What is the course about?
This course will give you an overview of the Upanishads, their origins, content, structure and their place in Vedic Literature with a view to understanding why they continue to captivate audiences both modern and traditional, around the world.
This is a live online course. For more information please see our guide to online learning.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
We will explore the key Upanishads, outlining fundamental concepts such as ‘advaita’ (the identity of the Self and the universal ‘spirit’), the importance of the symbol ‘Om’; breaks and continuity with the Vedic ritual; and the eventual transition to the ‘bhakti’ system in the later Upanishads.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- recite 3-5 ‘mahavakyas’ (great sayings) from the Upanishads;
- know the basic content of Isha, Kena, Katha and Mandukya Upanishad;
- understand the relationship of the Upanishads to the four Vedas and the Bhagavad Gita.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an introductory course. No prior knowledge is required or expected.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
The course will be taught online, through presentation slide; readings which will be shared in advance on Google Classroom. There will be group discussions during every session.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
A notebook to document learning and bibliography. Suggested reading: The Principal Upanishads, translated by S. Radhakrishnan, HarperCollins, 2006 - ISBN: 978 8172231248 (a link to Amazon where you can buy this book will be provided on Google Classroom).
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
You can enrol for Sanskrit level 1 at CityLit with a view to reading the Upanishads and related texts like the Bhagavad Gita in the original.