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Internationally-Acclaimed Indian Scholar To Teach Hindu Studies This Summer
With one billion followers worldwide, Hinduism is the world’s third-largest religion, second only to Christianity and Islam. Yet few Westerners can claim familiarity with its rich spiritual traditions and its pathways to enlightenment.
Two Hindu Studies courses this summer are designed to change all that, offering participants an overview of the main schools of Indian philosophy, and an examination of the practice of Ayurveda, a centuries-old healing system that is attracting new followers every day.
The instructor is Dr. Satya Narayan Das, a highly esteemed academic who holds W.Tech degree from IIT Delhi and a PhD is Sanskrit from Agra University. He also has written 15 books related to Indian culture and philosophy.
“Hindu traditions see themselves as addressing the human condition, not just Hindu,” says Dr. Das, who conducts courses in ancient Indian knowledge system around the world.
In the Ayurveda course, students will learn the basic principles of health and bodily and mental well-being. The philosophy course will focus on some of the positions ancient Indian thinkers took on the spiritual life, the nature of the self, the make-up of the world, the nature of the absolute truth, and the goal of life.
Dr. Edwin Bryant, professor of Hinduism in the Rutgers Department of Religion, believes the Summer Session is fortunate to have a scholar of Satya Narayan Das’s stature on its faculty.
“He is steeped in the traditional perspectives of ancient systems of knowledge, but he also has a doctorate from a modern, highly esteemed institution,” Bryant said.
Ayurveda, the Indian approach that stresses herbal cures, massage, Yoga, hygiene, and dietary regimens, is finding adherents both within the medical world and outside as a complement to traditional Western practices.
Bryant notes that it’s rare to find courses in Ayurveda is an academic setting, and he’s delighted that Rutgers is offering the three-credit course on the traditional healing system.