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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 the Beginner – Sadhana

Course Content:

The Sadhana 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. The course is divided into 3 modules Deha, Gnana and Yoga. The Deha module highlights the Material and Psychic aspects of the body. The Gnana module describes the Physical, Social, Occupational, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual dimensions of divine wisdom. The Yoga module explains the four paths of Yoga in Bhagavad-Gita. The course simplifies the learning process for the beginner using specially designed graphic workbooks, transliteration textbooks in multiple languages and guided audios, available in recitation and practice versions. The interactive sessions are conducted online in English.

The Course lays the foundation to the 3-part series of Sadhana, Sodhana and Vaadana courses, through which Students will acquire a thorough overview of Hindu Dharma and enrich the quality of their spiritual lives.

Shloka Parichaya (Introduction to the verse): Students understand the verses in two steps. 

Step 1: Shloka Shravana (Listening to the verse): In this step the students will get to know the accurate pronunciation of each verse.

Step 2: Bhava Darshana (Graphic illustration): In this step the meaning of the verse is explained through graphic illustration.

Shloka Sadhana (Practice of the verse): Students shall practice the verses in two steps.

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. 

Step 4: Shloka Rachana (Copy writing the shloka): In this step each verse is written in a language of choice by copying from the transliteration textbook. 

Course Description:

“Bhagavad-Gita for the beginner” introduces about 140 carefully curated verses (out of 700) under 17 thematic lessons from the Bhagavad Gita to students, who have no prior exposure to this important Hindu Text. In this course the participants shall study the meanings of each verse followed by guided recitation during online interactive classes. The Sadhana course is carried out using Active, Interactive and Collaborative ways of learning and offers guided practice of shlokas followed by interactive discussion of their meaning. It is the first of a three-course series titled, Sadhana, Sodhana and Vaadana. 

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 Saturday

Start Date: October 9, 2021

End Date: December 18, 2021

Quarter Offered: Fall 2021

Depending on the area of study, the Certificate Program in Hindu Studies prepares a student to become a teacher, a public intellectual, a spokesperson, a writer, and an expert ambassador in the ‘public square’. Anyone including, already employed professionals or prospective degree
students may apply to the Certificate Program in Hindu Studies. This Certificate Program is open to all, and there are no prerequisites enforced, other than the consent of the Program Director.

The Certificate Program in Hindu Studies may be earned by taking 6 courses in an area of study, for a total of 18 Quarter Credit hours.

  • The Certificate Program in Hindu studies is targeted towards people who wish to develop deeper expertise in a specific area of Hindu thought, without pursuing a degree.
  • Students have significant flexibility in the pace at which they complete their course credits i.e., some may take one course per quarter over six quarters, while others may be able to complete the certificate in two quarters
  • Some certificate course credits may be transferable towards a Diploma or Degree program at a later stage
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  • 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
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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

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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Exploring Hinduism for Teens and Parents

Who is a Hindu? Why are they called a Hindus? Who started the Hindu “religion”? When did it start? What makes Hinduism different? Is being a Hindu relevant in today’s world? Answers to such questions and more await the students in this course.

Course content: This course involves approximately 20 sessions of  90 minutes each delivered in one quarter. These sessions will cover a variety of topics and themes, such as: 

  1. Hindu Geography – The land of the Hindus
  2. Hindu History – How ancient is Hinduism really?
  3. The Ramayana – Historical Figure or Mythical Hero
  4. The Mahabharata – Did the Kurukshetra war actually happen?
  5. The Spread of Hindu thought and ideas around the world
  6. Hindu conception of Divinity – Understanding Gods and Goddesses
  7. Hindu conception of Divinity – Consciousness and Matter
  8. Hindu symbolism – Representing the Divine
  9. Hindu conception of Divinity – Male and Female divinities
  10. Hindu Sampradaya and Parampara – Rishi, Guru, Yogi, Acharya
  11. Hindu Cosmology and Astronomy – Jyotisha
  12. Hindu Timekeeping and Calendar – Panchanga
  13. Hindu accomplishments and contributions to the world
  14. The Hindu worldview and lifestyle – The emphasis on spirituality
  15. The Hindu Social System – Varna, Jati and the so-called Caste system
  16. Women in Hindu Society – Breaking some myths
  17. Invasions and Colonization
  18. India’s Freedom Struggle
  19. Hindu Ethos
  20. Hindu Life today – Being happy, healthy, organic and responsible

This course can be taken as the inaugural course of a whole series titled “Exploring Hinduism – The Overview”, or as a stand-alone course. It can be enjoyed by teenagers in the age group 12-18, on their own or together with their parents. Alternatively, parents who have teens may also benefit from this course. 

Course Learning Objectives:

In this course students will be able to: 

  1. Develop a deeper understanding of history, culture, and traditions of Hinduism
  2. Discover the various ways in which Hindus conceptualize and relate to the Divine
  3. Examine the wisdom of ancient Hindu traditions in the light of contemporary life
  4. Revisit and Clarify certain pervasive myths that are prevalent regarding Hinduism 
  5. Recognize the place of Hinduism in the world and its contribution to humanity
  6. Discover new conversational spaces within the family unexplored so far 
  7. Learn to describe and talk about Hindu ideas and thought with others . 

