Lessons from Valmiki Ramayana

Course content:

Ramayana is a millennia-old biography of Rama, which finds resonance in the cultures of 100+ countries beyond the considerations of religion and language. This ancient biography of Shri Rama has been translated into more than 300 variants and is still counting. There is a hidden encrypted message in each of the 24000 slokas of Valmiki Ramayana, and this can enrich humanity in an unprecedented way, if only we were open to it.

In this course, we will go through the whole story of Ramayana with the participants in the form of 25 sub-stories. Each of this sub-story and the characters involved will drive a quintessential critical lesson. At multiple instances in the course, we will take a pause, pose a real-life scenario and see what Rama or a Ramayana character must have done in that situation.

The course will comprehensively cover the Story of Ramayana, Various Characters of Ramayana, Learnings from the Ramayana in a contemporary context, the geographical mapping, historicity, and contemporary relevance of the Ramayana

Class Structure:

There will be a minimum of 1 contact hour with the faculty every week for 10 weeks. 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 and or presentations. They need not be academic quality papers – but should be based on students’ self-reflection on what they have learned and assimilated so far. Quizzes will be part of LIVE class sessions and home assignments so that students can assimilate all the facts of the great epic of Ramayana.

Learning Objective:

In this course students will be able to:

  1. Understand the journey of Rama and its various nuances as narrated by Sage Valmiki in Valmiki Ramayana
  2. Understand various characters of Valmiki Ramayana and their interplay in the story
  3. Evaluate different situations, relationships, characters, incidents of Valmiki Ramayana and observe and understand the eternal message hidden in each of them
  4. Learn the geographical journey that Rama takes from Ayodhya to Lanka and observe it vis-a-vis the current national & international maps of India
  5. Discuss and Debate around different nuances around the historicity of Ramayana, dating of Ramayana & Science behind various seemingly magical looking incidents of Ramayana

Area of Study: Hindu Studies Foundation

Required/ Elective: Required

Prerequisites: Admission into program of study

Instructor:  Mr. Shantanu Gupta

Day: Every Saturday

Time: 9:00 pm EST – 10:00 pm EST

Start Date: April 9, 2022

End Date: June 18, 2022

Quarter Offered: Spring 2022