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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

 

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
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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.
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A man doing arti

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Ancient Greek Philosophy

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What is the meaning of existence? What is the nature of truth? These were the questions asked by ancient Greek
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Building on “Historical Methods and Sources,” this course introduces students to the philosophy of history, i.e., the philosophical inquiry into
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Philosophy of Sri Aurobindo

Indian philosopher, poet, mystic and Yogi, Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950), argued that human society has evolved throughout history. His aphorism ‘All Life is Yoga’ is in consonance with his evolutionary philosophy. His Integral Yoga encompasses every aspect of human life and society, the onward march of which do not stop at the present transitory formations. Sri Aurobindo did not deny the relevance of the transitory formations but emphasized that they have to be transcended as they are not the culmination in the evolution. Following Advaita Vedanta, he believed that there is a fundamental unity as the basis of existence and at the foundation of all things, and it is the Nature that moves to realize this unity. He described the Upanishads, the waning or lost knowledge recovered by Rishis through “meditation and spiritual experience” or recovery of the old truths in new forms by Rishis who used the Vedic Word as “a seed of thought and vision.” He expressed dissatisfaction that the modern individual, busy with his mundane life and outward activities, has to decrease interest in this ancient wisdom. The course would cover some aspects of Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy and its applicability to contemporary problems. Despite the profundity of his philosophy and its wider implications, Sri Aurobindo and his ideas are relatively less explored. The course aims to fill this gap.

In this course the students will be able to:

  1. Discuss novel ideas like Ideal of Human Unity, Supramental Consciousness, Life Divine, and their significance.
  2. Explore Vedanta philosophy in the texts like The Secret of the Veda, Synthesis of Yoga, Savitri, etc.
  3. Explore the relevance of Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga for the contemporary world.

Area of Study: Texts and Traditions

Required/Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Admission into a Program of Study

Instructor: Dr. Debidatta. A. Mahapatra

 

The Mahābhārata I

Thorough knowledge of the extent and divisions of the Mahābhārata; its different editions; and reading and working with its critical edition. This course will also prepare students to read the Mahābhārata thoughtfully, using the tools of philosophy, logical inquiry, hermeneutics, and poetic theory. Students will learn to locate the Mahābhārata within a textual tradition extending backwards into the Vedic Saṃhitās and forward into the Purāṇas and Āgamas. They will also develop an appreciation for why, even today, this text continues to be foundational for the living tradition of Hinduism.

Areas of Study: Text and Traditions

Required/ Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Admission into a Program of Study

Instructor: Dr. Vishwa Adluri

Day:- Thursday

Start Date:- January 9th, 2020.

End Date:-  March 19th, 2020.

Time:- 10am-12pm EST.

 

The Mahābhārata II

Thorough knowledge of the extent and divisions of the Mahābhārata; its different editions; and reading and working with its critical edition. This course will also prepare students to read the Mahābhārata thoughtfully, using the tools of philosophy, logical inquiry, hermeneutics, and poetic theory. Students will learn to locate the Mahābhārata within a textual tradition extending backwards into the Vedic Saṃhitās and forward into the Purāṇas and Āgamas. They will also develop an appreciation for why, even today, this text continues to be foundational for the living tradition of Hinduism.

Areas of Study: Text and Traditions

Required/ Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Admission into a Program of Study

Instructor: Dr. Vishwa Adluri

 

Vālmīki’s Rāmāyaṇa

Students will apply theoretical tools developed within psychoanalysis by Freud and Lacan which will allow them to approach the text self-critically. We shall read the entire text, analyzing some key passages from literary and philosophical perspectives that also reveal who we have become and who we wish to be. Students will learn to appreciate the Rāmāyaṇa as a profound character study, exploring the relation of the individual to society and to dharma. We will read extensive sections of the narrative, discuss and engage with topics that concerned commentators and explore the limitations of modernist critiques of Rāmāyaṇa and contemporary Indian society based on this text.

Area of Study: Text and Traditions

Required/ Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Admission into a Program of Study

Instructor: Dr. Vishwa Adluri

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