Schedule of Sessions and Readings

Part One: Ancient Poem (and Its Contexts)

Sun, July 8 Reception of participants
Mon, July 9 Introduction to the Course, Self-Introduction of Participants
The Demise of the Warrior Class

Read: Narasimhan, Mahabharata, pp. 1-120
  • Davis, Bhagavad Gita: A Biography, pp. 1-9
  • Davis, “Brief History of Religions in India” (supplied)
Lecture: Historical background of Mahabharata and Bhagavad Gita
Afternoon Field Trip: Yale library resources
Tues, July 10 War and Restoration
Read: Narasimhan, Mahabharata, pp. 121-216
  • Van Buitenen, Mahabharata, Book 2, pp. 91-169 (supplied)
  • Lutgendorf, “All in the (Raghu) Family”  (supplied)
Lecture: Editions, translations, and short tellings of the Mahabharata
Workshop: Oral recitation of the Gita: listening and practice
Viewing: Doordarshan “Mahabharat” (excerpts)
Weds, July 11 Arjuna’s Dilemma
Read: Miller, Bhagavad-Gita, chs. 1-2 (pp. 23-42)
  • Van Buitenen, Bhagavadgita, chs. 1-2 (pp. 65-91) (supplied)
  • Johnson, Sauptikaparvan, pp. 6-68
Lecture: Who was Krishna?
Afternoon Field Trip: Asian Art, Yale University Art Gallery
Thurs, July 12 Krishna’s Multiple Paths of Yoga
Read: Miller, Bhagavad-Gita, chs. 3-6 (pp. 43-72)
  • Other translations of Bhagavad Gita ch. 4 (handouts)
  • Davis, Bhagavad Gita: Biography, pp. 154-177
  • Larson, “The Song Celestial” (supplied)
Lecture: Schools of thought in classical India
Workshop: Sanskrit translation (using handouts)
Fri, July 13 Krishna’s Theophany and Arjuna’s Vision
Read: Miller, Bhagavad-Gita, chs. 7-11 (pp. 73-108)
  • Radhakrishnan, Bhagavad Gita, chs. 7-11 (supplied)
Lecture: Visualizing the Gita (in art and popular prints)
Viewing: Doordarshan “Mahabharat” episode of Arjuna’s vision
Sat, July 14 Saturday Field Trip: South Asian Galleries, Metropolitan Museum of
Art, New York
Mon, July 16 Dharma, Bhakti, and God’s Will
Read: Miller, Bhagavad-Gita, chs. 12-18 (pp. 109-146)
  • Prabhavananda & Isherwood, Song of God, chs. 12-18
  • Carriere, “Introduction and Forward,” The Mahabharata
  • Gennette, Paratexts, selections (supplied)
Lecture: Echoes of the Gita in the later Mahabharata
Participant Presentation: Peter Brook and the Mahabharata
Workshop: Translations and their Paratexts
Evening Viewing: Brook, “Mahabharata” (part 1)
Tues, July 17 Summing Up the Gita
Guest presentation: Hugh Flick, “Krishna’s Practical Mysticism”
Read: Davis, Bhagavad Gita: A Biography, pp. 10-42
  • Fitzgerald, “The Great Indian Epic as Rhetoric” (supplied)
  • Sullivan, “The Religious Authority of the Mahabharata” (supplied)
  • Smith, What is Scripture?, pp. 1-20, 124-145 (supplied)
Evening Viewing: Brook, “Mahabharata” (part 2)
Weds, July 18 The Devotional Life of Krishna
Read: Hutchins, Young Krishna (supplied)
  • Bryant, Krishna: The Beautiful Legend of God, excerpts (supplied)
  • Dimock and Levertov, In Praise of Krishna
Participant Presentation: Swami Prabhupada and Krishna Consciousness in America
Evening Viewing: Brook, “Mahabharata” (part 3)

Part Two: Modern Readers (and their Situations)

Thurs, July 19 The Gita Becomes a Global Text
Read: Davis, Bhagavad Gita: A Biography, pp. 72-114
  • Davis, “Wilkins, Kasinatha, and the First English Gita” (supplied)
  • Wilkins, “Introduction” to Bhagavat Geeta (supplied)
  • Schwab, Oriental Renaissance, selections (supplied)
  • Bakhtin, “Response to a Question “ (supplied)
Participant Presentation: British Orientalists in Colonial India
Participant Presentation: German Romantics and India
Afternoon Field Trip: Yale Center for British Art (British Print Collection)
Fri, July 20 The Gita in America: Transcendentalists and Modernists
Guest presentation: Matthew Mutter
Read: Thoreau, selections from A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers and Walden (supplied)
  • Thoreau, “Civil Disobedience” (supplied)
  • Davis, “Henry David Thoreau, Yogi” (supplied)
  • Kearns T. S. Eliot and Indic Traditions, pp. 3-29 (supplied)
Participant Presentation: Ralph Waldo Emerson and India
Participant Presentation: Walt Whitman’s Passage to India
Sat, July 21 Saturday field trip: Maha Ganapati Hindu Temple, Queens, NY
Mon, July 23 The Gita and the Indian Nation
Read: Davis, Bhagavad Gita: A Biography, pp. 115-153
  • Vivekananda, “Address to the World Parliament of Religion”
Lecture: Overview of the Indian nationalist movement
Participant Presentation: Bankim Chandra Chatterjee
Particpant Presentation: Swami Vivekananda and Vedanta in American
Tues, July 24 Aurobindo: Indian Extremist and International Guru
Read: Heehs, Sri Aurobindo: A Brief Biography
  • Aurobindo, “Bhawani Mandir,” “Uttarpara Speech” (supplied)
  • Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, pp. 3-11 (supplied)
Participant Presentation: Bal Gangadhar Tilak
Participant Presentation: Annie Besant and the Theosophical Society
Weds, July 25 M. K. Gandhi’s Non-violent Gita and His Opponents
Guest presentation: Karline McLain
Read: Gandhi, Bhagavad Gita, pp. xv-xxiv, 3-34, 189-206
  • Dalton, Mahatma Gandhi: Nonviolent Power,  pp. 1-29 (supplied)
  • Davis, “Gandhi and His Gita” (supplied)
  • Ambedkar, “Krishna and His Gita” (supplied)
Participant Presentation: K. B. Hedgewar, RSS, and Hindu Nationalism
Participant Presentation: Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar
Thurs, July 26 The Gita at War: Oppenheimer, Isherwood, and Huxley
Read:  Hijaya, “The Gita of J. Robert Oppenheimer” (supplied)
  • Prabhavananda and Isherwood, Bhagavad Gita: The Song of God
  • Huxley, Perennial Philosophy, selections (supplied)
Particpant Presentation: Christopher Isherwood & Swami Prabhavananda
Participant Presentation: Aldous Huxley and the Perennial Philosophy
Evening Viewing: Operas “Satyagraha” and “Doctor Atomic” (excerpts)
Fri, July 27 The Gita and Gurus of the 1960s
The Gita in India and the World, Today

Read: Davis, Bhagavad Gita: A Biography, pp. 178-210
  • Davis, “Gifts of the Gita” (supplied)
Participant Presentation: Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Transcendental Meditation
Participant Presentation: The Gita and Public Education in India
Fri, July 27 Evening: Final Reception for Participants
Viewing: “The Legend of Bagger Vance”