fbpx

Ādi Śaṅkara

This course provides a comprehensive explication of Ādi Śaṅkarācārya’s philosophy. Students will gain an understanding of his views of phenomenal reality, perception, scripture, revelation, the soul, transmigration, dharma, creation, nescience, and ultimate realization. They will be introduced to his thought systematically, showing how he develops his hermeneutics and argues for the cogency of the non-dual (advaita) standpoint vis-a-vis alternative viewpoints.

Area of Study: Text and Traditions

Required/ Elective: Required

Prerequisites: Admission into a Program of Study

Instructor:  Dr. Vishwa Adluri

 

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

Course content:

Advaita, Viśiśtādvaita and Dvaita – the three flavors of Vēdānta śāstra also called the three “Schools of Vedantic Thought” cover the whole range of possibilities, with reference to the relationship between the three main entities in question i.e., Jiva (living beings), Jada (matter) and Ishwara (Lord) as being one and the same i.e., non-dual, (abheda), or fundamentally and irreconcilably different (bheda) or something in-between (visista). All the other schools of thought within Hindu thought, end up being some variation or combination of these three fundamental perspectives.

This course will examine the conceptual overview of the Bhagavad Gita, through selected verses, according to the perspectives of these three Acharyas (S, R, M), by exploring the original commentaries of the main Acharyas of these three schools in Sanskrit, instead of derived works. It will cover the fundamental concepts of Advaita, Viśiśtādvaita and Dvaita in reasonable detail, highlighting the areas where these Acharyas concur and where they differ. The Course will include the following:

  • Introduction and Background of Gita as per the three Acharyas (S, R, M)
  • Summary of Gita according to Shankarāchārya
  • Summary of Gita according to Sri Rāmānujācharya
  • Summary of Gita according to Sri Madhvāchārya
  • A “Samanvaya” or establishment of the close relationship between these three schools (mata traya samanvaya)

At the completion of this course, students will gain a greater clarity regarding common misconceptions held by many people, regarding these three perspectives.  Students will clearly understand how these three schools of philosophy approach the Bhagavadgita, which is one of the three main textual sources of Arsha Vidya or the “philosophy of the Rishis”, known as “PrasThana traya”, the other two being the Brahmasutras and the Upanishads.

Course Learning Objectives:

In this course students will be able to:

  1. Appreciate the Bhagavad-Gita from three perspectives of Advaita, Viśiśtādvaita and Dvaita.
  2. Distinguish the unique views and concepts of these three schools of thought.
  3. Access the essence of the Upanishads i.e., Vedanta through the Bhagavad-Gita.
  4. Deepen the understanding of the main Yogas of the Gita i.e., Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Dhyana Yoga and Bhakti Yoga
  5. Recognize how all these Yoga’s lead to “Sharanagati” or “Jnana”, no matter where they begin.

While no prior knowledge of Sanskrit is required, it will definitely be helpful. Prior knowledge of the perspectives of anyone Acharya will also be valuable.

Class Structure

There will be a minimum of 1 contact hour with one or more faculty every week. 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 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 two short essays of between 1000 and 1500 words each. They need not be academic quality papers – but should be based on students’ self-reflection on what they have learned and assimilated so far.

Required / Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Admission into a Program of Study

Faculty / InstructorMr. Krishna Kashyap

Time: 8:30 pm EST – 10:00 pm EST

Day: Every Monday

Start Date: October 11, 2021

End Date: December 20, 2021

Quarter Offered: Fall 2021

Ayurveda – The Wisdom of Wellbeing

Course Content:

In the course, the role of food and nutrition in Ayurveda alongside methods of food preparation and consumption will also be discussed. We will also study the protocols to keep the body in good health through daily and seasonal routines (Dinacarya & Rtucarya). Students will develop an understanding of the stages of manifestation of illness in the body and how Pancakarma treatments and Ayurveda’s therapeutic formulations address them to maintain homeostatic balance in the body.

Course Learning Objectives:

In this course students will be able to:

  1. Understand and apply the principles of Ayurveda to enhance their lifestyle.
  2. Learn how to identify imbalances in their body and utilize the power of Ayurveda to address mild imbalances.
  3. Use consciousness-based principles of Ayurveda to improve interpersonal relationships
  4. Integrate Ayurveda and Ayurvedic protocols to make lifestyle adjustments for the whole family

Class Structure

There will be a minimum of 1 contact hour with the faculty every week. The curriculum will include reading, reflection, observation, and interactive practices. The class time will include an additional 30 minutes that will provide an opportunity for Q&A and group discussion.

Required / Elective: Elective

Area of Study: Text & Traditions

Prerequisites: Admission into a Program of Study

Faculty / Instructor: Ms. Luvena Krishnamurthy

Time: 09:00 pm EST – 10:00 pm EST

Day: Friday

Start Time: 16th April 2021

End Date: 25th June 2021

Quarter Offered: Spring 2021

Bhakti and Philosophy

Students will read several of the most important primary sources for bhakti. They will gain an understanding of the philosophy underlying the concept of bhakti and how bhakti enables moksha i.e. salvation for the individual soul. The course will also provide a basic introduction to concepts such as non-dualism, ontology, cosmology, emanation, procession, and the relation of the macroscopic universe to the individual. Students will simultaneously gain an appreciation for different textual genres and how poetics corresponds to the fourth puruṣārtha of mokṣa.

