The course Mysteries of the Sacred Universe 1 is an introduction to the cosmography of one of the classical scriptures of Hinduism, the Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana), which remains a difficult riddle to scholars. What makes it so mysterious? The central mystery is the understanding of Bhu-mandala (the Earth disk). At first glance one might take it as an intricately mythological description of a flat Earth. However, its astronomical proportions, its geometrical geographical features that bear little resemblance with the reality we observe, and its correlations with the architecture of temples that are so accurately aligned to astronomical phenomena; makes us wonder if there might be a deeper understanding of Bhu-mandala. A closer look, indeed, reveals unexpected depths of knowledge; a sophisticated system with multiple levels of meaning that encode at least four different astronomical, geographical, and spiritual world models.
There are no pre-requisites for this first course. It is meant for a general audience with some or no knowledge on the subject. The required text for this course is “Mysteries of the Sacred Universe” by Richard L. Thompson. By slowly going through the different interpretations found in the book, the student will be brought up to speed with our current theories regarding this cryptic Sanskrit text and come to understand how the spiritual dimension was integrated into ancient Indian cosmography.
The course consists of required weekly reading assignments and engaging class discussions. It will be complemented with an optional group fieldtrip to the planetarium of the American Museum of Natural Science. Because of the length of the material, half of the book will be covered during this first course and the other half in a later course. The duration of study is 4 weeks; organized into 4 three-hour classes plus 1 fieldtrip in between.
The Bhakti Centers Donation Policy
The principle of bhakti is to do for others without motive. In yoga’s spiritual culture a teacher shares the wisdom of the sacred texts as an act of devotion rather than for profit. This is especially important in the Bhakti tradition where teaching and learning are essential ways bhakti is exchanged in daily life. It also keeps affordable for all this most important activity, sharing knowledge for upliftment.
At The Bhakti Center we honor these important principles of education: that teaching is done purely out of love, and that it is kept affordable. Therefore, for all of our classes on the sacred texts we don’t charge a set price.
So how do teachers survive? The answer is that pure teachers depend on God and good students honor that by sharing a donation from the heart and according to their means. Gratitude and generosity from student to teacher is also part of the yoga tradition.
For the class “Mysteries of the Sacred Universe” we suggest a donationof $100, although all donations will be welcomed.
All students must be registered online for this class.