Mahabodhi Temple, Bodhgaya
Photo Credit: Sharwan Raj
Stupa, Mahabodhi Temple
Photo Credit: Sharwan Raj
Bodhgaya is the epicentre of Buddhism which connects organically to the philosophy and teaching of Buddhism. This is the reason, the multifaceted aspects of Bodhgaya and Buddhism not only thematically complement each other but these are weaved together through multiple intersections as well.
The course brings together the information from a variety of disciplines – religion, heritage and art and its history – to highlight their various findings and perspectives regarding the different facets of Bodhgaya past and present and the philosophy and teachings of Buddhism. The interdisciplinary, multi-instructor course provides an introduction to Bodhgaya and Buddhism within the context of development in India and the world, particularly South East Asia.
Whether you are new to the study of Bodhgaya and Buddhism or have been studying it or practicing it for years, this course will provide you with the opportunity to become acquainted with the multi faceted aspects of Bodhgaya and the variety of Buddhist philosophy and teachings while guiding you to think about them, and yourself, in new ways.
Through a combination of carefully selected readings, both scriptural and informational, as well as exposure to various forms of Buddhist practice such as art, devotional acts, and literary works, you will learn how to interpret and reflect upon the teachings of the Buddha to your own life and deepen your understanding of Buddhism.
The diverse and highly qualified programme faculty will present a variety of intellectual and historical view points, creating a stimulating milieu in which genuine inquiry can occur. Participants are encouraged to examine their own cultural and intellectual assumptions as they pursue this study in a challenging and supportive environment.
Participants in this fully online course are expected to watch video lectures, join interactive video discussions with faculty, and participate in discussion forums.
The reading materials consisting of the digital resources and those openly accessible will be available for course participants on the website of the online course. The experts and educators dealing with each topic would be asked to incorporate the listed materials in their lectures so that the participants could easily relate to them.
MODE OF TEACHING AND LEARNING
The mode of teaching will be through live sessions, pre recorded videos or a mixed method of both.Approximately 40 per cent of the classes will be in the form of live sessions through the Google Meet and 30 percent of the classes will be in the form of pre-recorded videos along with supplementary texts and reading materials. Following this, with a few days gap for the participants to internalize the content of the course and the texts, the course participants in the remaining 30 percent of the classes will have the opportunity to join the live and interactive sessions with the experts and the educators of the course.
The course has been designed for a period of 90 days. There will be around three classes every week, including the introductory and concluding sessions. Each session will consist of a recorded lecture video with duration of 30 to 40 minutes and live as well as the interactive sessions will be of one-hour duration.
The course is ideal for students – graduates, postgraduates and research scholars- and the enlightened persons curious about Buddhism and Sanatan Dharma and the intersections at the multi-religious sites of Bodhgaya, its heritage, and art history. Students of regional universities like Nalanda University, Magadh University, and South Bihar University located in the Bodhgaya region will also find this course interesting and useful. It would also be ideal for those who are engaged in the fields of travel guidance and hospitality, especially in regions around these and other Buddhist sites.
In addition, Buddhism – the philosophy and practice – has its own place in the world, which is also underlined by the fact that it has been studied and discussed in a number of universities and institutes across the world, particularly in Buddhist countries. Students and researchers of these universities and institutes would find the course most valuable.