This course explores the impact of applying the fundamental Hindu axiom, “Everything happens for the best” on the modern questions of environmental degradation and social injustice. It will advance and explore the hypothesis that humanity has been engaged in an unconscious quest to stabilize the earth’s temperature and prevent the earth from going back into another ice age ever again. We did this by playing a game that rewarded selfishness, greed, and apathy similar to the loaded dice game organized by Shakuni in the Mahabharata. As a consequence, the Earth is marinating in ever accumulating toxic pollution even as ecosystems are degraded and the climate is changing. Now, we are each called to fight our personal battle of Kurukshetra and transform ourselves to treat all Life as sacred in order to preserve that on which we depend for our own survival. The course will rely heavily upon an updated version of the 2016 book, “Carbon Yoga: The Vegan Metamorphosis”. The nine chapters of the book will be the basis for the course material for Sessions 2-10 of the course, while the introductory session will provide an overview of what the course will cover. The topics that will be covered are as follows:
Session 1: Overview of the course
Session 2: The “fundamental axiom” of Hinduism
Session 3: Why a Western beginning in the industrial era needs an Indian ending
Session 4: Why everything is perfect, and everything must change
Session 5: The first question: “Who Are We?” as a species
Session 6: The second question: “What Is Our Relationship with The World?”
Session 7: The third question: “Why Are We Here?”
Session 8: The new game of Aquarius to promote selflessness, generosity, and activism
Session 9: How to transform yourself and transform your world
Session 10: The lifelong journey towards moral singularity
Course Learning Objectives:
In this course students will be able to:
1. Understand the profound impact of Hindu teachings on our worldly outlook and how it changes our story telling
2. Appreciate the impact that the games we play have on the world around us.
3. Devise new games that can transform ourselves and transform our world.
4. Understand that the quest for global sustainability is a collective one in which we all have a duty to help our fellow humans and fellow beings.
5. Discover the enormous breadth, variety, and depth of Hindu Dharmic teachings.
The class will meet once a week for up to 90 minutes. The teacher’s presentation, with the help of audio and video recordings, will last approximately 45 minutes. The remaining time will be devoted to questions and open discussion. There will be 10 such sessions followed by an additional session devoted to the presentation and discussion of student and teacher reflections regarding what they learned from the course and how they expect it will influence their lives.
Area of Study: Conflict and Peace Studies
Faculty / Instructor: Dr. Sailesh Rao
Required / Elective: Elective
Start Date: Wednesday, April 14th, 2021
End Date: Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021
Time: 9.00 pm – EST – 10.30 pm – EST
Quarter Offered: Spring 2021