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Texts and Traditions

The Texts and Traditions (in Sanskrit called Shastra and Sampradaya) area is a collection of courses that take the student into a much deeper exploration of individual knowledge systems rooted in and emerging from Hindu thought. Hindu knowledge traditions refer to the knowledge, innovations, and practices of indigenous and local communities developed from experience gained over the centuries and adapted to the local culture and environment and transmitted both orally and through formal text-based teaching from generation to generation, across very long spans of time. Including courses on   Vedānta, Yoga, Āyurveda, Jyotiṣa, Vāstu, and Tantra, these courses allow students to develop a deep specialization in areas of interest to them. The immersion in these knowledge systems, which include structured opportunities for study abroad, help students to not merely understand the authentic and original intent behind these traditions, but also investigate their content with a view towards assessing their significance for the communities that still preserve and sustain them, their relevance for our contemporary world, and the value they could hold for the future of humanity. This area of study also includes the exploration of the life and works of modern masters of Hindu Dharma, who have made an enormous impact on contemporary Hindu life and society. Students can immerse themselves deeply into the life of a single great Master, or survey a collection of masterworks, and their inter-relations. Further developing the idea of Sampradāya i.e. tradition, this area of study explores the history and continuity of Hindu thought across the vast eons of time, from their Vedic roots to the ongoing unfolding of Hindu ideas, from a comparative and contemporary standpoint. It also enables research into the intersections and confluences where Hindu thought has migrated globally through the inspiration of these modern masters and movements, to generate new expressions and forms in non-Hindu societies and communities.

Brahmasūtras

Brahmasūtras

The Brahmasūtras are aphorisms on Brahman. Along with the Upaniṣads and the Bhagavadgītā, they form a triad of foundational texts Read More
Philosophy of Sri Aurobindo

Philosophy of Sri Aurobindo

An exploration of Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy and select writings with a focus on the intersection of spirituality and practicality towards Read More
The Mahābhārata II

The Mahābhārata II

In part-II of this two-part course, we shall consider the Mahābhārata’s reception in the commentaries and lived Hinduism, especially the Read More
Vālmīki’s Rāmāyaṇa

Vālmīki’s Rāmāyaṇa

Vālmīki’s Rāmāyaṇa is a classic story of human self-development focused on the relationship between the macrocosm (the kingdom) and the Read More
The Mahābhārata I

The Mahābhārata I

Aimed at intermediate and advanced students, this course provides a comprehensive overview of Mahābhārata scholarship, including textual and historical issues Read More
Adi Shankara

Adi Shankara

Ādi Śaṅkarācārya, the author of numerous commentaries and pedagogical tracts, is the seminal philosopher in Hinduism, especially its “advaita vedānta” Read More
A man doing arti

Bhakti and Philosophy

In religious studies, bhakti is often described as devotion or intense feeling, and presented as “faith” in contrast to “reason.” Read More
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