INTRODUCTORY COURSES
First Year Curriculum
With option to earn a Certificate in Hindu Studies
(prerequisite for the Diploma in Applied Theology)
Foundations and Approach (8 Module / 3 Units)
Online course: April 27 though June 21
Instructor: Swami Bhajanananda Saraswati, DMin

 

Explore the history, ritual standards, philosophical framework, and theological approach of Kali Mandir and Ramakrishna Seminary, that allows for a committed spiritual focus and a radical religious pluralism.  This eight-week course consists of 24 hours of recorded video class-lectures, assigned readings, written assignments, and interactive online discussion.  This course is worth 3 Units, which can apply towards RKS certificate and degree programs. Students can take the course either for credit or no credit. Students choosing no credit are not required to turn in written assignments or a final paper, but are still expected to participate in online lectures and discussions and keep up with assigned study materials.

Tuition for this course ($500) has been reduced to $350 in consideration of the financial strain that many are experiencing due to COVID-19. (Tuition waved for our founding students.)

Module 1. Founding and History of Kali Mandir

Module 2. The Dakshineswar Kali Temple

Module 3.  Our Holy Trio - Sri Ramakrishna, Holy Mother, and Swami Vivekananda​

Module 4.  Bhakti and the Mother-Child Relationship

Module 5.  Traditions and Standards

Module 6.  Lineages and Influences

Module 7.  Ritual and the Language of Devotion

Module 8.  Tradition Beyond Cult

 

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Textbooks:

Kali, the Black Goddess of Dakshineswar

Elizabeth U. Harding, Nicolas Hays, 1993

Return to the Source, Collected Writings on Spiritual Life

Swami Bhajanananda Saraswati, Kali Mandir, 2016

Hindu Thought and Practice (8 Module / 3 Units)
Online course: August 17 through October 11
Instructor: Swami Bhajanananda Saraswati, DMin.

Explore the broad foundational aspects of Hinduism. This eight-week course consists of 24 hours of recorded video class-lectures, assigned readings, written assignments, and interactive online discussion. This course is worth 3 Units, which can apply towards RKS certificate and degree programs. Students can take the course either for credit or no credit. Students choosing no credit are not required to turn in written assignments or a final paper, but are still expected to participate in online lectures and discussions and keep up with assigned study materials.

Tuition for this course (originally $500) has been reduced to $350 in consideration of the financial strain that many are experiencing due to COVID-19. Registration required.

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Textbooks:

Hinduism, A Very Short Introduction

Kim Knott, Oxford University Press, 2000

Module 1. Sanatana Dharma – Hinduism and its self-understanding

Module 2. Hindu Cosmology – cycles within cycles

Module 3. Textual Traditions — the scriptures and their commentaries

Module 4. Sects and Lineages – unity and diversity

Module 5. Sad Darshana – classical schools of Indian philosophy

Module 6. Karma, Reincarnation, and our final destination

Module 7. Varna and Ashram — ancient ideals of dharma and their modern challenges

Module 8. Purushartha – the four goals of human life


Sangita Yoga ~ The Yoga of Music (5 Module Course)

Schedule to be announced

Instructor: Kamalakanta (Naren K. Schreiner)

Sangīta is a compound word in Sanskrit defining instrumental music, singing and chanting. It is a divine art that can lead to God-realization. This course delves into the sacred foundations and practical application of India’s sacred music. It begins with the voice as an instrument of vibration, speech and song, with correlations to the subtle body.  A basic introduction to north Indian classical music will give an understanding of rāga and tāla. The goal of the course is to give an understanding for and appreciation of the various sadhanas of devotional, contemplative and classical music in different traditions, with a focus on North Indian traditions, especially those originating in Bengal. In keeping with the focus of the Ramakrishna Seminary, practical application of chanting, kirtan and devotional bhajans will be introduced. 

 

This five-week course consists of 10 hours of recorded video class lectures, assigned readings, written assignments, and 7.5 hours of interactive online instruction via Zoom webinar.  Students will also have access and to a private Schoology page for information and updates about the course; downloading supporting material; and a forum for discussions on readings with instructor and fellow students. Registration and tuition required.

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Module 1.  Vāk: The Sacred Voice. The voice as an instrument of vibration, its correlation with Nād Brahma, the chakras, the nādi, and bhāv.

 

Module 2.  Bhāv, Rāsa, Rāga and Tāla: The heart of India’s music is bhāv, which is manifested from the rāsa that is created with rāga and tāla.

 

Module 3.  Shyamasangeet: The Songs of Kali Worship. 

 

Module 4.  The Dharma of Chanting 

 

Module 5.  Bhajan and Kirtan

Textbooks: TBA

Simple Kali Puja  (1 Module Practicum)
Scheduled to be announced
Instructor: Swami Bhajanananda Saraswati, DMin
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This intensive will be presented live online over two evenings. Students will be taught the method of performing a simple ritual worship Goddess Kali, as outlined in "Simple Kali Puja" published by Kali Mandir. Registration and tuition required.

