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The Renaissance of Sanatana Dharma  In the Light of Sri Aurobindo – Part 1

Course Content:
Sri Aurobindo believed that India must rise to give Sanatana Dharma to the world, to the whole of humanity. He said, that while “… other religions are preponderating religions of faith and profession, but the Sanatana Dharma is life itself; it is a thing that has not so much
to be believed as lived. This is the dharma that for the salvation of humanity was cherished in the seclusion of this peninsula from of old.”

It is the Dharma which is universal in nature and embraces all. It is the Dharma whose sole aspiration is to triumph over falsehood and all that limits us. It is the Dharma which aspires to awaken the spirit in matter. It is the Dharma which embraces all possible means to become one with the Divine. Unfortunately, post-independent India, embarked on a journey of progress that deepened a plethora of misunderstandings and misinterpretations of this eternal Dharma, alienating people from their cultural roots. We are in the midst of a struggle which is not only bewildering and perplexing but is also full of confusions and blind prejudices and passions. Consequently, an average young Indian mind, whether born and brought up in India or abroad, feels handicapped in matters of Sanatana Dharma as it has not yet discovered the conviction to lead a life consistent with the vision of Sanatana Dharma.

What does the future hold? What is the future of Sanatana Dharma? Perhaps no one else has spoken more eloquently on this subject than Sri Aurobindo, the Rishi of India’s renaissance. It is in Sri Aurobindo that we see that the renascent India is called upon to build up integral consciousness which can manifest the divine potently, and find original solutions in all fields of activity, scientific, philosophical, cultural, social, economic, political, and so on. In this course, on the 150th birth anniversary of Sri Aurobindo, we will revisit his vision, for the future of Bharat, and of Sanatana Dharma.

Learning Objectives:
In this course, students will be able to:
1. Get introduced to the life, works and contributions of Sri Aurobindo
2. Understand the fundamentals of Sanatana Dharma, its truths, teachings, texts, its rites and ceremonies, in the light of Sri Aurobindo
3. Integrate the ‘key words’ of Sanatana Dharma and their inner significance
4. Appreciate the different stages of evolution of Sanatana Dharma
5. Evaluate contemporary issues regarding Sanatana Dharma, and frequently mistaken and ignorant views about it
6. Understand the role of Sanatana Dharma for Humanity and find solutions for contemporary challenges through the writings of Sri Aurobindo

Area of Study: Hindu Studies Foundation

Program:  Community Education Program

Required/ Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Admission into program of study.

Faculty: Dr. Sampadananda Mishra

Time: 09:00 pm EST – 10:30 pm EST

Start Date: January 12, 2022

End Date: March 23, 2022

Day: Every Wednesday

Quarter Offered: Winter 2022

The Renaissance of Sanatana Dharma In the Light of Sri Aurobindo – Part 2

Course Content:
Sri Aurobindo believed that India must rise to give Sanatana Dharma to the world, to the whole of humanity. He said, that while “… other religions are preponderating religions of faith and profession, but the Sanatana Dharma is life itself; it is a thing that has not so much to be believed as lived. This is the dharma that for the salvation of humanity was cherished in the seclusion of this peninsula from of old.”

It is the Dharma which is universal in nature and embraces all. It is the Dharma whose sole aspiration is to triumph over falsehood and all that limits us. It is the Dharma which aspires to awaken the spirit in matter. It is the Dharma which embraces all possible means to become one with the Divine. Unfortunately, post-independent India, embarked on a journey of progress that deepened a plethora of misunderstandings and misinterpretations of this eternal Dharma, alienating people from their cultural roots. We are in the midst of a struggle which is not only bewildering and perplexing but is also full of confusions and blind prejudices and passions. Consequently, an average young Indian mind, whether born and brought up in India or abroad, feels handicapped in matters of Sanatana Dharma as it has not yet discovered the conviction to lead a life consistent with the vision of Sanatana Dharma.

What does the future hold? What is the future of Sanatana Dharma? Perhaps no one else has spoken more eloquently on this subject than Sri Aurobindo, the Rishi of India’s renaissance. It is in Sri Aurobindo that we see that the renascent India is called upon to build up integral consciousness which can manifest the divine potently, and find original solutions in all fields of activity, scientific, philosophical, cultural, social, economic, political, and so on. In this course, on the 150th birth anniversary of Sri Aurobindo, we will revisit his vision, for the future of Bharat, and of Sanatana Dharma.

The part 1 of this course covered an overview of Sri Aurobindo’s life and works, fundamentals of Sanatana Dharma, foundations of Indian culture, an overview of the sacred texts of Sanatana Dharma, the idea of Spirituality, Dharma, Purushartha, Brahmacharya and the the message of Sanatana Dharma to the humanity. All these are discussed in the light of Sri Aurobindo. 

This part (2) of the course aims at introducing the sacred texts of Sanatana Dharma and evaluating those in the light of Sri Aurobindo. The Vedas, the Upanishads, the Gita, the Tantric and the texts of Indian Philosophy are indeed the bedrock of Sanatana Dharma. To approach these texts not from a scholastic point of view, but rather to understand the living message pulsating in their words is the aim of this part of the course. By plunging into the philosophy of these texts, by gleaning their symbolism, and through a focused understanding of some of the significant words, verses and stories mentioned in these texts, the learners can begin to appreciate the significance of the Vedas, Upanishads, the Gita, and others in the modern day and how they can guide us in our day-to-day living. Furthermore, these texts will be evaluated in the light of Sri Aurobindo’s interpretation which gave a new turn to the renaissance of Sanatana Dharma.

