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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. Awaken the archetypal characters from the Mahabharata in one’s own life through dialogue and reflective activities
  2. Develop greater insights into one’s own psyche and patterns of the mind through an experiential engagement with the Mahabharata
  3. Experience yoga as an integral science beyond postures (asanas) or breathing techniques (pranayama).
  4. To develop the sakhi bhava (friendliness) and sakshi bhava (meditative listening) to be able to listen to our own self and the others from a deeper space
  5. To evoke healing processes within oneself

In this course, we explore our psyche using stories of characters from the Mahabharata, with an aim to bring clarity and meaning in our life. This 11-week course requires a pre-work of reading select stories from the Mahabharata and writing reflections before attending each session.

This course is not a didactic course on Mahabharata but enables one to delve into one’s psyche using the Mahabharata as a mirror into one’s mental processes. The course is dialogic and calls for a willingness to be self-reflective, share of oneself, and listen to others sensitively. This course is not recommended for anyone who is going through treatment for any psychological illness.

Required/Elective: Required

Prerequisites: Admission to the program of study

Faculty/Instructor: Sri Raghu Ananthanarayanan

Area of Study:- Yoga Studies

Start Date:- October 6, 2021

End Date:- December 15, 2021

Day:- Wednesday

Time:- 09:30 pm EST – 11:00 pm EST

Quarter Offered: Fall 2021

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Course content:

This course will revolve around interrogating the following questions:

  1. What is the Yoga as enunciated by the sage Patañjali?
  2. What is the role that bahiranga yoga (practices like āsana, prāṇāyāma, yama and niyama) have in the scheme of Yoga?
  3. How does the Yoga sutra look at the processes of the mind? How does it approach the practice of mastery over one’s mind?
  4. What is the thread of systematic psycho-spiritual evolution that runs through all the eight limbs of Yoga as enunciated in the Yoga Sutra?

This course will give an authentic understanding of the world of Yoga as described by the sage Patañjali. Since Patañjali’s Yoga Sutra are built on the darśana of Sankhya, this course will start by exploring the worldview of Sankhya. Given that the Bhagavad Gita is a synthesis of Sankhya and Yoga, it will prepare the students for a deeper philosophical understanding of the Bhagavad Gita.

In this course, the student will be able to: 

  1. Gain a traditional understanding of Patañjali’s Yoga Sutra as enunciated by the great master Yogacharya Krishnamacharya.
  2. Develop an understanding of the key practices that enable understanding and mastery of one’s mind and self.
  3. Understand the nuances of psycho-spiritual evolutionary growth that Yoga entails.
  4. Learn about the philosophical foundations on which Yoga is predicated.

Area of Study: Hindu Studies Foundations

Required/Elective:  Required

Prerequisites: Admission into a Program of Study

Faculty/Instructor: Dr. Anand Paranjape; Raghu Ananthanarayanan, Dr. Kundan Singh; & Dr. Anita Balasubramanian

Time: 10.00 am EST to 11.30 am – EST.

Day: Monday and Friday

Start Date: January 15th, 2021

End Date: March 26th, 2021

Quarter Offered: Winter 2021