Area of Study: Text and Traditions

Required/ Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Admission into a Program of Study

Instructor: Dr. Vishwa Adluri

Brahmasūtras

Learning Outcomes:

The course covers a brief introduction to the text, its compositional history, some text-historical scholarship ranging from Deussen to Hacker, and controversies in contemporary scholarship. The major portion of the course will be devoted to understanding the structure of the text, exposition of key themes and the logical disputation of rival views. At the end of this course, students will gain: (1) a good grasp of the philosophical textual tradition of Hinduism: Upaniṣads, Brahmasūtras and the Bhagavadgītā; (2) an understanding of the Brahmasūtras: their comprehensive theory of Brahman and the rigorous logic underlying it; and (3) an overview of the reception of the text within the tradition and in recent critical scholarship and the issues raised in these contexts.

Area of Study: Text and Traditions

Required/ Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Admission into a Program of Study

Instructor: Dr. Vishwa Adluri

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
Śhānti Parva

Śhānti Parva

To elaborate ideas of good governance and duties of a ruler towards his subjects and Dharma as enshrined in Śānti ... Read More
Exploring Hinduism for Teens and Parents

Exploring Hinduism for Teens and Parents

HSF1001 - “Exploring Hinduism – The Overview”, is the first course in the series titled "Exploring Hinduism" that facilitates a ... Read More
Ayurveda – The Wisdom of Wellbeing

Ayurveda – The Wisdom of Wellbeing

This foundational course is designed to make the timeless wisdom of Ayurveda accessible to everyone in simple and effective interactive ... Read More
James Mill and the Rise of Liberal-Left in Britain

James Mill and the Rise of Liberal-Left in Britain

PHS 6303 - This course shows that the noxious discourse on Hindus and Hinduism which emerged through the writings of ... Read More
Arthaśāstra

Arthaśāstra

CPS 5505 To examine the core ideas such as state, war, and peace in the ancient text Arthashastra, a major ... Read More
Mahābhārata III: War Books

Mahābhārata III: War Books

TAT 7203 - This course is the third of a 6-part Course Sequence that explores the great epic of India, ... Read More
The Bhagavadgītā and the West

The Bhagavadgītā and the West

This course traces the history of the Western reception of the Bhagavadgītā, a central text of classical Hinduism. The course ... Read More
Orientation to Hindu Studies

Orientation to Hindu Studies

HSF5000 - An overview of the unique programs, areas of study and courses offered by Hindu University of America. Preliminary ... Read More
Orientalism and Hinduism

Orientalism and Hinduism

In postcolonial scholarship, Edward Said’s work Orientalism can be considered a landmark text. This course helps students understand what Said ... Read More
Indian and Western Music Traditions – A Comparative Study

Indian and Western Music Traditions – A Comparative Study

This course is the first of a three-part course sequence in the Hindu Musical Traditions – Shastriya Sangeet. Hindu Musical ... Read More
The Yoga of Bhagavad Gita

The Yoga of Bhagavad Gita

YOG 2001 - This Course takes the Students into a Journey of Exploration of Yoga as enunciated in the Bhagavad ... Read More
vedas

An Overview of the Veda

The Vedas are the oldest body of sacred knowledge known to man. A bird’s eye view of the four Vedas, ... Read More
Philosophy of Science and Hinduism

Philosophy of Science and Hinduism

In the colonial and postcolonial contexts, there have been many attempts both by Indians and western people to situate the ... Read More
Hindu Musical Traditions – A Historical Perspective

Hindu Musical Traditions – A Historical Perspective

This Course is the second in the 3-Course Sequence in the Hindu Musical Traditions – Shastriya Sangeet. Hindu Musical Traditions ... Read More
Teaching Yoga for Children

Teaching Yoga for Children

This course enables students to integrate yoga in their teaching career, for guiding children, and for developing spiritual parenting skills ... Read More
Hinduism & Peace

Hinduism & Peace

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

Contesting Neo-Hinduism

The current mainstream narrative in western academia is that there are two kinds of Hinduism: traditional and neo and that ... Read More
Hindu Musical Traditions -  A Cultural Immersion

Hindu Musical Traditions – A Cultural Immersion

This course is the third in a 3-Course sequence in the Hindu Musical Traditions – Shastriya Sangeet. Hindu Musical Traditions ... Read More
Youth Yoga Teacher Training

Youth Yoga Teacher Training

YOG 3005 - This course enables teen students to integrate yoga to manage their stress and to teach the community ... Read More
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

The Yoga Sutras of Patañjali is a foundational text for understanding the world of Yoga. Today, Yoga has a worldwide ... Read More
International Politics: A Hindu Perspective

