Dates: 31/10/2016 - 04/11/2016
Mode of Delivery: Online
Level: 5 (Year 2)
Credit Value: 10 (for regular BA Theology and Religious Study)
The module will cover the following topics:
• An introduction to the Ramayana: Presenting the structure of the Ramayana in terms of its seven khandas and providing an overview of the central narrative.
• The main characters as role models: Presenting a systematic review of the main characters of the Ramayana and considering their position as role models for Hindus.
• Religious teachings in the Ramayana: Presenting the key theological themes of the Ramayana, such as the doctrine of avatar, and exploring the ethical dilemmas and notions of dharma raised by its narrative.
• An introduction to the Mahabharata: Presenting the structure of the Mahabarata and providing an overview of the central narrative and the extensive didactic interludes.
• The main characters as role models: Presenting a systematic review of the main character’s of the Mahabharata and considering their activities in terms of the varying expressions of dharma presented by the epic.
• Religious teachings in the Mahabharata narrative: Considering the central theological themes, such as the position of Krishna, the epic’s theological ideas, and the different views of dharma it offers its readers.
• Religious teachings in the Mahabharata’s didactic passages: Presenting a brief review of the passages of religious, philosophical, and ethical teachings that punctuate the central narrative of the Mahabharata.
This module is Bhaktivedanta College’s BA degree program in Theology and Religious Studies, accredited by the University of Chester. To pursue the BA, you must complete the application procedure and be accepted into the program. The academic year starts in September. This module can also be taken without special requirements. You may study the BA module as an auditing participant, independent of BA accreditation, without an obligation to complete the final assessment. You would be expected to complete the reading assignments, view/hear the lectures, and take part in the discussion forums. By clicking “Enrol Now” you will be redirected to Bhaktivedanta College Online Campus, where you will proceed with registration and payment. The Paypal fee for this module is €99 fully inclusive. Once your registration is complete, you will have access to the virtual classroom and all learning materials. Upon successfully completing this module, you will be awarded with a Certificate of Attendance mailed to your home address.
After finishing Encina High School in 1966, he entered the University of California, Davis, graduating in 1970 with a first place prize in Psychology and minor studies in Biology and Electrical Engineering. He then began Doctoral studies at Northwestern University in Chicago while also participating in the famous “Second City” improvisational theater troupe. Soon he became convinced that Western knowledge was lacking much that might be augmented by Oriental wisdom. His mentor, Donald T. Campbell, President of the American Psychology Association, agreed so he then headed East obtaining a black belt in Okinawan karate, and then receiving initiation and taking vows as a brahmacari, novice monk, from A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in 1974. He continued in this Indian tradition taking vows as a sannyasi in 1984, and becoming an initiating guru in 1994. Since 1990 Hanumatpresaka Swami has also developed a program of global lecturing and travel. This has included work as associate director of the “Bhaktivedanta Institute” which organized two “World Congresses for the Synthesis of Science and Religion”, Bombay, 1985, Kolkatta, 1997. These included participation of Nobel Laureates such as George Wald, Charles Townes, Sir John Eccles, Arch-Bishop Paulos Mar Gregorios (President of World Council of Churches), the Dalai Lama and many others. In March 1999 Hanumatpresaka Swami was the Chief Guest for the University of Calcutta’s critical seminar on “National Seminar on Science and Technology in Ancient India”.
Expected Student Learning Activity and Contact Hours
100 hours notional learning hours of which 16 hours will be contact time
Students are expected to attend all lectures and seminars
To provide students with a detailed knowledge of the structure of the Ramayana and of the Mahabharata and the main stories and characters presented by these two epics;
To invite students to consider the Epics’ theistic ideas and central themes, their characters as role models, their ethical teachings and the moral dilemmas they explore.
Methods of Learning and Teaching and Formative Assessment
Lecturing; group discussion; presentation of a variety of media showing the representation and impact of the Epics and their theological ideas in contemporary Hindu culture.
- Demonstrate a solid understanding of the religious significance of these stories within the context of Hindu belief and practice.
- Be able to evaluate the philosophical and theological teachings presented by the epics through narrative and characterisation and also through passages that are overtly didactic.
- Develop the ability to perceive the ways in which textual traditions influence religion and society.
- Develop the ability to interpret literature and narrative composed in remote antiquity and to identify the contemporary significance of such texts.
Assessment and Reassessment Components and Weighting
A 2,000-word essay (100%) [LO 1-4].
Reassessment: As assessment.
- Bhawalkar, V. (2000). Women in the Mahabharata. Sharada Prakashan.
- Brockington, J. (2000).The Sanskrit Epics. Oxford University Press.
- Brodbeck, S. and Black, B., eds. (2007). Gender and Narrative in the Mahabharata. Routledge.
- Dharma, K. (2000). Ramayana. Torchlight Publications.
- Ganeri, A. (2004). The Ramayana and Hinduism. Smart Apple Media.
- Hiltebeitel, A. (2001). Rethinking the Mahabharata: A Reader’s Guide to the Education of the Dharma. King. Univ. of Chicago Press.
- Narayan, R.K. (2001).The Mahabharata. Penguin.
- Narayan, R.K. (1993). The Ramayana. Penguin.
- Richman, P. (2008). Ramayana Stories in Modern South Asia: An Anthology. Indiana University Press.
- Sutton, N. (2000). Religious Doctrines in the Mahabharata. Motilal Banarsidass.