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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 

Antaranga Mandapam

In this course, students will accomplish the following:

  1. Learn to understand and deal with the internal confusion that this crisis has created
  2. Explore the Sangha as a healing space of lived and shared experience
  3. Correlate their life experience with select concepts from the Yoga Sutra
  4. Learn to learn from each other’s sharing
  5. Experience a shared sense of the sacredness of life
  6. Prepare for a journey of personal transformation

The traditional Hindu way of life had a holistic design, supported by a habitat that fostered harmony. People lived in their respective homes and worked in assigned areas. When the day’s work was done, it was customary to visit the temple. The temple was designed to take the person from the common everyday external orientation to an inwardness as they slowly wended their way to the garbhagriha (sanctum). By the time the person reaches the sanctum, they have shed their roles and their identities. From an openness of the heart devoid of all notions of self they receive the blessings of the divine. The person then circumambulates the temple and rests a while in the Mandapam.

In the Mandapam, the wisdom of the Vedas and the Upanishads, were recreated through discourses, music, dance, stories and theatre performances. The Itihasa or Purana would be the basis of these performative traditions. The performative traditions were meant to evoke the rasa inherent in life and to convey the deep truths of the Upanishads and Vedas in simple ways.

The Mandapam, therefore, became the space where the community engaged in contemplative dialog, and nurtured a sense of being held in one’s humanness. Even the Gods and heroes whose stories were narrated had issues to confront like any one of us do, but found Dharmic ways of doing so! This mirroring of one’s life in the story provided insights into choices one could make, in the face of grave challenges.

The Antaranga Mandapam course will recreate this healing space online.

Required/Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: None

Faculty/Instructor: Sri Raghu Ananthanarayanan

Quarter Offered: Spring  2020

Area of Study: Yoga Studies

Start Date: April 14, 2020

End Date: June 23, 2020

Day: Tuesday

Time: 9.30 pm – 10:30 pm – EST

Antaranga Yoga

Learning Outcome:-

  1. Awaken the archetypal characters from the Mahabharata in one’s own life through dialogue and reflective activities
  2. Develop greater insights into one’s own psyche and patterns of the mind through an experiential engagement with the Mahabharata
  3. Experience yoga as an integral science beyond postures (asanas) or breathing techniques (pranayama).
  4. To develop the sakhi bhava (friendliness) and sakshi bhava (meditative listening) to be able to listen to our own self and the others from a deeper space
  5. To evoke healing processes within oneself

In this course, we explore our psyche using stories of characters from the Mahabharata, with an aim to bring clarity and meaning in our life. This 11-week course requires a pre-work of reading select stories from the Mahabharata and writing reflections before attending each session.

This course is not a didactic course on Mahabharata but enables one to delve into one’s psyche using the Mahabharata as a mirror into one’s mental processes. The course is dialogic and calls for a willingness to be self-reflective, the share of oneself, and listen to others sensitively. This course is not recommended for anyone who is going through treatment for any psychological illness.

Required/Elective: Required

Prerequisites: Admission to the program of study

Faculty/Instructor: Sri Raghu Ananthanarayanan

Quarter Offered: Summer  2020

Area of Study:- Yoga Studies

Start Date:- October 7, 2020

End Date:- December 16, 2020

Day:- Every Wednesday

Time:- 09:30pm EST – 11:00pm EST

Basic Sanskrit Vocabulary and Structure

Course Content

  1. Tenses: Present, past, and future; in both Parasmaipada and Atmanepada forms
  2. The Imperative mood, in both Parasmaipada and Atmanepada forms
  3. The third declension / Instrumental case
  4. Comparing things
  5. Cardinal and ordinal forms of numbers
  6. Synonyms and antonyms
  7. Past participles, gerunds, infinitives
  8. Prefixes, Interrogative words
  9. Simple sentences, stories, and conversations
  10. Pairing words to combine simple sentences
  11. Expanding the vocabulary through categories of words

Learning Objectives: 

In this course, students will be able to: 

  • Expand vocabulary and sentence structure;
  • Develop the ability to use moderately complex expressions;
  • Engage in simple reading and conversation; and
  • Combine words and phrases for short narratives.

Required / Elective: Required 

Area of Study: Sanskrit Studies

Program of Study:  Certificate Program in Sanskrit Proficiency (CP SP)

Prerequisites: Successful completion of SAN-1001 

Faculty / Instructor: Sri Chandrashekhar Raghu / Sri Srinath Chakravarthy 

Quarter Offered: Summer 2020

Start Date: 8 July 2020

End Date: 18 September 2020

Time: 9:00-10:30 pm EST

Day: Every Wednesday & Friday

Beginner Level Certificate Program in Sanskrit Proficiency (CPSP) is a foundation course for students of all ages, from 9th Grade onward. It is taught by dedicated HUA Faculty members, via a user-friendly Online Platform, featuring a learning model that uses live virtual classrooms.
It is a detailed 44 weeks (4 Quarters) of study that prepares beginner level students, i.e. those without any prior knowledge of Sanskrit, to achieve a level of proficiency with the Sanskrit language that will enable them to start the higher-level courses with ease. The Beginner Level CPSP is aimed at high school students with a passion to learn a new language, those who are keen to engage with the texts and literature of Hinduism and its numerous derivative knowledge systems. No prior knowledge of the Sanskrit script is assumed. The medium of instruction will be English, for a global audience.