International Politics: A Hindu Perspective

To explore methods to bridge the chasm between the practice of international politics and universal moral principles ... Read More
A student reading textbook outside the temple

How Hindu Dharma Transformed America

HAM2100 - This course  explores the history and impact of Vedic Wisdom on America’s Spiritual Landscape. Hindu Dharma has irrevocably ... Read More
Teaching Yoga for Children

Teaching Yoga for Children

This course enables students to integrate yoga in their teaching career, for guiding children, and for developing spiritual parenting skills ... Read More
Critical Issues in Hindu Studies

Critical Issues in Hindu Studies

This course outlines the critical issues involved in the European understanding of Hindus and India, developed within the framework of ... Read More
Akshardham

Discover Life by Exploring India

A unique study abroad course that offers an authentic, transformative and enriching experience. This course is aimed at students of ... Read More
Managing Back Pain through Holistic Yoga

Managing Back Pain through Holistic Yoga

This course provides online classroom training under the guidance of senior yoga therapists so that students can learn to practice ... Read More
Advaita, Viśiśtādvaita and Dvaita – The three flavors of Vēdānta śāstra

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

TAT4001 - Hindu Thought provides for the simultaneous co-existence of varied perspectives on the nature of ultimate Reality. When developed ... Read More
Historicism and Its Crisis

Historicism and Its Crisis

The intellectual movement known as historicism dominated the nineteenth century. At its simplest, it is the view that history is ... Read More
Human Rights: A Hindu Perspective

Human Rights: A Hindu Perspective

To demonstrate how human rights concept and policy could be found in Hindu philosophy, and also how such a linkage ... Read More
Reconstructing Hindu History – The Commissions

Reconstructing Hindu History – The Commissions

This course is the first of a two-quarter course sequence that examines the scientific evidence emerging in contemporary times, in ... Read More
Mahābhārata IV: Epic Philosophy

Mahābhārata IV: Epic Philosophy

TAT7204 - This course is the fourth of a 6-part Course Sequence that explores the great epic of India, The ... Read More
Ancient Greek Philosophy

Ancient Greek Philosophy

What is the meaning of existence? What is the nature of truth? These were the questions asked by ancient Greek ... Read More
The Mahābhārata II: Dicing and Exile

The Mahābhārata II: Dicing and Exile

This course is the second of a 6-part Course Sequence that explores the great epic of India, The Mahābhārata This ... Read More
Reconstructing Hindu History – The Omissions

Reconstructing Hindu History – The Omissions

HAM4202 - This course is the second of a two-quarter course sequence that examines the scientific evidence emerging in contemporary ... Read More
Mahābhārata VI: Methods and Scholarship

Mahābhārata VI: Methods and Scholarship

This course is the sixth of a 6-part Course Sequence that explores the great epic of India, The Mahābhārata. This ... Read More
A man doing arti

Bhakti and Philosophy

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

History of Dharmaśāstras I

This two-part survey course provides an overview of dharma literature from ancient and medieval texts of the Hindu tradition. The ... Read More
Hindu Contributions to the world in the realm of matter

Hindu Contributions to the world in the realm of matter

HSF1002 - This course explores the contributions of the Hindus to the world in the realm of matter, which has ... Read More
The Yoga of the Yoga Sutras

The Yoga of the Yoga Sutras

YOG2002 This course takes the students into a journey of exploration of yoga as enunciated in the yoga sutras of ... Read More
Ādi Śaṅkara

Ādi Śaṅkara

Ādi Śaṅkarācārya, the author of numerous commentaries and pedagogical tracts, is the seminal philosopher in Hinduism, especially its “advaita vedānta” ... Read More
History of Dharmaśāstras II

History of Dharmaśāstras II

This is the second course in a two-part survey course that provides an overview of dharma literature from the Hindu ... Read More
Spiritualistic Hindu woman meditating using rosary or japa mala in the garden.

Gita Vidya Sadhana For Teens and Parents

HSF1004 - Gita Vidya Sadhana is the first part of a three-part sequence of courses titled Sadhana, Sodhana, and Vadana ... Read More
Hinduism and Conflict Resolution

Hinduism and Conflict Resolution

CPS 5502 The course explores Hindu ideas and their relevance for conflict resolution. Click here to check if you are ... Read More
The Mahābhārata I: From Beginning to End

The Mahābhārata I: From Beginning to End

This course is the first of a 6-part Course Sequence that explores the great epic of India, The Mahābhārata Aimed ... Read More
Freedom and Reality: An Introduction to Advaita Vedanta

Freedom and Reality: An Introduction to Advaita Vedanta

Who am I, really? Why am I here?  Why do we suffer?  Is there any solution to the problem of ... Read More
grammar

Gita Vidya Sodhana

Gita Vidya Sodhana is the second part of a three-part sequence of courses titled Sadhana, Sodhana and Vadana that help ... Read More
Mahābhārata V: Bhakti and Contemporary Hinduism

