Bhandarkar Institute online course on the Mahabharata for the Indian Diaspora in the Americas

Pune-based Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute brings back its popular epic online course Mahabharata, but this time for an audience focused on the Americas.

The course is launched with the support of the Indian Diaspora in North America for initiatives launched by Bhandarkar Institute over the past 18 months, including the online courses, the, and the YouTube channel.

“The Indian diaspora in North America supported us enormously on this journey, and sometimes despite the difficult time zone differences. This invaluable support inspired us to launch an active outreach program for the Americas, ”said Chinmay Bhandari, digital initiatives coordinator at the institute.

Almost a thousand participants have already completed this course over three previous batches, starting in July of this year. The online course introduces the epic through the exhibition of the 18 Parvans (books) of the Mahabharata. It is based on the “Critical Edition”, which is internationally recognized as the benchmark for the textual study of Mahabharata.

The critical edition was compiled at the Bhandarkar Institute as a result of a 48-year effort undertaken from 1919 to 1966. It came after a rigorous examination of around 800 manuscripts from different eras.

Based on critical editing, the course will guide participants through the sequential flow of the story, in addition to showing how the various events are interconnected and how the main characters have evolved over time.

True to the tradition of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, the course is academic in nature and does not advocate any ideology or philosophy.

The course will run from November 29 to December 19, weekdays, Monday to Friday, 9:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (6:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time) to 10:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (7:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time). Peaceful).

It will include 15 lectures of approximately one hour each, delivered online through the Zoom webinar platform. Sessions are pre-recorded, but will be followed by a live question-and-answer session.

The lectures will be available to registered participants for repeat viewing for one week. Participants will also receive learning materials consisting of books (digital copies), summaries, notes and videos. The course is priced at $ 125.

Bhandarkar Institute is a pioneering oriental institute in India. Since its establishment in 1917, it has strived to disseminate the knowledge and wisdom of the East, especially India. Along the way, it has become a treasure trove of manuscripts and rare books.

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the institute has offered numerous short courses on topics focused on India’s rich past, such as the Vedas, Indian heritage, and Indian astronomy. In the future, their goal is to reach enthusiasts from all walks of life.

“Our goal is to create a diverse community that studies and celebrates India’s heritage. We are already building a robust digital ecosystem that can facilitate the learning and interaction of such a community across the world, ”said Bhandari.

The batch focused on the Americas for the Mahabharata course is a step in that direction.

(Write to [email protected] for more information.)

Also read: