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TL;DR — I am pursuing a part-time Ph.D. in Hindu Studies through the Hindu University of America. I am planning on specializing in Sanskrit studies. This post is about why I am doing this and what I would like to achieve out of this.

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Hindu University of America


I want to learn the Hindu scriptures in their original verses (in Sanskrit), be able to apply the rigor of logical reasoning into them, and be able to bring out their relevancy to current times objectively.


I often find myself at the intersection of what appear to be dichotomies — technology and tradition, fact and faith, and conservative and progressive. While they appear to be dichotomies, are they really — Is it not possible to be factual and faithful? …

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Verses Discussed

संन्यासस्तु महाबाहो दुःखमाप्तुमयोगतः।

योगयुक्तो मुनिर्ब्रह्म नचिरेणाधिगच्छति।।5.6।।

सर्वकर्माणि मनसा संन्यस्यास्ते सुखं वशी।

नवद्वारे पुरे देही नैव कुर्वन्न कारयन्।।5.13।।

Key Points

We discussed the following concepts this week.

1) What is sanyasa?

Sanyasa refers to the renunciation of actions. This is different from the common understanding of sanyasa (renunciation of relationships).

2) Types of Sanyasa

Vidwat Sanyasa (renunciation arising from knowledge), vividisa sanyasa (renunciation arising after a life of karma yoga), and apat-sanyasa (renunciation arising out of emergency)

3) How karma yoga prepares one for sanyasa?

One is ready for true renunciation of action after purification through antah-karana-shuddhi, gaining equanimity, and prasada-buddhi through disciplined life of karma yoga. At this point, one does only the actions needed for sustenance and without any attachments to the results of those actions. …

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Key Concepts

Isvara: intelligent cause (nimitta-kāraṇa) and material cause (upādana-kāraṇa)


This week we started discussing how karma yoga and jnana are connected and the role of bhakthi in karma yoga. We also discussed how surrender to Isvara is central to karma yoga. Last week we discussed how just being ethical is not karma yoga.

This week’s discussion clarified how devotion is central to karma yoga.

One of the common misunderstanding of karma yoga is — it involved just doing one’s action without the need for devotion to Isvara. This week demonstrated a significant shift in my understanding of karma yoga.


What is the role of jnana?

What exactly is renunciation?


Sriram Subramanian

Research Director, IDC. Previously, Founder CloudDon; Yogi; Son; Brother; Husband; Dad;

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