The Vedic-view of the purpose of life as explained by the four puruṣārthas – Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha will be discussed. An overview of the four Vedas, each consisting of the two major categories, which are further subdivided into different portions, the arrangement of the mantras into mandalas and aśtaka systems, internal classifications of each Veda into Samhitā, Brahmana, Aranyaka, and Upanishads will be covered. The Veda’s structural hierarchy and purpose, and supplementary texts of the Vedic corpus such as – Sūtra – Bhāṣya – Vyākhyā – Ṭīkā – Ṭippaṇī – Prapaňcikā – Saṅgraha – Kārikā – Vṛtti – Vārtika – Prakaraṇa – Vāda – Khaṇḍana, including an overview of the six Darśanas will be examined, in addition to the differences between śruti and smriti.
In this course students will be able to:
- Recognize the whole Vedic body of knowledge and its layout.
- Understand the inter-relationships of the various components of the Vedic corpus.
- Inquire into the concept of human progress in relation to the timelessness of ancient Vedic knowledge.
- Explore the relevance of the Vedic body of knowledge in today’s age.
- Examine contemporary views and interpretations of the Veda.
Areas of Study: Hindu Studies Foundations
Required / Elective: Required
Prerequisites: Admission into a program of Study
Faculty: Sri Swami Svatmananda