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Anticolonialism and Postcolonialism

Much more than the economic exploitation of the colonized, the colonization process hovers around destroying their cultural fabric. This necessarily involves the production of literature on the colonized and the creation of institutions through which the understanding of the colonized within and without their culture is significantly altered. There have been influential writers during the colonial period who understood the impulse of power and domination behind the production of literature on the colonized “other,” and there have been others who have analyzed the psychological and sociological effects of colonization. Through the literature of writers such as Aime Cessaire, Albert Memmi, Franz Fannon, Edward Said, Ashish Nandy, and S. Balagangadhara, this course will give the students the theoretical tools to understand the impact of colonialism on the psyche and culture of the Hindu people.

In this course, the student 

  1. will be given a sound introduction to literature and theorists whose work will be extremely beneficial in critically examining the European literature that was generated on India and Hinduism in the colonial times;
  2. will be given the framework and the container to study the cultural and civilizational impact of European literature on India and Hinduism during the colonial times;
  3. will begin to gain a vision of how European Indology significantly altered our self-understanding as Hindus and our representation to the world, the impact of which we continue to deal with in a postcolonial world.

Area of Study: Postcolonial Hindu Studies

Required/Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Admission into a Program of Study/Must have completed or be concurrently enrolled in Orientation to Hindu Studies

Instructor: Dr. Kundan Singh

Day: Every Saturday

Start Date: September 26, 2020

End Date: December 12, 2020

Time: 02:00 pm EST – 05:00 pm EST

Quarter: Fall 2020

CPSP Beginners-Course 1

Course Structure 

This course is structured in the form of one Quarter (10 weeks, 1.5 hours per week). Students will take an exam at the end of the course during the 11th week. Structured innovatively using the curriculum and textbooks designed by Samskrita Bharati USA (SBusa.org), the course will be based upon material contained in the SB – USA – published books, “AYANAM” & “SAARINEE”, augmented with other appropriate course content.

This course is structured to allow a beginner level student to start listening, writing, and reading the DevanAgari Script through a streamlined set of exercises.

Learning Objectives: In this course, students will be able to: 

  • Understand the origin of various sounds in Sanskrit.
  • Pronouncing and writing the Sanskrit alphabets that are single letters, both vowels, and consonants.
  • Pronouncing and writing the Sanskrit combination letters and using them in forming words.
  • Reciting simple Sanskrit verses with the correct pronunciation.
  • Reading and writing simple prose passages in Devanagari and build basic vocabulary.
  • Completing simple exercises and gaining the right skills required for further studies in Sanskrit.

The course fee includes the cost of tuition, 3 textbooks, and shipping & handling cost of the textbooks.

Required / Elective: Required 

Program of Study: Beginner Level Certificate Program in Sanskrit Proficiency

Area of Study: Sanskrit Studies

Prerequisites: None

Faculty / Instructor: Sri Srinath Chakravarthy

Quarter Offered: Fall 2020

Start Date: Thursday, 24 September 2020

End Date: Saturday, 12 December 2020

Day: Every Thursday

Time: 9:00-10:30pm EST

CPSP Beginners-Course 2

Course Structure 

This course is structured in the form of one Quarter (10 weeks, 1.5 hours per week). Students will take an exam at the end of the course during the 11th week. Structured innovatively using the curriculum and textbooks designed by Samskrita Bharati USA (SBusa.org), the course will be based upon material contained in the SB – USA – published books, “PRAPADYAA” & “SUPADAA”, augmented with other appropriate course content.

This course is structured to allow a beginner level student to start listening, writing, and reading the DevanAgari Script through a streamlined set of exercises.

Required / Elective: Required 

Program of Study: Beginner Level Certificate Program in Sanskrit Proficiency

Area of Study: Sanskrit Studies

Prerequisites: None

Faculty / Instructor: Sri Chandrashekhar Raghu 

Quarter Offered: Fall 2020

Start Date: Tuesday, 22 September 2020

End Date: Saturday, 12 December 2020

Day: Every Tuesday

Time: 9:00-10:30pm EST

Exploring Hinduism for Teens and Parents

Course content: This course involves approximately 20 sessions of  90 minutes each delivered in one quarter. These sessions will cover a variety of topics and themes, such as: 

