In this course, students will accomplish the following:
- Explore Antaranga yoga as a lived and shared experience
- Correlate their life experience with select concepts from the Yogasutra
- Learn to learn from each other’s sharing
- Experience a shared sense of the sacredness of life
- Prepare for a deeper exploration of the Yogasutra in the future
The traditional Hindu way of living had a holistic design, supported by the design of the living habitat that was in harmony with the way of life. 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 either dance, music, theatre performance or maybe storytelling is conducted. The Itihasa or Purana would be the basis of the performance. Art and storytelling from these sources had a clear intent, namely, that the story is composed to reflect common issues that every person faced regardless of differences, the performance was meant to evoke the rasa inherent in life and meant to convey the deep truths of the Upanishads and Vedas in simple ways.
The Mandapam, therefore, became the space where the community was nurtured and a sense of being held in one’s humanness was fostered. Even the Gods and heroes whose stories were narrated had issues to confront like any one of us do, but they find dharmic ways of doing so! This mirroring of one’s life in the story also provided insights into choices one could make. Often, the people who gathered in the Mandapam became friends and shared each other’s joys and sorrows with each other in intimate conversations.
The Mandapam on-line is an attempt to revive this space of togetherness, caring and sharing in a new form taking advantage of the networking made possible by the very advances in technology that have made our lives fast-paced and insular.
Prerequisites: Students must have completed the Antaranga Yoga Course
Faculty/Instructor: Sri Raghu Ananthanarayanan
Quarter Offered: Spring 2020
Area of Study: Yoga Studies
Start Date: April 15, 2020
End Date: June 22, 2020
Time: 9.30 pm – 10:30 pm EST