Lecture tag: Texts

Veda-stuti (Bhāgavata Purāṇa 10.87) with the Commentary of Śrīdhara Svāmī: Session Five (MT 14)

The Bhāgavata Purāṇa is undoubtedly the most popular and most sophisticated of the Purāṇas. Written in ornate prose and verse, and infusing Purāṇic narratives with Vedic, Vedānta, and Pāñcarātra thought, this monumental text influenced artists, architects, poets, and theologians for centuries.

The Veda-stuti (‘The Vedas’ prayers of praise’) is one of the Bhāgavata’s most significant theological passages, which offers an easy introduction to the Bhāgavata’s nondual theism and its Vedānta. In this reading class, we will read these verses with the commentary of Śrīdhara Svāmī (thirteenth century), the most celebrated commentator on the text and an important Advaitin Vaiṣṇava author who profoundly influenced the development of Hindu thought in pre-modern South Asia.

 

This reading class aims to introduce students with an intermediate knowledge of Sanskrit to the poetry of the Bhāgavata Purāṇa, the method and reasoning of Sanskrit commentaries, as well as the intersections of Advaita and Vaiṣṇava Vedānta.

 

Elementary Sanskrit : Session Five (MT 14)

The course provides an introduction to Sanskrit for the preliminary paper of the Theology and Religion Faculty in Elementary Sanskrit. The class is designed to introduce students of Theology and Religion to the basics of Sanskrit grammar, syntax and vocabulary. By the end of the course students will have competency in translating simple Sanskrit and reading sections of the Bhagavad-gītā and passages from other texts. The course book will be Maurer’s The Sanskrit Language.

 

Elementary Sanskrit (MT 14)

The course provides an introduction to Sanskrit for the preliminary paper of the Theology and Religion Faculty in Elementary Sanskrit. The class is designed to introduce students of Theology and Religion to the basics of Sanskrit grammar, syntax and vocabulary. By the end of the course students will have competency in translating simple Sanskrit and reading sections of the Bhagavad-gītā and passages from other texts. The course book will be Maurer’s The Sanskrit Language.

Veda-stuti (Bhāgavata Purāṇa 10.87) with the Commentary of Śrīdhara Svāmī: Session Four (MT 14)

The Bhāgavata Purāṇa is undoubtedly the most popular and most sophisticated of the Purāṇas. Written in ornate prose and verse, and infusing Purāṇic narratives with Vedic, Vedānta, and Pāñcarātra thought, this monumental text influenced artists, architects, poets, and theologians for centuries.

The Veda-stuti (‘The Vedas’ prayers of praise’) is one of the Bhāgavata’s most significant theological passages, which offers an easy introduction to the Bhāgavata’s nondual theism and its Vedānta. In this reading class, we will read these verses with the commentary of Śrīdhara Svāmī (thirteenth century), the most celebrated commentator on the text and an important Advaitin Vaiṣṇava author who profoundly influenced the development of Hindu thought in pre-modern South Asia.

 

This reading class aims to introduce students with an intermediate knowledge of Sanskrit to the poetry of the Bhāgavata Purāṇa, the method and reasoning of Sanskrit commentaries, as well as the intersections of Advaita and Vaiṣṇava Vedānta.

 

Elementary Sanskrit : Session Four (MT 14)

The course provides an introduction to Sanskrit for the preliminary paper of the Theology and Religion Faculty in Elementary Sanskrit. The class is designed to introduce students of Theology and Religion to the basics of Sanskrit grammar, syntax and vocabulary. By the end of the course students will have competency in translating simple Sanskrit and reading sections of the Bhagavad-gītā and passages from other texts. The course book will be Maurer’s The Sanskrit Language.

 

Elementary Sanskrit (MT 14)

The course provides an introduction to Sanskrit for the preliminary paper of the Theology and Religion Faculty in Elementary Sanskrit. The class is designed to introduce students of Theology and Religion to the basics of Sanskrit grammar, syntax and vocabulary. By the end of the course students will have competency in translating simple Sanskrit and reading sections of the Bhagavad-gītā and passages from other texts. The course book will be Maurer’s The Sanskrit Language.

What kind of Philosophical Theory is Madhyamaka? (MT 14)

Majewski Lecture

The Madhyamaka school of philosophy has been credited as being the central philosophy of Buddhism and also as a kind of anti-philosophy of pure critique that simply seeks to demonstrate the contradictory nature of all statements about the world. This lecture explores the nature of philosophical argument in Madhyamaka and the kind of philosophical theory that the Madhyamaka is.