  1. Hindu Geography – The land of the Hindus
  2. Hindu History – How ancient is Hinduism really?
  3. The Ramayana – Historical Figure or Mythical Hero
  4. The Mahabharata – Did the Kurukshetra war actually happen?
  5. The Spread of Hindu thought and ideas around the world
  6. Hindu conception of Divinity – Understanding Gods and Goddesses
  7. Hindu conception of Divinity – Consciousness and Matter
  8. Hindu symbolism – Representing the Divine
  9. Hindu conception of Divinity – Male and Female divinities
  10. Hindu Sampradaya and Parampara – Rishi, Guru, Yogi, Acharya
  11. Hindu Cosmology and Astronomy – Jyotisha
  12. Hindu Timekeeping and Calendar – Panchanga
  13. Hindu accomplishments and contributions to the world
  14. The Hindu worldview and lifestyle – The emphasis on spirituality
  15. The Hindu Social System – Varna, Jati and the so-called Caste system
  16. Women in Hindu Society – Breaking some myths
  17. Invasions and Colonization
  18. India’s Freedom Struggle
  19. Hindu Ethos
  20. Hindu Life today – Being happy, healthy, organic and responsible

Learning Objectives: 

In this course students will be able to: 

  1. Develop a deeper understanding of the history, culture, and traditions of Hinduism
  2. Discover the various ways in which Hindus conceptualize and relate to the Divine
  3. Examine the wisdom of ancient Hindu traditions in the light of contemporary life
  4. Revisit and Clarify certain pervasive myths that are prevalent regarding Hinduism 
  5. Recognize the place of Hinduism in the world and its contribution to humanity
  6. Discover new conversational spaces within the family unexplored so far 
  7. Learn to describe and talk about Hindu ideas and thought with others 

This course can be taken as the inaugural course of a whole series titled “Exploring Hinduism – The Overview”, or as a stand-alone course. It can be enjoyed by teenagers in the age group 12-18, on their own or together with their parents. Alternatively, parents who have teens may also benefit from this course. 

Required/Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: None

Faculty/Instructor: Dr. D.K. Hema HariDr. D. K. Hari

Quarter Offered: Fall 2020

Area of Study: Hindu Studies Foundation

Start Date: 24th September 2020

End Date: 13th December 2020

Day: Every Friday & Sunday

Time: 09:00 pm EST – 10:30 pm EST

Freedom and Reality: An Introduction to Advaita Vedanta

Learning Outcome:

  1. Effectively analyze the nature of the human problem and the scope of knowledge and action as means (sadhana) for solving it.
  2. Understand Advaita Vedanta’s epistemology and its relevance to the human problem.
  3. Gain clarity on the Advaita view of reality and non-duality.
  4. Learn the prerequisites for the knowledge of Advaita and the means to gain them.
  5. Recognize and analyze the differences between some modern and ancient interpretations of Advaita. and the traditional view of Sankara.

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 explore the qualifications required for this knowledge and the prescribed means for acquiring them. In conclusion, we will examine 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.

Required/Elective: Required

Prerequisites:  Concurrently enrolled in Orientation in Hindu Studies 

Faculty/Instructor: Swamini Agamananda Saraswati

Area of Study: Hindu Studies Foundation 

Start Date: 26th September 2020

End Date: 13th December 2020

Day: Every Sunday & Wednesday

Time: 03:00 pm – 04:30 pm

Quarter Offered: Fall 2020

Hinduism & Peace

This course examines the elements of Hindu thought that deal with conflict resolution. Starting from the ancient period to the present, various Hindu scriptures and thinkers have pondered over conflicts at various levels and explored paths for peace. Starting from the Śānti Parva of Mahābhārata to the writings of the 20th-century Indian thinkers, various useful elements can be found in the Hindu thought reflecting on various conflicts in human society and their solutions.  The course will bring to the learners a broader understanding of the  Hindu thought and its problem-solving aspects, and their relevance for the contemporary world. Hindu thought is rich in providing various paths to realize peace. For instance, while for Kautilya, a strong state is a necessary pillar for peace, Swāmi Vivekānanda emphasized universal acceptance and toleration as two core elements for sustainable peace. The course while introducing students the core elements of the Hindu thought that focus on conflict and peace, explores their conflict resolution potentials. It also aims to encourage students to explore a complex and interesting subject in their own way while drawing on the Hindu scriptures and philosophers.

In this course the students will be able to:

  1. Gain a broader understanding of Hindu thought and its problem-solving aspects:
  2. View contemporary conflicts from a Hindu conflict resolution lens and explore the relevance of Hindu perspective for the contemporary world:
  3. Examine a contemporary conflict while drawing on the Hindu conflict resolution theories and practices.

Area of Study: Conflict and Peace Studies

Required/Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Admission into a Program of Study/Must have completed Orientation to Hindu Studies or Concurrently enrolled in OTHS.

