The Upanishads: an introduction
Time: 14:00 - 16:00
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: RT153
Duration: 4 sessions (over 4 weeks)
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. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
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.
Rohini Bakshi has an M.A in Hindu Studies from SOAS, University of London. She teaches Sanskrit, Hindi, Vedic Chanting, and introductory courses on the Upanishads, Patanjali's yoga sutras, and the Bhagavad Gita. Oxford alumna, columnist and blogger, Rohini has been teaching Sanskrit on social media for years and has published an independent reader for Sanskrit students based on this work. She is currently teaching Katha Upanishad at the advanced level.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.