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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 

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: TBD

Day: TBD

Start Date: TBD

End Date: TBD

Quarter Offered: TBD

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: 9:30 pm EST – 10:30 pm EST

Day: Every Monday

Start Date: July 12th, 2021

End Date: Sep 20th, 2021

Quarter Offered: Summer 2021

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, 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

Area of Study:- Yoga Studies

Start Date:-  14 April 2021

End Date:- 23 June 2021

Day:- Wednesday

Time:- 09:30 pm EST – 11:00 pm EST

Quarter Offered: Spring 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

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 / InstructorSri ChandraShekhar Raghu

Start Date: TBD

End Date: TBD

Time: TBD

Day: TBD

Quarter Offered: TBD

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.

Beginning Sanskrit - Script & Sounds

Beginning Sanskrit – Script & Sounds

Pronounce and write Sanskrit syllables and words correctly; Build a vocabulary of Sanskrit words and phrases; Start using simple etiquette ... Read More
Beginning Sanskrit - Words & Vocabulary

Beginning Sanskrit – Words & Vocabulary

SAN0002 - Master the combined letters (samyukta-akSharANi); Recognize and use Objective (2nd) Case and Locative (7th) Cases; Engage in simple ... Read More
Beginning Sanskrit - Sentences & Comprehension

Beginning Sanskrit – Sentences & Comprehension

SAN0003 - Learn the Imperative Mood; Use past tense using "ktavatu", and future tense; Use indeclinables and intentional expressions; Learn ... Read More
Beginning Sanskrit - Proverbs & Stories

Beginning Sanskrit – Proverbs & Stories

Refresh knowledge of tenses and vibhaktis; Read and comprehend hitopadesha stories; Engage in everyday conversations; Comprehend longer stories, essays, and ... Read More

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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.

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 

Quarter Offered: Spring 2021

Start Date: 13th, April 2021

End Date:  22nd, June 2021

Day: Tuesday

Time: 08:00 pm EST – 09:30 pm EST

Beginning Sanskrit – Script & Sounds

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, 2 textbooks, and the shipping & handling cost of the textbooks.

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 

Start Date: 12 April 2021

End Date: 21 June 2021

Day: Monday

Time:  08:00 pm EST to 09:30 pm EST

Quarter Offered: Spring 2021

Beginning Sanskrit – Sentences & Comprehension

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.

Required / Elective: Required 

Program of Study: Beginner Level Certificate Program in Sanskrit Proficiency

Area of Study: Sanskrit Studies

Prerequisites: None

Faculty / Instructor: Sri Srinath S. Chakravarty

Start Date: July 8, 2021

End Date: September 16, 2021

Day: Every Thursday

Time: 08:00 pm EST – 9.30 pm EST

Quarter Offered: Summer 2021

Beginning Sanskrit – Words & Vocabulary

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.

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

Start Date: July 12, 2021

End Date: September 20, 2021

Day: Every Monday

Time: 08:00 pm EST – 09:30 pm EST

Quarter Offered: Summer 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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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 Teenagers and Parents

HSF1004 - Gita Vidya Sadhana is the first part of a three-part sequence of courses titled Sadhana, Sodhana, and Vadana ... Read More
The Mahābhārata I

The Mahābhārata I

Aimed at intermediate and advanced students, this course provides a comprehensive overview of Mahābhārata scholarship, including textual and historical issues ... 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
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
vedanta

The Foundation of Vedānta

Vedānta also known as the Upaniṣad, found at the end of all four Vedas, reveal the goal and purpose of ... Read More
Bhagavad gita

Introduction to Bhagavadgita

HSF5002 - The Bhagavad Gita is a moksha-shastra, a sacred text that reveals the vision of the Upanisads. In that ... Read More
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 ... Read More
Anticolonialism and Postcolonialism

Anticolonialism and Postcolonialism

This course introduces the theories of various anticolonial and postcolonial writers in order to create a framework for a critical ... Read More
Antaranga Yoga

Antaranga Yoga

Antaraṅga yoga course is designed to use the itihasa-purana Mahabharata as a mirror to explore oneself. The Mahabharata, the longest ... Read More

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.

