Bhandarkar Institute’s Online Course On The Mahabharata For Indian Diaspora In The Americas

by Karan Kamble - Nov 29, 2021 08:13 PM +05:30 IST
Bhandarkar Institute’s Online Course On The Mahabharata For Indian Diaspora In The AmericasBhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Pune
Snapshot
  • Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute is launching an Americas-centric batch of their popular online course on the Mahabharata on 29 November.

    The course will introduce the epic through the exposition of the 18 Parvans (books) of the Mahabharata.

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

The course is being launched on the back of the support of the Indian diaspora in North America towards the initiatives launched by Bhandarkar Institute over the last 18 months, including the online courses, the digital library, and the YouTube channel.

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

Nearly thousand participants have already completed this course across three previous batches, beginning in July this year. The online course introduces the epic through the exposition of the 18 Parvans (books) of the Mahabharata. It is based on the "Critical Edition", which is recognised internationally as the benchmark for the textual study of the 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 across various eras.

Based on the Critical Edition, the course will take participants through the sequential flow of the story, besides showing how the various events are inter-connected and how the major characters evolved over time.

Keeping with the tradition of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, the course is academic in nature and not advocating any ideology or philosophy.

The course will be held between 29 November and 19 December on weekdays, Monday to Friday, from 9 pm Eastern Standard Time (6 pm Pacific Standard Time) to 10.30 pm Eastern Standard Time (7.30 pm Pacific Standard Time).

It will comprise 15 lectures of about an hour each, delivered online via the Zoom webinar platform. The sessions are pre-recorded, but will be followed by a live question-and-answer session.

The lectures will be available to the 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 fee is priced at $125.

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

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the institute came out with many short courses on topics centred around India’s rich past, such as the Vedas, Indic heritage, and Indic astronomy. Going forward, their goal is to reach out to enthusiasts from all walks of life.

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

The Americas-centric batch for the Mahabharata course is a step in this direction.

(Write to digital@boriindia.org for more information.)

Also Read: Why Researchers At Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute Won’t Rest For The Next 100 Years

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