Antaranga Yoga

Learning Outcome:-

  1. Awaken the archetypal characters from the Mahabharata in one’s own life through dialogue and reflective activities
  2. Develop greater insights into one’s own psyche and patterns of the mind through an experiential engagement with the Mahabharata
  3. Experience yoga as an integral science beyond postures (asanas) or breathing techniques (pranayama).
  4. To develop the sakhi bhava (friendliness) and sakshi bhava (meditative listening) to be able to listen to our own self and the others from a deeper space
  5. To evoke healing processes within oneself

In this course, we explore our psyche using stories of characters from the Mahabharata, with an aim to bring clarity and meaning in our life. This 11-week course requires a pre-work of reading select stories from the Mahabharata and writing reflections before attending each session.

This course is not a didactic course on Mahabharata but enables one to delve into one’s psyche using the Mahabharata as a mirror into one’s mental processes. The course is dialogic and calls for a willingness to be self-reflective, share of oneself, and listen to others sensitively. This course is not recommended for anyone who is going through treatment for any psychological illness.

Required/Elective: Required

Prerequisites: Admission to the program of study

Faculty/Instructor: Sri Raghu Ananthanarayanan

Area of Study:- Yoga Studies

Start Date:- July 13, 2022

End Date:- September 21, 2022

Day:- Wednesday

Time:- 10:00 pm EST – 11:30 pm EST

Quarter Offered: Summer 2022

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: TBD

End Date: TBD

Day: TBD

Time: TBD

Quarter: TBD

Beginning Sanskrit – Script & Sounds

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, ” ARUNA” “UDAYA”& “AYANAM” 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 the 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.
  • Listen to and recite simple songs.
  • Engage in simple conversations. 

Faculty: Sri Chandrasekar Raghu , Sri Chandrasekhar Vellore

Required/Elective: Required

Prerequisites: Admission to Program of Study

Area of Study: Sanskrit Studies

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

Start Date: July 17, 2022

End Date: September 17, 2022

Day: Sundays

Time: 08:00 PM EST – 09:30 PM EST

Quarter Offered: Summer 2022


Exploring Hinduism for Teens and Parents

Who is a Hindu? Why are they called a Hindus? Who started the Hindu “religion”? When did it start? What makes Hinduism different? Is being a Hindu relevant in today’s world? Answers to such questions and more await the students in this course.

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

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. 

Course Learning Objectives:

In this course students will be able to: 

  1. Develop a deeper understanding of 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 . 

Area of Study: Hindu Studies Foundation

Required/ Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Dr. D.K. Hema Hari & Dr. D. K. Hari

Quarter Offered: Summer 2021 (US Summer time)

USA Batch –

Days : Monday, Wednesday and Saturday

Time : 9:30 pm EST – 11:00 pm EST

Start Date: July 12,2021

End Date: August 25, 2021

Australia and New Zealand Batch –

Days: Saturday and Sunday

 Time: 06:00 pm AEST – 07:30 pm AEST

 Start Date: 17th July 2021

 End Date: 12th September 2021

Holistic Yoga -Philosophy and Practice

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 holistic yoga course contains guided physical yoga practices, lectures, discussions, and offline assignments.

Learning Outcome:

In this course students will be able to:

  • 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:    Ashwini Surpur, Anil Surpur , Mr. N.V. Raghuraman ,

Area of Study:- Yoga Studies

Day:- Saturday and  Sunday

Start Date:- January 22, 2022

End Date:- February 6, 2022

Time:- Option 1: Sat and Sun – 7:00 am PST – 12:30pm PST (10am EST- 3.30pm EST)
             Option 2: Sat and Sun – 7:00 am EST- 9:00 am EST (followed by a break) and then 12.30 pm EST – 3.30 pm EST

Quarter Offered: Winter 2022

Intermediate Sanskrit – Vocabulary & Structure

Course Content

  1. Tenses: Present, past, and future; in both Parasmaipada and Atmanepada forms
  2. The Imperative mood, in both Parasmaipada and Atmanepada forms
  3. The third declension / Instrumental case
  4. Comparing things
  5. Cardinal and ordinal forms of numbers
  6. Synonyms and antonyms
  7. Past participles, gerunds, infinitives
  8. Prefixes, Interrogative words
  9. Simple sentences, stories, and conversations
  10. Pairing words to combine simple sentences
  11. Expanding the vocabulary through categories of words

Learning Objectives: 

In this course, students will be able to: 

  • Expand vocabulary and sentence structure;
  • Develop the ability to use moderately complex expressions;
  • Engage in simple reading and conversation; and
  • Combine words and phrases for short narratives.

Required / Elective: Required 

Area of Study: Sanskrit Studies

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

Prerequisites: Successful completion of SAN0202

Faculty / InstructorSri Srinath Chakravarty  

Start Date: April 14, 2022

End Date: June 16, 2022

Time: 08:00 pm EST – 9:30 pm EST

Day: Thursday

Quarter Offered: Spring 2022

Introduction to Vedas

Course content:

An overview of the central theme of the Vedas and their classification as Ṛg, Yajus, Sāma, and Atharva and structural classification as Saṁhitā, Brāhmaṇa, Āraṇyaka, and Upaniṣad along with a brief introduction to the allied literature of the Vedas are discussed in this course. The Hindu philosophy of life and worldview that intrinsically supports diversity and universal wellbeing, which has enabled the Vedic culture to sustain itself in the face of considerable adversity is also explored.