Mahābhārata V: Bhakti and Contemporary Hinduism

This course is the fifth of a 6-part Course Sequence that explores the great epic of India, The Mahābhārata. The ... Read More
Vālmīki’s Rāmāyaṇa

Vālmīki’s Rāmāyaṇa

Vālmīki’s Rāmāyaṇa is a classic story of human self-development focused on the relationship between the macrocosm (the kingdom) and the ... Read More
Indian woman holding Diwali oil lamp

Advaita Vedanta: A Method

This course will explore and demonstrate the use of the methods (prakriyas) used in the Upanisads to unfold the non-dual ... 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

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.
Teaching Yoga for Children

Teaching Yoga for Children

This course enables students to integrate yoga in their teaching career, for guiding children, and for developing spiritual parenting skills.
Disease through the lens of Ayurveda

Disease through the lens of Ayurveda

TAT1102 - Ayurveda is a holistic and complete consciousness-based wellness paradigm that has its origins sourced straight from the timeless
Hindu Temples and Traditions

Hindu Temples and Traditions

TAT 3104 - Temples occupy an important place in the Hindu mind, both in India and amongst the diaspora. The
Lessons from Valmiki Ramayana

Lessons from Valmiki Ramayana

HSF 1005 - This course will help the participants get a well-versed understanding of the story, lessons, and teachings of
Bhagavad-Gita for the Beginner – Sadhana

Bhagavad-Gita for the Beginner – Sadhana

HSF1004 - Bhagavad-Gita for the Beginner – Sadhana is the first part of a three-part sequence of courses titled Sadhana,
promise

Discover the contemporary Relevance of Hindu Dharma

HSF1007 - This course, targets an age group of 18-35 and will explore the question – Is Hindu Dharma relevant
Indian Origins of Mathematics for Teens & Parents

Indian Origins of Mathematics for Teens & Parents

HSF 1006 This course provides an interactive and fun-filled introduction to the Indian origins of Mathematics. It will also clarify
Race and Hindu Reform

Race and Hindu Reform

HAM 6405 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

CPS 5502 The course explores Hindu ideas and their relevance for conflict resolution. Click here to check if you are
The Yoga of the Yoga Sutras

The Yoga of the Yoga Sutras

YOG2002 This course takes the students into a journey of exploration of yoga as enunciated in the yoga sutras of
Mahābhārata VI: Methods and Scholarship

Mahābhārata VI: Methods and Scholarship

This course is the sixth of a 6-part Course Sequence that explores the great epic of India, The Mahābhārata. This
Advaita, Viśiśtādvaita and Dvaita – The three flavors of Vēdānta śāstra

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

TAT4001 - Hindu Thought provides for the simultaneous co-existence of varied perspectives on the nature of ultimate Reality. When developed
Youth Yoga Teacher Training

Youth Yoga Teacher Training

YOG 3005 - This course enables teen students to integrate yoga to manage their stress and to teach the community
Teaching Yoga for Children

Teaching Yoga for Children

This course enables students to integrate yoga in their teaching career, for guiding children, and for developing spiritual parenting skills.
The Yoga of Bhagavad Gita

The Yoga of Bhagavad Gita

YOG 2001 - This Course takes the Students into a Journey of Exploration of Yoga as enunciated in the Bhagavad
The Bhagavadgītā and the West

The Bhagavadgītā and the West

This course traces the history of the Western reception of the Bhagavadgītā, a central text of classical Hinduism. The course
Ayurveda – The Wisdom of Wellbeing

Ayurveda – The Wisdom of Wellbeing

This foundational course is designed to make the timeless wisdom of Ayurveda accessible to everyone in simple and effective interactive
Establishing the Importance of Hindu Studies in an Academic Setting

Introduction to the daśaśāntimantras

This course provides an immersive introduction to the Mantra and Chanting traditions of Sanatana Dharma. It focuses on 10 popular
Lessons from Valmiki Ramayana For Teens & Parents

Lessons from Valmiki Ramayana For Teens & Parents

HSF 1005 - This course will help the participants get a well-versed understanding of the story, lessons, and teachings of
Hindu Contributions to the World in the Realm of Mind

Hindu Contributions to the World in the Realm of Mind

This course explores the contributions of the Hindus to the world in the realm of Mind, which has shaped the
Decolonizing the Hindu Condition

Decolonizing the Hindu Condition

This course will analyze in detail the psychological and sociological consequences of the British colonial narratives on Hindus, and how
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
grammar

Gita Vidya Sodhana

Gita Vidya Sodhana is the second part of a three-part sequence of courses titled Sadhana, Sodhana and Vadana that help
Spiritualistic Hindu woman meditating using rosary or japa mala in the garden.

