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Arthaśāstra

Kautilya’s Arthaśāstra, written around 300 BC, is a text on statecraft, a book of political realism. It deals with various topics including war and diplomacy, how a king can retain his kingdom and become a conqueror, how to make allies and know the enemies, and how to make treaties. It focuses on elements, what can be termed in modern usage diplomacy, such as the doctrine of a silent war, propaganda, secret agents, how to use women as weapons of war, and how to use religion and superstition to advantage. According to Kautilya, “power is (possession of) strength” and “strength changes the mind.” More importantly, Kautilya emphasized power to control not only outward behavior but also the thoughts of one’s subjects and enemies. According to him, “one possessed of personal qualities, though ruling over a small territory … conversant with (the science of) politics, does conquer the entire earth, never loses.” Kautilya is the founder of Mandala Theory of foreign policy, which can be termed as a precursor of the theories of political realism and balance of power. Kautilya favored righteous war than greedy and demoniacal wars. The course will delve into various elements of this insightful text and juxtapose the main ideas in the text with similar theories and approaches in the modern world. The students will be able to draw parallels between the core ideas embedded in this ancient text with many modern ideas.

There are courses and programs at various levels of conflict resolution and peace studies at various institutions worldwide. Though these courses and programs offer useful perspectives on conflict and peace, a perspective from Hindu philosophy and practices is lacking. Hinduism, known as Sanatana Dharma, offers many enabling approaches to solve conflicts by addressing their root causes. Since the ancient period, Hindu scriptures and thinkers have pondered over conflicts and explored paths for peace. Starting from Shanti Parva of Mahabharata and Kautilya’s Arthashastra to writings of the modern Indian thinkers such as Swami Vivekananda and Sri Aurobindo, rich elements can be found in Hindu thought reflecting on conflicts and their solutions.  The certificate program will broadly cover these aspects of Hinduism. It will explore some of the core concepts such as Dharma, Satya, Ahimsa, Samvada, Dharmayuddha, Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam from the point of view of their relevance to the field of conflict resolution.

  • 1 or 2 courses per quarter (3/6 credits)
  • 18 credits required to complete program

Elective Course

Elective courses offered in any given year will vary. Courses taken in other areas offered at HUA or at other universities may be accepted for transfer credit with prior approval of the HUA office.  Any course offered at HUA will automatically qualify for elective credit.

Sustainability is Sanatana Dharma

Sustainability is Sanatana Dharma

CPS2003 - (C.P.H.S – Elective Course) This course explores how the modern quest for sustainability relates to the eternal search ... Read More
Disease through the lens of Ayurveda

Disease through the lens of Ayurveda

TAT1102 - (C.P.H.S - Elective Course) Ayurveda is a holistic and complete consciousness-based wellness paradigm that has its origins sourced ... Read More
Hinduism and Conflict Resolution

Hinduism and Conflict Resolution

CPS5502 - The course explores Hindu ideas and their relevance for conflict resolution. Click here to check if you are ... Read More
The Yoga of Global Transformation

The Yoga of Global Transformation

This course explores how humanity can meet the ever-pressing challenge of global sustainability, that we all confront collectively. It explores ... Read More
The Dharma Of Global Sustainability

The Dharma Of Global Sustainability

CPS2001 - (C.P.H.S – Elective Course) This course explores the impact of ancient Vedic Wisdom on the modern questions of ... Read More
Introduction to Conflict and Peace Studies

Introduction to Conflict and Peace Studies

CPS 5501 An overview of conflict resolution and peace studies with a focus on the major theories and their application ... Read More
Hinduism & Peace

Hinduism & Peace

An exploration of Hindu thought, particularly those elements which are relevant from a conflict resolution perspective ... Read More
Arthaśāstra

Arthaśāstra

CPS 5505 - To examine the core ideas such as state, war, and peace in the ancient text Arthashastra, a ... Read More
Gandhian Philosophy

Gandhian Philosophy

CPS 5503 To mainstream the ideas of Mahatma Gandhi towards developing a new and enabling perspective from Hindu philosophical tradition ... Read More
Philosophy of Nonviolence

Philosophy of Nonviolence

An examination of the concept of nonviolence, its evolution and practice in various cultures and traditions ... Read More
Human Rights: A Hindu Perspective

Human Rights: A Hindu Perspective

CPS6506 - To demonstrate how human rights concept and policy could be found in Hindu philosophy, and also how such ... Read More
International Politics: A Hindu Perspective

International Politics: A Hindu Perspective

CPS6507 - To explore methods to bridge the chasm between the practice of international politics and universal moral principles ... Read More

The Certificate program in Hindu Studies (C.P.H.S) prepares Students to engage with the world as a Hindu with confidence and clarity. Along the way, it also aims to develop in the student a lifelong love for service and contribution. At the end of the program, students will be informed, empowered, and inspired by the possibilities of living a deeply fulfilled life as a Hindu, and making a real difference in the world. As Students discover the range and depth of Hindu thought, its uniquely awesome cosmology, and clear up some of the misconceptions and erroneous narratives that they have inherited, they will find themselves being profoundly transformed, naturally creating new realms of self-expression, and new possibilities for who they can now be in the world. 

Program Learning Outcomes: 

At the end of this Certificate Program, Students will: 

  1. Clarify the Hindu Paradigm, having acquired an overview of Hindu principles, practices, values, history, philosophy, society, culture, traditions, and civilization. 
  2. Articulate the contemporary relevance of Hindu thought and contribute its value to the Hindu community as well as to humanity in general. 
  3. Apply their learning to think from a Hindu context and develop strategies for the preservation and transmission of Hindu thought across the generations. 
  4. Create new pathways for service, leadership, and global engagement from a Hindu context, and new realms of self-expression for themselves. 
  5. Contribute with confidence and clarity, in unique and innovative ways towards fostering the culture and traditions of Hindu Dharma. 

