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Subtle Anatomy Course Page

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"Thus the rousing of the kundalini is the one and only way to attaining Divine Wisdom, superconscious perception, realization of the spirit. The rousing may come in various ways, through love for God, through the mercy of perfected sages, or through the power of the analytic will of the philosopher."

~ Swami Vivekananda  (from Raja Yoga)

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A required course for the Certificate in Hindu Studies and Diploma in Applied Theology programs. (This course can also be taken independently of our Certificate or Diploma programs.)

Course Description 

In this eight-week course we will explore Yogic and Tantric understandings of the energetic body and its relationship to the transformative effects of spiritual practice (sādhanā).  Our approach to these subjects will be traditional, yet informed by contemporary scholarship and responsive to modern challenges. While this is not a  “how to” class, our focus at RKS is always the practical applications of religious thought and philosophies to the active spiritual lives of our students. Emphasis is given to personal spiritual development, cultural authenticity, deepening understanding, and the service of God in the world.

Class Structure

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

Each Saturday students will gain access to the new module’s study material. This will include two 90-minute video-lectures by Swami Bhajanananda, per-recorded at the ashram dhuni (fire altar), as well as supplementary reading from saints and scholars, Sanskrit verses to learn, visual aids and graphics, and other study material.   


Every Thursday evening from 7pm – 8:30pm (PST) there will be a live webinar via Zoom for live questions and discussion with the instructor and fellow students. Recordings of these webinars will be posted within a few hours of the live meetings for those who could not attend the live broadcast.

Students will have access to dedicated Google Classroom course page (for announcements, handouts, study questions, discussions with fellow students and faculty, and turning in assignments), as well a student group page, and online office hours with the instructor.


(Students will continues to be able to access and review all course material, including lectures, readings, and webinar recordings, for twelve months after the end of the course.)

Class Size

To preserve the atmosphere of a gurukulam, we aim to keep classes small, personal, and intimate.


Tuition for this course (originally $500) has been reduced to $350 in consideration of the financial strain that many are experiencing. Limited scholarships may be available.  Please consider contributing to the RKS Scholarship Fund, to help ensure that no sincere student is denied the opportunity to study due to limited finances.


If you are an enrolled RKS student and wish to register for these courses, please email the Registrar at and we will contact you with details on tuition and accessing class-meetings and material.  If you have not yet been admitted as an RKS student, please fill out the application form to begin the process.


By participating in any program or course given by Ramakrishna Seminary, students consent to our Terms and Conditions Agreement.



Course Instructor

Rev. Dr. Swami Bhajanananda Saraswati is Hindu monk, priest, educator, and Dean of the Seminary with more than twenty-six years of experience in presenting the teachings and practices of Sanatana Dharma, Indian philosophy, Tantric rituals, and the devotional schools.



Students are requested to acquire these two books.

Tantra, the Path of Ecstasy

Georg Feuerstein, Shambhala, 1998

Chakras, Energy Centers of Transformation

Harish Johari, Destiny Press 2000



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Optional Course Reader

The supportive reading materials for this course have been gathered into a 233-page spiral-bound reader. This reader is optional, as all materials found in this reader are also available and downloadable on the module pages.

The reader is available for a donation of $35 or above towards the Ramakrishna Seminary Research Library expansion project. Please contact us if you are interested.




August 5 -11, 2023



Tantra, Yoga, and Cosmic  Evolution


Available now

Access Module 1

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August 12 - 8, 2023



Antarkarana, Kosha, and Prana


Available now

Access Module 2


August 19 - 25, 2023



Nadis, Kundalini, & the Chakra System


Available now

Access Module 3


August 26 - September 1, 2023


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


Available now

Access Module 4

Accessing Course Modules
(Restricted to enrolled 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, Ramakrishna Seminary, or their officers, staff, employees, or volunteers.


September 2 -8, 2023



Svara, Svara Yoga, and Yogic Therapy


Available now

Access Module 5


September 9 - 15, 2023



Bhuta Shuddhi and Tantric Ritual


Available September 9th

Access Module 6


September 15 - 22, 2023



Ashtanga, Mantra, & the Subtle Body


Available September 15th

Access Module 7


September 23 - October 29, 2023


VISUALIZING THE DIVINE ~ Subtle Anatomy in Myth and Tantric Imagery


Available September 23rd

Access Module 8

Attendance/Participation                      40%

Class assignments                                    30%

Final paper                                                  30%


Passing grade for Seminary Credit        70% and above


Evaluation of Student Performance



This course is worth 3 Seminary Credits, and can be taken for either Credit or No Credit. 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. Students who are taking this course for Seminary Credits are expected to attend weekly online webinars. If students must miss a webinar, they are expected to watch the recording of the session and to participate in the discussion forum.

Each module includes assigned reading and/or engagement with other curated material such as articles, videos, audio files, PDFs, etc. Short writing assignments should be emailed to the instructor as Word files. At approximately the halfway point of the course several topics will be suggested for students to choose from for their final 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.


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