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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: 8:30 pm EST – 10:00 pm EST

Day: Every Monday

Start Date: October 11, 2021

End Date: December 20, 2021

Quarter Offered: Fall 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:- October 6, 2021

End Date:- December 15, 2021

Day:- Wednesday

Time:- 09:30 pm EST – 11:00 pm EST

Quarter Offered: Fall 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.

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Beginning Sanskrit – Proverbs & Stories

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: Mr. Srinath Chakravarty 

Quarter Offered: Fall 2021

Start Date: October 7, 2021

End Date: December 23, 2021

Day:  Every Thursday

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.

The course fee includes the cost of tuition, 2 textbooks, and the shipping & handling cost of the textbooks.

Faculty: Sri Chandrashekhar RaghuSmt. Parvathi Sriram

Required/Elective: Required

Prerequisites: Admission to Program of Study

Area of Study: Sanskrit Studies

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

Start Date: October 7, 2021

End Date: December 16, 2021

Day: Thursday

Time: 8:00 PM EST – 10:00 PM EST

Quarter Offered: Fall 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.

Area of Study: Sanskrit Studies

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

Prerequisites: Successful completion of SAN 0002

Faculty / Instructor:  Sri Chandrashekhar Raghu , Smt. Rama Shripati

Quarter Offered: Fall 2021

Start Date: October 11,  2021

End Date: December 20,  2021

Day: Every Monday

Time: 08:00 pm EST – 09:30 pm EST

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.

Area of Study: Sanskrit Studies

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

Prerequisites: Successful completion of SAN 0001

Faculty / Instructor: Sri Chandrashekhar Raghu 

Quarter Offered: Summer 2021

Start Date: 12th July, 2021

End Date: 20th September, 2021

Day: Every Monday

Time: 08:00 pm EST – 09:30 pm EST

Bhagavad-Gita for the Beginner – Sadhana

Course Content:

The Sadhana Course helps students to understand, explore and apply the divine wisdom of the Bhagavad-Gita in their own lives. This course simplifies the learning process of the Bhagavad-Gita for the beginner by using easy to understand graphic illustrations and simple to practice recitations. The course is divided into 3 modules Deha, Gnana and Yoga. The Deha module highlights the Material and Psychic aspects of the body. The Gnana module describes the Physical, Social, Occupational, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual dimensions of divine wisdom. The Yoga module explains the four paths of Yoga in Bhagavad-Gita. The course simplifies the learning process for the beginner using specially designed graphic workbooks, transliteration textbooks in multiple languages and guided audios, available in recitation and practice versions. The interactive sessions are conducted online in English.

The Course lays the foundation to the 3-part series of Sadhana, Sodhana and Vaadana courses, through which Students will acquire a thorough overview of Hindu Dharma and enrich the quality of their spiritual lives.

Shloka Parichaya (Introduction to the verse): Students understand the verses in two steps. 

Step 1: Shloka Shravana (Listening to the verse): In this step the students will get to know the accurate pronunciation of each verse.

Step 2: Bhava Darshana (Graphic illustration): In this step the meaning of the verse is explained through graphic illustration.

Shloka Sadhana (Practice of the verse): Students shall practice the verses in two steps.

Step 3: Shloka Anucharana (Guided recitation): In this step students will learn the accurate pronunciation of each verse through guided practice. After this step the students would be able to independently practice the recitation using the guided chanting audios available online. 

Step 4: Shloka Rachana (Copy writing the shloka): In this step each verse is written in a language of choice by copying from the transliteration textbook. 

Course Description:

“Bhagavad-Gita for the beginner” introduces about 140 carefully curated verses (out of 700) under 17 thematic lessons from the Bhagavad Gita to students, who have no prior exposure to this important Hindu Text. In this course the participants shall study the meanings of each verse followed by guided recitation during online interactive classes. The Sadhana course is carried out using Active, Interactive and Collaborative ways of learning and offers guided practice of shlokas followed by interactive discussion of their meaning. It is the first of a three-course series titled, Sadhana, Sodhana and Vaadana. 

Class Structure:

There will be a minimum of 1.5 contact hours with faculty every week. The class is structured in a way that promotes discussion and debate based on self-study and reflection each week. After the weekly class the students will be required to submit audio recordings of verses and complete online assignments with drag and drop type questions. 

Required / Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: N.A.

Faculty / InstructorMr. Gopi V. Prasad

Time: 11:00 am EST – 12:30 pm EST

Day: Every Saturday

Start Date: October 9, 2021

End Date: December 18, 2021

Quarter Offered: Fall 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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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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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

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Program Description:

Hindu University of America’s Certificate Program in Sanskrit through the Yoga Shaastram provides an alternative route to achieving Sanskrit Proficiency. It enables students to learn both the Patanjali Yogasootrams through the Sanskrit Language, and the Sanskrit Language through the Yogashaastram. 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 Yogasootrams.  In this program, the Faculty will lead the students verse by verse, in sequence through the Patanjali Yogasootrams, 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 Yogashaastram 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 Patanjali Yogasootram, 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 Yogasootrams and the Yogashaastram through the Sanskrit language along six dimensions.

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

  • Appreciating the Patanjali Yogasootrams, while gaining access to the text’s original intent and message
  • Reading Yogasootram 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 aphorisms of the Patanjali Yogasootram 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 Yoga Shaastram 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 the Samskrit Promotion Foundation (SPF), the Program will be based on the material contained in the 4 part book series “Yogasya BhaaShaa” published by SPF, augmented with supplemental handouts and other texts.

  • Area of Study: Sanskrit Studies
  • Program of Study: Certificate Program
  • Division: Continuing Education Division
  • Number of Credits: 24 Credit Hours
  • Number of Courses: 8 Courses
  • Number of Quarters: 8 Quarters
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