Program Context

Being successful in our professional lives, as a Doctor, Engineer, Business person, Entrepreneur, or a Lawyer and so on, equips us with a basic ability to compete effectively in the contemporary economy, to survive and succeed in the world. But it does not necessarily address a deeper dimension of human possibility i.e., the spiritual or the Adhyatmika realm. In each of us lies dormant a need and a desire for deeper engagement with the world, to contribute, to make a difference and be of service in a profound and meaningful way. In each of us lies as yet unfulfilled the potential for leadership and global impact, sometimes even as yet unimagined. In every one of us without exception there lies the possibility of going within, exploring the realms of deeper levels of consciousness, and transforming our connection and relationship with the cosmos itself, manifesting the perfection and possibilities that already lie within us. These are the realms of Dharma and Moksha, the unique dimensions of Hindu thought. 

What is the purpose of our human existence? Does it have one? What does it mean to live a successful life? What is the source of deep fulfillment and contentment in our lives? What is Dharma? What is our Svadharma? How do we ensure that we fulfill the unique purpose and opportunity of our lives? How do we even discover it? Have we exhausted the possibilities of being alive already? How has Hindu Dharma addressed these questions? 

In the Certificate Program in Hindu Studies, Students will engage with these questions in a deep and authentic way, as they prepare themselves for service, leadership, and contribution, and for making a deep and lasting impact in the communities in which they live, as well as the world in general. Whether you are interested in writing, speaking, and teaching, in counseling and healing, in social work, media or the performing arts, in education and curriculum development, in providing leadership in your communities, working with youth or in inter-faith domains, or simply engaging with schools and colleges, and the institutions of our contemporary world, or being of service in some other vital way, the Certificate Program in Hindu Studies, will empower and enable you in your life’s journey. 

This program will take work, commitment, and the ability to sustain your interest through several quarters. But what you will accomplish at the end, who you will become in the process, and all the new aspirations and possibilities that you will create for yourself, that you didn’t even know that you had, will transform you in an amazing and inspiring way. You will go beyond your real or perceived limitations, capacity and capabilities, and may even sustain and nurture the continued relevance of Sanatana Dharma for posterity as its ambassador. 

Structure of the Program:

The certificate program consists of a total of 24 credit hours of coursework. It can be completed at the earliest in 8 quarters, if the students can take 3 Credit hours per quarter, or more slowly over time, in any case, under five years. Students must take at least 15 Credit hours from the Core Courses in the Certificate program. They may complete the remaining 9 credit hours by taking any set of elective courses from the community education program. 

Pre-requisites:

The students must have completed the Orientation to Hindu Studies course minimally and must demonstrate a deep interest in service, contribution and making an impact from within a Hindu context, in order to be admitted into the Certificate Program in Hindu Studies. Students who have not taken the Orientation to Hindu Studies course, may enroll into the Certificate Program in Hindu Studies, with the understanding that they will register into the course immediately.

Who will benefit?

This program can benefit everyone who is interested in living a life of service and contribution, who wishes to engage with the communities in their lives in a meaningful way, in a Hindu context. It applies to all those who wish to reconnect deeply with their own Hindu cultural roots, develop a deeper understanding of their own unique place in the world. For Non-Hindus who have developed some level of curiosity and interest in the Hindu world, this program will deepen their engagement with that world, and open up entirely new possibilities for contribution and service. 

List of courses

The list of Courses available for Students as part of the Certificate Program in Hindu Studies is listed below. Each course is designated as a Core course or an Elective course. These courses may be taken in any sequence, as long as the student first completes the Orientation to Hindu Studies course, at the very beginning of the program.

The Yoga of the Bhagavad Gita

The Yoga of the Bhagavad Gita

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The Renaissance of Sanatana Dharma In the Light of Sri Aurobindo - Part 2

The Renaissance of Sanatana Dharma In the Light of Sri Aurobindo – Part 2

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Vedantasara of Sadananda - Part 1

Vedantasara of Sadananda – Part 1

TAT3203 - (C.P.H.S - Elective Course) In this Course, Students will inquire into some of the fundamental misunderstandings that have ... Read More
Advaita, Viśiśtādvaita and Dvaita – The three flavors of Vēdānta śāstra

Advaita, Viśiśtādvaita and Dvaita – The three flavors of Vēdānta śāstra

TAT4001 - (C.P.H.S - Core Course) Hindu Thought provides for the simultaneous co-existence of varied perspectives on the nature of ... Read More
Sankhya Darshana through the Sankhya Karika – Part 2

Sankhya Darshana through the Sankhya Karika – Part 2

HSF3202 - (C.P.H.S - Elective Course) This Course is the Second of a two-part course series presenting an in-depth exploration ... Read More
The Yoga of Motherhood

The Yoga of Motherhood

YOG3300 - (C.P.H.S – Elective Course) In our yogic tradition, a siddhi can be defined as a spiritual power. Certainly the ... Read More
Orientation to Hindu Studies

Orientation to Hindu Studies

HSF5000 - (C.P.H.S - REQUIRED Course) The word ‘Orientation’ in this course title carries two meanings. The first and obvious meaning ... Read More
The Yoga of the Yoga Sutras

The Yoga of the Yoga Sutras

YOG2002 - (C.P.H.S - Core Course) This course takes the students into a journey of exploration of yoga as enunciated ... Read More
Giving

Introduction to the Vedic Ritual

HSF1401 - (C.P.H.S - Core Course) Ritual is the laboratory where the mind is purified, settled, and prepared for higher ... Read More
Bhaja Govindam - A Topical Approach

Bhaja Govindam – A Topical Approach

TAT1302 – (C.P.H.S – Elective Course) In this course, students will learn Bhaja Govindam with its verses re-organized around some ... Read More
Antaranga Yoga

Antaranga Yoga

YOG3100 - (C.P.H.S - Elective Course) Antaranga yoga course is designed to use the itihasa-purana Mahabharata as a mirror to ... Read More
promise

Discover the contemporary Relevance of Hindu Dharma

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Certificate Program in Hindu Studies

