Develop a clear understanding of Advaita Vedanta as a method, and the ramifications of that.
Gain a comprehensive understanding of Advaita epistemology and its role as a key to understanding the vision of the Upanisads.
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.
In this course, students will accomplish the following:
Learn to understand and deal with the internal confusion that this crisis has created
Explore the Sangha as a healing space of lived and shared experience
Correlate their life experience with select concepts from the Yoga Sutra
Learn to learn from each other’s sharing
Experience a shared sense of the sacredness of life
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.
Explore yoga as a holistic science beyond postures (asanas) or breathing techniques (pranayama).
Develop greater insights into one’s own psyche and patterns of the mind (Antaranga Yoga) through an experiential engagement with Yoga Sutras.
Develop an authentic understanding of the concepts in the Yoga Sutras based on the teachings of Yogacharya Sri T Krishnamacharya and learn to apply them in their daily lives to lead a life replete with RASA.
Contemplate upon Indian itihAsa-purANa tradition in an experiential manner as a mirror to understand themselves.
Inquire into the foundations of Indian Psychology in the light of Yoga Sutras, Sankhya Philosophy and Bhagavad Gita.
This course is an invitation, to a student of yoga, for a deeper exploration of one’s own psyche and patterns of mind in the light of the ideas and propositions contained in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. The ultimate goal of all bahiranga yoga practices like Asana, prANAyAma, yama and niyama is to prepare the psyche so that it can engage in antaranga yoga. This is amply clear from the fact that only few sutras in Yoga Sutras mention about Asana, prANAyAma, yama and niyama as compared to the many that are devoted to the process of perception, how misperception happens, how duHkha is caused by an inability to use one’s inner faculties in a proper manner and how this can be worked with. It is only after a deep study of this process that we are introduced to the even deeper process leading to samyama (meditation). This course will help a student gain a firm understanding and clarity of the relationship between ashtAnga yoga and antaranga yoga.
Our exploration of Yoga Sastra in this course is based on the teachings of Yogacharya T Krishnamacharya, the father of modern yoga, and his son Shri TKV Desikachar. A unique feature of this course is that we will explore self-reflective work through the itihAsa-purANa, the Mahabharata in particular. It is not commonly understood that the Mahabharata was written to make the subtle truths of Sankhya and Yoga Philosophy accessible to everybody. We will explore antaranga yoga through the Mahabharata stories to understand one’s mind and its patterns better.
This is a 1-credit course that will have a total of 10 hours of instruction (contact hours) over ten weeks (1 hour per week). Students will have to devote 2 hours per week for self-study and assignments. Students will take an exam in the eleventh week.
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
To elaborate ideas of good governance and duties of a ruler towards his subjects and Dharma as enshrined in Śānti ... 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
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?
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.
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.
(SAN-2004) Gain proficiency in the prefixes / upasargas, 4 more types of sandhis, anvaya-krama, and one more laukeeka-nyAya (maxims / ... 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.
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
be able to learn about the coordinates on which the divide between traditional and neo-Hinduism has been created;
be able to critically examine the evidence on which the divide has been created;
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.
This course is structured in the form of one Quarter (10 weeks, 1.5 hours per week). Students will take a “Sanskrit Script Proficiency Test” 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”, and “PRAPADYAA”, 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.
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:
Explore the different aspects of the self and various modalities of relationship with the environment
Examine the wisdom of ancient traditions in the light of the challenges of modern life
Develop a greater understanding of the history, culture and traditions of India
Deepen your research into your own fields of intellectual interest, while gaining entirely new perspectives on life
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.
Course content: This course involves approximately 16 One-Hour sessions delivered in one quarter. These sessions will cover a variety of topics and themes, such as:
Hindu History – How ancient is Hinduism really?
The Ramayana – Historical Figure or Mythical Hero
The Mahabharata – Did the Kurukshetra war actually happen?
The Spread of Hindu thought and ideas around the world
Hindu conception of Divinity – Understanding Gods and Goddesses
Hindu conception of Divinity – Consciousness, and Matter
Hindu symbolism – Representing the Divine
Hindu conception of Divinity – Male and Female divinities
Hindu Sampradaya and Parampara – Rishi, Guru, Yogi, Acharya
Hindu Cosmology, Astronomy, Calendar – Jyotisha
Hindu accomplishments and contributions to the world
The Hindu worldview and lifestyle – the emphasis on spirituality
The Hindu Social System – Varna, Jati and the so-called Caste system
Women in Hindu Society – Breaking some myths
Invasions, Colonization, and India’s Freedom Struggle
Hindu Life today – Being happy, healthy, organic and responsible
In this course students will be able to:
Develop a deeper understanding of the history, culture, and traditions of Hinduism
Discover the various ways in which Hindus conceptualize and relate to the Divine
Examine the wisdom of ancient Hindu traditions in the light of contemporary life
Revisit and Clarify certain pervasive myths that are prevalent regarding Hinduism
Recognize the place of Hinduism in the world and its contribution to humanity
Discover new conversational spaces within the family unexplored so far
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.
