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Advaita Vedanta: A Method

Learning Outcome:-

  1. Develop a clear understanding of Advaita Vedanta as a method, and the ramifications of that.
  2. Gain a comprehensive understanding of Advaita epistemology and its role as a key to understanding the vision of the Upanisads.
  3. Connect the epistemology to Advaita ontology and the fulfillment of its soteriological end.

In this course, we will examine the methods (prakriyas) used in the Upanisads to reveal the existence and nature of the non-dual reality.  We will begin with a basic discussion of Advaita epistemology to understand the important claim of the Upanisad that it provides, not just information about the non-dual reality, but the means through which one can directly know it. First, we will undertake a close reading of Sankara’s introduction to the Brahmasutra, and commentary on Taittiriya Upanisad 2.1.1 to establish the core principles of superimposition and negation as well as implicative statements. With these parameters, we will study dialogues in the Mundaka, Taittirya, and Mandukya Upanisads that employ the foundational method of inquiry into cause-effect, and also, the methods of analysis of the levels of our waking experience and analysis of the three states of waking, dream, and sleep. Throughout, we will be connecting what we discover to the soteriological aim of Advaita Vedanta—release from human suffering and the cycle of birth and death.

Required/Elective: Required

Prerequisites: Introduction to Advaita Vedanta

Faculty/Instructor: Swamini Agamananda Saraswati

Quarter Offered: Winter 2020

Area of Study:- Hindu Studies Foundation 

An Overview of the Veda

The Vedic-view of the purpose of life as explained by the four puruṣārthas – Dharma, Artha, Kāma, and Mokṣa will be discussed. An overview of the four Vedas, each consisting of the two major categories, which are further subdivided into different portions, the arrangement of the mantras into mandalas and aśtaka systems, internal classifications of each Veda into Samhitā, Brāhmana, Āraṇyaka, and Upaniṣads will be covered. The Veda’s structural hierarchy and purpose, and supplementary texts of the Vedic corpus such as – Sūtra – Bhāṣya – Vyākhyā – Ṭīkā – Ṭippaṇī – Prapaňcikā – Saṅgraha – Kārikā – Vṛtti – Vārtika – Prakaraṇa – Vāda – Khaṇḍana, including an overview of the six Darśanas will be examined, in addition to the differences between śruti and Smṛti

In this course students will be able to:

  1. Recognize the whole Vedic body of knowledge and its layout.
  2. Understand the inter-relationships of the various components of the Vedic corpus.
  3. Inquire into the concept of human progress in relation to the timelessness of ancient Vedic knowledge.
  4. Explore the relevance of the Vedic body of knowledge in today’s age.
  5. Examine contemporary views and interpretations of the Veda.

Areas of Study: Hindu Studies Foundations

Required / Elective: Required

Prerequisites: Admission into a program of Study

Faculty:  Sri Swāmi Svātmānanda

Ancient Greek Philosophy

Course Content:

Students will receive an intensive introduction to the core issues in ancient Greek philosophy by reading excerpts and complete texts from ancient philosophers including Parmenides, Empedocles, Plato, Aristotle, and Proclus, writing response papers, engaging in-class discussion, and submitting a final paper.

Students will gain insight into philosophical discourse and terminology, as well as intellectual tools with which to contribute to today’s philosophical and theological disputes.

Area of Study: Hindu Studies Foundations

Required/ Elective: Required

Prerequisites: Admission into a Program of Study

Instructor: Dr. Edward P. Butler/ Dr. Vishwa Adluri

Bhagavad-Gita for Teens and Parents

Course Content:

The course explores the wisdom of Bhagavad-Gita under 3 dimensions of human life. In today’s world we often see things with super specialized knowledge and have a fragmented view of the human life. Multiple streams of science and technology, diverse views of history and culture further divide our understanding of life. This course presents life in big picture with holistic view of body, mind and soul using key versus of Bhagavad-Gita.
DEHA module presents the Material and Psychic aspects of the human body in 6 lessons based on Shrimad Bhagavad-Gita. It highlights the principles of Sound Body; for attaining comprehensive wellness. First three lessons describe the elements of nature followed by the characteristics of the human body and mind. Next three lessons describe the sensory objects followed by the ways of controlling the senses and the consequences of sense gratification. In this module the participants shall learn the following. The basis of human existence on earth. The three kinds of food and their influence on the human body. The three main characteristics of the human mind. The two broad ways of conducting life in the material world. The characteristics of a balanced consciousness. The cause and effect of mental stress.
GNANA module presents the Physical, Social, Occupational, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual dimensions of the eternal wisdom from Shrimad Bhagavad-Gita. It highlights the principles of Sound Mind for attaining comprehensive wellness. First three dimensions describe the aspects of human endeavor in the material world. Next three dimensions describe the aspects of human evolution in the psychic world. In this module the participants shall learn the following. The three types of actions and the fruits of such actions. The four-fold social order on the basis of human character and action. The three types of people based on their actions and determination. Austerities of mind and the three types of minds. Factors of emotional equilibrium. The four forms of worship and three kinds of worshippers.
YOGA module presents the basis of the Atma and the four paths of spiritual practice as prescribed in Shrimad Bhagavad-Gita. It highlights the principles of Pure Soul for attaining comprehensive wellness. Union with self is Yoga and the four paths of Yoga are Karma, Gnana, Dhyana and Bhakti. Karma yoga describes the path of action, Gnana yoga describes the path of knowledge, Dhyana yoga describes the path of meditation and Bhakti yoga describes the path of devotion in the pursuit of union with divine. In this module the participants shall learn the following. The doctrine of rebirth and reincarnation. The law of Karma and its five factors. The principle of Gnana and its components. The process of Dhyana and its essentials. The practice of Bhakti and its methods.