Area of Study: Hindu Studies Foundation

Required/ Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Dr. D.K. Hema Hari & Dr. D. K. Hari

Quarter Offered: Summer 2021 (US Summer time)

USA Batch –

Days : Monday, Wednesday and Saturday

Time : 9:30 pm EST – 11:00 pm EST

Start Date: July 12,2021

End Date: August 25, 2021

Australia and New Zealand Batch –

Days: Saturday and Sunday

 Time: 06:00 pm AEST – 07:30 pm AEST

 Start Date: 17th July 2021

 End Date: 12th September 2021

Freedom and Reality: An Introduction to Advaita Vedanta

Learning Outcome:

  1. Effectively analyze the nature of the human problem and the scope of knowledge and action as means (sadhana) for solving it.
  2. Understand Advaita Vedanta’s epistemology and its relevance to the human problem.
  3. Gain clarity on the Advaita view of reality and non-duality.
  4. Learn the prerequisites for the knowledge of Advaita and the means to gain them.
  5. Recognize and analyze the differences between some modern and ancient interpretations of Advaita. and the traditional view of Sankara.

The vision of Advaita Vedanta is that one, non-dual consciousness is the content of you, the world, and the cause of the world. It is both immanent and transcendent and can be known by a human being who has equipped himself/herself with the necessary prerequisites.  This knowledge, contained in the Upanisads, releases the individual from the problem of human suffering. In this course we will explore the nature and substance of this liberating knowledge through key dialogues in some of the major Upanisads, using as a guide the commentary of Sankara, Advaita’s seminal exponent. We will also explore the qualifications required for this knowledge and the prescribed means for acquiring them. In conclusion, we will examine some competing views on Vedanta, including modern interpretations. The course is designed to introduce in a comprehensive but accessible way, the vision of Advaita Vedanta.

Required/Elective: Required

Prerequisites:  Must have completed or been concurrently enrolled in Orientation in Hindu Studies 

Faculty/Instructor: Swamini Agamananda Saraswati

Area of Study: Hindu Studies Foundation 

Start Date: 10th April 2021

End Date: 20th June 2021

Day: Saturday & Sunday

Time: 03:00 pm EST – 04:30 pm EST

Quarter Offered: Spring 2021

Gita Vidya Sadhana For Teens and Parents

Course Content:

‘Gita Vidya Sadhana – For Teenagers and Parents’ course provides an introduction to Bhagavad-Gita through 17 thematically structured lessons covering 140 key shlokas. With the guided practice audios for accurate pronunciation and graphic illustrations for easy understanding of the shlokas, this course is designed to match the learning needs of young minds. The course highlights the Physical, Social, Occupational, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual aspects of the Divine wisdom of the Bhagavad Gita. It presents four paths of yoga in Bhagavad-Gita. With online classes, interesting quizzes and learning activities every week this course is packed with information that will be stimulating and exciting for young people.

Course Description:

The ‘Gita Vidya Sadhana – For Teenagers 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:

The course will have 12 online classes spread across 6 weeks period. Each online class is for a duration of 90 minutes. The class is structured in a way that promotes discussion and debate based on self-study and reflection each week. This course deals with the study of the meanings and accurate pronunciation of 140 selected versus of Bhagavad-Gita grouped under 17 thematic topics. This course involves the introduction to verses ‘Shloka Parichaya’ and their practice ‘Shloka Sadhana’.

Shloka Parichaya (Introduction to the verse): Students understand the verses in two steps.

Step 1: Shloka Shravana (Listening to the verse): In this step the students will get to know the accurate pronunciation of each verse.

Step 2: Bhava Parichaya (Introduction to the meaning): In this step the meaning of the verse is explained through graphic illustration.

Shloka Sadhana (Practice of the verse): Students shall practice the verses in two steps.

Step 3: Shloka Anucharana (Pronunciation of the shloka): In this step the accurate pronunciation of each verse is practiced with the help of the Gita Vidya Practice Audio.

Step 4: Shloka Rachana (Copy writing the shloka): In this step each verse is written down by copying from the “Gita Vidya Sadhana Workbook”.

 

Required / Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: N.A.

Faculty / InstructorMr. Gopi V. Prasad

Time: 11:00 am EST – 12:30 pm EST

Day: Wednesday and Sunday

Start Date: July 14, 2021

End Date: August 22, 2021

Quarter Offered: Summer 2021

Gita Vidya Sodhana

Course content:

The ‘Gita Vidya Bhasya Sindhu’ is a collection of commentaries by various Acharyas on the Bhagavad-Gita, which will be made available to the Class participants. Students will compare the meanings, interpretations, and emphasis provided by any three different Bhashyas i.e. commentaries on the Bhagavad-Gita, and summarise their observations as part of active learning. Participants will share their observations and discuss the varied interpretations under the guidance of faculty during the interactive sessions. Students will be required to submit their compilation of various interpretations and their own findings in summary form for each module and present a final report at the end of the course.