This course will teach yoga therapy fundamentals, such as the anatomy and physiology of common chronic ailments, basic medical management of a disorder, yogic management of a disorder, case studies, and best therapeutic yogic practices. In addition, students will learn how to use yoga tools such as asanas, pranayama, relaxation, and meditation techniques. Students will also learn an integrated approach to yoga therapy concepts, research methodologies, and how to integrate traditional holistic systems with yoga therapy. Students will learn concepts of psychology, the yogic concept of the mind, its distractions, and techniques of calming it down. Students will also learn yoga philosophy through ancient yogic texts, their relevance to modern life, and their application in yoga therapy. Finally, students will gain exposure to how to teach specific groups such as senior yoga, prenatal yoga, yoga for kids, yoga for stress, and yogic life coaching. Throughout this course, students will be participating in self-reflection (svyadhyaya) and disciplined practice (sadhana) to improve their own experience and be able to practice yoga at all levels of their personality.
Gain an understanding of anatomy, physiology, and basic knowledge of chronic ailments
Understand the medical management process of a disorder as well as its yogic management process as per the integrated approach to yoga therapy model
Learn the yogic model of the mind and how to manage it
Utilize techniques to modify existing yoga practices and provide a safe way to practice yoga for individuals with health constraints
Learn how to implement therapeutic yoga techniques within your existing yoga practice
Prerequisites:Foundation and Teaching Methodology for Holistic Yoga
Hindu University of America’s Holistic Yoga Teacher Training Certificate Program, is delivered in collaboration with Yoga Bharati (Vyasa NorCal). This Certificate Program is an authentic, holistic, and evidence-based Program taught by experienced experts in the field of yoga. Graduates of this program can receive a Yoga Alliance Certification (RYT-200) and progress to become registered yoga teachers.
This program provides an integrated approach to holistic and traditional yoga, combining eastern philosophies and techniques with western evidenced-based research, hence bringing out the best from the East and the West. Through this program, students will understand the philosophy behind traditional yoga from an Eastern perspective using classical texts such as Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, Hatha Yoga Pradipika, and more. In addition, students will integrate their philosophical understanding of yoga with practical applications.
This program focuses primarily on teaching principles and practices of Ashtanga Yoga, or the eight-limbed approach to reaching the state of optimal health and contentment. Through the progression of the program, students will engage in courses that will teach them the basics of yoga to build a framework. They will then dive deeply into yoga practices as well as yoga philosophy in a group-based learning format. As students progress through the program, they will gain a deep understanding of not only how to practice yoga effectively and culture their minds, they will also learn teaching methodologies. This provides students the ability to teach yoga classes with confidence to individuals, groups, or in community settings.
This program contains a multitude of courses followed by an internship and practicum delivery. Each course contains live lectures, video lectures, reading assignments, reflections, dedicated yoga practice, and quizzes/examinations. It is blended learning that involves online, retreat-style classroom hours and field training at various yoga institutions that are affiliated to Vivekananda Yoga Research Foundation (VYASA) and Yoga Bharati centers.
On completing this program, graduates will receive a Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher Training Completion Certificate, (RYT-200 Certification).
Though its origin could be traced to the ancient and medieval periods, human rights as a concept and policy instrument became popular in the 20th century, particularly after the promulgation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations in 1948. There are many scholarly studies on the subject, but most of them adopt a Eurocentric approach. Scarcely there are studies which bring into focus a Vedanta perspective on the subject. The concept of practical Vedanta, popularized by Swami Vivekananda in the late 19th century, could be considered a precursor to the idea of human rights. Vedanta philosophy, Swami Vivekananda argued, has no value unless it addresses everyday problems confronted by human society including the exploitation of the weak, discrimination against women, and problems like poverty and illiteracy. He argued that for universal peace it is necessary that individuals come out of their selfish boundaries and think of the world as one family (Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam). This Vedanta perspective with its deep philosophical and practical underpinnings is relevant for human rights policy and practice
In this course the students will be able to:
Survey the evolution of the concept of human rights from a Vedanta perspective.
Study select Vedic hymns to demonstrate how those hymns could be considered the foundation of human rights.
Relate the ancient knowledge with the modern concept of human rights and apply that knowledge for the benefit of human society and the world.
Violation of moral principles has emerged a norm than the exception in international politics. States and global institutions have proved ineffective to checkmate violent conflicts. It is not they are incapable or lack resources. The problem lies elsewhere. Ego is a major cause behind much of the hazards in international politics. Indian philosopher Sri Aurobindo argued, like individuals, states have egos– amplified through national habits, prejudices, and idiosyncrasies. When applied to international politics, they lead to jingoism, exploitation, and wars, leading to practices like colonialism and imperialism. Colonialism and imperialism were only manifestations of an exploitative substructure. The root, the ego, is intact, and its manifestation has acquired new shapes. The Indian philosopher argued that state ego could evolve when state leaders think in terms of human unity. The establishment of the United Nations, after the failure of the League of Nations, was hailed a right step in this direction. The UN was established with a promise to ensure dignity and equality to all states. Has this happened?
In this course the students will be able to:
Gain a broad understanding of international politics and various theories related to it.
Interpret international developments from a Hindu spiritual perspective.
Identify the patterns of international politics in which narrow national interests play dominant roles, and explore methods to address them.