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Antaranga Mandapam

In this course, students will accomplish the following:

  1. Explore Antaranga yoga as a lived and shared experience
  2. Correlate their life experience with select concepts from the Yogasutra
  3. Learn to learn from each other’s sharing
  4. Experience a shared sense of the sacredness of life
  5. Prepare for a deeper exploration of the Yogasutra in the future

The traditional Hindu way of living had a holistic design, supported by the design of the living habitat that was in harmony with the way of life. People lived in their respective homes and worked in assigned areas. When the day’s work was done, it was customary to visit the temple. The temple was designed to take the person from the common everyday external orientation to an inwardness as they slowly wended their way to the garbhagriha (sanctum). By the time the person reaches the sanctum, they have shed their roles and their identities. From an openness of the heart devoid of all notions of self they receive the blessings of the divine. The person then circumambulates the temple and rests a while in the Mandapam.

In the Mandapam either dance, music, theatre performance or maybe storytelling is conducted. The Itihasa or Purana would be the basis of the performance. Art and storytelling from these sources had a clear intent, namely, that the story is composed to reflect common issues that every person faced regardless of differences, the performance was meant to evoke the rasa inherent in life and meant to convey the deep truths of the Upanishads and Vedas in simple ways.

The Mandapam, therefore, became the space where the community was nurtured and a sense of being held in one’s humanness was fostered. Even the Gods and heroes whose stories were narrated had issues to confront like any one of us do, but they find dharmic ways of doing so! This mirroring of one’s life in the story also provided insights into choices one could make. Often, the people who gathered in the Mandapam became friends and shared each other’s joys and sorrows with each other in intimate conversations.

The Mandapam on-line is an attempt to revive this space of togetherness, caring and sharing in a new form taking advantage of the networking made possible by the very advances in technology that have made our lives fast-paced and insular.

Required/Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Students must have completed the Antaranga Yoga Course

Faculty/Instructor: Sri Raghu Ananthanarayanan

Quarter Offered: Spring  2020

Area of Study: Yoga Studies

Start Date: April 15, 2020

End Date: June 22, 2020

Day: Wednesday

Time: 9.30 pm – 10:30 pm EST

Antaranga Yoga

Learning Outcome:-

  1. Explore yoga as a holistic science beyond postures (asanas) or breathing techniques (pranayama).
  2. Develop greater insights into one’s own psyche and patterns of the mind (Antaranga Yoga) through an experiential engagement with Yoga Sutras.
  3. Develop an authentic understanding of the concepts in the Yoga Sutras based on the teachings of Yogacharya Sri T Krishnamacharya and learn to apply them in their daily lives to lead a life replete with RASA. 
  4. Contemplate upon Indian itihAsa-purANa tradition in an experiential manner as a mirror to understand themselves.
  5. Inquire into the foundations of Indian Psychology in the light of Yoga Sutras, Sankhya Philosophy and Bhagavad Gita.

This course is an invitation, to a student of yoga, for a deeper exploration of one’s own psyche and patterns of mind in the light of the ideas and propositions contained in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. The ultimate goal of all bahiranga yoga practices like Asana, prANAyAma, yama and niyama is to prepare the psyche so that it can engage in antaranga yoga. This is amply clear from the fact that only few sutras in Yoga Sutras mention about Asana, prANAyAma, yama and niyama as compared to the many that are devoted to the process of perception, how misperception happens, how duHkha is caused by an inability to use one’s inner faculties in a proper manner and how this can be worked with. It is only after a deep study of this process that we are introduced to the even deeper process leading to samyama (meditation). This course will help a student gain a firm understanding and clarity of the relationship between ashtAnga yoga and antaranga yoga

Our exploration of Yoga Sastra in this course is based on the teachings of Yogacharya T Krishnamacharya, the father of modern yoga, and his son Shri TKV Desikachar. A unique feature of this course is that we will explore self-reflective work through the itihAsa-purANa, the Mahabharata in particular. It is not commonly understood that the Mahabharata was written to make the subtle truths of Sankhya and Yoga Philosophy accessible to everybody.  We will explore antaranga yoga through the Mahabharata stories to understand one’s mind and its patterns better.

This is a 1-credit course that will have a total of 10 hours of instruction (contact hours) over ten weeks (1 hour per week). Students will have to devote 2 hours per week for self-study and assignments. Students will take an exam in the eleventh week.