Course Description:

The Bhagavad-Gita for Teens and Parents is designed to encourage both teenagers and their parents (or their grandparents) to explore the Bhagavad Gita together. It will create new conversational spaces for families, which are interested in learning together, across the generations. The course will help participants to memorize, understand and apply the divine wisdom of Bhagavad-Gita. The participants can get an overview of Hindu Dharma and enrich their personality along multiple dimensions including the spiritual. This course is delivered using Active, Interactive and Collaborative models. It offers guided practice of shlokas followed by interactive discussion of their meaning. The course material for active learning is available in multiple languages. The interactive sessions are conducted online in English.

Class Structure:
There will be a minimum of 3 contact hours with faculty every week. The class is structured in a way that promotes discussion and debate based on self-study and reflection each week. After the weekly class the students will be required to submit audio recordings of verses.

Course Learning Objectives:
In this course students will be able to:
1)Practice accurate pronunciation of the shlokas through guided chanting.
2)Explore the Intersemiotic translation of key versus of Bhagavad-Gita.
3)Gain a deeper understanding of the Bhagavad Gita through graphic illustrations.
4)Discover the foundations of Hindu Dharma from the Bhagavad-Gita
5)Gain an overview of the Hindu Wisdom, and Hindu Pathways for spiritual growth.
6)Purchasable Readings before the Course:

Readings:
Transliteration text books and guided audios from www.GitaVidya.org

Required / Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Admission into program of study

Faculty / InstructorMr. Gopi V. Prasad

USA Batch-

Time: 11:00 am EST – 12:30 pm EST

Day: Tuesday and Saturday

Start Date: July 16, 2022

End Date: August 23, 2022

ANZ Batch-

Time: 3:30 pm AEST – 6:00 pm AEST / 1:30 am EST – 03:00 am EST (11.00am IST to 12.30pm IST)

Day: Tuesday and Saturday

Start Date: July 16, 2022

End Date: August 23, 2022

Quarter Offered: Summer 2022

Bhagavad-Gita for the beginner – YOGA

Course Content:
The YOGA course presents the basis of the Atma and the four paths of self-realization as prescribed in Shrimad Bhagavad-Gita. Union with one’s own self is Yoga and the four paths of Yoga in Bhagavad-Gita are Karma Yoga, Gnana Yoga, Dhyana Yoga and Bhakti Yoga. Karma yoga describes the path of action, Gnana yoga describes the path of knowledge, Dhyana yoga describes the path of meditation and Bhakti yoga describes the path of devotion. In this course the participants shall learn the following. The doctrine of rebirth and reincarnation. The law of Karma and its five factors. The principle of Gnana and its components. The process of Dhyana and its essentials. The practice of Bhakti and its methods. This course helps students to understand, explore and apply the divine wisdom of the Bhagavad-Gita in their own lives. The course simplifies the learning process for the beginner using specially designed illustration workbooks, transliteration textbooks and guided audios for practice and recitation. The transliteration textbooks are available in 12 Indian languages and 12 world languages. The interactive sessions are conducted online in English. The course is divided into 3 modules Sadhana, Sodhana and Vaadana.
Sadhana: In this module students understand the verses in three steps.
Step 1: Shloka Rachana (Copy writing the shloka): In this step each verse is written in a language of choice by copying from the transliteration textbook.
Step 2: Shloka Shravana (Listening to the verse): In this step the students will get to know the accurate pronunciation of each verse.
Step 3: Shloka Anucharana (Guided recitation): In this step students will learn the accurate pronunciation of each verse through guided practice.

Sodhana: In this module students understand the meaning of the shlokas in 2 steps.
Step 4: Bhava Darshana (Graphic illustration): In this step the meaning of the shlokas is explained through graphic illustration.
Step 5: Pratipada Artha (Word meaning): In this step the word by word meaning of the shlokas is translated from Sanskrit to English.

Vaadana: In this module the interpretations of different acharyas to the shlokas of each lesson are explored to gain deeper meaning and summarized by the students in about 500 words. A debate on contemporary issues and situations is held towards end of the course. During the debate the students shall apply their learnings from the course and present their remarks and recommendations by referring to the specific shlokas of YOGA course.