Instructor: Dr. Debidatta. A. Mahapatra

Start Date: 27 September 2020

End Date: 13 December 2020

Day: Sunday

Time: 02:00 pm – 05:00 pm

Quarter: Fall 2020

Holistic Yoga Teacher Training Foundations Intensive

Learning Objective:

  • Learn in-depth, the yoga practices of breath-synchronized movements, asana, pranayama, and meditation techniques.
  • Understand the yoga philosophy as described in the Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads, and Patanjali Yoga Sutras and how they apply to one’s daily life.
  • Apply yoga practices and concepts to manage their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
  • Understand the eight limbs of Ashtanga Yoga — yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, and Samadhi.
  • Advance in the practice of holistic ashtanga yoga techniques

Yoga, as practiced by modern society, is a path to achieving optimal health and wellness. Integrated holistic systems of yoga bring forth positive health at physical, pranic, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels (pancha kosha). In this in-depth course, we will learn the practical techniques of asanas, pranayama, meditation, and relaxation along with the subtle nuances of these practices, their contraindications, benefits, and spiritual significance. We will also learn in-depth concepts of Ashtanga Yoga as described in Patanjali Yoga Sutras and the four streams of yoga as described in the Bhagavad Gita. The eight steps of Ashtanga Yoga give a comprehensive and systematic approach to developing one’s mind. Apart from Ashtanga yoga as a practice of Raja Yoga, the other three disciplines that we include are Karma Yoga (the yoga of detached action), Bhakti Yoga, (the yoga of love, acceptance, and devotion), and Jnana Yoga (the yoga of contemplation and reflection). By combining all four streams of yoga — Raja yoga, Karma yoga, Bhakti yoga, and Jnana yoga — one is able to achieve a state of peace, creativity, and fulfillment in life. We will learn about each stream of yoga and delve deeply into Raja yoga specifically, which focuses on disciplining the mind and body using yoga practices. This course contains hands-on learning of yoga practices, techniques, and teaching skills through lectures, discussions, yoga manuals, offline assignments, and daily self-practice.

Required/Elective: Required

Prerequisites: Must have completed Holistic Yoga – Concepts and Techniques Course. Students with prior experience in yoga practice or teaching may also qualify. 

Area of StudyYoga Studies

Faculty/Instructor: Anil Surpur, Ashwini Surpur, Shri N.V. Raghuram

Quarter Offered: Fall 2020

Start Date: 12th, September 2020

End Date: 13th December 2020

Day: Every Saturday & Sunday (3 weekends in a month)

Time: 10:00 am EST – 3:30 pm EST

How Hindu Dharma Transformed America

Course content:

In rigorously exploring the history and influence of Hindu Dharma, the course will be organized mainly around the key disseminators who forged a vital connection between the ancient rishis and the modern West. First among those Vedic transmitters were the swamis, gurus, and yogacharyas who brought their gifts to the West, from the earliest (Swami Vivekananda and Paramahansa Yogananda) to those who established a foothold in the 1960s and 70s (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Srila Prabhupada, Swami Muktananda, and others) to those teaching today (Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Mata Amritanandamayi, Sadhguru, etc.) – as well as luminaries who strongly impacted America without ever coming here (Sri Aurobindo, Ramana Maharshi, and others). We’ll examine both the diversity and commonalities of teachings that penetrated America’s spiritual soil, and show how the core principles were skillfully adapted to the language, values, and communication methods of the new cultural context—and the tradeoffs that were made in the process. The obstacles the ambassadors from India had to overcome—racism, religious bigotry, colonial assumptions, finances, etc.—will be discussed as well. Also covered will be the prominent Westerners who imbibed Vedic wisdom through gurus and/or texts, integrated what they learned into their personal lives and their areas of expertise, and ultimately disseminated what they valued most to vast numbers of people. This second-hand transmission was sometimes explicit and properly attributed, and at other times altered so much (in style if not substance) that the original source was either vague or entirely obscured. In that context, we’ll examine the contribution of philosophers and public intellectuals (from Emerson to Aldous Huxley to contemporary scholars); psychologists (William James, Carl Jung, Abraham Maslow); scientists (Nikola Tesla, Erwin Schrodinger); and artists, including novelists (Herman Hesse, J.D. Salinger), poets (W.B. Yeats, Allen Ginsberg), filmmakers (George Lucas), and musicians (the Beatles especially).  The course will also describe how Hindu Dharma has influenced certain Christian and Jewish leaders, leading to significant shifts in religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices. The course will conclude with a look at the future in light of recent phenomena such as the medical embrace of hatha yoga and meditation and the assimilation of Hindu citizens of Indian descent since 1965.