Gita Vidya Sadhana For Teens and Parents

HSF1004 - Gita Vidya Sadhana is the first part of a three-part sequence of courses titled Sadhana, Sodhana, and Vadana
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

This course provides in-depth experience of holistic yoga, that integrates asana, pranayama, and meditation techniques for a sustained yoga practice.
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
The Dharma Of Global Sustainability

The Dharma Of Global Sustainability

CPS2001 - This course explores the impact of ancient Vedic Wisdom on the modern questions of environmental sustainability and global
Hindu Contributions to the world in the realm of matter

Hindu Contributions to the world in the realm of matter

HSF1002 - This course explores the contributions of the Hindus to the world in the realm of matter, which has
Reconstructing Hindu History – The Omissions

Reconstructing Hindu History – The Omissions

HAM4202 - This course is the second of a two-quarter course sequence that examines the scientific evidence emerging in contemporary
Reconstructing Hindu History – The Commissions

Reconstructing Hindu History – The Commissions

This course is the first of a two-quarter course sequence that examines the scientific evidence emerging in contemporary times, in
Managing Back Pain through Holistic Yoga

Managing Back Pain through Holistic Yoga

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

Hindu Musical Traditions – A Cultural Immersion

This course is the third in a 3-Course sequence in the Hindu Musical Traditions – Shastriya Sangeet. Hindu Musical Traditions
Hindu Musical Traditions – A Historical Perspective

Hindu Musical Traditions – A Historical Perspective

This Course is the second in the 3-Course Sequence in the Hindu Musical Traditions – Shastriya Sangeet. Hindu Musical Traditions
Indian and Western Music Traditions – A Comparative Study

Indian and Western Music Traditions – A Comparative Study

This course is the first of a three-part course sequence in the Hindu Musical Traditions – Shastriya Sangeet. Hindu Musical
Exploring Hinduism for Teens and Parents

Exploring Hinduism for Teens and Parents

HSF1001 - “Exploring Hinduism – The Overview”, is the first course in the series titled "Exploring Hinduism" that facilitates a
Antaranga Mandapam

Antaranga Mandapam

How is this Coronavirus pandemic going to end? Will we return to our 'old selves' and our 'familiar normal' after
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

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

Comparative Religion: Death and Meaning

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

History of Dharmaśāstras II

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

History of Dharmaśāstras I

This two-part survey course provides an overview of dharma literature from ancient and medieval texts of the Hindu tradition. The
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

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

Human Rights: A Hindu Perspective

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

Discover Life by Exploring India

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

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

Contesting Neo-Hinduism

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

Disease through the lens of Ayurveda

Course Content:

In this 11-week program, we will be applying the basic principles of Ayurveda, the Pancamahabhutas, Trigunas and the Tridosha models of creation, to understand some common health conditions.  We will explore the human condition in its physical, emotional, and psychological constitution, through the model of Prakriti, Pancamahabhutas, Trigunas, and the Tridoshas, to recognize the source of specific disorders, arising from their imbalance.

In the course, we will look at common health conditions, diseases and disorders of the various body systems. We will also learn to recognize patterns of imbalance and apply the wisdom of Ayurveda to complement and support ongoing treatment.

Course Learning Objectives:

In this course students will be able to:

  1. Apply the principles of Ayurveda to understand common health conditions.
  2. Understand progression of disease according to Ayurveda.
  3. Explore the application of diet and lifestyle to support the body towards wellness.
  4. Understand how Pancakarama and other treatment options work with the body

Class Structure

There will be a minimum of 1 contact hour with the faculty every week. The curriculum will include reading, reflection, observation, and interactive practices. The class time will include an additional 30 minutes that will provide an opportunity for Q&A and group discussion.

Required / Elective: Elective

Area of Study: Text & Traditions

Prerequisites: Admission into a Program of Study

Faculty / Instructor: Ms. Luvena Krishnamurthy

Time: 09:00 pm EST – 10:30 pm EST

Day: Every Thursday

Start Time: October 7, 2021

End Date: December 23, 2021

Quarter Offered: Fall 2021

Hindu Musical Traditions – A Cultural Immersion

Course Content:

While Indian music traditions are diverse, the core of the various traditions stands out as unique with their emphasis on ‘the raga’ and ‘the tala’ and a core of commonality that is rooted in spirituality.  In this course, our goal is to provide a nuanced understanding of ragas, talas, and compositional forms in Karnatic and Hindustani music traditions.

Course Learning Objectives:

The student should be able to:

  1. Obtain a basic understanding of the framework of Ragas and the Indian melodic framework and Talas and the cyclical nature of time
  2. Discuss the Melakarta Raga System of Karnatic Music and the That System of Hindustani music.
  3. Experientially understand the feel of ragas in Hindustani and Karnatic music.
  4. Experientially understand the feel of talas in Hindustani and Karnatic music
  5. Clearly distinguish between the Karnatic, Khyal, Dhrupad traditions.
  6. Clearly articulate the similarities and differences between the Kriti, the Khyal, and the Dhrupad
  7. Obtain a brief understanding of the Western world’s study and outlook on Indian music.
  8. Discuss issues facing contemporary Indian music

There will be a minimum of 1 contact hour every week. The class is structured in a way that promotes discussion and debate based on listening experiences and reading material. 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 complete one examination and submit one short essay.