 Learning Objectives:

In this course, learners will be able to:

  1. Get introduced to the many nuances of some of the fundamental texts of Sanatana Dharma: the Vedas, Upanishads, Gita, Tantra and the texts of various schools of Indian Philosophy.
  2. Have a deeper understanding of symbolism of the sacred texts of Sanatana Dharma in the light of Sri Aurobindo
  3. Integrate the ‘key words’ of Sanatana Dharma and their inner significance as used in the fundamental texts under study
  4. Appreciate the subtleties and profundities of these texts of Sanatana Dharma
  5. Evaluate and apply the teachings of the sacred texts of Sanatana Dharma in one’s day to day life.
  6. Understand the contribution of the Rishi tradition of Bharat
  7. Learn many Mantras and other relevant portions of the sacred texts and internalise their message.
  8. Understand the basis of how the Rishis of the past were able to create such a great repository of spiritual knowledge.

Area of Study: Hindu Studies Foundation

Program:  Community Education Program

Required/ Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Admission into program of study.

Faculty: Dr. Sampadananda Mishra

Time: 09:00 pm EST – 10:30 pm EST

Start Date: April 13, 2022

End Date: June 22, 2022

Day: Every Wednesday

Quarter Offered: Spring 2022

The Renaissance of Sanatana Dharma In the Light of Sri Aurobindo – Part 3

Course Content:
Sri Aurobindo believed that India must rise to give Sanatana Dharma to the world, to the whole of humanity. He said, that while “… other religions are preponderating religions of faith and profession, but the Sanatana Dharma is life itself; it is a thing that has not so much to be believed as lived. This is the dharma that for the salvation of humanity was cherished in the seclusion of this peninsula from of old.”

It is the Dharma which is universal in nature and embraces all. It is the Dharma whose sole aspiration is to triumph over falsehood and all that limits us. It is the Dharma which aspires to awaken the spirit in matter. It is the Dharma which embraces all possible means to become one with the Divine. Unfortunately, post-independent India, embarked on a journey of progress that deepened a plethora of misunderstandings and misinterpretations of this eternal Dharma, alienating people from their cultural roots. We are in the midst of a struggle which is not only bewildering and perplexing but is also full of confusions and blind prejudices and passions. Consequently, an average young Indian mind, whether born and brought up in India or abroad, feels handicapped in matters of Sanatana Dharma as it has not yet discovered the conviction to lead a life consistent with the vision of Sanatana Dharma.

What does the future hold? What is the future of Sanatana Dharma? Perhaps no one else has spoken more eloquently on this subject than Sri Aurobindo, the Rishi of India’s renaissance. It is in Sri Aurobindo that we see that the renascent India is called upon to build up integral consciousness which can manifest the divine potently, and find original solutions in all fields of activity, scientific, philosophical, cultural, social, economic, political, and so on. In this course, on the 150th birth anniversary of Sri Aurobindo, we will revisit his vision, for the future of Bharat, and of Sanatana Dharma.

The part 1 of this course covered an overview of Sri Aurobindo’s life and works, fundamentals of Sanatana Dharma, foundations of Indian culture, an overview of the sacred texts of Sanatana Dharma, the idea of Spirituality, Dharma, Purushartha, Brahmacharya and the the message of Sanatana Dharma to the humanity. All these are discussed in the light of Sri Aurobindo. 

The part 2 of the course was dedicated to introducing the sacred texts of Sanatana Dharma (Vedas, Upanishads, Gita and Tantra) and evaluating those in the light of Sri Aurobindo. 

This is the third and the last part of the course which aims at introducing some of the key concepts of Sanatana Dharma. A better understanding the key concepts like Gods and Goddesses, Punarjanma or Rebirth, Law of Karma and Human Destiny, Avatarhood, Rituals, Fasts and Festivals etc. is very much necessary in order to dive deep into the endless depth of Sanatana Dharma. All these will be discussed in the light of Sri Aurobindo’s Perspectives.

 Learning Objectives:

In this course, learners will be able to:

  1. Get introduced to the many nuances of some of the fundamental texts of Sanatana Dharma: the Vedas, Upanishads, Gita, Tantra and the texts of various schools of Indian Philosophy.
  2. Have a deeper understanding of symbolism of the sacred texts of Sanatana Dharma in the light of Sri Aurobindo
  3. Integrate the ‘key words’ of Sanatana Dharma and their inner significance as used in the fundamental texts under study
  4. Appreciate the subtleties and profundities of these texts of Sanatana Dharma
  5. Evaluate and apply the teachings of the sacred texts of Sanatana Dharma in one’s day to day life.
  6. Understand the contribution of the Rishi tradition of Bharat
  7. Learn many Mantras and other relevant portions of the sacred texts and internalise their message.
  8. Understand the basis of how the Rishis of the past were able to create such a great repository of spiritual knowledge.

Area of Study: Hindu Studies Foundation

Program:

Required/ Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Admission into program of study.

Faculty: Dr. Sampadananda Mishra

Time: 09:00 pm EST – 10:30 pm EST

Start Date: July 13, 2022

End Date: September 21, 2022

Day: Every Wednesday

Quarter Offered: Summer 2022