Certificate Program in Hindu Studies

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Exploring Hinduism for Teens and Parents

Exploring Hinduism for Teens and Parents

HSF1001 - (C.P.H.S – Core Course) “Exploring Hinduism – The Overview”, is the first course in the series titled "Exploring Hinduism" ... Read More
Bhagavad-Gita for the Beginner – DEHA

Bhagavad-Gita for the Beginner – DEHA

HSF1004 - (C.P.H.S - Elective Course) Bhagavad-Gita for the Beginner – DEHA is the first part of a three-part sequence ... Read More
Sri Ramcharitmanas: Continuity in Change

Sri Ramcharitmanas: Continuity in Change

TAT1201 - (C.P.H.S – Elective Course) This course explores the Ramcharitmanas, an epic poem composed in the sixteenth century in Ayodhya, ... Read More
Indian and Western Music Traditions – A Comparative Study

Indian and Western Music Traditions – A Comparative Study

TAT3103 - (C.P.H.S – Elective Course) This course is the first of a three-part course sequence in the Hindu Musical Traditions ... Read More
Lessons from Valmiki Ramayana

Lessons from Valmiki Ramayana

HSF 1005 - (C.P.H.S - Core Course) This course will help the participants get a well-versed understanding of the story, ... Read More
Dhyaanam – Meditation and the Meditator

Dhyaanam – Meditation and the Meditator

HSF2101 - (C.P.H.S - Core Course) Living in the contemporary world includes navigating conflicts at the level of family, work, ... Read More
Hindu Musical Traditions – A Historical Perspective

Hindu Musical Traditions – A Historical Perspective

TAT3102 - (C.P.H.S - Elective Course) This Course is the second in the 2-Course Sequence in the Hindu Musical Traditions ... Read More
Hindu Temples and Traditions

Hindu Temples and Traditions

TAT 3104 - (C.P.H.S - Core Course) Temples occupy an important place in the Hindu mind, both in India and ... Read More
Bhagavad-Gita for the beginner - YOGA

Bhagavad-Gita for the beginner – YOGA

HSF1303 - (C.P.H.S – Elective Course) “Bhagavad-Gita for the beginner - YOGA” is the last part of a three-part sequence of ... Read More
Hindu Musical Traditions -  A Cultural Immersion

Hindu Musical Traditions – A Cultural Immersion

TAT3101 - (C.P.H.S – Elective Course) This course is the first in a 2-Course sequence in the Hindu Musical Traditions – ... Read More
The Three Vedantic Perspectives on the Bhagavad Gita

The Three Vedantic Perspectives on the Bhagavad Gita

TAT4002 - (C.P.H.S - Elective Course) Hindu Thought provides for the simultaneous co-existence of varied perspectives on the nature of ... Read More
The Renaissance of Sanatana Dharma In the Light of Sri Aurobindo - Part 3

The Renaissance of Sanatana Dharma In the Light of Sri Aurobindo – Part 3

HSF3103 - (C.P.H.S - Elective Course) More than any one single figure, Sri Aurobindo prophesied that the renaissance of Sanatana ... Read More
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How Hindu Dharma Transformed America

HAM2100 - (C.P.H.S – Core Course) This course explores the history and impact of Vedic Wisdom on America’s Spiritual Landscape ... Read More
An Immersive exploration of the iconic "Autobiography of  a Yogi"

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YOG2100 - (C.P.H.S - Elective Course) Of all the books that spread Hindu dharma beyond India, none has had as ... Read More
Sustainability is Sanatana Dharma

Sustainability is Sanatana Dharma

CPS2003 - (C.P.H.S – Elective Course) This course explores how the modern quest for sustainability relates to the eternal search ... Read More
Reconstructing Hindu History – The Commissions

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HAM4201 - (C.P.H.S - Core Course) This course is the first of a two-quarter course sequence that examines the scientific ... Read More
Living our Svadharma in a contemporary world

Living our Svadharma in a contemporary world

HSF1101 - (C.P.H.S - Core Course) A practical guide to - living our svadharma. Living in the contemporary world is ... Read More
Exploring Hinduism -Geography and History

Exploring Hinduism -Geography and History

HSF1001 - (C.P.H.S – Core Course) “Exploring Hinduism – Geography and History”, is the first course in the series titled "Exploring ... Read More
Reconstructing Hindu History – The Omissions

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HAM4202 - (C.P.H.S – Core Course) This course is the second of a two-quarter course sequence that examines the scientific evidence ... Read More
Introduction to Hindu Philosophy: ‘Shad Darshanas’

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HSF2001 - (C.P.H.S - Core Course) This course will introduce the student to the six traditional perspectives of Hindu Philosophy, ... Read More
Vishnu Sahasranama Stotram

Vishnu Sahasranama Stotram

TAT1301 - (C.P.H.S – Elective Course) This course on Vishnu Sahasranama stotra, will prepare students to chant the slokas with ... Read More
Hindu Contributions to the world in the realm of matter

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HSF1002 - (C.P.H.S – Elective Course) This course explores the contributions of the Hindus to the world in the realm of ... Read More
The Renaissance of Sanatana Dharma  In the Light of Sri Aurobindo - Part 1

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Understanding Hinduphobia

Understanding Hinduphobia

HSF2201 - (C.P.H.S – Core Course) This course serves as a starting point for those who are interested in learning ... Read More
The Dharma Of Global Sustainability

The Dharma Of Global Sustainability

CPS2001 - (C.P.H.S – Elective Course) This course explores the impact of ancient Vedic Wisdom on the modern questions of ... Read More
Sankhya Darshana through the Sankhya Karika – Part I

Sankhya Darshana through the Sankhya Karika – Part I

HSF3201 - (C.P.H.S - Elective Course) This Course is the first of a two-part course series presenting an in-depth exploration ... Read More
vedanta