Class Structure: 

There will be a minimum of 1.5 contact hours with faculty every week. The class is structured in a way that promotes discussion and debate based on self-study and reflection each week. After the weekly class the students will be required to submit audio recordings of verses and complete online assignments with drag and drop type questions.

Course Learning Objectives: 

In this course students will be able to:

Practice accurate pronunciation of the shlokas through guided chanting.

Discover the interpretations from different commentaries on Bhagavad-Gita.

Gain a deeper understanding of the Bhagavad Gita by comparing and analysing the similarities and differences between the interpretations of various acharyas.

Comprehend the simultaneous co-existence of diverse understandings of the divine wisdom of Hindu Dharma, enshrined in its varied Sampradayas.

Discover the foundations of Hindu Dharma from the Bhagavad-Gita

Gain an overview of the Hindu Wisdom, and Hindu Pathways for spiritual growth.

Required / Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: – Admission into program of study

Faculty / Instructor:  Mr. Gopi V. Prasad

Time: 11:00 am EST – 12:30 pm EST / 8:30 pm IST – 10:00 pm IST

Day: Sunday

Start Date: July 17, 2022

End Date: September 25, 2022

Quarter Offered: Summer 2022

Bhagavad-Gita for the Beginner -Gnana

Course Content:

The GNANA explains three types of actions and the fruits of such actions. The four-fold social order on the basis of human character and action. The three types of people based on their actions and determination. Austerities of mind and the three types of minds. Factors of emotional equilibrium. The four forms of worship and three kinds of worshippers. This course helps students to understand, explore and apply the divine wisdom of the Bhagavad-Gita in their own lives. This course simplifies the learning process of the Bhagavad-Gita for the beginner by using easy to understand graphic illustrations and simple to practice recitations, specially designed illustration workbooks, transliteration textbooks and guided audios for practice and recitation. The interactive sessions are conducted online in English. The transliteration textbooks are available in 12 Indian languages and 12 world languages. The course is divided into 3 modules Sadhana, Sodhana and Vaadana.

Sadhana: In this module students understand the verses in three steps. 

Step 1: Shloka Rachana (Copy writing the shloka): In this step each verse is written in a language of choice by copying from the transliteration textbook. 

Step 2: Shloka Shravana (Listening to the verse): In this step the students will get to know the accurate pronunciation of each verse.

Step 3: Shloka Anucharana (Guided recitation): In this step students will learn the accurate pronunciation of each verse through guided practice. 

Sodhana: In this module students understand the meaning of the shlokas in 2 steps. 

Step 4: Bhava Darshana (Graphic illustration): In this step the meaning of the shlokas is explained through graphic illustration.

Step 5: Pratipada Artha (Word meaning): In this step the word by word meaning of the shlokas is translated from Sanskrit to English.

Vaadana: In this module the interpretations of different acharyas to the shlokas of each lesson are explored to gain deeper meaning and summarized by the students in about 500 words. A debate on contemporary issues and situations is held towards end of the course. During the debate the students shall apply their learnings from the course and present their remarks and recommendations by referring to the specific shlokas of GNANA course. 

Class Structure: 

There will be a minimum of 1.5 contact hours with faculty every week. The class is structured in a way that promotes discussion and debate based on self-study and reflection each week. After the weekly class the students will be required to submit audio recordings of verses and complete online assignments with drag and drop type questions.

Course Learning Objectives: 

In this course students will be able to:

Practice accurate pronunciation of the shlokas through guided chanting.

Discover the interpretations from different commentaries on Bhagavad-Gita.

Gain a deeper understanding of the Bhagavad Gita by comparing and analysing the similarities and differences between the interpretations of various acharyas.

Comprehend the simultaneous co-existence of diverse understandings of the divine wisdom of Hindu Dharma, enshrined in its varied Sampradayas.

Discover the foundations of Hindu Dharma from the Bhagavad-Gita

Gain an overview of the Hindu Wisdom, and Hindu Pathways for spiritual growth.

Required / Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: – Admission into program of study

Faculty / InstructorMr. Gopi V. Prasad

Time: 11:00 am EST – 12:30 pm EST / 8:30 pm IST – 10:00 pm IST

Day: Sunday

Start Date: April 10, 2022

End Date: June 26, 2022

Quarter Offered: Spring 2022

Bhagavad-Gita for the Beginner – DEHA

Course Content:

DEHA is the first of a three-course series titled, DEHA, GNANA and YOGA. The Deha course highlights the Material and Psychic aspects of the body. The Gnana course describes the Physical, Social, Occupational, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual dimensions of divine wisdom. The Yoga course explains the four paths of Yoga in Bhagavad-Gita.

The DEHA Course helps students to understand, explore and apply the divine wisdom of the Bhagavad-Gita in their own lives. It simplifies the learning process for the beginner using specially designed graphic workbooks, transliteration textbooks in multiple languages (12 Indian languages and 12 world languages) and guided audios, available in recitation and practice versions. The interactive sessions are conducted online in English. 