Prerequisites: Enrollment into a Program of study and must have completed TAT 3102 – Hindu Musical Traditions – A Historical Perspective

Faculty / Instructor: Dr. Kanniks Kannikeswaran

Required / Elective: Elective

Start Date: 6th April 2021

End Date: 15th June 2021

Time: 08:00 pm est – 09:30 pm est

Day: Tuesday

Quarter Offered: Spring 2021

Hindu Musical Traditions – A Historical Perspective

Course Content:

While Indian music traditions are diverse, the core of the various traditions stand out as unique with their emphasis on ‘the raga’ and ‘the tala’ and a core of commonality that is rooted in spirituality with a history of over two millennia.  Our goals are:

  1. To provide a guided overview of the history and evolution of Indian music
  2. To provide an overview of the history of composers, sages, saints, emperors and luminaries who have contributed to the evolution of music.

Course Learning Objectives:

After completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  1. Discuss names and works of musicologists and musical luminaries
  2. Comprehend the contribution of ancient treatises (in Sanskrit and Tamil) such as the Natya Sastra of Bharata, the Silappathikaram of Illango Adigal and the Sangita Ratnakara of Sarangdev, the Chaturdandi Prakasika of Venkatamakhi and modern works such as the Sangita Sampradaya Pradarsini of Subbarama Dikshitar and the work of Pandit Bhatkhande.
  3. Obtain a brief understanding of the Western world’s study and outlook on Indian music.
  4. Discuss the contribution of the Bhakti movement and the Hindu Saints of Tamilnadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra and Bengal  to Indian Art Music.
  5. Discuss the contribution of Vaggeyakaras and the sacred geography of India to Art music.
  6. Discucss the impact of Islamic and Persian traditions on Indian music
  7. Discuss the contribution of the Devadasi tradition to Indian Art
  8. Discuss issues facing contemporary Indian music

Class Structure

There will be a minimum of 1 contact hour every week. The class is structured in a way that promotes discussion and debate based on listening experiences and reading material. 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 two short essays. They need not be academic quality papers – but should be based on students’ self-reflection on what they have learned and assimilated so far.

Prerequisites: Enrollment into a Program of study

Faculty / Instructor: Dr. Kanniks Kannikeswaran

Required / Elective: Elective

Start Date: 12th January 2021

End Date: 23rd March 2021

Time: 08:00 pm EST – 09:30 pm EST

Day:  Every Tuesday

Quarter Offered: Winter 2021

Hindu Temples and Traditions

Course content:

Our goals are:

  1. To provide an overview of the various temple architectural styles across India.
  2. To provide an introduction to the history of temple building, patronage across the ages
  3. To provide an introduction to sthala-puranas and related local traditions
  4. Study temple clusters and the sacred geography of India
  5. Introduce basic vocabulary related to temple culture
  6. Introduction to the influence of Hindu Temple culture on the far East.
  7. A perspective on the Temple culture in the modern Hindu diaspora. 

After completion of the course, the student will be able to:

  1. Discern the antiquity  and of Indian temple traditions
  2. Reflect on the significance of Hindu temples for Hindu life
  3. Acquire a simple vocabulary of terms related to Hindu temples
  4. Recognize basic elements of temple architecture
  5. Appreciate the Hindu calendar as it relates to temples
  6. Place the lives of Kings, Yogis and Musicians in the context of Hindu temple traditions
  7. Develop an appreciation for temple related literature 

Curriculum Overview:

This course will provide a cultural immersion into the world of Hindu Temples with a set of reading and guided research assignments. The overview course will perform the ambitious task of integrating various piceces of history related to temples covering the diverse sacred geography of India. It will strive to emphasize commonalities across diverse regions.

Course Description

Module 1 Overview of Hindu Temples Topics:

  1. A geographical overview of temples and traditions across India
  2. A historical overview of the temples of India
  3. Diaspora temples

Module 2 Hindu Temple Architecture and History Topics:

  1. The Nagara Style of Temples
  2. The Dravida Temple Architecture
  3. The Vesara style of temples
  4. Temples of the Western Ghats
  5. Evolution of Temple Architecture
  6. The Pallava, Chola, Pandya, Hoysala and Vijayanagar Contribution to temples
  7. The Kalinga, Rashtrakoota, Chandela contribution to temples
  8. The Bhakti movement in Tamilnadu
  9. The Bhakti movement of the 2nd millennium.