Orientation to Hindu Studies

Course Content:

This course will offer a preliminary reflection on the central themes and ideas of Hinduism leading to an understanding of the common foundations of the great variety of traditions and practices within the umbrella of Sanatana Dharma or Hinduism. It will survey 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. It will include reflections and perspectives on these core concepts, using selected readings from source texts such as the Vedas, Upanishads, Itihaasa, Bhagavad-Gita and Puranas. But it is not a Hinduism 101 course!
The course will also review the complex challenges that arise at the confluence of Hindu and western thought. The Hindu worldview 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, exploiter-exploited binary, and survival of the fittest. The distinction between a discourse of knowledge and a discourse of power will be drawn out, as two alternate paradigms. Through this, the course will develop an overview and insight into the design of the curriculum offered by the Hindu University of America i.e., the context, and the paradigm that informs that design. It will examine the impact of colonial
discourse on postcolonial Hindu experience and leave students with the pressing urgency of intellectual decolonization. And as it distinguishes between colonial perspectives that constitute the received knowledge on Hinduism, from the lived reality of Hindus, it will present the significance and importance of Hindu studies today, in a deeply moving, inspiring and transformative way.

Course Learning Objectives:
In this course students will be able to:
a) Explore alternate paradigms, various options and trajectories available within the Hindu Studies Program
b) Distinguish the central ideas and concepts that constitute the Foundations of Hindu Dharma
c) Evaluate different elective areas of study and Courses offered: Sanskrit Studies, Texts and Traditions, Yoga Studies, History and Method, Post-Colonial Hindu studies and Conflict and Peace studies.
d) Distinguish between pathways towards a deep study of Hindu thought, or towards deep engagement with western thought from a Hindu perspective
e) Discover and Create pathways for engagement with the Hindu Studies curricula

Class Structure:
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.

Area of Study: Hindu Studies Foundation

Program: Certificate Program in Hindu Studies (C.P.H.S), Community Education Program (C.E.P), Doctor of Philosophy in Hindu Studies, Master of Arts in Hindu Studies (M.A.H.S)

Required/ Elective: This course is a prerequisite for admission into Masters’ and Doctoral program in Hindu Studies. It is also a required Core course for the Certificate Program in Hindu Studies.

Prerequisites: None.

Faculty: Mr. Kalyan Viswanathan(along with others)

Time: 09:00 pm EST – 10:30 pm EST

Start Date: July 15, 2022

End Date: September 23, 2022

Day: Friday

Quarter Offered: Summer 2022

Research and Writing Preparatory Seminar

Learning Outcome

This course will address four main obstacles students face in writing papers: (1) finding a suitable topic for their paper, (2) developing that topic, (3) ensuring that the topic has a suitable scope for a paper, and (4) ensuring that sufficient literature exists on which to build their thesis. It will also teach them the essential skills for writing a persuasive and well-supported paper: (1) formulating the central inquiry of the paper, (2) developing arguments and supporting them with research, (3) structuring the paper and providing suitable headings and internal connections, (4) creating a bibliography, summarizing existing literature, and situating the paper’s thesis vis-à-vis existing scholarship.

Area of Study: Hindu Studies Foundations

Required / Elective: Required/ Must have completed or Concurrently enrolled into Orientation to Hindu Studies

Faculty: Dr. Joydeep Bagchee

Day: Every Thursday

Start Date: 9 July 2020

End Date: 17 September 2020

Time: 10:00 am -01:00 pm EST

Quarter:  Summer 2020

Vyākaraṇa – I

Course content:

The course provides an overview of the structure, content, and methodology used in Aṣṭādhyāyī for describing a language. It also explores the computational model of the treatise and introduces the knowledge tradition of vyākaraṇa prior to and post Pāṇini. The course also introduces the alternate arrangement of Aṣṭādhyāyī in the treatise named Siddhānta-kaumudī that focuses on the conclusions of Pāṇini’s sūtras with an illustration of the sections related to the technical terms and rules of interpretation of the sutras.

In this course the students will be able to:

  1. Understand the architecture of Aṣṭādhyāyī as a treatise of language structure
  2. Learn how to interpret Ashtadhyayi text independently
  3. Comprehend the computational model of Sanskrit grammar as articulated by Aṣṭādhyāyī
  4. Appreciate the robustness and holistic excellence of the treatise
  5. Recognize the convergences and divergences between the Aṣṭādhyāyī and Siddhānta-kaumudī models and the rationale for such alternate models
  6. Understand the philosophy of language that provided the concept of apoddhāra based on which Pāṇini formulated his Aṣṭādhyāyī

Area of Study:- Sanskrit Studies

Required / Elective: Required

Prerequisites: Admission into the Masters’ Certificate or MA in Sanskrit Program

Faculty / Instructor:  Dr. Tilaka Rao

Quarter Offered: Fall 2022