In this course, students will be able to:
Sri Aurobindo believed that India must rise to give Sanatana Dharma to the world, to the whole of humanity. He said, that while “… other religions are preponderating religions of faith and profession, but the Sanatana Dharma is life itself; it is a thing that has not so much to be believed as lived. This is the dharma that for the salvation of humanity was cherished in the seclusion of this peninsula from of old.” It is the Dharma which is universal in nature and embraces all.
It is the Dharma whose sole aspiration is to triumph over falsehood and all that limits us. It is the Dharma which aspires to awaken the spirit in matter. It is the Dharma which embraces all possible means to become one with the Divine. Unfortunately, post-independent India, embarked on a journey of progress that deepened a plethora of misunderstandings and misinterpretations of this eternal Dharma, alienating people from their cultural roots.
We are in the midst of a struggle which is not only bewildering and perplexing but is also full of confusions and blind prejudices and passions. Consequently, an average young Indian mind, whether born and brought up in India or abroad, feels handicapped in matters of Sanatana Dharma as it has not yet discovered the conviction to lead a life consistent with the vision of Sanatana Dharma. What does the future hold? What is the future of Sanatana Dharma? Perhaps no one else has spoken more eloquently on this subject than Sri Aurobindo, the Rishi of India’s renaissance.
It is in Sri Aurobindo that we see that the renascent India is called upon to build up integral consciousness which can manifest the divine potently, and find original solutions in all fields of activity, scientific, philosophical, cultural, social, economic, political, and so on. In this course, on the 150th birth anniversary of Sri Aurobindo, we will revisit his vision, for the future of Bharat, and of Sanatana Dharma.
There will be a minimum of 1.5 contact hours with one or more faculty every week. The class is structured in a way that promotes discussion and debate based on self-study and reflection each week. While the content being discussed in each class will be concluded within 90 minutes, the discussion time will be free format, and can continue for an additional 30 minutes.
During the course, students will be required to submit one short essay. They need not be academic quality papers – but should be based on students’ self-reflection on what they have learnt and assimilated so far, and what has touched and inspired them deeply.