The Course is divided into 3 modules – Sadhana, Sodhana and Vaadana through which Students will acquire a thorough overview of Hindu Dharma and enrich the quality of their spiritual lives.

Sadhana: In this module students understand the verses in three steps.

Step 1: Shloka Rachana (Copy writing the shloka): In this step each verse is written in a language of choice by copying from the transliteration textbook. 

Step 2: Shloka Shravana (Listening to the verse): In this step the students will get to know the accurate pronunciation of each verse.

Step 3: Shloka Anucharana (Guided recitation): In this step students will learn the accurate pronunciation of each verse through guided practice. After this step the students would be able to independently practice the recitation using the guided chanting audios available online. 

Sodhana: In this module students understand the meaning of the shlokas in 2 steps.

Step 4: Bhava Darshana (Graphic illustration): In this step the meaning of the verse is explained through graphic illustration.

Step 5: Pratipada Artha (Word meaning): In this step the word by word meaning of the shlokas is translated from Sanskrit to English.

Vaadana: In this module the interpretations of different acharyas to the shlokas of each lesson are explored to gain deeper meaning and summarized by the students in about 500 words. A debate on contemporary issues and situations is held towards end of the course. During the debate the students shall apply their learnings from the course and present their remarks and recommendations by referring to the specific shlokas of DEHA course.

Course Learning Objectives:

In this course students will be able to:

  • Practice accurate pronunciation of the shlokas through guided chanting.
  • Discover the interpretations from different commentaries on Bhagavad-Gita.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the Bhagavad Gita by comparing and analysing the similarities and differences between the interpretations of various acharyas.
  • Comprehend the simultaneous co-existence of diverse understandings of the divine wisdom of Hindu Dharma, enshrined in its varied Sampradayas.
  • Discover the foundations of Hindu Dharma from the Bhagavad-Gita.
  • Gain an overview of the Hindu Wisdom, and Hindu Pathways for spiritual growth.

Class Structure:

There will be a minimum of 1.5 contact hours with faculty every week. The class is structured in a way that promotes discussion and debate based on self-study and reflection each week. After the weekly class the students will be required to submit audio recordings of verses and complete online assignments with drag and drop type questions. 

Required / Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: N.A.

Faculty / InstructorMr. Gopi V. Prasad

Time: 11:00 am EST – 12:30 pm EST

Day: Every Sunday

Start Date: January 16, 2022

End Date: March 20, 2022

Quarter Offered: Winter 2022

Certificate Program in Hindu Studies

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.

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.
Below is the list of courses-

 