Learning Objective:

This course is structured to allow a beginner level student to start listening, writing, and reading the Sanskrit Script DevanAgari through a streamlined set of exercises. In this program, the students will gain proficiency

  • Understanding the origin of various sounds in Sanskrit.
  • Pronouncing and writing the Sanskrit alphabets that are single letters, both vowels, and consonants.
  • Pronouncing and writing the Sanskrit combination letters and using them in forming words.
  • Reciting simple Sanskrit verses with the correct pronunciation.
  • Reading and writing simple prose passages in DevanAgari and build basic vocabulary.
  • Completing simple exercises and gaining the right skills required for further studies in Sanskrit.
  • Learning basic Sanskrit grammar, including vibhatis , tenses, indeclinables, prefixes, etc.

Program Structure:

The CPSP Beginner Level Certificate Program is structured in the form of 4 quarters (1 year) sequence, 1.5 Credit hours each. This will add up to 60 hours of instruction and 120 hours of self-study in total.

Structured innovatively using the curriculum and textbooks designed by
Samskrita Bharati USA (SBusa.org), the Program will be based upon material contained in the SBusa published books, “ Ayanam ” & “SaariNee”,
augmented with other appropriate course content.

At the end of the 4th quarter, students will have the option to take a Sanskrit Entrance Test to enter the CPSP (Higher Level) courses, from SAN1001 to SAN2004.

CPSP Beginners-Course 1

CPSP Beginners-Course 1

Pronounce and write Sanskrit syllables and words correctly; Build a vocabulary of Sanskrit words and phrases; Start using simple etiquette ... Read More
CPSP Beginners-Course 2

CPSP Beginners-Course 2

Master the combined letters (samyukta-akSharANi); Recognize and use Objective (2nd) Case and Locative (7th) Cases; Engage in simple reading and ... Read More
CPSP Beginners-Course 3

CPSP Beginners-Course 3

Learn the Imperative Mood; Use past tense using "ktavatu", and future tense; Use indeclinables and intentional expressions; Learn how to ... Read More
CPSP Beginners-Course 4

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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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HUA’s Certificate Program in Sanskrit Proficiency is a foundation for students of all ages, post-High School (Grade 12 or GED).  It is taught by HUA Faculty, via user-friendly Online Platform, featuring a hybrid learning model combining live virtual classrooms as well as pre-recorded video content.

It is a detailed 2-year program of study that prepares beginning students, i.e. those without prior knowledge of Sanskrit, to achieve a level of proficiency with the Sanskrit language (Samskritam) that will enable them to – access Sanskrit Texts directly (without translation or mediation), converse in Sanskrit i.e. speak fluently and comprehend it (just like other languages they know).

The Program is aimed at beginning students with a passion to learn a new language, those who are keen to engage with the texts and literature of Hinduism and its numerous derivative knowledge systems.  No prior knowledge of Sanskrit is assumed, therefore while the initial medium would be English, it is expected that as students advance in their proficiency, the language of instruction shifts gradually to Sanskrit.

What are the Learning Objectives?

The Program is both intensive and fulfilling, enabling systematic and incremental study of the Sanskrit language along six dimensions.  In this Program, the students will gain proficiency in:

  • Reading Sanskrit text fluently, pronouncing the “alpa-prANa” and “mahA-prANa” syllables correctly – paThanam /uccAraNam
  • Writing stories, letters, essays, and conversations in Sanskrit – lekhanam
  • Experiencing Sanskrit audio/video along with live conversations, and comprehending them substantially – shravaNam
  • Speaking grammatically correct Sanskrit, comprehendible by others fluent in the language, and which they can respond to – sambhAShaNam
  • Understanding the structure, patterns, and design of the language – vyAkaraNam, and
  • Independent working knowledge of both spoken and written Sanskrit – avagamanam.

What is the Program Structure?

The Program is structured in the form of an 8-Quarter (2 years) sequence, 3-Credit hours each.  This will add up to 240 hours of instruction and 480 hours of self-study in total.

Students will have the option of taking a “Sanskrit Proficiency Test” at any time after the half-way point, i.e. after the first year of study, which lets them advance to Master’s Level Certificate Programs, or Master’s Degree in Sanskrit, or Full completion of the Proficiency Certificate course.

