- Effectively analyze the nature of the human problem.
- Discern the difference between knowledge and action as means (sadhana) for a given end and the sphere of applicability of both.
- Understand Advaita Vedanta’s epistemology and its relevance to the human problem.
- Gain clarity on the Advaita view of reality and non-duality.
- Recognize and analyze the differences between some modern and ancient interpretations of Advaita. and the traditional view.
- Learn the prerequisites for the knowledge of Advaita and the skills required to gain them.
- Understand the place of Yoga in gaining the vision of Advaita
The vision of Advaita Vedanta is that one, non-dual consciousness is the content of you, the world and the cause of the world. It is both immanent and transcendent and can be known by a human being who has equipped himself/herself with the necessary prerequisites. This knowledge, contained in the Upanisads, releases the individual from the problem of human suffering. In this course we will explore the nature and substance of this liberating knowledge through key dialogues in some of the major Upanisads, using as a guide the commentary of Sankara, Advaita’s seminal exponent. We will also engage with selections from the Bhagavad Gita, which elaborates upon topics handled with characteristic brevity in the Upanisads. In addition to expanding on the metaphysical teachings of the Upanisads, the Gita treats the prerequisites for understanding the teachings, under the rubric of karma-yoga, in great detail. This will include a discussion of the place of Astanga Yoga in Advaita Vedanta. We will conclude by examining some competing views on Vedanta, including modern interpretations. The course is designed to introduce in a comprehensive but accessible way, the vision of Advaita Vedanta.
Prerequisites: Admissions into a Program of Study
Faculty/Instructor: Swamini Agamananda Saraswati
Quarter Offered: Winter 2020
Area of Study:- Hindu Studies Foundation