India is like an “ancient palimpsest on which layer upon layer of thought and reverie had been inscribed, and yet no succeeding layer had completely hidden or erased what had been written previously,” writes Jawaharlal Nehru in The Discovery of India. The story of India is a fantastical fable scripted in babel of tongues, protean in its very nature and form, malleable to the currents of history, and inassimilable into any one single idea of truth. In this course, we will travel across India by word of mouth so to speak, sifting through the layers of history with its diverse languages as our tour guides. Languages shape the contours of thought, defining the ethos of a particular culture, and ultimately offering a kaleidoscopic view of a nation that remains inarticulable in any one language. The idea of India is a dialectical nightmare, especially when language is employed as a divisive force. However, it is also through language that we will seek to gain a passage to India in spite of encountering such aporias. This course intends to offer an overview of the linguistic diversity of India, with language serving as the confluence point of social, political, religious, economic and cultural changes.
With 22 languages recognised by the Constitution, India is home to linguistic diversity difficult for most to imagine. This course presents a taste of this diversity, the historical origins behind it, and how India functions today with so many languages.
This course explores the history of Rishikesh, its importance as a pilgrimage site, the influence of the Beatles, and how it grew to become the “yoga capital of the world”.
The Indian subcontinent has been home to some of the most important contributions to humanity’s efforts to answer its largest questions. This course provides a brief introduction to Indian philosophy, how it differs from Western philosophy, and where to go next for further reading.
This course explores the significance of Sanskrit today as a window to understanding pre-modern India, the variety of its literature, and its place among the great ancient languages of the world.
This course is an introduction to Yoga in India. It will explore the ancient roots of today’s practices, the philosophy behind it, different schools of practice, and the role of yoga in society today. Take this course to deepen an understanding of your practice from a historical and philosophical perspective.