Dates: 16/10/2017 - 19/11/2017
Mode of Delivery: Online
Level: 5 (Year 2)
Credit Value: 20 (for regular BA Theology and Religious Study)
The module covers the following topics:
Introduction to the Bhagavata Purana: Its antiquity, authorship, structure in terms of its twelve books (cantos), and status within Hindu tradition.
Narrative and contents: A detailed examination of the narrative structure and contents of the Bhagavata Purana.
The Theology and Philosophy of the Bhagavata Purana: A consideration of Samkhya, Yoga, Vedanta, Bhakti and the role of the Bhagavata Purana in shaping Vaisnava theology and practice.
Stories of Creation in the Bhagavata Purana and Brahma’s prayers for creative energy.
Looking at the Bhagavata Purana’s teaching on avatar, stories of avatars, and the status of Krishna and Vishnu.
Devotional Role Models 1: Readings from the life and teachings of Prahlad in book 7.
Devotional Role Models 2: Reading from the lives and teachings of Dhruva, Gajendra, Kuntidevi, Ajamila, and Bali Maharaja.
A consideration of the gender roles in the Bhagavata Purana.
Sages and Kings in the Bhagavata Purana: Looking at the pedagogical, sociological and political roles of the main sages and Kings in the Bhagavata Purana (Narada, Vidura, Kapila, Suta, Maitreya, Durvasa, Markandeya, Avaduta brahmana, Prithu, Ambarisha, Chitraketu, Pariksit etc.).
Siva in the Bhagavata Purana: A consideration of the stories and status of Siva in the Bhagavata Purana.
Krishna in the Bhagavata Purana (1): Looking at Krishna’s birth and childhood in Gokul-Vrindavan as described in book 10.
Krishna in the Bhagavata Purana (2): Readings from Krishna’s Gopi-lila in book 10 in the light of their religious significance to the Vaisnava tradition.
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.
Krishna Kshetra dasa (Dr. Kenneth R. Valpey) holds a B.A. in Religious Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara, an M.A. in Religious Studies from Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, an M.St. in the Study of Religion from Oxford University, and a D.Phil. (Ph.D.) from Oxford University (2004) for his thesis on Caitanya Vaisnava image worship. He has taught at the University of Florida, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the University of Pula (Croatia), and (since its inception) Bhaktivedanta College in Belgium, he has taught a module on the Caitanya-caritamrita to third-year College students since 2007. He also teaches other courses at BC, and serves as the Dean of Studies. In addition to various published articles and his published doctoral thesis, he is now collaborating with Radhika Ramana dasa (Dr. Ravi M. Gupta) on a pair of books on the Bhagavata Purana, to be published by Columbia University Press, New York. He is a permanent Research Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies.
Expected Student Learning Activity and Contact Hours
200 hours notional learning hours of which 32 hours will be contact time
Students are expected to attend all lectures and seminars
To provide students with:
A thorough knowledge of the structure, key themes, theology and central narratives of the Bhagavata Purana.
A thorough understanding of how they have shaped the development of a) the wider Hindu b) Vaishnava and c) ISKCON, thought and practice.
Methods of Learning and Teaching and Formative Assessment
Lecturing, whole class discussions, group discussions, debate, prepare and exhibit, video, PowerPoint.
At the end of the module students will be able to:
- Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the structure, main stories and themes of the Bhagavata Purana within the context of a) Puranic literature in general, b) the wider Hindu tradition, and c) the Vaishnava tradition.
- Evaluate and present sophisticated understanding of Bhagavata theology/philosophy in the light of alternative interpretation from traditional and contemporary scholarship.
- Develop the ability to reflect on and analyse personal devotional understandings and practice in terms of the role models and religious teachings of the Bhagavata Purana.
- Demonstrate the ability to present a detailed analysis of a relevant theological or philosophical theme in a well structured and argued academic piece of writing.
Assessment and Reassessment Components and Weighting
A 2,000-word essay (50%) [LO 1, 2, 4].
A 2-hour written exam (50%) [LO 1-3].
Reassessment: As assessment.
Bryant, E. (2003). Krishna: The Beautiful Legend of God: Srimad Bhagavata Purana Book X. London: Penguin Classics.
Bryant, E. (2002). ‘The Data and Provenance of the Bhagavata Purana and the Vaikuntha Perumal Temple’, Journal of Vaishnava Studies, Volume 11, No. 1.
Hardy, F. (2001). Viraha Bhakti: The Early History of Krishna Devotion. Oxford: Oxford University South Asian Studies.
Hudson, D. (2008). The Body of God: An Emperor’s Palace for Krishna in Eighth-Century Kanchipuram. Oxford University Press.
Prabhupada, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami (1987). Srimad Bhagavatam. Los Angeles: Bhaktivedanta Book Trust.
Rocher, L. (1986). The Puranas. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.
Sanyal, J.M. (1973). The Srimad Bhagavatam. Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal.
Shastri, J.C. (ed) (1994). Ancient Indian Tradition Mythology: The Bhagavata Purana. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass.
Schweig, G.M. (2005). Dance of Divine Love. New Jersey: Princeton University Press.
Thompson, R. L. (2000). Mysteries of the Sacred Universe: The Cosmology of the Bhagavata Purana. Alachua: Govardhan Hill Publishing.