This course is part of the following programs:
All four Mahabharata courses are housed in the DHS program, but MA students may register for them with the instructor’s permission.
As a result of taking this course, students will be able to:
In this course, we will read the first and last of the eighteen books of the epic: the Ādiparvan (The Book of the Beginning) and the Svargārohaṇaparvan (The Book of the Ascent to Heaven). We will study both traditional approaches which focus on dharma and mokṣa as well as modern approaches which focus on historical aspects of the text; and investigate whether we can envision an appropriately contemporary approach. We will also read a selection of pertinent secondary literature on the Mahābhārata.
The course provides an overview of the origins of Indian philosophy, its development into various schools, and main philosophical themes contained in the most basic texts. In addition, the course will teach basic analytic and critical skills, especially how to read texts carefully paying attention to literary form, structure, context, and nuance. Students will learn how to interpret texts rigorously, to research secondary sources, and to reconstruct an argument in their own language.