Lectures

Professor Bharati taught many different courses at many different institutions. While much of this work has not been archived, there are fortunately recordings of two of Swami’s courses from the final decade of his life. These include a set of audio recordings for ‘The Religious Traditions of India,’ a course taught at Cornell University during the summer of 1986, as well as a set of video recordings for an ‘Introduction to Indian Philosophy,’ a series of lectures delivered at Syracuse University in 1987.  

Below are lists of the titles of each lecture in these series and their primary topic. Those interested in gaining access to these materials should contact the South Asia Center

Lectures recorded for The Religious Traditions of India course which Professor Bharati taught at Cornell University during the summer of 1986.

Lectures recorded for The Religious Traditions of India course which Professor Bharati taught at Cornell University during the summer of 1986
Lecture Number and Title Description of lecture, as summarized by Professor Bharati Date
1. Religion, Philosophy, Anthropology Introduction. The scope of this course- Religion, philosophy, anthropology- "talking religion" vs "taking about religion"- rejected and accepted methodologies. June 30th
2. Survey of pan-Indian Religious Themes and Principles Longitudinal survey of pan-Indian religious themes and principles. July 1st
3. Elements of “Pure” Buddism-Dukkha and Khanika Elements of "pure" (=middle class urban and western ) Buddhism -- its contrast with real, i.e., 'village' religion; so what is pure? -- the central doctorines of dukka (pain, agony, misery, affliction etc.) and khanika (momentariness, impermanence) and what they do, or don't do, to village laity and the Buddhist clergy. July 2nd
4. Dumont’s “Purity” and Pollution; The Erotic Elements in Hinduism Louis Dumont's "purity" and "pollution" - axiom of Indian polarization - etic and emic heuristic devices - the question of ethics -- deontological vs teleological -- medias in res on the Hindu side: Shiva, the erotic ascetic (O'Flaherty and long before) - the erotic element in Hinduism in general. July 3rd
5. Saivite Complex Aghoris of Nepal and Varanasi - Lingayats of the Karnatak - the Shaivite complex - the retention of semen as the key to magic, charisma, power, and the holy - a pan-indian syndrome -- the renouncer's power-trip. July 7th
6. “Purity,” Pollution, and Westernization "Purity and pollution" once more: their "hygienic" interpretation as mark of modern Indian cultural alienation (westernization) - alienation and cognitive dissonance through language modification, the invasion of English into the vernacular - the "pizza-effect" - consecration and initiation -Wendy O'Flaherty's "shazzam" effect -- the holographic model - darshana - prasad - transation and transformation of 'essences'. July 8th
7. Assam’s Reformed Religion and Sankaradeva; Modern Srilankan and Buddhism; Math, Ashram, and Sacred Space Assam's reformed religion and Shankaradeva - "monotheism" vs "monism" - bhakti and puritanism - the popular prevalence of bhakti - bhakti and modern Sri Lankan Buddhism - Math, ashram, and sacred space - the numinous - sacred geography, a parallel to sacred history. July 9th
8. “Lords” Stratification and Rulership; The Three Gunas "Lords" - lords for everything - total stratification and no-nonsense rulership - the three gunas, their assignations to rulers and ruled, to people, and to everything else as well - plus an excursus into food, the Ayurvedic humors. July 10th
9. Piatigorski’s Phenomology or Indian Religious Consciousness Piatigorski's phenomenology or Indian religious consciousness - the intrusion of Judaeo-Christian and Muslim 'lineal' categories - giving bodies to the gods - bodies as carriers and loci of occult powes (siddhi). July 11th
10. Not Available First thematic summary of Hinduism - ascetics, rulers, "renouncers" - the 'five sheaths' (pancakosha) of existence, the pentads of cosmic constants - classification as explanation - the monistic - theistic continuum - a brief introduction to Jainism
11. Durkheim’s Sacred and Profane; Islam Durkheim's sacred and profane dichotomy: not of much use in India - laukika and lokottara are not equivalents to sacred and profane - the meanings of dharma - Islam: the basics and the five pillars. July 29th
12. Islam in South Asia Islam and the 'ulema - Islam in South Asia - shari'a, haditha, adat - Islam vs Indian social structure - is there caste in Indian Muslim society? The Indianization of Islam - the sufi orders - baraka and the tarigas -- the inapplicability of the Great Tradition - Little Traditions model to Indian Islam - and to Hinduism as well, by today's knowledge. July 30th
13. The Ahmediya (Qadiani)- Tolerance or Inclusivism The Ahmediya (Qadiani) - the Shi'as: Bohra, Ithna' Asari, Khoja Ismailis, the Aga Khan and his firmans - tolerance or 'inclusivism?' - a model for the perception of tolerance in different levels of Inidan religious discourse. July 31st
14. Dualistic Trends and their Samkhya Mooring Dualistic trends and their samkhya moorings - Shakti and Vajrayana - some clarifications of mistaken notions about shakti, tantra (Hindu and Buddhist) ethics and the spiritual problem on the grassroots level. August 1st
15. A Sikh Religious Preform ??Sikhism - its tenets - Sikhs and Sikhism before and after "Blue Star" - the Guru Granth, the ten gurus - Guru Gobind Singh and militant Sikhism //A Sikh religious performance - and an emic account of Sikhism by Khushwant Singh. July 21st
16. An Emic Account of Sikhism by Khushwant Singh; Schism in Sikhism Schism in Sikhism - the Swaminarayan religion: the religious leader as god - God and the guru are one : a pervasive Indian syndrome. july 22nd
17. Swaminarayan Concluded; Philosophy and Darshan Once Again; Darshan as Rhetoric Swaminarayan concluded - philosophy and darshan once again - darshan as rhetoric -- the modern "way of life" parlance - the four purusarthas (ideal stages and objects of human life) ethics and morality take a second place below religion as vita contemplativa. August 6th
18. The Problem in ‘Proof’ in Indian Thought; Indian Epistemology; Puja The problems of 'proof' in Indian thought - a short foray into Indian epistemology - degrees of canonicity in the Hindu lore: shruti and smriti - minimal and maximal ritualist observances - puja as a generic term for all non-Vedic ritual. July 24th
19. A Final Survey of Theravada Doctrine A final survey of Theravada doctrine - "dependent origination" (patticca-samuppada) - the sangha and monastic training - degrees of instruction among clergy and laity. July 25th
20. Basic Concepts in Yoga Basic concepts of yoga - parakrti - vritti (waves, motions, disturbances?) - the types and words for 'mind' - the underlying parvritti-nivritti categories (extraversion and introversion if you wish, but don't). July 28th
21. Popular Indian Charismatics; Hindu “Psychology,” Eightfold Yoga The minimal textual knowledge of popular Indian religious leaders and charismatics - Hindu "psychology" and the four states of mind (jagrat, svapna, susupti, turiya) - the eightfold yoga - the meanings of samadhi. July 15th
22. Occult Power and Yoga, Nyaya Vaisesika; Gurus, Swamis, and Pandits The occult power (siddhi) and yoga link - siddhi and stage magic - the case of Sathya Sai Bab (preliminary) - Nyaya Vaisesika categories - the basic technical vocabulary of the popular religious teacher (gurus, swamis, pandits). July 16th
23. The Bhagavadgita; Bhakti and Theism; “Man of Firm Resolve” The Bhagavadgita -ayes and nays- the ideal type Hindu - bhakti and theism - the argument of "easier, therefore better" - the concept of sthitaprajna "man of firm resolve" (but much more and less) - the dangers of Gita like peptalk ( Hitler, etc.). July 17th
24. All India Festivals Festivals stationery and festivals in motion (pilgrimage) - the tamasha-darshana continuum - gods as guests (festivals: stationery) - gods stationery (pilgrimage) - all India festivals: a sample -- Dassehra, Durga Puja, Holi, Diwali, Mahashivaratri etc. July 18th
25. Puja: The All India Code for Formalized Worship and Reforms Puja, once more - the all-India code for formalized worship - Hinduization-Sanskritization-modernization-westernization - revivals and reforms: an overview - Arya Samaj. August 14th
26. The Bengal Impact on the Hindu Renaissance The Brahmo Samaj, Raja Rammohun Roy - the Bengal impact on the Hindu Renaissance - Keshab Sen and the young Vivekananda and Ramakrishna for starters. August 5th
27. The Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda and After The Ramakrishna Mission - a non-Hindu organization? - Vivekanandaand after -- Sri Aurobindu-Bengali nationalism, mother-worship Durga, Kali, Bengal, Mother India, Subhas Bose etc. July 23rd
28. The Scienctific Paradigm in Modern Emic Indian Religious Talk Theosophy - Vivekananda's immediate imitators (Swami Ramtirtha and "In Woods of God-realization") - the 'scientific' paradigm in modern emic Indian religious talk - tradition and ecleticism in neo-Hindu lifestyles - Sai Baba, Muktananda, assorted gurus. August 7th
29. Neo-Hinduism and Buddhism in the Diaspora. The Future of Religion on the Subcontinent Neo-Hinduism and Buddhism in the diaspora - recruitment - Rajneesh, Guru Maharaj and Divine Light - T.M., 3 HO and neo-Sikhism of Yogi Bhajan - ISKCON (vulgo Hare Krishna - the only tribe permanently settled on airports) -- political and militant Hinduism - the future of religion on the subcontinent (well, the immediate future). August 8th


