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The Yoga of Bhagavad Gita

Course content:

The Bhagavad Gita is one of the most important texts in the Vedic tradition. Along with the Upanishads and Brahma Sutras, the Gita belongs to the Prasthanatrayi, the triad of canonical texts that have epistemic authority. In particular, Adi Shankara describes the Gita as the “Sadhana prasthana“, the practical text of the triad, as it articulates the core tenets of Yoga practice and the application of Yoga philosophy. One of the endearing qualities of the Bhagavad Gita is the simple teaching style, as Sri Krishna reveals the highest wisdom to his dear friend Arjuna using a variety of imagery, metaphors, and analogies. For sincere students of Yoga, the study of Bhagavad Gita, along with other classical Yoga texts such as Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, is an essential endeavor. The primary objective of this course offered by HUA is an in-depth study of the different dimensions of Yoga as presented in the Bhagavad Gita.

“The words of Lord Krishna to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita are at once a profound scripture on the science of yoga, union with God, and a textbook for everyday living. The student is led step by step with Arjuna from the mortal consciousness of spiritual doubt and weak heartedness to divine attunement and inner resolve.”  – Paramahamsa Yogananda.

Course Learning Objectives:

In this course students will be able to:

Answers to questions such as “What is the need for Self-enquiry?”, “What is meditation?”, “What is the role of asanas and pranayama in Yoga sadhana?”, “How to quiet the mind?”, “How to cultivate Bhakti?”, “What is the Law of Karma?” and many more, will be studied based on the teachings from Bhagavad Gita. Chanting of the selected verses from the Gita is an integral part of the course; 20 minutes of each session will be devoted to chanting.

  1. Focus on specific themes in the Bhagavad Gita, examine selected verses to gain clarity, deeper understanding, and appreciation.
  2. Recognize the nature and value of Self-Inquiry and Self-knowledge.
  3. Gain a greater and deeper clarity regarding practices such as Meditation, Asanas, Pranayama, Sadhana, and so on.
  4. Understand the Law of Karma and learn to cultivate Bhakti and Quieten the mind.
  5. Learn to chant selected verses from the Bhagavad Gita

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 one or two short essays. They need not be academic quality papers – but should be based on students’ self-reflection on what they have learned and assimilated so far.  Selected essays may qualify for being published on the University’s website.

Area of Study: Yoga Studies

Required / Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Admission into a Program of Study

Faculty / InstructorDr. Shriram Sarvotham

Time: 11:00 am EST – 12:30 pm EST

Saturday: Saturday

Start Date: 10th April 2021

End Date: 19th June 2021

Quarter Offered: Spring 2021