The Sodhana course is carried out using Active, Interactive, and Collaborative ways of online learning. The course material for active learning is available in multiple languages. The interactive sessions are conducted online in English. These courses enable the students to memorize, understand, and apply the essential aspects of the divine wisdom imparted by Shri Krishna to Arjuna.

Course Learning Objectives:

In this course participants will be able to:

  • 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.

Class Structure

There will be a minimum of 3 contact hours with faculty every week. The classes are 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 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 submit their reflections on each lesson. At the end of the Sodhana course, each participant shall submit a final report for the entire course.

Required / Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Must have completed the HSF 1004 – Gita Vidya Sadhana Course 

Faculty / InstructorMr. Gopi V. Prasad

Time: 11:00 am EST – 12:30 pm EST

Day: Sunday

Start Date: 18th April 2021

End Date: 27th June 2021

Quarter Offered: Spring 2021

Hindu Contributions to the world in the realm of matter

Course Content:

In contemporary times, following the European Colonization of India, it has become ‘received knowledge’ that the Hindus were and continue to be ritualistic, superstitious, poverty-ridden, timid, bare and barely noticeable as a ‘static’ people, whose history is nothing more than the history of successive waves of invaders and colonizers who made India their home for a time. This course looks beyond this myth set in motion by a 200-year colonial encounter, and examines the evidence for the sciences, technologies, inventions, industry, prosperity, and wealth that made India such a desirable civilization across time. It addresses the question, why did everyone, seemingly the world over, seek out the Hindu civilization, and for what?

This course can be taken as a continuing course in the series titled “Exploring Hinduism”, or as a stand-alone course. Both the parts can be taken sequentially in any order or as a stand-alone course. It can be enjoyed by teenagers in the age group 12-18, on their own or together with their parents and grandparents too.

“Exploring Hinduism” is a series of courses that facilitate a structured exploration of various facets of one of the world’s most ancient families of traditions and civilization.  This course moves past the modern myth that the Hindus were ‘other-worldly’ and were immersed in nothing more than the Vedas, Yoga, Spirituality, Meditation, Penance, and in seeking Liberation from birth and death. It uncovers a holistic view of the source of the sustained prosperity and wealth of the Hindus across vast stretches of time. It investigates the question – “Are Hindu ideas obsolete? Or do they have contemporary relevance?”

Over 2 parts of 10 sessions each where each part spans a quarter, this course will cover a variety of areas of innovation, inventions, development and trade, and sustained contributions that characterized the Hindu civilization for millennia. These areas will include Metals, Textiles, Dyes, Spices, Diamonds, Navigation, Fireworks, Perfumes, and how these innovations impacted the world. During this course, students will acquire newfound confidence from the dawning of a recognition that the Hindu Civilization has been quite different from what our received knowledge has led us to believe and renew their trust in the Hindu worldview and way of life, that has been so sustainable and successful for so long.

Course Learning Objectives:

In this course, students will

  1. Discover the prosperity of the Hindu Civilization that lasted for millennia, till about a few hundred years ago.
  2. Uncover the advanced state of technology and industry practiced by the Hindus.
  3. Discover the Hindu ethos and perspective of practicing industry and trade in a sustainable manner.
  4. Examine the forces that can upset and destroy such millennia-long cultivated prosperity in a short time
  5. Gain insight into the secret of prosperity and balance that the Hindus possessed which enabled their civilizational advancement and affluence
  6. Develop the confidence to think laterally with regard to the challenges and problems facing humanity and propose paradigm-shifting approaches towards the future

Class Structure:  The course is designed as 2 parts –

Part A – The BIG 5

To gain an understanding of the 5 major contributions that were made by the Hindus to the world. How they impacted the world and the Hindu Civilization? What happened to them and what can we learn from them for today’s context?

Part B – The Game Changer

To gain an understanding of what was the advantage that the Hindus had cultivated, due to which they had been able to rule the tastes, possessions and obsessions of the world. How was this advantage snatched away and how does an understanding of the same bear relevance today?  

Each part will span 1 Quarter, with 1 online session per week. Each session will comprise of 90 minutes with live online lectures and interactions with the faculty and will include Quizzes and Assignments.

Each part is independent of the other and can be taken in any sequence.

Course Being Offered : Part A – The BIG 5

Faculty: Dr. D.K. Hari & Dr. Hema Hari

Required/Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Admission to Program of Study

Area of Study: Hindu Studies Foundation

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

Quarter Offered: Fall 2021

1)USA Batch-

Start Date: October 9, 2021

End Date: December 19, 2021

Day: Every Saturday

USA Time: 11:00 AM EST – 12:30 PM EST / 8:30 pm IST – 10:00 pm IST (up to Nov 6) & 9:30 pm IST – 11:00 pm IST (from Nov 7)

2)Australia and New Zealand Batch  (ANZ)-

Start Date: October 9, 2021

End Date: December 19, 2021

Day: Every Saturday

AUSTRALIA Time :  6:00 PM AEST –  7:30 PM AEST/ 1:30 pm IST – 3:00 pm IST