Video recordings for Introduction to Indian Philosophy, Syracuse University, 1987

Video recordings for Introduction to Indian Philosophy, Syracuse University, 1987
Lecture Number TitleDescription of Lecture 
1 Vedic Roots of Indian Philosophy The poetic beginnings of Indian philosophical thinking—the canonical, “revealed” scriptures, the Veda. Veda means knowledge. The interpretation of ritual and sacrifice as one of the first intellectual efforts in the ancient world.
2 The Radical Antagonists Untrammeled by convention, outsiders to the established Vedic tradition had a more radical view of man and cosmos. Buddhists, Jains, and others defied the Vedas and the priests, while teaching a therapeutic philosophy to alleviate suffering, the basis of all life.
3 The Six Classical Systems The six classical systems (Nyaya, Vaisesika, Samkhya, Yoga, Mimansa, and Vedanta) rigorously codified what had been handed down cryptically in aphorisms. Logic, epistemology, and proper philosophical approaches now became firmly established.
4 The Theistic Philosophies The schools of monotheistic religion (Vaishnavism, Saivism, Saktism) elaborated the hitherto dormant theme of bhakti (devotion to a personal deity) and grounded it in a supporting framework using the techniques of the six classical systems.
5 The Medieval Schools From the Fourteenth century onward, bhakti-informed thinking, folk religion, and the interface with foreign ideologies (Muslim) created a large number of distinctive schools, Sikhism among them.
6 The Modern Schools Indian philosophy added new elements in response to Muslim and then British domination. Reform movements like the Arya Samaj, Brahmo Samaj, and the Ramakrishna Mission developed their own apologetic and critiqued traditional ways of thinking.