Sanskrit Pronunciation, Simple Words and Phrases

Sanskrit Pronunciation, Simple Words and Phrases

This course is the first in the Certificate Program in Sanskrit Proficiency Program. Starting from the alphabets, gain proficiency in ... Read More
Basic Sanskrit Vocabulary and Structure

Basic Sanskrit Vocabulary and Structure

Gain proficiency in using the three tenses, verbal forms and classifications, past-participles, gerunds, infinitives, and prefixes, through stories and conversations ... Read More
Nouns and Declensions In Sanskrit

Nouns and Declensions In Sanskrit

This is the third course in the Certificate Program in Sanskrit Proficiency. Gain proficiency in the first five declensions, the ... Read More
Sanskrit Grammatical Structures and Verses

Sanskrit Grammatical Structures and Verses

SAN1004 - Gain proficiency in the fifth, sixth, and seventh cases, through shlokas (verses), stories, and conversations. Students will also ... Read More
Tenses, Parts of speech, Poetry Analysis in Sanskrit

Tenses, Parts of speech, Poetry Analysis in Sanskrit

(SAN-2001) Gain proficiency in the different lakAras, the Vocative case, adjectives, gerunds, prepositions, wise sayings, rearranging the words in verse ... Read More
Conjugates, Active, Passive, & Impersonal Voices, Sanskrit Literature

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

SAN2002 - Gain proficiency in the 4 types of conjugates (sandhis), anvaya-krama, Atmanepada, passive voice, bhAve-prayoga, and “kta” usage, through ... Read More
Sanskrit Poetry, Literature, Writings, and Biographies

Sanskrit Poetry, Literature, Writings, and Biographies

(SANS-2003) Gain proficiency in the vidhiling lakAra, certain usages, 4 more types of sandhis, anvaya-krama,  and 2 laukeeka-nyAyas (maxims / ... Read More
Prefixes, Compounds, Sanskrit Maxims & Analogies

Prefixes, Compounds, Sanskrit Maxims & Analogies

(SAN-2004) Gain proficiency in the prefixes / upasargas, 4 more types of sandhis, anvaya-krama,  and one more laukeeka-nyAya (maxims / ... Read More

Program Description:

Hindu University of America’s Certificate Program in Sanskrit through the Bhagavad Geeta provides an alternative route to achieving Sanskrit Proficiency. It enables students to learn both the Bhagavad Geeta through the Sanskrit Language, and the Sanskrit Language through the Bhagavad Geeta. It is a two-year intensive program of study that prepares beginning students, i.e., with no prior fluency or knowledge of Sanskrit, to achieve proficiency with the Sanskrit language (Samskritam) through the study of the Bhagavad Geeta.  In this program, the Faculty will lead the students verse by verse, in sequence through the Bhagavad Geeta, while simultaneously unfolding both the meanings of the verses as well as the nuances of the language. This program aims to enable the students to study the Bhagavad Geeta directly without translation or mediation, and gain proficiency in conversational Sanskrit i.e., the ability to speak fluently and comprehend easily. At the end of this program, students will be able to access other Shastras in the Sanskrit language with ease on their own.

This program represents a foundation curriculum for students of all ages ranging from High School onwards. It is targeted at beginning students with a passion to learn a new language, as well as those who are keen to engage with the Bhagavad Geeta, in its original language. No prior knowledge of Sanskrit is assumed except for familiarity with the Devanagari script. The medium of teaching will be fully in Sanskrit with some assistance in English to bring students up to speed quickly. Students with some familiarity with the Devanagari Script and any one Indian language (Bharatiya Bhasha), will have an easier access to this Program. 

It is taught by HUA’s dedicated Faculty, using an easy-to-use Online Platform, featuring a hybrid learning model with both live virtual classrooms as well as pre-recorded video material.

Program Learning Objectives:

The Program is both intensive and challenging, enabling the systematic and balanced study of the Sanskrit language through the Bhagavad Geeta and the Bhagavad Geeta through the Sanskrit language along six dimensions.

