Introduction to Dvaita, Advaita and Vishishtadvaita systems of Vedanta
This course will introduce students to the three major systems of Vedanta namely Dvaita, Advaita and Vishishtadvaita. Students get a clear idea about the metaphysics of the three systems. They will also be able to appreciate how to harmonize the three systems through reconciliation of perspectives that appear, superficially, to be irreconcilably different but in reality represent a continuum of thought.
Some of the contemporary academic and popular misunderstandings about Hinduism, in particular the three Systems of Vedanta, would also be discussed to clear out popular misunderstandings and misrepresentations. All these aim at helping the students to lead
a balanced life by successfully managing the challenges of modern life.
Course Learning Objectives:
As a result of taking this course, students will be able to:
1. Articulate a comprehensive understanding of the basic tenets of Hinduism as per the three Vedantic systems – Dvaita, Advaita and Vishishtadvaita and how they have evolved.
2. Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the differences and similarities in the three systems of Vedanta.
3. Communicate the coherence and continuity inherent in the three seemingly irreconcilable views of the Vedantic Systems – Dvaita, Advata and Vishishtadvaita.
4. Analyze Indological scholarship on the three Vedantic Systems examining contemporary views.
5. Illustrate the application of Vedantic knowledge to life situations by citing own experiences.
There will be two sessions of one and half hours each per week. These classes are structured as per the Vedanta principles of listening (shravana), thinking using logic (manana) and meditating on how to realize them in real life (nididhyasana). There will be quiz sessions and a term paper which would help students to get more clarity on the theory aspects as well.
After every few lectures there would be discussion sessions and then exercises on how to apply the learning to life situations. Students will be encouraged to share their understandings after discussing in groups and discuss the challenges faced by them in day-to-day life. They would also be encouraged to present changes noticed in their own outlook and perspective while experimenting.
● Admission into the MA in Hindu Studies
● Any prerequisite courses – nothing specific though any course on Vedanta would help
● Any prerequisite knowledge or skills – Knowledge of Sanskrit is not a must though would be advantageous.
Required / Elective: Required
Area of Study: Hindu Studies Foundation
Faculty / Instructor: Dr. Narasimhan Anantharangachar
Start Date: January 29, 2023
End Date: May 21, 2023
Day: Every Sunday
Time: 10:00 am EST – 1:00 pm EST (India – 8:30 pm IST – 11:30 pm IST)
Quarter Offered: Winter 2023