Course Codes Course Names Core/ Elective Faculty
HSF5000 Orientation to Hindu Studies Core Shri. Kalyan Viswanathan
HSF1001 Exploring Hinduism – Part A – Geography and History Core Dr.Hema and Dr. Hari Kandadai
HSF1002 Exploring Hinduism – Part B – Divinities and Religion Core Dr.Hema and Dr. Hari Kandadai
HSF1003 Exploring Hinduism – Part C – Timekeeping, Calendar and Celebrating Cosmic Connect Core Dr.Hema and Dr. Hari Kandadai
HSF1004 Exploring Hinduism – Part D – Society and Culture Core Dr.Hema and Dr. Hari Kandadai
HAM4201 Reconstructing Hindu History – The Commissions Core Dr. Raj Vedam
HAM4202 Reconstructing Hindu History – The Ommissions Core Dr. Raj Vedam
YOG2001 The Yoga in the Bhagavad Gita Core Dr. Shriram Sarvottham
YOG2002 The Yoga of the Yoga Sutras Core Dr. Shriram Sarvottham
TAT3104 Hindu Temples and Traditions Core Dr. Kanniks Kannikeswaran
TAT4001 Advaita, Visistadvaita, Dvaita, – The three flavors of Vedanta Sastra Core Mr. Krishna Kashyap
HAM2100 How Hindu Dharma -Transformed America Core Dr. Philip Goldberg
TAT1101 Ayurveda – The Wisdom of Wellbeing Core Ms. Luvena Krishnamurthy
HSF1005 Lessons from the Valmiki Ramayana Core Mr. Shantanu Gupta
HSF2001 Introduction to Hindu Philosophy: Shad Darshanas. Core Dr. Kalika Uttarkar
HSF1101 Living our Svadharma in a contemporary world. Core Swamini Brahmaprajnyananda
HSF1401 Introduction to the Vedic Ritual Core Shri. Sree Aswath
HSF1203 Hindu Contributions in the Realm of Mind – Part A – Arts and Sciences Elective Dr.Hema and Dr. Hari Kandadai
HSF1204 Hindu Contributions in the Realm of Mind Part B – Life and Lifestyle Elective Dr.Hema and Dr. Hari Kandadai
HSF1201 Hindu Contributions in the Realm of Matter Part A – Big 5 Elective Dr.Hema and Dr. Hari Kandadai
HSF1202 Hindu Contributions in the Realm of Matter Part B – Game Changer Elective Dr.Hema and Dr. Hari Kandadai
TAT3102 Hindu Musical Traditions – A Historical Prespective Elective Dr. Kanniks Kannikeswaran
TAT3101 Hindu Musical Traditions – A Cultural Immersion Elective Dr. Kanniks Kannikeswaran
TAT1001 Introduction to the daśaśāntimantras Elective Dr. Swaminathan
TAT1102 Disease through the Lens of Ayurveda Elective Ms. Luvena Krishnamurthy
TAT4002 The Three Vedantic perspectives on the Bhagavad Gita Elective Mr. Krishna Kashyap
TAT3101 Hindu Musical Traditions – A Cultural Immersion Elective Dr. Kanniks Kannikeswaran
YOG2100 An Immersive exploration of the iconic “Autobiography of a Yogi” Elective Dr. Philip Goldberg
HSF1301 Bhagvad-Gita for the beginner – Deha Elective Mr. Gopi Prasad
HSF1302 Bhagvad-Gita for the beginner – Gnana Elective Mr. Gopi Prasad
HSF1303 Bhagvad-Gita for the beginner – Yoga Elective Mr. Gopi Prasad
CPS2001 The Dharma of Global Sustainability Elective Dr. Sailesh Rao
CPS2002 The Yoga of Global Transformation Elective  Dr. Sailesh Rao
HSF1007 Discover the contemporary relevance of Hindu Dharma Elective Mr. Jeffrey Armstrong
YOG3100 Antaranga Yoga Elective Sri Raghu Anantnarayan
YOG3101 Antaranga Mandapam Elective Sri Raghu Anantnarayan
HSF3101 The Renaissance of Sanatana Dharma in the Light of Sri Aurobindo – Part 1 Elective Dr.Sampadananda Mishra
HSF3102 The Renaissance of Sanatana Dharma in the Light of Sri Aurobindo – Part 2 Elective Dr.Sampadananda Mishra
HSF3201 Sankhya Darshana through the Sankhya Karika – Part 1 Elective Dr. Kuldip Dhiman
HSF3202 Sankhya Darshana through the Sankhya Karika – Part 2 Elective Dr. Kuldip Dhiman
HSF3301 Ramayana for Excellence in Management and Leadership Elective Dr. Balkrishnan Muniapan
TAT1201 Sri Ramcharitmanas – Continuity in Change Elective Dr.Indrani, Sadhvi Giri, Geeta V. Ji
HSF3001 Upanishadic Dialogues – I: The Chandogya Upanishad Elective Dr. Narasimhan Anantharangachar

 

 

Program Description:

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.

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
An Immersive exploration of the iconic "Autobiography of  a Yogi"

An Immersive exploration of the iconic “Autobiography of a Yogi”

YOG2100 - (C.P.H.S - Elective Course) Of all the books that spread Hindu dharma beyond India, none has had as ... Read More
Establishing the Importance of Hindu Studies in an Academic Setting

Upanishadic Dialogues – I: The Chandogya Upanishad

HSF3001 - (C.P.H.S - Elective Course) This course will explore the metaphysics of Hindu Philosophy through a detailed analysis of ... 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
Introduction to Hindu Philosophy: ‘Shad Darshanas’

Introduction to Hindu Philosophy: ‘Shad Darshanas’

HSF2001 - (C.P.H.S - Core Course) This course will introduce the student to the six traditional perspectives of Hindu Philosophy, ... Read More
The Renaissance of Sanatana Dharma  In the Light of Sri Aurobindo - Part 1

The Renaissance of Sanatana Dharma  In the Light of Sri Aurobindo – Part 1

HSF3101 - (C.P.H.S – Elective Course) More than any one single figure, Sri Aurobindo prophesied that the renaissance of Sanatana Dharma ... 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
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
Hindu Contributions to the world in the realm of matter

Hindu Contributions to the world in the realm of matter

HSF1202 - (C.P.H.S - Elective Course) This course explores the contributions of the Hindus to the world in the realm ... 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
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

HSF3102 - (C.P.H.S - Elective Course) More than any one single figure, Sri Aurobindo prophesied that the renaissance of Sanatana ... 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 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
Certificate Program in Hindu Studies

Certificate Program in Hindu Studies

The Certificate program in Hindu Studies (C.P.H.S) prepares Students to engage with the world as a Hindu with confidence and ... Read More
Sri Ramcharitmanas: Continuity in Change

Sri Ramcharitmanas: Continuity in Change

TAT1201 - This course explores the Ramcharitmanas, an epic poem composed in the sixteenth century in Ayodhya, North India, some ... 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
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
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
Dakṣiṇāmūrtistōtram by Ādi Śaṅkara

Dakṣiṇāmūrtistōtram by Ādi Śaṅkara

TAT3001 - (C.P.H.S – Elective Course) This course will unfold the Dakṣiṇāmūrtistōtram systematically verse by verse, drawing upon where necessary ... 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
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
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
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
Story Writing Intensive

Story Writing Intensive

HSF1501 - (C.P.H.S – Elective Course) This course is about writing to enjoy, writing to entertain, and writing with an ... 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
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
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
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
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 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
A student reading textbook outside the temple

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
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 ... Read More
Reconstructing Hindu History – The Omissions

Reconstructing Hindu History – The Omissions

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
Hindu Contributions to the world in the realm of matter

Hindu Contributions to the world in the realm of matter

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 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
Spiritualistic Hindu woman meditating using rosary or japa mala in the garden.