Introduction to Upanishads – Part 1

HSF2002 - (C.P.H.S – Core Course) Upanishads form a strong philosophical foundation in the development of Hindu philosophy and culture ... Read More
The Yoga of Global Transformation

The Yoga of Global Transformation

This course explores how humanity can meet the ever-pressing challenge of global sustainability, that we all confront collectively. It explores ... Read More
Ramayana for Excellence in Management and Leadership

Ramayana for Excellence in Management and Leadership

HSF3301 - (C.P.H.S - Elective Course) This course aims to introduce Srimad Ramayana as an important literature in teaching and ... Read More
Exploring Hinduism - Divinities and Dharma

Exploring Hinduism – Divinities and Dharma

HSF1002 - (C.P.H.S – Core Course) “Exploring Hinduism – Divinities and Dharma”, is the second course in the series titled ... Read More
Hindu Contributions to the World in the Realm of Mind – Towards Sciences and Arts

Hindu Contributions to the World in the Realm of Mind – Towards Sciences and Arts

HSF1203 - (C.P.H.S - Elective Course) This course belongs to the set of the courses which explore the contributions of ... Read More
Hindu Contributions to the world in the realm of matter

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HSF1202 - (C.P.H.S - Elective Course) This course explores the contributions of the Hindus to the world in the realm ... Read More
Across the Universe: Hindu Dharma and Western Creative Arts

Across the Universe: Hindu Dharma and Western Creative Arts

TAT2100 - (C.P.H.S – Elective Course) This course is both a celebration and a deep analysis of artists who opened ... Read More
Ayurveda – The Wisdom of Wellbeing

Ayurveda – The Wisdom of Wellbeing

TAT1101 - (C.P.H.S - Core Course) This foundational course is designed to make the timeless wisdom of Ayurveda accessible to ... Read More
grammar

Bhagavad-Gita for the Beginner -Gnana

HSF1302 - (C.P.H.S - Elective Course) Bhagavad-Gita for the Beginner - Gnana is the second part of a three-part sequence ... Read More
Ayurveda - Essential Nutrition

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TAT1103 - (C.P.H.S - Elective Course) In our contemporary era, concern for the prevention of disease is neglected in favor ... Read More

As part of Hindu University of America’s commitment to ongoing community education, most courses available at the university including Graduate Division courses are open for registration from members of the community as continuing education students. Anyone including already employed professionals and prospective degree students may apply to any single course as a special student if they can demonstrate that they have the prerequisite preparation. They may discuss their preparedness to take any course with the course faculty or instructor.

  • The continuing education stream of courses is targeted towards people who wish to learn ongoingly, without pursuing a specific degree or certificate.
  • There are no prerequisites enforced, other than those required by the faculty, and anyone may register. We invite prospective students to try out a course or two and come back for more
  • Courses taken as part of community education can be bundled together to earn certificates at a later stage.
Sri Ramcharitmanas: Continuity in Change

Sri Ramcharitmanas: Continuity in Change

TAT1201 - (C.P.H.S – Elective Course) This course explores the Ramcharitmanas, an epic poem composed in the sixteenth century in Ayodhya,
Holiday Season Gift Course

Holiday Season Gift Course

This Holiday Season, light a lamp of knowledge by gifting a HUA course(s) to your family and friends. Your Gift
Teaching Yoga for Children

Teaching Yoga for Children

YOG3004 - This course enables students to integrate yoga in their teaching career, for guiding children, and for developing spiritual
Lessons from Valmiki Ramayana

Lessons from Valmiki Ramayana

HSF 1005 - (C.P.H.S - Core Course) This course will help the participants get a well-versed understanding of the story,
Bhagavad-Gita for the Beginner – DEHA

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HSF1004 - (C.P.H.S - Elective Course) Bhagavad-Gita for the Beginner – DEHA is the first part of a three-part sequence
promise

Discover the contemporary Relevance of Hindu Dharma

HSF1007 - (C.P.H.S - Elective Course) This course, targets an age group of 18-35 and will explore the question –
Race and Hindu Reform

Race and Hindu Reform

HAM6405 - This course is the second part of a two-part course sequence that begins with HAM6403-Race and Modern Hinduism.
Hinduism and Conflict Resolution

Hinduism and Conflict Resolution

CPS5502 - The course explores Hindu ideas and their relevance for conflict resolution. Click here to check if you are
Mahābhārata VI: Methods and Scholarship

Mahābhārata VI: Methods and Scholarship

TAT7206 - This course is the sixth of a 6-part Course Sequence that explores the great epic of India, The
Teaching Yoga for Children

Teaching Yoga for Children

YOG3004 - This course enables students to integrate yoga in their teaching career, for guiding children, and for developing spiritual
The Bhagavadgītā and the West

The Bhagavadgītā and the West

HAM6404 - This course traces the history of the Western reception of the Bhagavadgītā, a central text of classical Hinduism.
Establishing the Importance of Hindu Studies in an Academic Setting

Introduction to the daśaśāntimantras

TAT1001 - This course provides an immersive introduction to the Mantra and Chanting traditions of Sanatana Dharma. It focuses on
Decolonizing the Hindu Condition

Decolonizing the Hindu Condition

PHS6302 - This course will analyze in detail the psychological and sociological consequences of the British colonial narratives on Hindus,
Race & Modern Hinduism

Race & Modern Hinduism

This course traces the construction of “race” in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Europe, beginning with the theological, political, and scientific source
Holistic Yoga - 2: Deepen Your Yoga Practice

Holistic Yoga – 2: Deepen Your Yoga Practice

YOG2000 - This course provides in-depth experience of holistic yoga, that integrates asana, pranayama, and meditation techniques for a sustained
Managing Diabetes through Holistic Yoga

Managing Diabetes through Holistic Yoga

This course provides online classroom training under the guidance of senior yoga therapists so that students can learn to practice
Reconstructing Hindu History – The Commissions

Reconstructing Hindu History – The Commissions

HAM4201 - (C.P.H.S - Core Course) This course is the first of a two-quarter course sequence that examines the scientific
Managing Back Pain through Holistic Yoga

Managing Back Pain through Holistic Yoga

YOG1006 - This course provides online classroom training under the guidance of senior yoga therapists so that students can learn
Hindu Musical Traditions -  A Cultural Immersion

Hindu Musical Traditions – A Cultural Immersion

TAT3101 - (C.P.H.S – Elective Course) This course is the first in a 2-Course sequence in the Hindu Musical Traditions –
Indian and Western Music Traditions – A Comparative Study

Indian and Western Music Traditions – A Comparative Study

TAT3103 - (C.P.H.S – Elective Course) This course is the first of a three-part course sequence in the Hindu Musical Traditions
Exploring Hinduism for Teens and Parents

Exploring Hinduism for Teens and Parents

HSF1001 - (C.P.H.S – Core Course) “Exploring Hinduism – The Overview”, is the first course in the series titled "Exploring Hinduism"
Antaranga Mandapam

Antaranga Mandapam

YOG3101 - How is this Coronavirus pandemic going to end? Will we return to our 'old selves' and our 'familiar
Holistic Yoga -Philosophy and Practice

Holistic Yoga -Philosophy and Practice

YOG1000 - This course provides an introduction to holistic yoga, that integrates yoga philosophy from classical scriptural texts and sustained
Indian woman holding Diwali oil lamp

Advaita Vedanta: A Method

HSF6004 - This course will explore and demonstrate the use of the methods (prakriyas) used in the Upanisads to unfold
Comparative Religion: Death and Meaning

Comparative Religion: Death and Meaning

HSF6003 - The central problem of human life is twofold: morality and mortality. Given the certainty of death, is there
History of Dharmaśāstras II

History of Dharmaśāstras II

HSF6006 - This is the second course in a two-part survey course that provides an overview of dharma literature from
History of Dharmaśāstras I

History of Dharmaśāstras I

HSF5006 - This two-part survey course provides an overview of dharma literature from ancient and medieval texts of the Hindu
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
The Mahābhārata II: Dicing and Exile

The Mahābhārata II: Dicing and Exile

TAT7202 - This course is the second of a 6-part Course Sequence that explores the great epic of India, The
Human Rights: A Hindu Perspective

Human Rights: A Hindu Perspective

CPS6506 - To demonstrate how human rights concept and policy could be found in Hindu philosophy, and also how such
Akshardham

Discover Life by Exploring India

HSF5001 - A unique study abroad course that offers an authentic, transformative and enriching experience. This course is aimed at
Philosophy of Nonviolence

Philosophy of Nonviolence

An examination of the concept of nonviolence, its evolution and practice in various cultures and traditions.
Hunamities

The Humanities and the University – II

Inspired by neo-humanism, the research university was to facilitate self-cultivation, aesthetic appreciation (especially through knowledge of classical antiquity), and a
International Politics: A Hindu Perspective

International Politics: A Hindu Perspective

CPS6507 - To explore methods to bridge the chasm between the practice of international politics and universal moral principles.
Contesting Neo-Hinduism

Contesting Neo-Hinduism

PHS7302 - The current mainstream narrative in western academia is that there are two kinds of Hinduism: traditional and neo
Philosophy of Science and Hinduism

Philosophy of Science and Hinduism

PHS8302 - In the colonial and postcolonial contexts, there have been many attempts both by Indians and western people to
Philosophical Foundations of Orientalism

Philosophical Foundations of Orientalism

Orientalism employs a technique termed “deconstruction.” In order to effectively and critically examine a colonial and postcolonial discourse, it is
Orientalism and Hinduism

Orientalism and Hinduism

PHS7301 - In postcolonial scholarship, Edward Said’s work Orientalism can be considered a landmark text. This course helps students understand
Arthaśāstra

Arthaśāstra

CPS 5505 - To examine the core ideas such as state, war, and peace in the ancient text Arthashastra, a
Śhānti Parva

Śhānti Parva

CPS5504 - To elaborate ideas of good governance and duties of a ruler towards his subjects and Dharma as enshrined
Bhagavad gita

The Vision of the Bhagavad-Gītā

HSF5002 - Distilled from the Upaniṣad, the Śrīmad Bhagavad-Gītā is a fundamental text of Hindu Dharma which has given rise
Anticolonialism and Postcolonialism

Anticolonialism and Postcolonialism

PHS6301 - This course introduces the theories of various anticolonial and postcolonial writers in order to create a framework for
vedanta

The Foundation of Vedānta

HSF5004 - Vedānta also known as the Upaniṣad, found at the end of all four Vedas, reveal the goal and
vedas

An Overview of the Veda

HSF5003 - The Vedas are the oldest body of sacred knowledge known to man. A bird’s eye view of the
Vālmīki’s Rāmāyaṇa

Vālmīki’s Rāmāyaṇa

TAT7203 - Vālmīki’s Rāmāyaṇa is a classic story of human self-development focused on the relationship between the macrocosm (the kingdom)
The Mahābhārata I: From Beginning to End

The Mahābhārata I: From Beginning to End

TAT7201 - This course is the first of a 6-part Course Sequence that explores the great epic of India, The
Ādi Śaṅkara

Ādi Śaṅkara

TAT6202 - Ādi Śaṅkarācārya, the author of numerous commentaries and pedagogical tracts, is the seminal philosopher in Hinduism, especially its
A man doing arti

Bhakti and Philosophy

TAT6201 - In religious studies, bhakti is often described as devotion or intense feeling, and presented as “faith” in contrast
Ancient Greek Philosophy

Ancient Greek Philosophy

HSF6002 - What is the meaning of existence? What is the nature of truth? These were the questions asked by
Historicism and Its Crisis

Historicism and Its Crisis

HAM8402 - The intellectual movement known as historicism dominated the nineteenth century. At its simplest, it is the view that