In completing this Program, the students will gain proficiency in:

  • Appreciating the Bhagavad Geeta, while gaining access to the text’s original intent and message
  • Reading Bhagavad Geeta fluently, and pronouncing the syllables correctly – paThanam / uchchAraNam
  • Listening to Sanskrit conversations and comprehending most of the words spoken – shravaNam
  • Speaking grammatically accurate Sanskrit in a way that others can comprehend and respond – sambhAShaNam
  • Understanding the structure, patterns, and technology of the language – vyAkaraNam, and
  • Comprehending the verses of the Bhagavad Geeta in both spoken and written Sanskrit on their own – avagamanam.
  • Writing comprehensible passages in Sanskrit – lekhanam

Program Structure:

The Program of Study is structured in the form of an 8-Quarter (4 Quarters per year) sequence of 8 courses, 3-Credit hours each. This will add up to 240 hours of instruction and 480 hours of self-study. Students will have the option of taking the “M.A Sanskrit Proficiency Test” at any time after the half-way point, i.e., after the first year of study, and advance to:

  • the Master’s Level Certificate Programs, or
  • the Master’s Degree in Sanskrit, or
  • complete the Bhagavad Geeta Proficiency Certificate course in full.

In any case, students will be participating in a “Higher Education” ecosystem that supports and enables advanced learning in Hindu studies as well as Sanskrit literary studies.

Structured innovatively using the base curriculum and textbooks designed by Samskrita Bharati, the Program will be based on the material contained in the books titled “geetaasopaanam” and “geetaapraveshaH”, augmented with supplemental handouts and other texts.

Division: Continuing Education Division

Number of Credits: 24 Credit Hours

Number of Courses: 8 Courses

Number of Quarters: 8 Quarters

Learn Bhagavad Geeta – Chapters III and IV – And more Samskritam usage

Learn Bhagavad Geeta – Chapters III and IV – And more Samskritam usage

SAN3002 - In this course, which will be taught in the Sanskrit Language, students will build upon their initial knowledge ... Read More
Gita

Learn Bhagavad Geeta – Chapters I and II – And simple Samskritam

In this course, students will be introduced the both the Bhagavad Geeta, Chapters I and II, and simple Samskritam. Elementary ... 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.
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 2000 - 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.
Distortions in Indian Historiography

Distortions in Indian Historiography

HAM4301 - This course traces the distortions in the historiography of medieval and modern India, discernible since the Independence of
The Yoga of Bhagavad Gita

The Yoga of Bhagavad Gita

This Course takes the Students into a Journey of Exploration of Yoga as enunciated in the Bhagavad Gita. In contemporary
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
Advaita, Viśiśtādvaita and Dvaita – The three flavors of Vēdānta śāstra

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

Hindu Thought provides for the simultaneous co-existence of varied perspectives on the nature of ultimate Reality. When developed deeply, these
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

Lessons from Valmiki Ramayana

This course will help the participants get a well-versed understanding of the story, lessons, and teachings of one of the
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 Teenagers 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

Registrations still open please feel free to Register into the course.  This course explores the contributions of the Hindus to
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 - Who is a Hindu? Why are they called a Hindu? Who started the Hindu “religion”? When did it
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 1 - Concepts and Techniques

Holistic Yoga 1 – Concepts and Techniques

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

The Mahābhārata II

In part-II of this two-part course, we shall consider the Mahābhārata’s reception in the commentaries and lived Hinduism, especially the
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
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
Philosophical Foundations of Orientalism

Philosophical Foundations of Orientalism

Orientalism employs a technique termed “deconstruction.” In order to effectively and critically examine a colonial and postcolonial discourse, it is
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
Arthaśāstra

Arthaśāstra

To examine the core ideas such as state, war, and peace in the ancient text Arthashastra, a major treatise on
Śhānti Parva

Śhānti Parva

To elaborate ideas of good governance and duties of a ruler towards his subjects and Dharma as enshrined in Śānti
Bhagavad gita

The Vision of the Bhagavad-Gītā

Distilled from the Upaniṣad, the Śrīmad Bhagavad-Gītā is a fundamental text of Hindu Dharma which has given rise to many
Anticolonialism and Postcolonialism

Anticolonialism and Postcolonialism

This course introduces the theories of various anticolonial and postcolonial writers in order to create a framework for a critical
vedanta

The Foundation of Vedānta

Vedānta also known as the Upaniṣad, found at the end of all four Vedas, reveal the goal and purpose of
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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,
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