Module 3: Hindu Temple Traditions Topics:

  1. Temples and references in Puranas
  2. Sthala Puranas or Local Traditions
  3. Temple Clusters – Abodes of Shiva
  4. Temple Clusters – Abodes of Vishnu
  5. Temple Clusters – Shakti Pitham
  6. Temple Clusters – Other
  7. Festival Traditions – The Bhrahmotsavam
  8. Worship Traditions – Agamas
  9. Temples and Music
  10. Temples and Dance – The Devadasi Tradition
  11. Current State of Temple Worship

Area of Study: Texts and Traditions

Prerequisites: None

Faculty/InstructorDr. Kanniks Kannikeswaran

Start Date: October 12, 2021

End Date: December 21, 2021

Day: Every Tuesday

Time: 08:00 pm EST – 9:30 pm EST

Quarter Offered:  Fall 2021

History of Dharmaśāstras II

Learning Outcomes:

Readings for the course will demonstrate the complexity of being human, being ethical, and exploring the ultimate meaning of life. Although the course is designed as an overview, we will focus on crucial issues concerning social justice: inequalities in income, privilege, caste, access to resources and education, and the consequences of bad governments and individual greed. The course is based on P. V. Kane’s comprehensive work History of Dharmaśāstra. 

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to: 

    (1) Understand the breadth and depth of the textual tradition of dharma 

    (2) Know key texts, their chronology, key concepts and the debates surrounding  them; 

    (3) Learn how to read, interpret and research based on primary texts; and 

    (4) Knowledgeably draw on the tradition for understanding contemporary issues.

Area of Study: Hindu Studies Foundations

Required/ Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Completion of History of Dharmaśāstras I

Instructor: Dr. Vishwa Adluri

Quarter Offered: TBD

Indian and Western Music Traditions – A Comparative Study

Course content:

While Hindu music traditions are diverse, the core of the various traditions originating in India stands out as unique with their emphasis on ‘the raga’ and ‘the tala’ and a core of commonality that is rooted in spirituality.  Our goals are:

  1. To provide an overview of the various Art and Folk music traditions and the core of commonality across traditions (especially between the Hindustani and Karnatic traditions)
  2. To provide a nuanced understanding of the vocabulary used in Karnatic and Hindustani music traditions
  3. To provide a clear contrast between Indian and Western Musical Traditions.

Course Learning Objectives:

After completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  1. Discover the antiquity and spiritual basis of Indian music traditions;
  2. Articulate the differences between Indian and Western musical traditions;
  3. Obtain a clear understanding of the core of commonality across various Indian music traditions and their place in the Hindu way of life;
  4. Distinguish the commonalities and differences between Hindustani and Karnatic music;
  5. Discuss terminologies used in Karnatic and Hindustani music;

Class Structure

There will be a minimum of 1 contact hour every week. The class is structured in a way that promotes discussion and debate based on listening experiences and reading material. 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 two short essays. They need not be academic quality papers – but should be based on students’ self-reflection on what they have learned and assimilated so far.

Prerequisites: Enrollment into a Program of study

Faculty / Instructor: Dr. Kanniks Kannikeswaran

Required / Elective: Elective

Area of Study: Texts & Traditions

Start Date: TBD

End Date: TBD

Time: TBD

Day: TBD

Quarter Offered:TBD

Introduction to the daśaśāntimantras

Course content:

Vēdānta śāstra is the summit of Hindu thought, comprising of the various Upanisads in the Vedas, along with the commentaries (bhāṣyas) written by numerous Acharyas across the millennia. In the traditional learning of the Vēdānta śāstra (i.e., the Upaniṣads) it is customary for the student and the teacher to recite the daśaśāntimantras (10 invocatory verses) before the commencement of the classes. These śāntimantras are taken from the different Vedas. When a particular Upaniṣad is studied, the śāntimantra of that Veda to which the Upaniṣad belongs is recited. The commentaries on the Upaniṣads by Ādi Śaṅkara also include the śāntimantras and sometimes they serve as a nice introduction to the subject matter. In addition to Śaṅkara’s commentary on the Upaniṣads there is also the Veda bhāṣya of Sayanācārya and other secondary commentaries from which one can glean the enriched meanings of the śāntimantras. This course will give an introduction to the daśaśāntimantras and an initial exposure to the bhāṣyas for the beginning students of Vēdānta.

Course Learning Objectives:

In this course students of Vēdānta will:

  1. Learn the daśaśāntimantras and their detailed meanings,
  2. Gain exposure to the study of the bhāṣyas,
  3. Be able to develop a plan for a structured study of the Upaniṣads.

Class Structure

There will be one 90 min class every week. This will consist of a lecture for 75 min and a 15 min Q&A pertaining to the subject matter discussed. Class-room participation is encouraged.

Course Material: Class notes and other sources available on the internet

Required / Elective: None

Prerequisites: Some exposure to the Vēdānta śāstra and ability to read Sanskrit.