Gandhian Philosophy

The relevance of Mahatma Gandhi for the contemporary world, characterized by turbulence, is indisputable. Gandhi’s principles of Ahimsa (non-violence) and Satyagraha (love for the truth) stemmed from his religious tradition, and he applied these principles to political action in South Africa and India. The course introduces a Gandhian perspective on conflict resolution and peacebuilding. It examines ideas of Gandhi in academic and policy debates towards the development of rich and multiple perspectives and pathways to address the gap between principles and practice. It also explores the relevance of Gandhi for contemporary global issues including, but not limited to, inter-state and intra-state conflicts, climate change, religious extremism, rich-poor divide, education, economic development, and women empowerment. Gandhian ideas such as frugal economy, Gram Swaraj (grass-roots democracy), Ram Rajya (ideal state), trusteeship, social service, Swadeshi (self-reliance), bread-labor, social and religious harmony, and optimal use of resources will also be explored in the course. The students taking this course will be able to apply a Gandhian perspective on the prevailing discourses on human life and society and appreciate the significance of dialogue among civilizations and cultures.

Hinduism & Peace

This course examines the elements of Hindu thought that deal with conflict resolution. Starting from the ancient period to the present, various Hindu scriptures and thinkers have pondered over conflicts at various levels and explored paths for peace. Starting from the Śānti Parva of Mahābhārata to the writings of the 20th-century Indian thinkers, various useful elements can be found in the Hindu thought reflecting on various conflicts in human society and their solutions.  The course will bring to the learners a broader understanding of the  Hindu thought and its problem-solving aspects, and their relevance for the contemporary world. Hindu thought is rich in providing various paths to realize peace. For instance, while for Kautilya, a strong state is a necessary pillar for peace, Swāmi Vivekānanda emphasized universal acceptance and toleration as two core elements for sustainable peace. The course while introducing students the core elements of the Hindu thought that focus on conflict and peace, explores their conflict resolution potentials. It also aims to encourage students to explore a complex and interesting subject in their own way while drawing on the Hindu scriptures and philosophers.

Hinduism and Conflict Resolution

Course Description:

The course explores Hindu ideas and their relevance for conflict resolution. Though there is a vast literature on conflict and peace studies, the Hindu ideas are seldom factored in the mainstream discourse. The course aims to fill this critical gap while dispelling myths about Hindu ideas on conflict resolution. A closer examination reveals that Hindu thought from the very ancient period dealt with conflict at multiple levels and explored pathways for their transformation. A hallmark of the Hindu thought is its spiritual approach to conflict and its emphasis on the interlinkage of conflicts at various spheres including psychological, social, cultural, political, and economic. Whether it was the dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna in the battlefield of Kurukshetra or Pitamaha Bhishma’s advice at the end of the Mahabharata war or Kautilya’s famous exhortation to Indians to unite against invading Greeks, or Ashoka’s remorse during the Kalinga war or Gandhi’s struggle against the British rule, they reveal to us powerful ideas and their relevance for a discourse on conflict resolution and peacebuilding. While introducing students the core elements of the Hindu thought that focus on conflict and peace, the course explores their conflict resolution potentials. It encourages students to explore a complex and interesting subject, for example the India-Pakistan conflict or the India-China conflict, in their own way while drawing from the Hindu scriptures and philosophers.

Class Structure:

There will be contact hour with the faculty every week. The class is structured in a way that promotes discussion and debate based on self-study, research and writing assignments each week. At the end of the course, students will be required to submit a short essay. 

Course Learning Objectives: 

  1. Gain a broader understanding of Hindu thought and its problem-solving and conflict resolution dimensions. 
  2. View contemporary conflicts from a Hindu conflict resolution lens and explore the relevance of the Hindu perspective for the contemporary world. 
  3. Examine a contemporary conflict while drawing on the Hindu conflict resolution theories and practices.

Area of Study: Conflict and Peace Studies

Required / Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Admission into a Program of Study

Faculty: Dr. Debidatta. A. Mahapatra

Day: Friday

Start Date: April 15, 2022

End Date: June 24, 2022

Time: 06:00 pm EST – 09:00 pm EST

Quarter Offered: Spring 2022

Human Rights: A Hindu Perspective

Though its origin could be traced to the ancient and medieval periods, human rights as a concept and policy instrument became popular in the 20th century, particularly after the promulgation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations in 1948. There are many scholarly studies on the subject, but most of them adopt a Eurocentric approach. Scarcely there are studies which bring into focus a Vedanta perspective on the subject. The concept of practical Vedanta, popularized by Swami Vivekananda in the late 19th century, could be considered a precursor to the idea of human rights. Vedanta philosophy, Swami Vivekananda argued, has no value unless it addresses everyday problems confronted by human society including the exploitation of the weak, discrimination against women, and problems like poverty and illiteracy. He argued that for universal peace it is necessary that individuals come out of their selfish boundaries and think of the world as one family (Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam). This Vedanta perspective with its deep philosophical and practical underpinnings is relevant for human rights policy and practice

In this course the students will be able to:

  1. Survey the evolution of the concept of human rights from a Vedanta perspective.
  2. Study select Vedic hymns to demonstrate how those hymns could be considered the foundation of human rights. 
  3. Relate the ancient knowledge with the modern concept of human rights and apply that knowledge for the benefit of human society and the world.

Area of Study: Conflict and Peace Studies

Required / Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Admission into a Program of Study

Faculty: Dr. Debidatta. A. Mahapatra

International Politics: A Hindu Perspective

Violation of moral principles has emerged a norm than the exception in international politics. States and global institutions have proved ineffective to checkmate violent conflicts. It is not they are incapable or lack resources. The problem lies elsewhere. Ego is a major cause behind much of the hazards in international politics. Indian philosopher Sri Aurobindo argued, like individuals, states have egos– amplified through national habits, prejudices, and idiosyncrasies. When applied to international politics, they lead to jingoism, exploitation, and wars, leading to practices like colonialism and imperialism. Colonialism and imperialism were only manifestations of an exploitative substructure. The root, the ego, is intact, and its manifestation has acquired new shapes. The Indian philosopher argued that state ego could evolve when state leaders think in terms of human unity. The establishment of the United Nations, after the failure of the League of Nations, was hailed a right step in this direction. The UN was established with a promise to ensure dignity and equality to all states. Has this happened?

