Underlying oneness and Diverse expressions
The course explains a worldview of one of the world’s oldest civilizations of spiritual seekers (Hindus) that led to diverse philosophies with shared concepts of theology, metaphysics, and lived culture. The course will explain the rituals and practices in Hinduism along with their scientific explanations towards individual health and spiritual well-being.
The course is oriented towards applications in multiple contexts such as spiritual care, society, organization, leadership, international issues (sustainable development goals: SDG). The participants will understand the Hindu worldview and its knowledge system. They will be able to contextualize the learning and place its importance in the Hindu way of life.
- In week 1 the focus lays on creating an overview of the Hindu worldview and its diverse manifestations: existence, self, divinity, sacred social orders, gods and goddesses. Also the Hindu view on origins and the cyclic order will be discussed.
- In week 2 attention will be paid to the major Hindu divinities: a) Vishnu and the cluster of his incarnations; b) Shiva in his diverse manifestations; c) the Goddess (Devi) and her manifestations.
- Week 3 will start with a meeting in which participants will give presentations. The second meeting will focus on concepts of the Hindu Life: the Four Ashramas (Life Phases) and Four Purushartha (Life Goals).
- In week 4 we will continue the course by diving into Hindu soteriology. We will discuss liberation, Sanyasa (renunciation), the concept of Advaita and Yoga, as well as personal devotion (bhakti). Also a second presentation meeting will be held.
- Week 5 will focus firstly on Hindu epistemology, consisting of Hindu scriptures, the importance of living lineages and oral traditions. Secondly, a closer look will be given at Hindu axiology: the view on ethics, values, (im)purity, the concept of dharma, and the doctrine of karma and rebirth.
- Closely related to week 5 is the content of week 6, which pays attention to the praxeology of Hindy ways of life. We will talk about the calender, rituals, festivals, private and public forms of devotion. Also idol worship (Shodashopachara) and the 16 Samskaras will be discussed this week. This week closes with a third presentation meeting.
- In week 7 the meetings consist of group discussion on the topic of Hinduism’s interaction with contemporary world and modernity, modern developments, the colonial period and the decolonization of British India.