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Antaranga Mandapam

In this course, students will accomplish the following:

  1. Learn to understand and deal with the internal confusion that this crisis has created
  2. Explore the Sangha as a healing space of lived and shared experience
  3. Correlate their life experience with select concepts from the Yoga Sutra
  4. Learn to learn from each other’s sharing
  5. Experience a shared sense of the sacredness of life
  6. Prepare for a journey of personal transformation

The traditional Hindu way of life had a holistic design, supported by a habitat that fostered harmony. 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, the wisdom of the Vedas and the Upanishads, were recreated through discourses, music, dance, stories and theatre performances. The Itihasa or Purana would be the basis of these performative traditions. The performative traditions were meant to evoke the rasa inherent in life and to convey the deep truths of the Upanishads and Vedas in simple ways.

The Mandapam, therefore, became the space where the community engaged in contemplative dialog, and nurtured a sense of being held in one’s humanness. Even the Gods and heroes whose stories were narrated had issues to confront like any one of us do, but found Dharmic ways of doing so! This mirroring of one’s life in the story provided insights into choices one could make, in the face of grave challenges.

The Antaranga Mandapam course will recreate this healing space online.

Required/Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: None

Faculty/Instructor: Sri Raghu Ananthanarayanan

Quarter Offered: Spring  2020

Area of Study: Yoga Studies

Start Date: April 14, 2020

End Date: June 23, 2020

Day: Tuesday

Time: 9.30 pm – 10:30 pm – EST

Antaranga Yoga

Learning Outcome:-

  1. Explore yoga as a holistic science beyond postures (asanas) or breathing techniques (pranayama).
  2. Develop greater insights into one’s own psyche and patterns of the mind (Antaranga Yoga) through an experiential engagement with Yoga Sutras.
  3. Develop an authentic understanding of the concepts in the Yoga Sutras based on the teachings of Yogacharya Sri T Krishnamacharya and learn to apply them in their daily lives to lead a life replete with RASA. 
  4. Contemplate upon Indian itihAsa-purANa tradition in an experiential manner as a mirror to understand themselves.
  5. Inquire into the foundations of Indian Psychology in the light of Yoga Sutras, Sankhya Philosophy and Bhagavad Gita.

This course is an invitation, to a student of yoga, for a deeper exploration of one’s own psyche and patterns of mind in the light of the ideas and propositions contained in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. The ultimate goal of all bahiranga yoga practices like Asana, prANAyAma, yama and niyama is to prepare the psyche so that it can engage in antaranga yoga. This is amply clear from the fact that only few sutras in Yoga Sutras mention about Asana, prANAyAma, yama and niyama as compared to the many that are devoted to the process of perception, how misperception happens, how duHkha is caused by an inability to use one’s inner faculties in a proper manner and how this can be worked with. It is only after a deep study of this process that we are introduced to the even deeper process leading to samyama (meditation). This course will help a student gain a firm understanding and clarity of the relationship between ashtAnga yoga and antaranga yoga

Our exploration of Yoga Sastra in this course is based on the teachings of Yogacharya T Krishnamacharya, the father of modern yoga, and his son Shri TKV Desikachar. A unique feature of this course is that we will explore self-reflective work through the itihAsa-purANa, the Mahabharata in particular. It is not commonly understood that the Mahabharata was written to make the subtle truths of Sankhya and Yoga Philosophy accessible to everybody.  We will explore antaranga yoga through the Mahabharata stories to understand one’s mind and its patterns better.

This is a 1-credit course that will have a total of 10 hours of instruction (contact hours) over ten weeks (1 hour per week). Students will have to devote 2 hours per week for self-study and assignments. Students will take an exam in the eleventh week.

Required/Elective: Required

Prerequisites: Admission to the program of study

Faculty/Instructor: Sri Raghu Ananthanarayanan

Quarter Offered: Summer  2020

Area of Study:- Yoga Studies

Start Date:- 15 July 2020

End Date:- 23 September 2020

Day:- Wednesday

Time:- 9:30pm-11:00pm EST

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