Textbook:

Simple Kali Puja, Instructions for Ritual Worship of Dakshina Kali

Swami Bhajanananda Saraswati, Kali Mandir, 2011

Sri Ramakrishna and the Spiritual Renaissance  (8 Module Course)
Scheduled to be announced
Instructor: Swami Ambikananda Saraswati
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa (1836-1886), the great world-teacher and incarnation of divinity, who taught the universality of religion, the motherhood of God and the mystical path of love, is considered by many as the central force behind the spiritual awakening of this age. In this course students will learn about his unprecedented spiritual disciplines and subsequent spiritual realizations that revealed the depth of God-consciousness that transcends all time and place and that shines at the heart of all religions.
This eight-week course consists of 16 hours of recorded video class lectures, assigned readings, written assignments, and 13 hours of interactive online instruction via Zoom webinars.  Students will also have access and to a private Schoology page for information and updates about the course; downloading supporting material; and a forum for discussions on readings with instructor and fellow students. Registration and tuition required.
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Module 1. "Need of the Age", Life and Times of Sri Ramakrishna

Module 2. Spiritual Longing - Ramakrishna's Sadhana and Realizations

Module 3. "My Mother", Ramakrishna and Goddess Kali

Module 4. "Remain in Bhavamukha"-  Ramakrishna as World Teacher

Module 5. Words of Nectar - The Ramakrishna Kathamrita

Module 6. Light on Spiritual Practice

Module 7.  Development of the Ramakrishna Tradition

Module 8. Ramakrishna as Guru, Ishta and Avatar

Textbooks: TBA

The Worship of the Goddess (8 Module Course)
Scheduled to be announced
Instructor: Swami Bhajanananda Saraswati, DMin
This eight-week course consists of 16 hours of recorded video class lectures, assigned readings, written assignments, and 13 hours of interactive online instruction via Zoom webinars.  Students will also have access and to a private Schoology page for information and updates about the course; downloading supporting material; and a forum for discussions on readings with instructor and fellow students. Registration and tuition required.

Module 1. History and Development of the Shakta Traditions

Module 2. Texts and Practices

Module 3. Mantra, Yantra, and Tantra

Module 4. Forms of the Mother Goddess

Module 5. Goddess Kali and Her Symbolism

Module 6. Celebrations and Observances

Module 7. Sri Ramakrishna and the Motherhood of God

Module 8. The Divine Feminine in the Ancient and Modern World

Textbooks:

Hindu Goddesses: Visions of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu Religious Tradition

David Kinsley, University of California Press, 1988

Other text: TBA

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Aspects of Hindu Spirituality  (8 Module Course)
Scheduled to be announced
Instructor: Swami Bhajanananda Saraswati, DMin
This eight-week course consists of 16 hours of recorded video class lectures, assigned readings, written assignments, and 13 hours of interactive online instruction via Zoom webinars.  Students will also have access and to a private Schoology page for information and updates about the course; downloading supporting material; and a forum for discussions on readings with instructor and fellow students. Registration and tuition required.
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Module 1. The Guru-Disciple Tradition

Module 2.  Sadhus, Yogis and Babas—the Role of the Mystic

Module 3. Not This Body—Karma, Reincarnation, and Spiritual Identity

Module 4. The Samskaras - Life's Sacred Sacraments

Module 5.  Iconography and the Worship of Images

Module 6. Yogic Paths

Module 7. Yama and Niyama, Yoga’s Forgotten Foundation

Module 8.  Sadhana - Meditation and the Spiritual Life

Textbooks: TBA

Subtle Anatomy (8 Module Course)
January 18th - March 14th
Instructor: Swami Bhajanananda Saraswati, DMin
Explore a variety of subtle anatomical considerations as understood by Eastern systems of thought and practice such as Yoga and Tantra, focusing on the transformative dynamics of spiritual discipine.
This eight-week course consists of 16 hours of recorded video class lectures, assigned readings, written assignments, and 13 hours of interactive online instruction via Zoom webinars.  Students will also have access and to a private Schoology page for information and updates about the course; downloading supporting material; and a forum for discussions on readings with instructor and fellow students. Registration and tuition required.
Module 1: THE TANTRIC WORD ~ Tantra, Yoga, and Cosmic  Evolution

Modue 2: INNER LANDSCAP ~ Antarkarana, Koshas, Prana, and Nadis

Module 3: THE SERPENT POWER ~ Kundalini and the Chakra System

Module 4: STEERING WHEELS OF PRANA ~ Asana, Bandha, Mudra, Pranayama, and Kriya

Module 5: HIDDEN IN THE BREATH ~ Svara, Svara Yoga, and Yogic Therapy

Module 6: INNER PURIFICATION ~ Bhuta Shuddhi and Tantrci Ritual

Module 7: INNER TRANSFORMATION ~ Puja, Mantra, Dharana, and Dhyana

Module 8. VISUALIZING THE DIVINE ~ Subtle Anatomy in Tantric Imagery and Myth

Textbooks:

Tantra, the Path of Ecstasy

Georg Feuerstein, Shambhala, 1998

Chakras, Energy Centers of Transformation

Harish Johari, Destiny Press 2000

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Free Satsangs Podcast and Videos

Weekly public discourses given at Kali Mandir Ramakrishna Ashram are available as Podcast and on Youtube.