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Introduction to Vedas

Course content:

An overview of the central theme of the Vedas and their classification as Ṛg, Yajus, Sāma, and Atharva and structural classification as Saṁhitā, Brāhmaṇa, Āraṇyaka, and Upaniṣad along with a brief introduction to the allied literature of the Vedas are discussed in this course. The Hindu philosophy of life and worldview that intrinsically supports diversity and universal wellbeing, which has enabled the Vedic culture to sustain itself in the face of considerable adversity is also explored.

In this course students will be able to:

  1. Understand the landscape of Vedic and allied literature
  2. Understand the Vedic worldview through its philosophy of life
  3. Recognize Life as a continuous framework for the evolution of all beings of the world
  4. Reconcile seemingly conflicting and diverse ideas sustained by the Vedic culture

Area of Study: Sanskrit Studies

Required / Elective: Required

Prerequisites: Admission into the Masters’ Certificate or MA in Sanskrit Program

Faculty / Instructor:  Prof M A Alwar, Prof Ramanujachar

Quarter Offered:  TBD

Mīmāṁsā Advanced

Course Content: This course involves the study of the epistemology of the Bhāṭṭa school of Pūrva-mīmāṁsā, propagated by Kumarilabhāṭṭa. The classification of cognitions and their implications along with how each type of cognition arises and how each type of cognition is distinct from the other is analyzed in a text called Mānameyodaya, prescribed for this course.

In this course students will be able to:

  1. Understand and apply theories of empirical and non-empirical cognition.
  2. Appreciate the classification schema used by the Bhāṭṭa school of Pūrva-mīmāṁsā.
  3. Develop an appreciation for the intricate and precise nature of Hindu knowledge systems.

Area of Study: Sanskrit Studies

Required / Elective: Elective

Prerequisites:  Completion of the Mīmāṁsā Basic course

Faculty / Instructor:  TBD

Quarter Offered:  TBD

Mīmāṁsā Basic

Course Content:

This course involves discussion of the tradition of contributions in the lineage of Pūrva-mīmāṁsā and provides the background of the hermeneutic nature of this knowledge system. The primer of Pūrva-mīmāṁsā named Arthasaṅgraha is the text of study used to develop an understanding of the foundations of the Pūrva-mīmāṁsā school of thought.

In this course students will be able to:

  1. Observe the evolving nature of Vedic knowledge systems through the range and scope for valid interpretation allowed and valued within the Vedic traditions
  2. Appreciate the intricate levels to which inquiry is carried out in the Vedic knowledge systems to arrive at conclusions that can stand up to logic and reason
  3. Apply and use the hermeneutic methods employed in Pūrva-mīmāṁsā in other knowledge systems and domains

Area of Study: Sanskrit Studies

Required / Elective: Required

Prerequisites:  Admission into the Masters Certificate or MA in Sanskrit Program

Faculty / Instructor:  TBD

Quarter Offered:  TBD

Nyāya-vaiśeṣika Advanced

Course content:

This course introduces the ontology and classificatory schema of the merged system of Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika as presented in the primer named Tarka-saṅgraha, which is reviewed with refined definitions and logical arguments using the Navya-nyāya terminology. Using a key commentary named Dīpikā, the course develops the system of definitions and logic, and the generation of the complex terminology and technical language which came to be regarded as a benchmark of intellectual expression across all Hindu śāstras.

In this course students will be able to:

  1. Understand the ontological schema of the universe according to the empirical / realist school of thought in the Vedic systems of Philosophy.
  2. Recognize how definitions are improvised and enhanced to obtain faultlessly accurate descriptions of various entities in the universe and their characteristics.
  3. Ability to work with i.e. sort and define entities and attributes of other knowledge systems and work domains.

Area of Study: Sanskrit Studies

Required / Elective: Elective

Prerequisites:  Completion of the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika Basic course

Faculty / Instructor:  Prof M A Alwar

Quarter Offered:  TBD

Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika Basic

Course Content:

This course examines the evolutionary stages of the Nyāya system of thought from its ancient (prācīna) origins to its recent (navya) form, in the process incorporating the Vaiśeṣika ontology into its system.