Required/Elective: Required

Prerequisites: Admission to the program of study

Faculty/Instructor: Sri Raghu Ananthanarayanan

Quarter Offered: Spring  2020

Area of Study:- Yoga Studies

Start Date:- 14 th,  April 2020

End Date:- 20th June 2020

Day:- Tuesday

Time:- 9pm-10:30pm EST

Applied Vedic Science – Basic (Vedanta)

Course Content:

This course provides a survey of the basic philosophical tenets of the different schools of Vedānta and introduces their primary sources. This course also provides the opportunity to study comparatively the respective commentaries of a principal Upaniṣad to aid the student in understanding the philosophical standpoints of these different schools.

In this course students will be able to:

  1. Understand the role of Vedānta in governing the Indic way of life.
  2. Understand the convergences and divergences of views among the different schools of Vedānta.
  3. Observe the multiplicity of interpretations of Vedic literature and the rationale behind such interpretations forming the basis of tenets propounded by the different schools of Vedānta.

Area of Study: Sanskrit Studies

Required / Elective: Required

Prerequisites: 

1) The medium of Instruction is Sanskrit

2)Only currently enrolled Sanskrit master’s certificate students can register for these courses. (MIT-SVS)

3) Admission into Master Program in Sanskrit through MIT-SVS

4) Completed previous MA Sanskrit Course 

Faculty / Instructor: Dr. Mahabaleswara Bhat

Quarter Offered: Spring 2020

Start Date:-  March 10th, 2020

End Date:-  April end, 2020

Day:- Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday

Time:- 8.00 pm to 9.30 pm EST

Aryanism and Indology

Students will gain a historical overview of German Indology from its origins to the present. They will read basic source texts for German attitudes towards ancient and modern India, especially the Vedic period, Brahmanism, and Hinduism. They will learn how German nationalism, theories of racial supremacy, the quest for Aryan identity, and Protestantism and Lutheran anti-Semitism shaped the discipline of Indology. German Indology’s role in fostering National Socialism and the treatment of Jewish Indologists will also be discussed. Students will also be expected to read and analyze excerpts from Rammohan Roy, Dayanand Saraswati, Tilak, and Ambedkar in light of their knowledge of Indology.

Areas of Study: History and Methods

Required/ Elective: Elective

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

Instructor: Dr. Joydeep Bagchee

Start Date: 5 April 2020

End Date: 14 June 2020

Day: Every Sunday

Time: 11 – 2 pm EST

Quarter: Spring 2020

Critical Issues in Hindu Studies

The European colonization of India was justified by the construction of a particular narrative, beginning in the nineteenth century centered on the “White Man’s Burden” of civilizing India and the Hindus. “Scholars” hired by the East India Company and European missionaries, sometimes in tandem and at others in isolation, created a certain narrative on the Hindus and India in order to justify their colonial rule and missionary activities respectively. With the growing influence of the Europeans over Indians, the narrative became a massive industry with more and more scholars joining the force adding more nuance and sophistication to the discourse. This narrative has acquired a life of its own and today can be considered as the “received knowledge” on India and Hindus. Whether this narrative squares with the self-understanding of pre-colonial Hindus is a matter which we will examine in subsequent courses; however in the current one, we will first educate ourselves with the various descriptors that the Europeans used to define the Hindus, critically examining the various agendas–which the fathers of the narrative were quite explicit about behind such scholarship. The aforementioned scholarship in many different ways informs the self-understanding of educated Hindus today, and if the current Hindus want to connect with the worldview of their ancestors as they move forward in time, it is important for them to become familiar with this European narrative and also with the motivations that shaped the discourse, to begin with. This discourse is a distortion and in order to correct it, it is important to become familiar with its nuances.

In this course, the student will 

  1. study in detail the writings of some of the early European Indologists like James Mill and Abbe Dubois in order to understand their characterization of Hinduism and Hindus as oppressive and hierarchical;
  2. understand the explicit motivations due to which such characterizations were made;
  3. be able to see clearly that such characterizations have become “received knowledge” on Hinduism and Hindus, which gets replicated and reproduced in mainstream academia from grade school to graduate studies whereas the motivations for creating such a construct have been made invisible;
  4. be able to see the basis of Academic Hinduphobia that exists in the mainstream today; 
  5. gradually begin developing the skills required to effectively counter the distorted narrative in academia and media.

Area of Study: Hindu Studies Foundations/Postcolonial Hindu Studies

Required/ Elective: Required

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

Instructor: Dr. Kundan Singh

Start Date: April 11, 2020

End Date: June 19, 2020

Day: Every Saturday

Time: 2:00 PM — 5:00 PM EST.