Course Learning Objectives:

In this course students will be able to:

  1. Understand the profound impact of Hindu Dharma on American institutions, culture, and spirituality.
  2. Appreciate the remarkable achievements made by gurus, swamis, and yogacharyas in the face of challenges, obstacles, and resistance.
  3. Identify and evaluate the subtle (sometimes hidden) ways that Vedic principles changed American psychology, medicine, the arts, and religion.
  4. Distinguish between skillful adaptation and misappropriation in the Western embrace of Hindu Dharma.
  5. Discover the enormous breadth, variety, and depth of the Dharmic teachings that came to America.
  6. Learn about American history from different angles.
  7. Contemplate the future of Hinduism in America and how to safeguard the integrity of the ongoing adaptation to Western culture.

Class Structure

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 60 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’s reflections regarding what they learned from the course and how they expect it will influence their lives.

Required / Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Concurrently enrolled in Orientation to Hindu Studies / Must have completed Orientation to Hindu Studies.

Faculty / Instructor:  Philip Goldberg

Start Date: 29 September 2020

End Date: 8th December 2020

Quarter Offered: Fall 2020

Day: Every Tuesday

Time: 08:30 pm EST – 10:00 pm EST

Indian and Western Music Traditions – A Comparative Study

Course content:

While Hindu music traditions are diverse, the core of the various traditions originating in India stand out as unique with their emphasis on ‘the raga’ and ‘the tala’ and a core of commonality that is rooted in spirituality.  Our goals are:

  1. To provide an overview of the various Art and Folk music traditions and the core of commonality across traditions (especially between the Hindustani and Karnatic traditions)
  2. To provide a nuanced understanding of the vocabulary used in Karnatic and Hindustani music traditions
  3. To provide a clear contrast between Indian and Western Musical Traditions.

Course Learning Objectives:

After completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  1. Discover the antiquity and spiritual basis of Indian music traditions;
  2. Articulate the differences between Indian and Western musical traditions;
  3. Obtain a clear understanding of the core of commonality across various Indian music traditions and their place in the Hindu way of life;
  4. Distinguish the commonalities and differences between Hindustani and Karnatic music;
  5. Discuss terminologies used in Karnatic and Hindustani music;

Class Structure

There will be a minimum of 1 contact hour every week. The class is structured in a way that promotes discussion and debate based on listening experiences and reading material. While the content being discussed in each class will be concluded within 60 minutes, the discussion time will be free format, and can continue for an additional 30 minutes maximum. During the course, students will be required to submit two short essays. They need not be academic quality papers – but should be based on students’ self-reflection on what they have learnt and assimilated so far.

Prerequisites: Enrollment into a Program of study

Faculty / Instructor: Dr. Kanniks Kannikeswaran

Required / Elective: Elective

Start Date: 22nd September 2020

End Date: 8th December 2020

Time: 08:00pm EST – 09:30 pm EST

Day: Every Tuesday

Quarter Offered: Fall 2020

Managing Back Pain through Holistic Yoga

Course Description:

Yogic Management of Back Pain is a course on learning a holistic approach of healing modality involving yoga practices and concepts. In this course, students will explore the practices of yoga, such as asana (postures) and pranayama (breathing practices), along with the concept of ashtanga yoga and philosophy of yoga through the teachings of Patanjali Yoga Sutras and Bhagavad Gita. Healing is complete when the underlying cause of the disease is removed. This course attempts to bring to light, mind as the potential cause for psychosomatic and chronic diseases. Yoga is a philosophy-based approach to viewing oneself and the rest of the world with a paradigm-shift to bring lasting happiness through two concepts — Abhyasa (practice) and Vairagya (letting go). The deep-rooted habitual thought patterns require persevering practice (abhyasa). This course attempts to build that perseverance through sustained practice techniques. Attachment to the worldly enjoyment and aversion to the inevitable pain and difficulties in life creates stress. This course attempts to build awareness of the subtle aspects of life that create such stress in the students. 

Faculty: Ashwini Surpur, Anil Surpur

Required / Elective: Elective

Start Date: 20th September 2020

End Date: 13 December 2020

Day: Every Sunday

Time: 07:00 pm EST – 09:00 pm EST

Quarter Offered: Fall 2020

Nouns and Declensions In Sanskrit

Course Content

  1. The first declension / Nominative case
  2. Introduction to rAmAyaNam
  3. The second declension / Objective case, the simple present tense
  4. Introduction to nAtya-shAstram
  5. The third declension / Instrumental case, the future tense
  6. Introduction to pancha-tantram
  7. The third declension / Instrumental case, the imperative mood
  8. Introduction to vyakarana-shAstram
  9. The fourth declension / Dative case
  10. Introduction to mahAbhAratam
  11. The fifth declension / Ablative case
  12. Introduction to darshana-shAstram

Learning Objectives: In this course, students will be able to: 

  • Distinguish and Classify noun declensions;
  • Appreciate basic verses from select passages;
  • Examine and Recognize the grammatical outline of Sanskrit;
  • Practice reading, writing, and composing simple passages; and
  • Use different parts of speech and their variations.

