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Dr. Martha Selby, Chair 120 INNER CAMPUS DR STOP G9300 WCH 4.134 78712-1251 • 512-471-5811

Fall 2008

ANS 301M • Mysticism and Meditation in Indian Religions

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
31145 MWF
12:00 PM-1:00 PM
GAR 0.128

Course Description

India is the birthplace of a variety of mystical traditions, and mysticism continues to play a central role in India's religious traditions. This course is designed to provide students with an overview of Indian mysticism in terms of its history, structure and practice. The course will be divided into three major sections. 1. In the first section we will begin by exploring contemporary studies of mysticism and questioning the nature of mysticism and mystical experience, how we can define mystical experience, its structure, and whether it is universal or not. 2. We will proceed to look at mysticism in specific Indian traditions such as Yoga, Advaita Vedanta, Buddhism, and Sufism. Studying their primary texts and narratives will reveal the nature of their mystical experiences, the relationship of mysticism and language, and related practices such as meditation, contemplation, asceticism, and bhakti. 3. We will examine modern Indian mystics such as Ramakrishna, Aurobindo, and Ramana Marashi, and study the encounter of contemporary Indian mysticism with the West.

Grading Policy

10% attendence 20% quizzes (2@10%) 20% midterm 30% final 20% final project


Course Packet "Yoga: Discipline of freedom," - by Barbara Stoler Miller; "The Bhagavad Gita," - translated by Franklin Edgerton; "Knowing Beyond Knowledge," - by Thomas Forsthoefel; "Hindu Mysticism,"- by S.N. Dasgupta; "Mysticism and Philosophical Analysis," - by Steven Katz


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