Faculty: Dr. Venkataraman Swaminathan 

Start Date: 13th April 2021

End Date: 22nd June 2021

Time: 07:00 pm EST – 8:30 pm EST

Day: Tuesday

Quarter Offered: Spring 2021

Program Description

The Mahābhārata is a complex literary and aesthetic work, spanning 18 major books filled with narrative action and contemplation. In addition to being an important source book of Indic culture—having influenced sculpture, painting, music, literature, drama and dance all over Asia—the philosophical and narrative arc of the Mahābhārata presents a sophisticated and thorough analysis of the human condition. This certificate program systematically covers the text of the Sanskrit epic in translation. Designed for individuals seeking a deeper knowledge of Indic tradition, it provides a bridge between an everyday cultural knowledge of characters and events in the epic and a learned appreciation of the text’s literary and philosophical project. Ritual, iconographic, literary and art-historical insights complement the philosophical appreciation of the epic. The goal is to lead the student on a voyage of discovery not only through one of the classics of world civilization, but also through the literary structure and profound philosophical rigor of the epic, to provide pluralistic avenues for cultural and self-discovery.

The Mahābhārata certificate program embraces the ideal of global humanities which are distinctive not only for the breadth of their curriculum but also challenge nineteenth-century Eurocentric notions of “canon.” They seek to understand world cultures as living, mature, and continuing traditions on their own terms. Thus, we shall read the texts of the Indic tradition from literary, theological, and philosophical perspectives, rather than the privileged ethnological or historical mode, which has served to objectify and dehumanize the non-Western and non-Christian world.

The Mahābhārata certificate program can be taken as a stand-alone certificate program. Credits earned as part of this program can also be counted towards the MA and Ph.D. Program in Hindu Studies offered at the Hindu University of America for students who wish to continue on to this program.

Structure of the Program

The certificate program consists of six quarter-semester courses, which cover the main divisions of the epic. Each course will address philosophy, historical and textual issues, and the epic’s contemporary influence. Courses may be taken in any order, but Mahābhārata I must be taken first as it is a prerequisite for all other courses.

Audience for the Program

This course presumes no prior knowledge of the epic, though cultural familiarity with basic ideas of Hinduism is beneficial. The certificate program is designed for everyone—undergraduate and graduate students, continuing education candidates, and professionals in fields such as science, technology, or the humanities. The course will introduce students to academic scholarship on the epic and the problems with this scholarship. However, its aim is not “research,” but understanding and philosophical insight. Thus, we shall primarily be interested in questions of methods, narrative, ethics, ecology, and the preservation of traditional wisdom; and explore how and whether this can contribute to improving human life here and now. Special attention will be devoted to the messages of self-cultivation of the individual and service to the community found not only in the Mahābhārata’s Bhagavadgītā but also throughout the remainder of the epic.

The Mahābhārata I: From Beginning to End

The Mahābhārata I: From Beginning to End

This course is the first of a 6-part Course Sequence that explores the great epic of India, The Mahābhārata Aimed ... Read More
The Mahābhārata II: Dicing and Exile

The Mahābhārata II: Dicing and Exile

This course is the second of a 6-part Course Sequence that explores the great epic of India, The Mahābhārata This ... Read More
Mahābhārata III: War Books

Mahābhārata III: War Books

TAT 7203 - This course is the third of a 6-part Course Sequence that explores the great epic of India, ... Read More
Mahābhārata IV: Epic Philosophy

Mahābhārata IV: Epic Philosophy

TAT7204 - This course is the fourth of a 6-part Course Sequence that explores the great epic of India, The ... Read More
Mahābhārata V: Bhakti and Contemporary Hinduism

Mahābhārata V: Bhakti and Contemporary Hinduism

This course is the fifth of a 6-part Course Sequence that explores the great epic of India, The Mahābhārata. The ... Read More
Mahābhārata VI: Methods and Scholarship

Mahābhārata VI: Methods and Scholarship

This course is the sixth of a 6-part Course Sequence that explores the great epic of India, The Mahābhārata. This ... Read More

Mahābhārata III: War Books

Conventionally, the very title “Mahābhārata” conjures up images of a great war in which eighteen armies were annihilated. Using divine weaponry and mystical war formations, and having Kṛṣṇa Vāsudeva on their side, the Pāṇḍavas triumph over the Kauravas. Who are these combatants and what does their heroism signify? What dilemmas of dharma arise as part of the battle? In the 6th Parva of the Mahābhārata, we find Kṛṣṇa giving the Bhagavadgītā to Arjuna, revealing himself as Brahman. His presence as the karmaphaladāta informs key events in the battle. In the final book 10, Rudra empowers Aśvatthāman to annihilate the progeny of the heroes, thus closing out the laya cycle of the epic, which began in Book 6 with the fall of the Brahmā-figure Bhīṣma pitāmaha. These theological threads, the complex temporal shifts in the narrative, and the constancy with which human motives are interrogated prevent a simplistic reading of the Mahābhārata as just another war story. Rather, the epic presents us with a deep understanding of time, the nature of the universe, human purpose, and ultimate reality.

Areas of Study: Text and Traditions

Required/Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Must have completed Orientation to Hindu Studies or Concurrently enrolled into Orientation to Hindu Studies

Instructor:  Dr. Vishwa Adluri  , Dr. Joydeep Bagchee 

Day: Every Saturday

Start Date: October 9, 2021

End Date: December 18, 2021

Time:- 10:00 am EST – 1:00 pm EST

Quarter: Fall 2021