In this course the students will be able to:

  1. Gain a broad understanding of international politics and various theories related to it.
  2. Interpret international developments from a Hindu spiritual perspective.
  3. Identify the patterns of international politics in which narrow national interests play dominant roles, and explore methods to address them.

Area of Study: Conflict and Peace Studies

Required / Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Admission into a Program of Study

Faculty: Dr. Debidatta. A. Mahapatra

Introduction to Conflict and Peace Studies

Conflicts are omnipresent in human relations. They are neither inherently good nor bad, but simply facts of life. A conflict situation arises when individuals or groups pursuit incompatible goals. These competing goals can range from needs within the family to competition over scarce resources between members of a community or between states. When competition turns violent, conflict resolution becomes essential as the costs rise with short term and long term implications. This course introduces some of the leading theories of conflict and conflict resolution. The goals of this course are threefold: to introduce students to the background and characteristics of conflict and peace studies; to explore a multitude of tools and explanations used by scholars in order to understand peace and conflict; and, to encourage students to explore a complex and interesting subject in an innovative manner through drawing from the existing theories. The course begins with an introduction to conflict theories, focusing on various ways to approach conflict. It also focuses on the conflict at various levels – individual, group, intra-state, and interstate. The course then focuses on various approaches to conflict management and conflict resolution.

 

Philosophy of Nonviolence

This course will examine the philosophical dimensions of the concept of nonviolence and focus on select philosophers and nonviolent movements. For Mahatma Gandhi, one of the pioneers of nonviolent struggle, nonviolence is as old as the Himalayas. It will, hence, be a meaningful exercise to explore how this idea and its practice evolved in different cultures and societies, and how various thinkers and practitioners shaped it. While Kant believed republicanism can provide a base for peace among nations, Tolstoy based his advocacy of peace on theology and shaped Gandhi’s idea and practice of nonviolence. On the other hand, thinkers like Kautilya and Hegel believed war can be a necessary instrument to build a peaceful society. This interdisciplinary course will draw from research in sociology, psychology, political science, anthropology, and related disciplines to explore how concerns of peace and nonviolence shaped ideas of scholars in these disciplines and informed theory and practice of nonviolence.

In this course the students will be able to:

  1. Explore linkages between the concepts of peace, war, and nonviolence.
  2. Gain an understanding of the evolution of nonviolence idea and practice in different cultures and traditions. 
  3. Identify factors that promote or obstruct a culture of nonviolence in the contemporary world.

Area of Study: Conflict and Peace Studies

Required/Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Admission into a Program of Study

Instructor: Dr. Debidatta. A. Mahapatra

 

Śhānti Parva

Śhānti Parva broadly elaborates the duties of the ruler, dharma, compassion, and good governance. It contains lessons on these virtues given by dying Bhīṣma to Yudhiṣṭhira and his brothers. It also contains words from sage Vidura. Śānti Parva has three parts or sub-books: Rājadharma Anuśāsanaparva Parva, elaborating the duties of kings; Apadharma Anuśāsanaparva Parva, focusing on the rules of conduct while facing adverse situation; and, Mokṣa Dharma Parva, elaborating behavior and rules to achieve Mokṣa. One can argue that peace remains the central theme of the book, amidst conflict and war. The book goes deep into the roots of hatred and war and focuses on ahiṃsā or non-violence as imperative for a happy life. It adopts a philosophical and spiritual approach to war while arguing that war ends neither in victory nor defeat, but in great destruction and death. It discusses the legitimate source and use of power, and moral duty to revolt when it turns into tyranny. While accepting conflicts as inevitable parts of human life, it argues that truth is the supreme guiding principle for the kings. According to Bhīṣma, “There is nothing which leads so much to the success of kings as Truth, the king who is devoted to Truth enjoys happiness both here and hereafter. Even to the Rishis, O king, Truth is the greatest wealth. Likewise, for the kings, there is nothing that so much creates confidence in them as Truth.” In many ways, the book holds a mirror image of our contemporary society in which corruption and misuse of power have created myriad conflicts and reveals how Truth, particularly in the relations between the states, can help resolve many of these conflicts.

Sustainability is Sanatana Dharma

Course Content:

This course explores the case that we are in a double Galilean moment in human history: whereas Galileo had to overcome one false axiom that the “sun goes around the earth” in order to trigger the Scientific Revolution in the 17 th century, we have to overcome two false axioms, the false axiom of consumerism, or the “Greed is Good” rule, and the false axiom of supremacism, or the “Might is Right” rule, in order to trigger the Sustainability Revolution in the 21 st century. In this course, we will create quantitative models for implementing the correct
axioms of inner peace and unity and thereby chart a path for personal and social transformation towards a sustainable, thriving future for humanity.

The topics that will be covered are as follows:
Session 1: Overview of the course
Session 2: Why Separation is a Delusion
Session 3: The Urgency of Reversing Environmental and Social Degradation
Session 4: The Two False Axioms of Modern Industrial Civilization
Session 5: The Killing and Burning Machines
Session 6: The Climate Bathtub Formulation
Session 7: The Berkana Two Loops Model for Transformation
Session 8: The Two Correct Axioms of a Sustainable Civilization
Session 9: The Greatest Transformation in Human History
Session 10: The Seven Strategic Actions
Session 11: Student and Teacher Reflections on the Course

Course Learning Objectives:
In this course students will be able to:
1. Understand the profound impact of Hindu teachings on our worldly outlook and how it changes our story telling
2. Appreciate the impact that the games we play have on the world around us.
3. Devise new games that can transform ourselves and transform our world.
4.Understand that the quest for global sustainability is a collective one in which we all have a duty to help our fellow humans and fellow beings.
5.Discover the enormous breadth, variety, and depth of Hindu Dharmic teachings.

