Vedas and Upanishads - OCHS Online Course

The Vedas and the Upanishads are ancient Hindu spiritual texts. As it's nearly impossible to cover the entirety of the literature, this course will outline the principal themes.

There are a number of selected passages that will receive specific and focused attention. In particular, we will examine what religious beliefs and practices the Vedas and Upanishads advocate.

The sessions will cover the following:

  • Session One: During this course, you'll be asked to consider the origins and structure of the Veda and the type of religion they espouse.
  • Session Two: In this session, you'll spend time looking at a few of the hymns of the Rig Veda Samhita and consider rituals recommended by Vedic literature.
  • Session Three: You'll read through the short Isha Upanishad, and consider the religious and spiritual ideas revealed throughout Upanishadic literature.
  • Session Four: In this session, you'll be asked to contemplate the structure and principal ideas of the Brihad Aranyaka Upanishad. Your tutor will guide you through this.
  • Session Five: Similar to how we reviewed the Brihad Aranyaka Upanishad in the previous session, you'll have an opportunity to understand and contemplate the meaning of the Chandogya Upanishad.
  • Session Six: We'll review the main ideas in the Katha Upanishad, spend time looking at the overall narrative structure and read through selected passages.
  • Session Seven: In this final session, you will be asked to consider the distinctive nature and ideas of the Shvetashvatara Upanishad and their significance for Hinduism as a whole.

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