In this course students will be able to:

  1. Understand the evolving nature of the use of logic and reason within various technical Indic knowledge systems
  2. Appreciate the elaborate cognition-centric approach in Indic knowledge systems which emphasized logical reasoning and validation and mechanisms of expression
  3. Distinguish and apply the classification schema at the heart of the Nyāya system on other Vedic and Indic knowledge systems

Area of Study: Sanskrit Studies

Required / Elective: Required

Prerequisites:  Admission into the Masters Certificate or MA in Sanskrit Program

Faculty / Instructor:  Prof M. A. Alwar

Quarter Offered:  TBD

Term Project – Sanskrit Studies

Course Content:

This course seeks to provide the learner’s familiarity with research experience in a subject of their interest based on their study thus far. The course involves selection of a text or a portion of a text for independent study along with the allied texts and commentaries.  It requires the student to present their understanding and interpretation of the selected text portions through a seminar paper. It also involves creating a concept map of the various structures to which the text portion aligns.

In this course students will be able to:

  1. Independently read, understand, interpret and present the knowledge assimilated from a selected text or portion of a text.
  2. Apply the methods of comprehension and interpretation of śāstric texts first-hand for deeper assimilation.
  3. Prepare a concept map of the selected text portion and identify the structures used in framing the text portion in relation to a systematic comprehension of the full text.

Area of Study: Sanskrit Studies

Required / Elective: Required

Prerequisites:  Completion of 36 Credit-Hours of Course work in the MA in Sanskrit / Masters’ Certificate in Sanskrit

Faculty / Instructor:  Guided independent work

Quarter Offered:  TBD

The Vedas (Atharva)

Course content:

The course provides an overview of the features and contents of the Atharvaveda as well as provides illustrations from the Saṁhitā, Brāhmaṇa and Upaniṣad sections of the Atharvaveda that show how they differ from each other.

In this course students will be able to:

  1. Understand the arrangement of mantras in the Atharvaveda as well as the overview of its contents
  2. Understand the Vedic worldview through its philosophy of life
  3. Recognize the variation and divergence of Vedic and classical Sanskrit language
  4. Distinguish the convergence and divergence in nature, features, form, content, structure, and utility of the four Vedas, with regards to Vedic practices

Area of Study:- Sanskrit Studies

Required / Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Completion of the course “Introduction to the Vedas”

Faculty / Instructor:  Prof M A Alwar, Prof. Ramanujacharya

Quarter Offered:  TBD

The Vedas (Ṛgveda)

Course content:

The course provides an overview of the features, structure, and contents of the Ṛgveda as well as provides illustrations from the Saṁhitā, Brāhmaṇa, Āraṇyaka and Upaniṣad sections of the Ṛgveda to understand how they vary in their features and content from each other.

In this course students will be able to:

  1. Understand the arrangement of mantras in the Ṛgveda and an overview of their content
  2. Understand the Vedic worldview and its philosophy of life
  3. Recognize the variation and divergence of Vedic and classical Sanskrit language
  4. Distinguish the convergence and divergence in the nature, features, form, content, structure and utility of the four Vedas, with regards to Vedic practices.

Area of Study: Sanskrit Studies

Required / Elective: Elective

Faculty: Prof M A Alwar, Prof. Ramanujacharya

Quarter: TBD

The Vedas (Yajus-Sāma)

Course content:

The course provides an overview of the features and contents of the Yajurveda and Sāmaveda as well as illustrations from the Saṁhitā, Brāhmaṇa, Āraṇyaka and Upaniṣad sections, that show how they differ from each other. The various musical svara-s (intonations) of the Sāmaveda are also featured in this course.

In this course students will be able to:

  1. Understand the arrangement of mantras in the Yajur and Sāma Vedas as well as an overview of their content
  2. Understand the Vedic worldview through its philosophy of life
  3. Recognize the variation and divergence of Vedic and classical Sanskrit language
  4. Distinguish the convergence and divergence in nature, features, form, content, structure, and utility of the four Vedas, with regards to Vedic practices.

Area of Study:- Sanskrit Studies

Required / Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Completion of the course “Introduction to the Vedas”

Faculty / Instructor:  Prof M A Alwar, Prof. Ramanujacharya

Quarter Offered:  TBD

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