Class Structure:
The class will meet once a week for up to 90 minutes. The teacher’s presentation, with the help of audio and video recordings, will last approximately 45 minutes. The remaining time will be devoted to questions and open discussion. There will be 10 such sessions followed by an additional session devoted to the presentation and discussion of student and teacher
reflections regarding what they learned from the course and how they expect it will influence their lives

Prerequisites: None

Area of Study: Conflict and Peace Studies

Faculty / Instructor:  Dr. Sailesh Rao

Required / Elective: Elective

Start Date: October 12, 2022

End Date: December 21, 2022

Time: 9.00 pm EST – 10.30 pm EST

Day: Wednesday

Quarter Offered: Fall 2022

The Dharma Of Global Sustainability

Course Content:

The course is intended for the youth of this world who are facing some of the gravest environmental challenges ever faced by any generation of human beings. It is also intended for all those who love the youth of this world, for the youth cannot solve these challenges on their own while their parents, grandparents, uncles, and aunts continue to pile on more grave challenges for them to solve.

The course will rely heavily upon an updated version of the 2011 book, “Carbon Dharma: The Occupation of Butterflies”.  The nine chapters of the book will be the basis for the course material for Sessions 2-10 of the course, while the introductory session will provide an overview of what the course will cover. The topics that will be covered are as follows:

Session 1: Overview of the course
Session 2: Focusing on transformation through the metaphor of metamorphosis
Session 3: The law of Karma and why actions and inaction matter
Session 4: An exploration of Hindu Dharma and how it informs our actions today
Session 5: Applying Dharmic concepts to our sustainability challenges
Session 6: Framing the Kurukshetra of our times and how the Bhagavad Gita informs our right action
Session 7: The Caterpillar culture – an examination of the “Kaurava” side that we must shed
Session 8: The Butterfly culture – an examination of the “Pandava” side that we must nurture
Session 9: How do we all become Climate Healers – the many stepped journeys towards global sustainability
Session 10: Awakening through awareness into the realm of global sustainability

Course Learning Objectives:

In this course students will be able to:

  1. Understand the profound impact of Hindu Dharma on any plausible solutions to our environmental challenges
  2. Appreciate the impact that our daily actions have on our environmental and social predicaments.
  3. Identify the power that we have to transform our world.
  4. Understand that we have all the tools and technologies we need to transform our world.
  5. Discover the enormous breadth, variety, and depth of our Dharmic teachings.

Class Structure:

The class will meet once a week for up to 90 minutes. The teacher’s presentation, with the help of audio and video recordings, will last approximately 45 minutes. The remaining time will be devoted to questions and open discussion. There will be 10 such sessions followed by an additional session devoted to the presentation and discussion of student and teacher reflections regarding what they learned from the course and how they expect it will influence their lives

Prerequisites: None

Area of Study: Conflict and Peace Studies

Faculty / Instructor:  Dr. Sailesh Rao

Required / Elective: Elective

Start Date: October 6, 2021

End Date: December 22, 2021

Time: 9.00 pm EST – 10.30 pm EST

Day: Wednesday

Quarter Offered: Fall 2021

The Yoga of Global Transformation

Course Description:

This course explores the impact of applying the fundamental Hindu axiom, “Everything happens for the best” on the modern questions of environmental degradation and social injustice. It will advance and explore the hypothesis that humanity has been engaged in an unconscious quest to stabilize the earth’s temperature and prevent the earth from going back into another ice age ever again. We did this by playing a game that rewarded selfishness, greed, and apathy similar to the loaded dice game organized by Shakuni in the Mahabharata. As a consequence, the Earth is marinating in ever accumulating toxic pollution even as ecosystems are degraded and the climate is changing. Now, we are each called to fight our personal battle of Kurukshetra and transform ourselves to treat all Life as sacred in order to preserve that on which we depend for our own survival. The course will rely heavily upon an updated version of the 2016 book, “Carbon Yoga: The Vegan Metamorphosis”.  The nine chapters of the book will be the basis for the course material for Sessions 2-10 of the course, while the introductory session will provide an overview of what the course will cover. The topics that will be covered are as follows:

Session 1: Overview of the course
Session 2: The “fundamental axiom” of Hinduism
Session 3: Why a Western beginning in the industrial era needs an Indian ending
Session 4: Why everything is perfect, and everything must change
Session 5: The first question: “Who Are We?” as a species
Session 6: The second question: “What Is Our Relationship with The World?”
Session 7: The third question: “Why Are We Here?”
Session 8: The new game of Aquarius to promote selflessness, generosity, and activism
Session 9: How to transform yourself and transform your world
Session 10: The lifelong journey towards moral singularity

Course Learning Objectives:
In this course students will be able to:

1.     Understand the profound impact of Hindu teachings on our worldly outlook and how it changes our story telling

2.     Appreciate the impact that the games we play have on the world around us.

3.     Devise new games that can transform ourselves and transform our world.

4.     Understand that the quest for global sustainability is a collective one in which we all have a duty to help our fellow humans and fellow beings.

5.     Discover the enormous breadth, variety, and depth of Hindu Dharmic teachings.

Class Structure:

The class will meet once a week for up to 90 minutes. The teacher’s presentation, with the help of audio and video recordings, will last approximately 45 minutes. The remaining time will be devoted to questions and open discussion. There will be 10 such sessions followed by an additional session devoted to the presentation and discussion of student and teacher reflections regarding what they learned from the course and how they expect it will influence their lives.

Prerequisites: None

Area of Study: Conflict and Peace Studies

Faculty / Instructor:  Dr. Sailesh Rao

Required / Elective: Elective

Start Date: Wednesday, April 14th, 2021

End Date: Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021

Time: 9.00 pm – EST – 10.30 pm – EST

Day: Wednesday

Quarter Offered: Spring 2021