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The VM Podcast

A Vichaar Manthan project looking to explore modern day issues through a Dharmic lens, in a relaxed and engaging manner. - we hope!

Please tune in and subscribe; and if you agree or disagree with any comments, please let us know, let's keep the conversation going in an earnest manner.

Be critical and let's explore together!


The VM podcast is hosted by VM fellow Sumit Sharma, who you can email on podcast@vichaarmanthan.org

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In our very first episode, we are exploring and understanding Dharma with Dr Sachin Nandha.
SachinJi has a PhD in political philosophy, is an public philosopher and is the international coordinator of Vichaar Manthan.
We take a deep dive into the meaning of Dharma, its origins and its application today.
We tidy up some of our linguistic hygiene and learn Heet, Meet, Preet.

Recommended Books:

Follow Sachin: https://twitter.com/sachinnandha


In the era of Intrapreneurs and Bitcoin millionaires, how can the principles of Dharma help us cut through the noise? 

In this episode, we are exploring and understanding the fundamentals of wealth through a Dharmic lens with Ravi Lakhani.
RaviJi is a senior Private Equity Analyst, currently studying at London Business School and the co-ordinator for Vichaar Manthan Book Clubs.

Recommended Book:

Follow Ravi: https://www.instagram.com/ravidoes/


On International Womens Day 2021, we release EP03 on WOMANHOOD.

In the world of identity politics, gender neutrality and female empowerment, what does it really mean to be a woman?

What are the narratives that surround the emancipation of woman?

Are women now emancipated?

Do women no longer need men?

In this episode, we dig deeper into some of these questions, with Drishti Mae and she helps us try to understand what it means to be a woman and what that means for the future of womankind.


Drishti Ji is a senior Mergers & Acquisitions Integration manager, a graduate in Chemistry from the University of York and current President at the National Hindu Students' Forum (UK). She is also co-authoring Beyond The Bindi, an anthology exploring Hindu perspectives of femininity and womanhood, published by Tattva Press, 2021.


Recommended Book:


Follow Drishti: https://twitter.com/Drishtii_


Whether you are a parent, a child or a friend, no man is an island. As we traverse life we navigate a web of complex and sometimes challenging relationships, but how should we approach them?

From alcoholic fathers to financially irresponsible spouses, we explore the practical lessons that Dharma can teach us when it comes to creating wholesome relationships.

What does it mean to be compassionate?

When should we walk away from relationships? and how do we deal with the guilt when we must do this

 How can we go about creating wholesome relationships in which all parties can flourish?


Life is inherently uncertain. If nothing else, the COVID pandemic has highlighted our inability to navigate a world full of uncertainty and novel experiences. How do we enhance our relationship with others, and with the world around us? How can the principles of dharma help us navigate through life in the 21st century?

In this episode, we are joined by Mr Dharmesh Chheda to take a stab at some of these questions, and explore how we might manage the challenges of life in a more sustainable way. 

Dharmesh Ji has a career that has spanned many different businesses and in roles primarily around business development, and building and growing client relationships. He is the head of Academy of Professional Development at the ICAEW. He has a passion for engaging with, mentoring and coaching young people. 

Recommended book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Alchemist-Fable-about-Following-Dream/dp/0061233846 

Follow Dharmesh: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dharmesh-chheda-6622763a/?originalSubdomain=uk 


Hindu civilization and its rich vedic culture have produced many books, scriptures and prayers from an ancient oral tradition through to vast texts such as the Ramayana, Mahabharata and the Gita with which we are familiar today.

What are these texts? Is there a main ‘Hindu book’?

How do the Vedas fit together?

What is smriti?

How many versions of the Gita are there?


How do we navigate this vast body of literature and make sense of it today?


In EP06 of The VM Podcast, we are joined by Siddhartha ji Krishna to help answer these questions whilst we go on a journey through the many texts that make up ‘The Hindu Library’, Let’s learn about their structure and content, and how the modern reader should approach them.


Siddhartha ji Krishna was raised in a family tradition of yoga, memorised the Gita at the age of 6 and was educated at the Kailash Ashram Brahma Vidyapeeth in Rishikesh. He is a spiritual master and a teacher of Indian philosophy, including Advaita Vedanta, Patanjali’s Yoga and Sanskrit, and continues to be based in Rishikesh at the Omkarananda Ashram.


Recommended books:

Bhagwad Gita

The Upanishads

Yog Sutra

Follow SIddhartha Krishna: https://www.siddhartha-krishna.in/


How do we define a flourishing society?

How can society help those who are most in need?

Is a flourishing society one that helps those who are most in need?

How do we reflect the Hindu value of Sewa (selfless service) in our actions?

And how do we translate our personal success into giving back to society in the years to come?

In this episode, we explore all these questions, what it means to contribute sustainably and how to translate ideas into actions that make our society a better place.

Will you join the 1% club? - earthfoundation.org.uk

This episode’s guest is Dr Bansri Lakhani, an Ophthalmologist and the National Coordinator of Youth for Sewa.

Recommended book: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/205854.My_Grandfather_s_Blessings_ 

Follow Bansri: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bansri-lakhani/



Born in the UK, Divya Prabha did her first B.A. and M.A. from Oxford University and worked for top American Investment Banks until 1999.

