An 8-Part Online Course with Edwin Bryant

Bhakti Yoga

Now On-Demand

 

Course Description

Since there are as many flavors of bhakti as there are human hearts wherein it abides, this course will focus on one prominent expression of bhakti, the Krishna (Kṛṣṇa) bhakti of the 16th century Vraj (Vrindavan) tradition, as a lens into the larger multi-faceted universe of bhakti. If we analogize the different bhakti traditions as constellations within the same universe, we find distinctive features within each one, but numerous overlapping features as well.  Our assumption and method is that an in depth study of one tradition (rather than a superficial mapping of multiple traditions) will best serve as a conduit to a profounder understanding of the larger phenomenon of bhakti in general.  This focus can then be applied to other bhakti traditions by adding their appropriate flavorings.  Thus the course consists of an analysis of bhakti yoga through the lens of a medieval devotional tradition that was pivotal to what is sometimes called a renaissance of Kṛṣṇa devotion across the North of the Indian subcontinent, centered in the holy town of Vrindavan, sacred to Lord Kṛṣṇa. 

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Students who take this seminar will:

  • Understand the relationship of bhakti within the eight-limbed path of the Yoga Stra of Patañjali

  • Undertake an analysis of the placement of bhakti in the Bhagavad G, by engaging translations of the relevant stra and ślokas (verses) of each text

  • Learn about primary terms Bhagavān, Īśvara and Brahman within some of the principle sectarian traditions of bhakti.
  • Study the text, the Śrmad Bhāgavata Purāa and the practices of bhakti that are listed therein.

     

  • Learn about bhakti exemplified in the stories of bhakta yogis
  • Look at the conceptual ingredients of Krishna bhakti: rasa, devotional ecstasy; bhāva, love of God; l, God at play; and yogamāyā, the power that hides God's majesty.

  • Explore two forms of God as Krishna and corresponding forms of devotion 
  • Become familiar with the larger phenomenon of bhakti in general

  • Begin to develop one's own relationship to bhakti  

SEMINAR INCLUDES:

8 Live, Interactive Zoom Sessions
8 Q&As with Edwin
8 Downloadable Videos & MP3s
Seminar Readings
20 Yoga Alliance Cont. Ed. Credits
20 Embodied Philosophy Credits
Private Pop-Up Facebook Group

Course Outline

This session will introduce bhakti-yoga and provide a general definition for bhakti, with particular attention paid to its relationship with and role in the eight-limbed path of the Yoga Stra of Patañjali.

This session will delve into the meaning of bhakti in one of the classic texts of the bhakti tradition, the great epic, Bhagavad G. 

This module will include a discussion of the primary terms Bhagavān, Īśvara and Brahman and how these terms are understood within some of the principle sectarian traditions of bhakti.

This session will focus on the text, the Bhāgavata Purāṇa and the nine practices of of bhakti that are listed therein. 

This module will look at bhakti exemplified in the stories of bhakta yogis, including the story of king Parikṣita and sage uka.

Continuing from Module 5, this session will look at bhakti exemplified in the stories of bhakta-yogis, including the story of king Bharata.

This module will look at the conceptual ingredients of Krishna bhakti: rasa, devotional ecstasy; bhāva, love of God; līlā, God at play; and yogamāyā, the power that hides God's majesty.  These elements will be exemplified through the lens of vatsalya bhāva, parental love of God as child, in the stories of mischievous Krishna and his mother Yaśoda.  

This session will look at two forms of God as Krishna and the corresponding forms of devotion that this inspires.  First, Sakhya bhāva, God as friend, is exemplified in the stories of Krishna's adventures with his gopas, cowherd friends.  Secondly, madhūrya bhāva, God as lover, is exemplified in the most famous of all Krishna stories, Krishna with his beloved cowherd consorts, the gopīs.

Edwin Bryant received his Ph.D in Indic languages and Cultures from Columbia University. He taught Hinduism at Harvard University for three years, and is presently the professor of Hinduism at Rutgers University where he teaches courses on Hindu philosophy and religion. He has received numerous awards and fellowships, published six books and authored a number of articles on Vedic history, yoga, and the Krishna tradition. In addition to his academic work for the scholarly community, Edwin's Penguin World Classics translation of the Srimad Bhagavata Purana, the traditional source for the story of Krishna's incarnation, is both for Indology specialists as well as students and those interested in Hinduism from the general reading public and the yoga community.

As a personal practitioner of yoga for 35 years, a number of them spent in India studying with traditional teachers, where he returns yearly, Edwin strives to combine academic scholarship and rigor with sensitivity towards traditional knowledge systems. In addition to his academic course load, Edwin currently teaches workshopson the Yoga Sutras, Bhagavad Gita, and Hindu Philosophy at yoga studios and teacher training courses throughout the country. His translation of and commentary on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (North Point Press, a division of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2009) is specifically dedicated to contributing to the growing body of literature on yoga by providing insights from the major pre-modern commentaries on the text with a view to grounding the teachings in their traditional context.

Tuition Options

ONE-TIME

$249

ONE-TIME PAYMENT

8 Live, Interactive Zoom Sessions
8 Q&As with Edwin
8 Downloadable Videos & MP3s
Seminar Readings
20 Yoga Alliance Cont. Ed. Credits
20 Embodied Philosophy Credits
Private Pop-Up Facebook Group

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PAYMENT PLAN

$87

AUTO-DEBITED FOR 3 MONTHS

8 Live, Interactive Zoom Sessions
8 Q&As with Edwin
8 Downloadable Videos & MP3s
Seminar Readings
20 Yoga Alliance Cont. Ed. Credits
20 Embodied Philosophy Credits
Private Pop-Up Facebook Group

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MONTHLY

$97

PER MONTH

Unlimited Access to all Courses, Conferences & Seminars

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ANNUAL

$997

ONE-TIME FEE

Unlimited Access
*Savings of $167 Off Monthly Plan

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Join Edwin as he guides us through the Krishna Bhakti of the 16th century Vraj (Vrindavan) Tradition, as a lens into the larger multi-faceted universe of Bhakti.
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