Bhagavad-Gita for Teens and Parents

HSF1300 - (C.P.H.S – Elective Course) “Bhagavad-Gita for Teens and Parents” course presents the principles of sound body, sound mind and ... 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
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
Lessons from Valmiki Ramayana For Teens & Parents

Lessons from Valmiki Ramayana For Teens & Parents

HSF 1006 - This course will help the participants get a well-versed understanding of the story, lessons, and teachings of ... 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
The Yoga of Bhagavad Gita

The Yoga of Bhagavad Gita

YOG2001 - (C.P.H.S - Core Course) This Course takes the Students into a Journey of Exploration of Yoga as enunciated ... 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
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
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 – ... 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
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
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

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 - This course explores the Ramcharitmanas, an epic poem composed in the sixteenth century in Ayodhya, North India, some
The Renaissance of Sanatana Dharma  In the Light of Sri Aurobindo - Part 1

The Renaissance of Sanatana Dharma  In the Light of Sri Aurobindo – Part 1

HSF3101 - (C.P.H.S – Elective Course) More than any one single figure, Sri Aurobindo prophesied that the renaissance of Sanatana Dharma
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
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

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
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
Youth Yoga Teacher Training

Youth Yoga Teacher Training

YOG3005 - This course enables teen students to integrate yoga to manage their stress and to teach the community under
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

Comparative Religion: Death and Meaning

Learning Outcomes:

This is a comparative course in the Abrahamic, Greek, and Hindu paradigms. At the end of this course, students will be able to: 

  1. Understand the phenomenon of death and its importance to religion; 
  2. Interpret, analyze and critique the views on death and meaning in major religions of the world; 
  3. Show the relationship between death, salvation, and personal identity; and 
  4. Discuss and clarify philosophical arguments as they arise in these texts.

Required / Elective: Required

Faculty: Dr. Vishwa Adluri

Prerequisites: Admission into a program of study

Area of Study: Hindu Studies Foundations

Quarter Offered: Spring 2020

Critical Issues in Hindu Studies

The European colonization of India was justified by the construction of a particular narrative, beginning in the nineteenth century centered on the “White Man’s Burden” of civilizing India and the Hindus. “Scholars” hired by the East India Company and European missionaries, sometimes in tandem and at others in isolation, created a certain narrative on the Hindus and India in order to justify their colonial rule and missionary activities respectively. With the growing influence of the Europeans over Indians, the narrative became a massive industry with more and more scholars joining the force adding more nuance and sophistication to the discourse. This narrative has acquired a life of its own and today can be considered as the “received knowledge” on India and Hindus. Whether this narrative squares with the self-understanding of pre-colonial Hindus is a matter which we will examine in subsequent courses; however in the current one, we will first educate ourselves with the various descriptors that the Europeans used to define the Hindus, critically examining the various agendas–which the fathers of the narrative were quite explicit about behind such scholarship. The aforementioned scholarship in many different ways informs the self-understanding of educated Hindus today, and if the current Hindus want to connect with the worldview of their ancestors as they move forward in time, it is important for them to become familiar with this European narrative and also with the motivations that shaped the discourse, to begin with. This discourse is a distortion and in order to correct it, it is important to become familiar with its nuances.

In this course, the student will 

  1. study in detail the writings of some of the early European Indologists like James Mill and Abbe Dubois in order to understand their characterization of Hinduism and Hindus as oppressive and hierarchical;
  2. understand the explicit motivations due to which such characterizations were made;
  3. be able to see clearly that such characterizations have become “received knowledge” on Hinduism and Hindus, which gets replicated and reproduced in mainstream academia from grade school to graduate studies whereas the motivations for creating such a construct have been made invisible;
  4. be able to see the basis of Academic Hinduphobia that exists in the mainstream today; 
  5. gradually begin developing the skills required to effectively counter the distorted narrative in academia and media.

Area of Study: Hindu Studies Foundations/Postcolonial Hindu Studies

Required/ Elective: Required

Prerequisites: Admission into a Program of Study/ Must have completed Orientation to Hindu Studies or Concurrently enrolled in OTHS.

Instructor: Dr. Kundan Singh

Start Date: April 11, 2020

End Date: June 19, 2020

Day: Every Saturday

Time: 2:00 PM — 5:00 PM EST.