Having booked a ticket to India, intending to stay for a year, she remains there 21 years later, finishing her PhD in Ancient Grammar. Divya Prabha delivers lectures all around the world on yoga and Sanskrit whilst running the gurukul she founded, the International Chandramauli Charitable Trust, in Varanasi, where the protection and promotion of Sanatan Dharma and Bharatiya Sanskriti with the Vedas and Shastras are taught as a way of life. This podcast reveals the life and times of Divya Prabha and her extraordinary journey exploring Dharma!


Recommended Book: Bhagwad Gita

Follow Divyaji:




In the exuberating world we live in today, where a lot of choices are cultivated through pop culture and cinema, how can we see dharma through the same 90mm lens? What responsibility do we have to ensure the transition from ‘real and reel’ has a seamless amalgamation, rather than a paradoxical one?

“We have with us Aditya Patwardhan, a critically acclaimed, LA-based filmmaker who is known for a wide array of works, including documentaries, series pilots, and short films. With an internationally recognised filmography, his work has been showcased through prestigious mediums like the Cannes Film Festival. Aditya has also directed and produced two feature-length films with two more in production. We will be diving into how dharma impacts the eye of a cinematographer, through the many hats he wears in scripting, ideation, narration and acting through to post-production.


Latest film: A Nomad River >> https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7513844/?ref_=ttpl_pl_tt

Follow Aditya Ji:





Despite the Bhagavad Gita being 5000 years old, it remains the first text we think of when we look at Hindu literature. Why would that be? What makes it relevant today and how does it take us beyond the dichotomy of good and bad? We look at these questions in this episode, where we explore the vast ocean of Hindu literature as applicable to the modern context.


Siddhartha ji Krishna was raised in a family tradition of yoga, memorised the Gita at the age of 6 and was educated at the Kailash Ashram Brahma Vidyapeeth in Rishikesh. He is a spiritual master and a teacher of Indian philosophy, including Advaita Vedanta, Patanjali’s Yoga and Sanskrit, and continues to be based in Rishikesh at the Omkarananda Ashram.

Follow Siddhartha Krishna: https://www.siddhartha-krishna.in/


Our everyday life contains consumables drawn out from nature and earth. While shopping is a favourite pastime, we are now facing the consequences of our consumerist lifestyle in the form of global warming. While we might think environmental protection is an issue for governments to solve, it affects every bit of our lives: from weather patterns, the food we eat, to our cultural, social and economic ties. In this episode of The VM Podcast, we see why sustainability is essential to maintain the very fabric of our lives.

Let's explore individual and collective actions that could help build a more sustainable living environment.

We attempt to answer: how can our conscious actions as consumers and members of society shape a sustainable future?


We are honoured to be joined by Judy Ling Wong CBE, born in Hong Kong, studied in Australia and has been living in Europe. She is a painter, a poet and an environmentalist, and the Honorary President of Black Environment Network.

With an international reputation as the pioneer in the field of ethnic participation in the built and natural environment, She is a major voice on policy towards social inclusion and has pioneered an integrative approach to environmental participation, bringing together social, cultural, environmental and economic concerns.


In 2000, Judy was honoured with an OBE for pioneering ethnic minority environmental participation, and in 2007 a CBE followed, for services to heritage.


Recommended Book: A Branch from the Lightning Tree - Martin Shaw


Follow Judy: https://twitter.com/ling_judy


We go about our lives, making our way through a ton of choices everyday, and rarely give a second thought to the ideas of liberty and freedom, as the society we live in celebrates these as guarantees to its citizens. But do we live with ‘absolute liberties’?


Can we always say what we want? - There are certain rules, often unstated, that are observed. Not following these rules will often get you isolated, hence the idea of civil liberties is somewhat restricted.


How about freedom? We celebrate our freedom in the form of exercising our specific choices. Are these choices based on free will?


How are these ideas a keystone of our living experience?

In this episode of The Vichaar Manthan Podcast, we ask and reflect on liberty, freedom, the differences between them and asking the all important question; Are you free?

Dr. Sachin ji Nandha has a PhD in political philosophy from the University of Nottingham, is an ex-private equity partner, and is currently working with the Charitable Earth Foundation.


Follow Sachin: https://twitter.com/sachinnandha

Recommended book: https://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/A/bo5966065.html


University years form a core of our life experience: this is a time we step out of our homes into the world, absorb the multitude of ideas around us, which shapes our identity and our contributions to the society. Indeed, having access to a safe space for exploring one’s identity becomes a critical need. This is the key vision of the National Hindu Students Forum (UK).


In this episode of the Vichaar Manthan podcast, we’re in conversation with the current President of NHSF, Bhavya Shah, as we look into the challenges and experiences of the youth, and the need to have an open environment that allows the exploration of dharma in University life. Learn how the largest Hindu student movement outside of India operates on a completely voluntary basis, is youth-led, and envisions supporting the youth of today leading a change towards a more dharmic, sustainable society.


Recommended books: https://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Sadhana_of_Service.html?id=fQ_oCQAAQBAJ&redir_esc=y



Follow NHSF: