative and Behavioural Sciences (FCBS) at Sri sri University.The meeting was called by Dr. Richa Chopra, Officiating Head – Department of Contemplative and Behavioural Sciences.

The meeting was attended by the following Inter-Disciplinary Panel of Experts for FCBS

  1. Prof. Girishwar Misra (Former Head- Dept. of Psychology, Delhi University) – Meeting Chair
  2. Prof. Shekhar Seshadri (Associate Dean-Dept. of Behavioural Sciences, NIMHANS) – Meeting Co-Chair
  3. Prof. Anju Dhawan ( Psychiatrist, AIIMS),
  4. Prof. Indranee P Boorooah (Head, Dept. of Psychology, Gauhati University);
  5. Associate Professor, Dr Neena Bansal (Dept of Political Science, K N College Delhi University)
  6. Prof. Ganesh Rao (Yoga Philosophy)
  7. Dr Ayon Maharaj (Head- Dept of Philosophy, RKMVERI, Belur Math),
  8. Mrs Sarbani Rath (Vedic Astrologer)
  9. Smt. Anupama Bhagwat (Musician)
  10. Ms Prachee Shah Paandya (Actor- Kathak Dancer)
  11. Girin Govind (Director, Sri Sri School of Yoga)
  12. Ms Pear Wilson, Psychotherapist, Los Angeles
  13. Prof. Ajay Singh (Vice Chancellor, Sri Sri University)

After a series of interesting deliberations, the meeting concluded delineating the Vision, Mission and the Objectives of the Department and the journey ahead. The Department is forging ahead building the curriculum for the upcoming programs w.e.f AY July 2020 in close association with its panel of experts.

2) Copyright of HDVCM 2019

Our Certificate Course in Human Development & Counselling: Vedic & Modern Perspectives, conceptualised by Dr. Richa Chopra , Head – Dept. of Contemplative & Behavioural Sciences has been granted COPYRIGHTS with Copyright Office, Govt.of India on 3rd June 2019
Next Batch (2.0): 4 Jan-17 May’20.

3) Dr. Richa Chopra represents NAAC at the Global Yoga Accreditation Summit at the Headquarters of United Nations in New York.

Global experts during inaugural session at Global Summit Jointly organised by NAAC, PMI-UN & APQN at United Nations Headquarters, New York, USA in presence of H. E. K. Nagaraj Naidu, Indian Ambassador to UN, Dr. H. R. Nagendra, Hon’ble Chancellor, S-VYASA, Bengaluru, Dr. Geetha Krishnan Gopalakrishna Pillai, World Health Organization, Geneva, Prof. Jianxing Zhang, President, APQN, China & Dr. Jagannath Patil, Adviser, NAAC & Convener – GYAS, Dr Richa Chopra, Head, Dept. of Contemplative and Behavioural Sciences, Sri Sri University, Cuttack.


Global experts during inaugural session at Global Summit Jointly organised by NAAC, PMI-UN & APQN at United Nations Headquarters, New York, USA in presence of H. E. K. Nagaraj Naidu, Indian Ambassador to UN, Dr. H. R. Nagendra, Hon’ble Chancellor, S-VYASA, Bengaluru, Dr. Geetha Krishnan Gopalakrishna Pillai, World Health Organization, Geneva, Prof. Jianxing Zhang, President, APQN, China & Dr. Jagannath Patil, Adviser, NAAC & Convener – GYAS, Dr Richa Chopra, Head, Dept. of Contemplative and Behavioural Sciences, Sri Sri University, Cuttack.

A University is a scholarly hub where fundamentals of Contemplative inquiry ought to be nurtured. The contemplative way of learning can greatly complement the existing rational and scientific ways on which academics is largely based. In such environs, scholars can deepen their engagement with their subject matter through increased attention span – implying sustained learning and application of the domain.  Further, decreased stress, brought in through a natural complex of reflective inquiry can foster compassionate understanding of intra and inter personal human dynamics thereby opening limitless possibilities to new ideas and discoveries in students.

Beholding the spirit of “Omnism” yet deeply embedded into the philosophy of “Yoga and Vedanta” that roots the University, the Department of Contemplative and Behavioural Sciences (DCBS) pioneers amongst other higher education institutions across the globe – providing a natural ecosystem and a fertile ground towards contemplative inquiry and innovation.

This department is a precursor to a changed perspective on learning and teaching systems. The scholars across each of the Undergraduate, Postgraduate, Doctoral and Integrated programmes offered by *DCBS in addition to Certificate courses and Diplomas will be engaged in a groundbreaking exploration of Contemplative and Behavioural Science, uniquely integrative in scope. The departmental ecosystem permeates multiple traditions to infiltrate and to gradually weave psychological mindedness into theories of the esoteric, and bring out unique healing modalities from the Orient (East) – Occident (West) wisdom. Spirituality and psychology are inseparable yet are existing in the world today as two discrete identities – our programmes seek to bring a new vision of  behavioural sciences to the world which will enhance a multidimensional insight in the individual and thus reduce human suffering.

Think of the Department of Contemplative and Behavioural Sciences as a 21st century wisdom gurukul (traditional school) for exploration and honest application of psycho-contemplative principles internalised through research, rigorous study, critical self-reflection and embodied practices across all spheres of life.

*in a phased manner


Faculty HOD

Richa Chopra


M.Sc (Child Development), Advanced Diploma in Psychological Science (ADPSc), PhD (Dept. of Psychology, Gauhati University)


Over 23 years of clinical, academic and administrative experience across a range of trans-disciplinary domains namely Developmental Psychology, Trans-personal Psychology, Rehabilitation Psychology, Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health, Indian Psychology , Counselling Psychology, Cross Cultural Psychology and Contemplative Studies.

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Advisory Panel of Inter-Disciplinary Experts & Visiting Faculty