Welcome to the

Hindu Thought and Practice

course support page!

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A required course for the Certificate in Hindu Studies and Diploma in Applied Theology programs.

In this 8 week course we will explore foundational aspects of Hinduism.

Our approach to the subjects of this course is traditional, yet informed by contemporary scholarship and responsive to modern challenges. At Ramakrishna Seminary our focus is on the practical applications of religious thought and philosophy to the active spiritual lives of our students. Emphasis is given to personal spiritual development, cultural authenticity and service of God in the world.

This course consists of 8 modules, one module per week.  Materials for this course will be a combination of original content (such as live webinars, recordings, and writings from the instructor) and curated content (such as PDFs of articles, essays and selections from books and journals, readings from textbooks, and links to online videos and articles). 

Each Monday students will have access to the new module’s study material related to the following Sunday’s live class-lecture via Zoom. These Sunday lectures will be given by the instructor at 3:30pm (PST) and will last approximately two hours.

 

We will also have a more informal Zoom meeting on Wednesday evenings from 7 to 8pm (PST) for questions and discussions.

 

Recordings of lectures and discussions will be posted within a few hours of the live meetings for those who could not attend.
 

Your Instructor

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Rev. Swami Dr. Bhajanananda Saraswati

 

A Hindu monk, priest, author, and educator with more than twenty-six years of experience in presenting the teachings and practices of Sanatana Dharma, Indian philosophy and the Hindu devotional schools.

 

 Textbooks

Most study material for this course will be provided by the instructor as part of the modules. But we recommend acquiring this small, inexpensive, and easily available book to serve as a general introduction to the study of Hinduism. The Course Reader is available directly from the Seminary

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Hinduism, A Very Short Introduction

Kim Knott, Oxford University Press, 2000

"This book is instantly accessible in its approach without being in any way condescending or an oversimplification. Each of the chapters tackles a crucial issue or web of interconnected issues, none of them straightforward and yet all conveyed with an elegance and simplicity that belies their inherent complexity."

~ from back cover

 

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Course Reader

for Hindu Thought and Practice, 2020

Compiled by Swami Bhajanananda Sararswati for Ramakrishna Semianry 2020

Spiral-bound collection of articles, selections from books and journals, graphics, and other supportive material for this course.

 

Evaluation of Student Performance

This course is worth 8 Seminary Credits, and can be taken for either Credit or No Credit.

 

No Credit Option

Students not taking the course to earn Seminary Credits are not required to turn in written assignments or a final paper, but are expected to participate in online lectures and discussions and keep up with assigned readings and other materials.

Credit Option

 

Attendance and Class Participation

Students, who are taking this course for Seminary credit, are expected to attend weekly online lectures and discussions. If students must miss a live lecture, they are expected to watch the recording of the session and to participate in the discussion forum.

 

Class assignments

Each module includes assigned reading and/or engagement with other curated material such as articles, videos, audio files, PDFs, etc. These assignments and their supporting material will be available on these Course Support Pages. Short writing assignments that may be assigned should be emailed to the instructor as Word files.

Final paper

At approximately the halfway point of the course several topics will be suggested for students to choose from for their writing project. The final paper should be six to twelve pages in length and be handed in or emailed to the instructor as a Word file within a week after the final day of the course.

 

Attendance and class participation    40%

Class assignments                                    40%

Final paper                                                  20%

90% - 100%     A (Credit)

80% -89%        B (Credit)

70% - 69%       C (Credit)

Under 70%      No Credit

Accessing Course Modules 
Click on the module links below to access recordings of class-lectures, online meetings, supportive materials, and assignments
(Access restricted to registered students)



Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 0f Copyright Act in 1976, allowance is made for “Fair Use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use. All rights and credit go directly to its rightful owners. No copyright infringement intended.                                                                                   

 

Fair Use Definition: Fair use is a doctrine in United States copyright law that allows limited use of copyrighted material without requiring permission from the rights holders, such as commentary, criticism, news reporting, research or scholarship. It provides for the legal, non-licensed citations or incorporation of copyrighted material in anther author’s world under a four-factor balancing test.

 

All opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Kali Mandir or Ramakrishna Seminary.

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Scheduled

MODULE 1

SANTANA DHARMA

Hinduism and Its Self-Understanding

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MODULE 2

HINDU COSMOLOGY

Cycles Within Cycles

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MODULE 3

TEXTUAL TRADITIONS

The Scriptures and Their Commentaries

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MODULE 4

SECTS AND LINEAGES

Unity and Diversity

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MODULE 5

DARSHANA 

Classical Schools of Indian Philosophy

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MODULE 6

WHO ARE WE? ~ Karma, Reincarnation, and our Final Destination

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MODULE 7

VARNA AND ASHRAM ~ Ancient Ideals of Dharma & Their Modern Challenges

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MODULE 8

PURUSHARTHA 

The Four Goals of Human Life

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