Structured innovatively using curriculum and textbooks designed by Samskrita Bharati USA (SBusa.org), the Program will be based upon material contained in the SBusa-published books “Mukulam”, “Kusumam”, and “Saurabham”, augmented with other appropriate course content.

Number of Credits: 3 per quarter, 8 quarters, i.e., 24 Credit Hours in total.

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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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The Humanities and the University - I

The Humanities and the University – I

Inspired by neo-humanism, the research university was to facilitate self-cultivation, aesthetic appreciation (especially through a knowledge of classical antiquity), and
The Philosophy of History

The Philosophy of History

Building on “Historical Methods and Sources,” this course introduces students to the philosophy of history, i.e., the philosophical inquiry into
Historical Methods and Sources

Historical Methods and Sources

As a mode of knowing, history has acquired unparalleled prestige. We now think that to know when, where and under
The Enlightenment

The Enlightenment

The Age of Enlightenment or, simply, the Enlightenment extended from the late seventeenth to the eighteenth century. This epoch had
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
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is a foundational text for understanding the world of Yoga. Using this text, the course will
Gandhian Philosophy

Gandhian Philosophy

To mainstream the ideas of Mahatma Gandhi towards developing a new and enabling perspective from Hindu philosophical tradition to make
Symbol of OM

Orientation to Hindu Studies

An overview of the unique programs, areas of study and courses offered by Hindu University of America. Preliminary reflection on

Conjugates, Active, Passive, & Impersonal Voices, Sanskrit Literature

Course Content

  1. 4 types of sandhis (svara-sandhi, guNa-sandhi, vRuddhi-sandhi, and yaN-sandhi)
  2. Prose order (anvaya-krama)
  3. Atmanepada verbs
  4. karmaNi-prayoga (Passive voice)
  5. bhAve-prayoga (Impersonal voice)
  6. “kta” usage
  7. Introduction to 4 great poets of Sanskrit literature (vAlmeeki, vyAsa, mAgha, and kAlidAsa)

Learning Objectives: In this course, students will be able to: 

  • Distinguish some of the basic types of conjugates;
  • Express sentences in different voices and verb endings;
  • Capture the essence of the biographies of great poets; and
  • Practice their skills at writing simple stories and essays.

Required / Elective: Required 

Area of Study: Sanskrit Studies

Program of Study: Certificate Program in Sanskrit Proficiency (CP SP)

Prerequisites: Successful completion of SAN-2001 

Faculty / Instructor: Sri Chandrashekhar Raghu / Sri Srinath Chakravarthy 

Quarter Offered: Summer 2021

Start Date: TBD

End Date: TBD

Day: TBD

Time: TBD

Contesting Neo-Hinduism

The course, in the beginning, introduces writings of the western authors who claim that there is something called “neo-Hinduism,” which is significantly and characteristically different from “traditional Hinduism.” Once those claims are situated, the evidence of those claims will be critically examined and will lead naturally to insight into the agendas, motivations, and general ignorance of these writers who are behind the creation of the “neo-Hinduism” theory. The course will then veer into showing how contemporary Hinduism transcends the binary divide of traditional and neo, and that even when it has innovated and answered the contingencies of the colonial context, it has always maintained its continuity with the past and that it has not compromised with its core cosmology.

In this course, the student will

  1. be able to learn about the coordinates on which the divide between traditional and neo-Hinduism has been created;
  2. be able to critically examine the evidence on which the divide has been created;
  3. be able to learn that binaries like traditional and neo do not apply to Hinduism, for Hinduism transcends and exceeds the traditional and contemporary divide.

Area of Study: Postcolonial Hindu Studies.

Required/Elective:  Elective

Prerequisites: Admission into a Program of Study

Instructor: Dr. Kundan Singh

CPSP Beginners-Course 1

Course Structure 

This course is structured in the form of one Quarter (10 weeks, 1.5 hours per week). Students will take an exam at the end of the course during the 11th week. Structured innovatively using the curriculum and textbooks designed by Samskrita Bharati USA (SBusa.org), the course will be based upon material contained in the SB – USA – published books, “AYANAM” & “SAARINEE”, augmented with other appropriate course content.

This course is structured to allow a beginner level student to start listening, writing, and reading the DevanAgari Script through a streamlined set of exercises.

Learning Objectives: In this course, students will be able to: 

  • Understand the origin of various sounds in Sanskrit.
  • Pronouncing and writing the Sanskrit alphabets that are single letters, both vowels, and consonants.
  • Pronouncing and writing the Sanskrit combination letters and using them in forming words.
  • Reciting simple Sanskrit verses with the correct pronunciation.
  • Reading and writing simple prose passages in Devanagari and build basic vocabulary.
  • Completing simple exercises and gaining the right skills required for further studies in Sanskrit.