Quarter: Spring 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

Quarter: Spring 2020 Quarter

Start Date: 4 April 2020

End Date: 19 June 2020

Day: Every Saturday

Time: 3:00pm-6:00pm

 

Holistic Yoga – Concepts and Techniques

Course Description:

Developed by the ancient Hindu sages in the Indian subcontinent, yoga is a psycho-somatic discipline with its roots going back over 5,000 years. The word “yoga” means “union” and hints at the final goal of yoga practice–to be in union with one’s true nature. This goal, which leads one on the path of optimal health and human wellness, can be achieved by following the practices developed as a part of an integrated and holistic system of yoga. In this course, we will explore the concept of Pancha Kosha, the five sheaths of human personality as defined in yogic texts: Annamaya Kosha — the physical layer; Pranamaya Kosha — the vital layer; Manomaya Kosha — the emotional layer; Vijnanamaya Kosha — the intellectual layer; and finally the Anandamaya Kosha — the pure-consciousness layer of our existence. Furthermore, we will study Sage Patanjali’s eight limbs of yoga, popularly known as Ashtanga Yoga. These eight steps give a comprehensive and systematic approach to developing one’s mind. Ashtanga Yoga includes Yama (guidelines for ethical relationships), Niyama (guidelines for ethical personal living), Asana (postures for physical practice), Pranayama (controlled and deliberate breathing patterns), Pratyahara (withdrawal of the mind from distractions), Dharana (focus of the mind upon a goal), Dhyana (the expansion of the focused mind into everyday life), and Samadhi (Complete Absorption in Oneself). Yoga is not just a practice of asana and meditation on the mat. While such a practice constitutes the 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, completing the holistic practice of yoga. 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 fulfilment in life. We will learn about each stream of yoga and delve deeply into Raja yoga, which focuses on disciplining the mind and body using yoga practices. This course contains guided physical yoga practices, lectures, discussions, and offline assignments.

Learning Outcome:-

  • Learn basic yoga practices of breath-synchronized movements, asana, pranayama, and meditation.
  • Understand the scope and relevance of yoga philosophy and how to apply it to one’s daily life.
  • Apply yoga practices and concepts to manage their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
  • Gain clarity on the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita in relation to practicing yoga.
  • Explore the eight limbs of Patanjali’s Ashtanga Yoga — yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, and Samadhi.

Required/Elective: Required

Prerequisites: Admission to the program of study.

Faculty/Instructor: Anil Surpur Yogashree N.V. Raghuram, Ashwini Surpur, Dr. Shriram Sarvotham 

Quarter Offered: Spring 2020

Area of Study:- Yoga Studies

Day:- Sunday

Start Date:-  April 12, 2020

End Date:- June 21, 2020

Time:- 7-9 pm EST

Introduction to Bhagavadgita

Learning Outcome:-

  1. Gain a comprehensive and consistent overview of the Bhagavadgita as both a moksa-sastra and a yoga-sastra.
  2. Understand the scope and relevance of the pursuits of knowledge and action in the Bhagavadgita.
  3. Be able to resolve paradoxes and seemingly competing viewpoints in the verses.
  4. Gain clarity on the meaning of moksa, karmayoga, bhakti, and meditation, in the Gita.
  5. Discern some of the paradigms that underlie various interpretations of the Gita.

The non-dual vision presented in the Gita has its origin in the Upanisads, where it is revealed through a teacher-student dialogue. Consistent with this, the teachings of the Gita are delivered through a dialogue between Lord Krishna and Arjuna. Unlike the Upanisads, the Gita discusses at length the participants in this dialogue. The Gita also goes much further than the Upanisads in expanding the discussion of the philosophical teachings, approaching them from a variety of perspectives, sometimes precipitated by a question from Arjuna. Its uniqueness, however, lies in its elaboration of the necessary conditions for understanding its core teaching, and the means, including Ashtanga Yoga, for creating those conditions.  Our inquiry into the vision of the Bhagavadgita presented in this course is based on the commentary of Sankara, the principal exponent of non-duality, advaita. Sankara’s is the earliest extant commentary on the Bhagavadgita, and arguably the most consistent, as will be demonstrated in the course of our study through an examination of paradoxical verses. As we proceed, we will also gain a clear understanding of the meaning of moksa, karmayoga, bhakti, and meditation, as presented in the Gita. And throughout the course, we will see, over the shoulders of Arjuna, the relevance of the teachings of the Gita to our lives today.

