MASTER OF ARTS IN SRI AUROBINDO STUDIES
PROGRAMME DESCRIPTION: COURSE DESCRIPTIONS
Sri Aurobindo and his Essential Thought This course introduces the learner to some of the key details of the outer life and personality of Sri Aurobindo. Learners also learn about his spiritual collaborator, the Mother, and gain a brief overview of their vision and work. Through the selected readings learners are exposed to the multiple facets of Sri Aurobindo as a political revolutionary, nationalist and globalist, philosopher, social thinker, psychologist, yogi and a poet. They also write a short paper on any one particular facet of Sri Aurobindo and his work in that area.
Academic Writing This course is designed to enhance students' skills and abilities in writing that is appropriate in an academic context. Specific exercises will be given to the students to develop and practice necessary skills for interpretive and reflective writing for scholarly purposes. Additional opportunities will also provide practice in the areas of proper citation and referencing. Students will also be introduced to basic ethical standards concerning academic integrity and plagiarism.
Foundations of Indian Culture This course will provide a broad overview of spiritual foundations of Indian culture from its ancient times to contemporary scenario. The learners will also have an opportunity to engage in cross-cultural study and analysis. In addition to the main text, Sri Aurobindo’s Foundations of Indian Culture, the course material also includes several articles and selections from other relevant books.
The present course, while taking a cursory interest in the evolution of spiritual thought in Indian Philosophy, focuses upon Sri Aurobindo’s integral world-view and his integral Advaitism. What is of equal importance is his vision of individual and cosmic evolution and his faith in the higher destiny of man culminating in the descent of a supramental race. His views are at the same time essentially modern and synthetic in nature giving solutions to the present predicament of man.
The Philosophy of Evolution of Consciousness India has been a perennial source of spiritual philosophy wherein the experiences of the Reality, the World and Man have been analysed in a systematic manner. The different views, be they epistemological or dialectical, or cosmological, have had their own deep impact on the ideals and goals of an individual’s life upon earth. The present course, while taking a cursory interest in the evolution of spiritual thought in Indian Philosophy, focuses upon Sri Aurobindo’s integral world-view and his integral Advaitism. What is of equal importance is his vision of individual and cosmic evolution and his faith in the higher destiny of man culminating in the descent of a supramental race. His views are at the same time essentially modern and synthetic in nature giving solutions to the present predicament of man.
Principles of Integral Education This course covers the basics of Integral Education as developed by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. This educational philosophy and approach aims to develop the whole person, including the spiritual part, by bringing out what is latent in the being and seeking to emerge. Thus, it is a learner-centered approach, grounded in the individual student's unique personality, capacities, and style and rhythm of progress. The focus of this course is on the nature and training of the spiritual, psychic, mental, vital, and physical parts of the being. Towards the latter part of the course, the student will also learn briefly about the educational philosophies of some other Indian and contemporary Western thinkers more for developing a broader understanding and appreciation of holistic approaches to education as emerging from within Indian thought.
Science of Living This course provides in great detail an analysis of the main parts and planes of the human being as a preliminary step towards knowing oneself, which, in fact, forms the first part of the science of living. The second part – to control oneself – is given as a fourfold discipline of the different parts of the being leading to an integral self-perfection.
Secret of Indian Scriptures This course is dedicated to the studies of Sri Aurobindo’s writings on the Vedas and Upanishads, particularly Secret of the Veda, The Upanishads, and Hymns to the Mystic Fire. It is based on a selection of chapters from these major works, as well as from letters written by Sri Aurobindo and talks of the Mother to their disciples.
The course will introduce the basic elements and imagery of spiritual symbolism of the old psycho-physical tradition of the Vedas and the Upanishads in the light of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. It will examine their views on the planes and parts of the being, and the symbolism of the Vedic Sacrifice, Angirasa Rishis and the Vedic Gods Agni, Vayu, Indra, Soma, Usha, Brihaspati, and all the Adityas: Mitra, Varuna, Aryaman, Bhaga, Daksha, Amsha, Surya etc., as well as the anti-divine forces Dasyus, Vritra, Vala, Panis, etc., and the transition from the Vedic to Upanishadic psychological symbolism.
The course will proceed through readings and discussions of the material, a research paper, and two essay tests on the primary concepts covered.
A Psychological Approach to Bhagavad Gita Bhagavat Gita has been unique in its capacity to mirror in all ages the spirit and need of the age thus guiding the individual aspirants and the society as such in its march towards higher levels of spirituality. The modern age has a pointed need to approach spirituality from a psychological angle and hence a study of the Gita from this angle would be not only relevant but it is the need of the hour.
This study would be based primarily on Sri Aurobindo’s Essays on the Gita for it is a perfect blend of Gita’s integral philosophy and its yogic-psychological approach. The Gita’s study of the different levels of human consciousness, human nature and the practical solution it offers to face the battle of life are inimical and are of supreme importance to day to day life.
The Rhythm of Social Development This course provides students with an introductory knowledge of Sri Aurobindo’s theory of social development in the context of other theories, with a view towards understanding their application in today’s world. Learners will examine the theory in terms of self-understanding and how his concepts may be applied in the contemporary world.
Emergence of the Inner Being For all practical purposes the psychic being is the soul in each person which goes from birth to birth gaining different experiences. Normally it is not felt because it is covered by its instruments the mind and the vital. But contemplative, inward looking and introspective exercises could help in the uncovering of the psychic being. Once it is awake it could take hold control of the rest of the being and influence the instruments so that all may become the expression of the inner soul.
This course deals with the inner awakening on the psychological level giving an experiential and inward-look orientation to the syllabus.
The Psychology of Yoga The course will cover basic principles and important elements from each of four main branches of the Integral Yoga: the Yoga of Divine Works, the Yoga of Integral Knowledge, the Yoga of Divine Love, and the Yoga of Self-Perfection. In addition, the course will examine a selection of letters and conversations about yogic attitudes towards life, oneself, other people, work, difficulties, and spiritual practice.
Towards Human Unity This course examines Sri Aurobindo’s theory of the evolution of political groupings of mankind that are leading towards the unification of the human peoples. It examines the relation of the individual and group in the historical development of societies, the problems of liberty and uniformity, the possibilities and problems of a world-government, and the necessity and possibilities of a free grouping of mankind. In considering recent political events and developments, it will examine the views of other social and political commentators and activists in international peace.
Poetry of the Future This course introduces the learner to the basic principles of prosody, Sri Aurobindo’s theory of the future poetry, and his correspondence relating to his own poetry and that of others. It focuses on the nature of spiritual poetry that is inspired by higher levels of consciousness, and the various characteristics and signs of inspired poetry. It will also examine a selection of his and others’ poetry in light of these basic principles and theory.