The course fee includes the cost of tuition, 3 textbooks, and shipping & handling cost of the textbooks.

Note: If you are registering from outside the United States, you will receive scanned copies of the textbooks. Use below discount code at checkout for reduced textbook cost.

CPSP-TEXTBOOK-B10

Required / Elective: Required 

Program of Study: Beginner Level Certificate Program in Sanskrit Proficiency

Area of Study: Sanskrit Studies

Prerequisites: None

Faculty / Instructor: Sri Chandrashekhar RaghuSri Srinath Chakravarthy

Start Date: Oct 1, 2020

End Date: December 17, 2020

Day: Every Thursday

Time: 09:00 pm EST – 10:30 pm EST

Quarter Offered: Fall 2020

CPSP Beginners-Course 2

Course Structure 

This course is structured in the form of one Quarter (10 weeks, 1.5 hours per week). Students will take an exam at the end of the course during the 11th week. Structured innovatively using the curriculum and textbooks designed by Samskrita Bharati USA (SBusa.org), the course will be based upon material contained in the SB – USA – published books, “PRAPADYAA” & “SUPADAA”, augmented with other appropriate course content.

This course is structured to allow a beginner level student to start listening, writing, and reading the DevanAgari Script through a streamlined set of exercises.

Note: If you are registering from outside the United States, you will receive scanned copies of the textbooks. Use below discount code at checkout for reduced textbook cost.

CPSP-TEXTBOOK-B10

Required / Elective: Required 

Program of Study: Beginner Level Certificate Program in Sanskrit Proficiency

Area of Study: Sanskrit Studies

Prerequisites: CPSP – Beginners Course 1

Faculty / Instructor: Sri Chandrashekhar Raghu / Sri Srinath Chakravarty

Start Date: September 29, 2020

End Date: December 15, 2020

Day: Every Tuesday

Time: 09:00 pm EST – 10:30 pm EST

Quarter Offered: Fall 2020

CPSP Beginners-Course 3

Course Structure 

This course is structured in the form of one Quarter (10 weeks, 1.5 hours per week). Students will take an exam at the end of the course during the 11th week. Structured innovatively using the curriculum and textbooks designed by Samskrita Bharati USA (SBusa.org), the course will be based upon material contained in the SB – USA – published books,“SUSHAMAA” & “SUBHAASHAA” augmented with other appropriate course content.

This course is structured to allow a beginner level student to start listening, writing, and reading the DevanAgari Script through a streamlined set of exercises.

Note: If you are registering from outside the United States, you will receive scanned copies of the textbooks. Use below discount code at checkout for reduced textbook cost.

CPSP-TEXTBOOK-B10

Required / Elective: Required 

Program of Study: Beginner Level Certificate Program in Sanskrit Proficiency

Area of Study: Sanskrit Studies

Prerequisites: None

Faculty / Instructor: Sri Chandrashekhar Raghu  / Sri Srinath Chakravarty

Quarter Offered: Winter 2021

Start Date: Tuesday, 5th, January 2021

End Date: Saturday, 20th, March 2021

Day: Every Tuesday

Time: 09:00 pm EST – 10:30 pm EST

CPSP Beginners-Course 4

Course Structure 

This course is structured in the form of one Quarter (10 weeks, 1.5 hours per week). Students will take an exam at the end of the course during the 11th week. Structured innovatively using the curriculum and textbooks designed by Samskrita Bharati USA (SBusa.org), the course will be based upon material contained in the SB – USA – published book, “SUVAANEE”, augmented with other appropriate course content.

This course is structured to allow a beginner level student to start listening, writing, and reading the DevanAgari Script through a streamlined set of exercises.

Note: If you are registering from outside the United States, you will receive scanned copies of the textbooks. Use below discount code at checkout for reduced textbook cost.

CPSP-TEXTBOOK-B5

Required / Elective: Required 

Program of Study: Beginner Level Certificate Program in Sanskrit Proficiency

Area of Study: Sanskrit Studies

Prerequisites: None

Faculty / Instructor: Sri Chandrashekhar Raghu / Sri Srinath Chakravarty

Quarter Offered: Spring 2021

Start Date: Tuesday, 6th, April 2021

End Date: Saturday, 19th, June 2021

Day: Every Tuesday

Time: 09:00 pm EST – 10:30 pm EST

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

Exploring Hinduism for Teens and Parents

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

Learning Objectives: 

In this course students will be able to: 

  1. Develop a deeper understanding of the 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 

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. 

Required/Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: None

Faculty/Instructor: Dr. D.K. Hema HariDr. D. K. Hari

Quarter Offered: Fall 2020

Area of Study: Hindu Studies Foundation

Start Date: October 4, 2020

End Date: December 20, 2020

Day: Every Friday & Sunday

Time: 09:00 pm EST – 10:30 pm EST

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