Required/Elective: Required

Prerequisites: Admission to the program of study/Must have completed Orientation to Hindu Studies or Concurrently enrolled in OTHS.

Faculty/Instructor: Swamini Agamananda Saraswati

Quarter Offered: Spring 2020

Area of Study:- Hindu Studies Foundation 

Start Date:-  April 7th, 2020

End Date:-  June 17th, 2020

Day:- Monday & Wednesday

Time:- 2:00-3:30 pm EST

Introduction to Conflict and Peace Studies

Conflicts are omnipresent in human relations. They are neither inherently good nor bad, but simply facts of life. A conflict situation arises when individuals or groups pursuit incompatible goals. These competing goals can range from needs within the family to competition over scarce resources between members of a community or between states. When competition turns violent, conflict resolution becomes essential as the costs rise with short term and long term implications. This course introduces some of the leading theories of conflict and conflict resolution. The goals of this course are threefold: to introduce students to the background and characteristics of conflict and peace studies; to explore multitude of tools and explanations used by scholars in order to understand peace and conflict; and, to encourage students to explore a complex and interesting subject in an innovative manner through drawing from the existing theories. The course begins with an introduction to conflict theories, focusing on various ways to approach conflict. It also focuses on the conflict at various levels – individual, group, intra-state and interstate. The course then focuses on various approaches to conflict management and conflict resolution.

In this course, the student will be able to 

  1. Develop an understanding of the background and characteristics of conflict and peace studies.
  2. Explore various tools used by scholars to address a conflict.
  3. Examine a case study in an innovative manner by applying existing theories.

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

Day: Sunday

Start Date: 5 April 2020

End Date: 19 June 2020

Time: 3:00pm-6:00pm EST

Quarter: Spring 2020

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 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: None

Faculty / Instructor:  Kalyan Viswanathan (along with others) 

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

Day:- Thursday

Start Date:- 9 April 2020

End Date:- 19 June 2020

Time:- 9-10pm EST

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: Admission into the Certificate Program in Sanskrit Proficiency (CP SP) 

Faculty / Instructor: Sri Chandrashekhar Raghu / Sri Srinath Chakravarthy 

Quarter Offered: Spring 2020

Start Date: April 8th, 2020

End Date: June 19th, 2020

Day: Every Wednesday & Friday

Time: 9:00-10:30pm EST

The Mahābhārata II

Thorough knowledge of the extent and divisions of the Mahābhārata; its different editions; and reading and working with its critical edition. This course will also prepare students to read the Mahābhārata thoughtfully, using the tools of philosophy, logical inquiry, hermeneutics, and poetic theory. Students will learn to locate the Mahābhārata within a textual tradition extending backwards into the Vedic Saṃhitās and forward into the Purāṇas and Āgamas. They will also develop an appreciation for why, even today, this text continues to be foundational for the living tradition of Hinduism.

Areas of Study: Text and Traditions

Required/ Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Successfully completed Mahabharata – I / Admission into Program of Study

Instructor: Dr. Vishwa Adluri

Quarter:- Spring 2020

Day: Every Thursday

Time: 10-1 pm EST

Start Date: 9 April 2020

End Date: 16 June 2020

The Vedas (Ṛgveda)

Course content:

The course provides an overview of the features, structure, and contents of the Ṛgveda as well as provides illustrations from the Saṁhitā, Brāhmaṇa, Āraṇyaka and Upaniṣad sections of the Ṛgveda to understand how they vary in their features and content from each other.

In this course students will be able to:

  1. Understand the arrangement of mantras in the Ṛgveda and an overview of their content
  2. Understand the Vedic worldview and its philosophy of life
  3. Recognize the variation and divergence of Vedic and classical Sanskrit language
  4. Distinguish the convergence and divergence in the nature, features, form, content, structure and utility of the four Vedas, with regards to Vedic practices.

Area of Study: Sanskrit Studies

Required / Elective: Required

Pre-requisite:

1) The medium of Instruction is Sanskrit

2)Only currently enrolled Sanskrit master’s certificate students can register for these courses. (MIT-SVS)

3) Admission into Master Program in Sanskrit through MIT-SVS

4) Completed previous MA Sanskrit Course 

Faculty: Dr. Ramanujan

Quarter: Spring 2020

Start Date:-  March 3rd, 2020

End Date:-  April end, 2020

Day:- Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday

Time:- 8.00 pm to 9.30 pm EST

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