Required / Elective: Required 

Area of Study: Sanskrit Studies

Program of Study: Certificate Program in Sanskrit Proficiency (CP SP)

Prerequisites: Successful completion of SAN-1002 

Faculty / Instructor: Sri Chandrashekhar Raghu / Sri Srinath Chakravarthy

Quarter Offered: Fall 2020

Start Date: Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020

End Date: Saturday, December 12th, 2020

Day: Every Wednesday & Friday

Time: 09:00 pm  EST -10:30pm EST

Orientation to Hindu Studies

An overview and insight into the design of the curriculum offered by the Hindu University of America. A survey of the central ideas of Hinduism – covering an Ontology of key Sanskrit terms and the principal ideas that are central to the cosmology, practice, and expressions of Sanatana Dharma. The course – orientation to Hindu studies- will include reflections and perspectives on these core concepts, using selected readings from source texts such as the Vedas, Upaniṣhads, Sutras, Itihaasa, Bhagavad-Gītā, Purāṇas and Dharma-Śhāstras. The Hindu world-view based on Dharma with its emphasis on duties and responsibilities and sustainability of life will be contrasted with contemporary ideologies and their focus on rights and privileges, competition and survival of the fittest. The distinction between a discourse of knowledge and a discourse of power will be drawn out. 

In this course students will be able to: 

  1. Explore various options and trajectories available within the Hindu Studies Program
  2. Distinguish the central ideas and concepts that constitute the Foundations of Hindu Dharma; Reflect on the Hindu Studies Foundations area.
  3. Inquire into and evaluate different elective areas of study and Courses offered: Sanskrit Studies, Texts and Traditions, History and Method, Post-Colonial Hindu studies, and Conflict and Peace studies.
  4. Distinguish between pathways towards a deep study of Hindu thought, or towards deep engagement with western thought from a Hindu perspective
  5. Discover and Create customized pathways for engagement with the Hindu Studies curricula

Area of Study: Hindu Studies Foundations

Prerequisites: This course is a recommended prerequisite for all students who wish to enter into the Graduate program.

Faculty / Instructor:  Kalyan Viswanathan (along with others) 

Day:- Every Thursday

Start Date:- 24 September 2020

End Date:- 10 December 2020

Time:- 9:00 -10:00 pm EST

Quarter: Fall 2020

Sanskrit Pronunciation, Simple Words and Phrases

Course Content

  1. Study and use of the DevanAgari script, Origin of the sounds, Pronunciations
  2. Simple introductions and greetings
  3. Pronouns (sarvanAmapadAni), Persons (puruShAH), Numbers (vachanAni), and Gender (lingAH)
  4. Indeclinables (avyayAni)
  5. Simple conversations
  6. Numbers in Sanskrit, 1 through 100
  7. Common verbs
  8. Interrogative words
  9. Introduction to the simple present tense and the past tense
  10. Direct addressing (sambodhanam) – the Vocative case
  11. Expanding the vocabulary through nouns, pronouns, and verbs

Learning Objectives: In this course, students will be able to: 

  • Articulate the fundamental sounds that comprise Sanskrit pronunciation;
  • Recognize common Sanskrit words and phrases;
  • Discover building blocks of the language through everyday conversation; and
  • Identify and use basic structures like numbers, tenses, simple verbs, and other parts of speech.

Required / Elective: Required 

Program of Study: Certificate Program in Sanskrit Proficiency (CP SP) 

Area of Study: Sanskrit Studies

Prerequisites: Online Entrance Test (Please email to info@hua.edu for more information)

Faculty / Instructor: Sri Srinath Chakravarthy/Sri Chandrashekhar Raghu

Quarter Offered: Fall 2020

Start Date: Saturday, 26th, September 2020

End Date: Sunday, 13th, December 2020

Day: Every Saturday & Sunday

Time: 11:00 am EST – 12:30 pm EST

The Mahābhārata War

Areas of Study: Text and Traditions

Required/ Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Must have completed Orientation to Hindu Studies or Concurrently enrolled into Orientation to Hindu Studies

Instructor: Dr. Joydeep Bagchee  Dr. Vishwa Adluri 

Day:-Every Thursday

Start Date:-24th September 2020

End Date:-  10th December 2020

Time:- 10:00 am EST – 01:00 pm EST

Quarter: Fall 2020

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