Originally trained as a philosopher and orientialist, Jan Westerhoff‘s research focuses on philosophical aspects of the religious traditions of ancient India. Much of his work concentrates on Buddhist thought (especially Madhyamaka) as preserved in Sanskrit and Tibetan sources, he also has a lively interest in Classical Indian philosophy (particularly Nyāya). His research on Buddhist philosophy covers both theoretical (metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of language) and normative aspects (ethics); he is also interested in the investigation of Buddhist meditative practice from the perspective of cognitive science and the philosophy of mind. Some publications (for more information see www.janwesterhoff.net) are ‘The connection between ontology and ethics in Madhyamaka’ in: The Cowherds: Moonpaths: Ethics and Madhyamaka Philosophy, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2014; The Dispeller of Disputes: Nāgārjuna’s Vigrahavyāvartanī, Oxford University Press, 2010; Twelve Examples of Illusion, Oxford University Press, 2010; Nāgārjuna’s Madhyamaka. A Philosophical Introduction, Oxford University Press, 2009; ‘The Madhyamaka Concept of svabhāva: Ontological and Cognitive Aspects’, Asian Philosophy, 2007, 17:1, 17-45; Ontological Categories. Their Nature and Significance, Oxford University Press, 2005.

 

Attempts towards Preservation and Revival Atharvaveda (MT 14)

Shivdasani Seminar

The Śaunaka Śākhā of the Atharvaveda has been regarded to be the most prominent school of the Atharvaveda, being studied mostly in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. This Veda, although considered to be inferior to other three Vedas, was studied for the purpose of performing śāntika, pauṣṭika and ābhicārika rites in the tradition of that Veda. The followers of that Veda migrated to various parts of India, on invitations from kings and rich people. It has been observed however that the tradition of study of the Atharvaveda began to decline in the course of time. Having realized the necessity of preserving that tradition, the followers of that Veda as well as those belonging to other three Vedas made various attempts to preserve the tradition. Moreover, they endeavoured to revive the tradition of the study of the Veda, and to some extent, that of the performance of the rituals prescribed in that tradition. There was a good interaction between the Atharvavedins living in parts of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. They sent their students to the knowledgeable Vedamūrtis in order to acquire proficiency in the recitation of that Veda. The teachers as well as the students did not necessarily belong to the Atharvaveda. Some of the Vaidikas attempted to compose ritualistic digests or prayogas in order to revive the ritualistic tradition. There was genuine faith in the tradition of that Veda as well as a professional need that prompted those Vaidikas to preserve the tradition. It is interesting to see how the tradition of the study of that Veda is being revived in India in recent years.

 

The Nature of the Self in the Bhagavad Gita: Session Two

Chapter 13 of the Bhagavad Gita is about the relationship between ‘the field’ and ‘the field knower’ which can be taken to represent the body and self or universe and God. Different commentators had different interpretations about this relationship. The two seminars will examine the commentaries of Sa?kara and Ramanuja, focusing inparticular on the opening three verses.

The Politics of Sexuality in Ancient India: The Indebtedness of the Kamasutra to the Arthasastra

Shivdasani Lecture

The depth and extent of the influence of the textbook of politics (the Arthasastra) on the textbook of sexuality (the Kamasutra) is surprising, most evident in the high incidence of distrust, betrayal and force in sexual relationships. And the subsequent influence of the Kamasutra upon not only the erotic literary traditions of India but the eroticism of the bhakti tradition, particularly in Bengal, accounts in part for the darkness of that tradition, its emphasis on divine abandonment, betrayal, and even violence. Wendy Doniger (M.A., Ph.D. (Harvard University)?D.Phil. (Oxford University) is Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions in the Divinity School, University of Chicago; also in the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations, the Committee on Social Thought. Wendy Doniger’s research and teaching focus on translating, interpreting, and comparing elements of Hinduism through modern contexts of gender, sexuality, and identity. Her courses in mythology address themes in cross-cultural expanses, such as death, dreams, evil, horses, sex, and women; her courses in Hinduism cover a broad spectrum that, in addition to mythology, considers literature, law, gender, and zoology. Among over thirty books published under the name Wendy Doniger O’Flaherty and Wendy Doniger are sixteen interpretative works, including Siva: The Erotic Ascetic; The Origins of Evil in Hindu Mythology; Women, Androgynes, and Other Mythical Beasts; Dreams, Illusion, and Other Realities; Tales of Sex and Violence: Folklore, Sacrifice, and Danger in the Jaiminiya Brahmana; Other Peoples’ Myths: The Cave of Echoes; Splitting the Difference: Gender and Myth in Ancient Greece and India; The Bedtrick: Tales of Sex and Masquerade; The Implied Spider: Politics and Theology in Myth; The Woman Who Pretended to Be Who She Was; and The Hindus: An Alternative History. Among her nine translations are three Penguin Classics—Hindu Myths: A Sourcebook, Translated from the Sanskrit; The Rig Veda: An Anthology, 108 Hymns Translated from the Sanskrit; and The Laws of Manu (with Brian K. Smith)—and a new translation of the Kamasutra (with Sudhir Kakar). In progress are Hinduism, for the Norton Anthology of World Religions (2013); Faking It: Narratives of Circular Jewelry and Clever Women; and a novel, Horses for Lovers, Dogs for Husbands.