Quarter: Spring 2020

Dhyaanam – Meditation and the Meditator

Course content:

Amrtabindu Upanishad reveals that the mind is the cause of both bondage and liberation. How can we transform our relationship with the mind such that it does not bind us but leads us to the truth? In the light of Vedanta, we move through three stages –

  • First stage – My mind is a problem. I want to fix my mind.
  • Second stage – My mind is an instrument, a glorious gift from Ishvara. True to its name (antah-karana-inner instrument) I use it as and when required for my different pursuits.
  • Third stage – I, chaitanyam illumine my mind and do not judge myself on the basis of the conditions of my mind.

Millions have traversed the landscape of transforming their minds and living happy, purposeful lives guided by the wisdom of our revered Rishis.  The course will include the understanding of the mind in the Vedic tradition, some meditation practices and an enquiry into the nature of the meditator. Drawing from the Yoga sutras, the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads, this course will lead the participant to have a guided, suitable and meaningful meditation practice.

 Course Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn the purpose and practice of at least six types of meditation.
  2. Transform your relationship with your mind such that you use the mind effectively
  3. Discover a peace, cheerfulness and gratitude for your life and in your relationships
  4. Develop a closer relationship with Bhagavan
  5. Enquire into the nature of the meditator (Atma) through the varying meditation practices.
  6. Integrate dhyaanam into your lifestyle meaningfully

Class Structure:

There will be a minimum of 1 contact hour with one or more faculty every week. Since this is an experiential course, the class is structured such that there will be a lecture component along with different practices of meditations, discussion based on self-study and reflection each week. While the content being discussed in each class will be concluded within 60 minutes, the discussion time will be free format, and can continue for an additional 30 minutes maximum. During the course, students will be required to share their reflections and write a short essay. This need not be an academic quality paper – but should be based on students’ self-reflection on what they have learnt and assimilated so far. The significance of the course is on learning and integrating Dhyaanam into one’s lifestyle while being centred in the battlefield of life.

Required / Core: Core

Area of Study: Hindu Studies Foundation 

Prerequisites: Admission into program of study.

Faculty / Instructor: Swamini Brahmaprajnananda Saraswati

Start Date:  July 17, 2022

End Date:  September 25, 2022

Day: Every Sunday

Time: 11:00 am EST – 12:30 pm EST

Quarter Offered: Summer 2022

Discover Life by Exploring India

This course involves 35 days of the journey in India, including 9 destinations, 6 different areas of study and an immersive experience of the lifestyle of Yoga and Ayurveda. 

In this course students will be able to: 

  1. Explore the different aspects of the self and various modalities of relationship with the environment 
  2. Examine the wisdom of ancient traditions in the light of the challenges of modern life 
  3. Develop a greater understanding of the history, culture and traditions of India
  4. Deepen your research into your own fields of intellectual interest, while gaining entirely new perspectives on life 
  5. Gain the ability to comprehend global challenges and identify creative solutions 

This course can be taken as a part of several different programs or as a stand-alone course. It can also be taken by people who have no academic interest, and simply want to enjoy travel to a world that is at once both ancient and contemporary.

Area of Study: Hindu Studies Foundations

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Adriana Salazar

Discover the contemporary Relevance of Hindu Dharma

Course content:

The Vedic Hindu paradigm (or cosmology) represents an alternative to the Western paradigm. The paradigm of Western thought is centered on the idea of linear progress in time, that relentlessly renders tradition, and the thought of prior generations obsolete. It presents itself in opposition to tradition, on the principle that whatever value traditions might have had for humanity in the past, they have been decisively superseded by the progress of thought. The Vedic Hindu paradigm presents itself as timeless i.e., that it encapsulates principles, values and ideas that do not age with time, and become relevant again and again, in every age and era, and even for all of humanity. The ground covered by this course will include a subset of the following themes, as selected through a democratic process by the students themselves:

  1. Purushartha – Living a whole, complete, and fulfilled life
  2. Ashrama Dharma – The Stages of a human life
  3. The Wheel of Samsara – Karma, Janma and Reincarnation
  4. Oneness and Identity – the conclusions of Vedanta
  5. Dharma versus Religion – A Categorial misalignment
  6. The Hindu concept of Brahman, and its unfolding into Purusha and Prakriti
  7. The transcendental and the Material worlds – in Hindu Dharma
  8. The Scope of the Vedas – Vedic Teachings about Teaching the Vedas
  9. Moksha, Freedom and Salvation – A comparative inquiry
  10. Yoga – A means for self-transformation
  11. Sanatana – Timelessness versus Historicism – The place of Hindu Dharma in world religion
  12. Cyclic Time versus Linear History – The central cosmological difference
  13. From the Vedas to NASA – Astronomy and Time and the antiquity of Hindu culture
  14. Avatars, Rishis, Yogis, Gurus and Acharyas – the continuously unfolding revelation
  15. People of the Book versus People of a Library
  16. Teaching Dharma versus Preaching and Proselytization
  17. Sanskrit – The mother of the World’s Languages
  18. The centrality of the Bhagavad Gita – the dialog between Krishna and Arjuna
  19. Speaking about the Epics – The Ramayana and the Mahabharata
  20. One God, Many Gods, Father God, Mother God, Angry God, and Friendly God
  21. Murti, Deity or Idol – Explaining worship through images
  22. Diversity, Plurality, Democracy and Hindu Culture
  23. The three Gunas – Sattva, Rajas and Tamas – the basis for good and evil
  24. The three Doshas – Ayurveda and the interface to material nature
  25. Hindu Dharma, Holy Cows, and global Ecology and Sustainability
  26. Modernity according to the Hindu sages of yore
  27. Ahimsa – Non-violence and Vegetarianism in Hindu Dharma
  28. Jyotisha – Explaining Vedic Astrology to the uninitiated
  29. Darshana – Ways of understanding the Cosmos
  30. The Vedic Cosmology and the Dharma Traditions – Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism
  31. Progressivism and Historicism – Chronological Snobbery
  32. Colonization, Colonial Consciousness and Postcoloniality
  33. Who were the real Pagans? The world before Monotheism.
  34. Varna, Jati, and Caste – A clash of incommensurable paradigms
  35. The Guna, Karma paradigm of Varna and Jati
  36. The Aryan Race and the Racial Paradigm of Caste

Course Learning Objectives:

In this course students will be able to:

  1. Vote and determine which themes from this list are of interest for them
  2. Discover the timeless and immediate relevance of Hindu Dharma for themselves
  3. Distinguish the paradigm of Hindu Cosmology from the Western paradigm
  4. Deepen and broaden their knowledge and understanding of Hindu Dharma
  5. Learn to communicate about Hindu Dharma to diverse groups with confidence
  6. Build the skills required to become an Ambassador of Hindu Dharma in time

Class Structure:

There will be a minimum of 2 contact hours with the faculty every week for 10 weeks. The class is structured in a way that promotes discussion and debate based on self-study and reflection each week. While the content being discussed in each class will be concluded within 120 minutes, the discussion time will be free format and can continue for an additional 60 minutes.

During the course, students will be required to submit one short essay and/or make one class presentation. They need not be academic quality papers – but should be based on students’ self-reflection on what they have learnt and assimilated so far.

Required/Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Admission into a Program of Study

Faculty/InstructorShri Jeffrey Armstrong and Kalyan Viswanathan

Area of Study: Hindu Studies Foundations

Program of Study: Community Education Program (CEP), Certificate Program in Hindu Studies (CPHS) 

Time: 05:00 pm EST – 07:00 pm EST

Start Date: 17th July 2021

End Date: 18th September 2021

Day: Every Saturday with one exception – the class will be on Sunday, July 25th 2021, instead of July 24th.

Quarter Offered: Summer 2021

The Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Hindu Studies, builds on the foundations already developed by the Master’s Degree in Hindu Studies and offers students opportunities for deep specialization within a tradition or knowledge-system (also called Sampradāya a) and cross-disciplinary study, both across Hindu traditions and knowledge-systems as well as contemporary disciplines in the liberal arts, social sciences and humanities. Students can access courses offered both by HUA as well as its affiliate institutions and are developed for professional careers in teaching, writing, and scholarship, as well as public service, leadership and global engagement with religious organizations, social service and non-profit organizations and educational institutions.

  • For students who already possess a Master’s Degree in Hindu Studies, 60 Quarter Credit hours, or 20 courses are required to earn a Doctoral Degree
  • Students who do not have a Master’s Degree in Hindu Studies but possess an equivalent of 2-years of post-bachelor’s degree education in the liberal arts, humanities or social sciences, may also apply. They may receive partial equivalency credit for courses they have taken as part of the Master’s Degree they have.
  • Students who do not have a Master’s Degree already may apply for an accelerated MA-PhD Degree program.
  • Typically, 90 Quarter Credit hours, or 60 Semester Credit Hours are required to earn an integrated Master’s and Doctoral Degree
  • Once admitted into the accelerated program, students will have the option of completing their study with a terminal Master’s Degree or continue with their Doctoral Degree.
  • To earn a Doctoral Degree, students will have to take a set of Research level “Core Courses” and specialize in one or two Areas of Study, at the Doctoral Seminar level
  • All Students must pass a Doctoral Qualifying Exam, (DQE), and demonstrate an adequate level of proficiency in Sanskrit, in order to qualify for the Doctoral Thesis phase of the Program
  • Students must write a Doctoral Dissertation based on original research as part of the Thesis Phase of their program. Ordinarily, the Doctoral Dissertation may take at least two years or more.
  • Special Students with prior experience in religious, social work or community service, may be eligible to participate in a “Thesis Only” Doctoral Program, provided they qualify by successfully taking the Doctoral Qualifying Exam and can establish equivalency with the course work requirements.
  • This “Thesis-Only” Option will require the student to write a Thesis over 36 months (or longer) and establish the equivalency for 60 Quarter Credit Hours.
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