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Friends Event: How New is Modern Yoga?

Leicester Friends Event
Saturday, 6 December 2014 - 6:30pm to 9:00pm

A talk by Dr Jason Birch of the OCHS

Modern yoga is generally believed to be an ancient discipline. However, many of the postures (āsana) of modern yoga are not mentioned in mediaeval yoga texts, such as the Haṭhapradīpikā. This has led to claims that most of the postures we see today are the invention of twentieth-century Indian gurus. This talk will provide a general history of yogic postures and assess the antiquity of modern postures in light of three late mediaeval manuscripts which contain new information.

Friends Event: Detachment in the Gita

Leicester Friends Event
Saturday, 4 October 2014 - 6:30pm to 9:00pm

A talk by Shaunaka Rishi Das of the Oxford Centre For Hindu Studies

We are all attached to our stuff – our gadgets, our cars, our homes, our pets, our parents, our country, and our looks. Yet we know everything wears out eventually, and then we suffer. The Gita speaks about the nature of our attachments, why we want loads of stuff, why the grass on the other side looks greener, and why we are often not satisfied with what we have.

Aarhus-OCHS Student Exchange Programme

by Silje Lyngar Einarsen, PhD student, Aarhus University

Through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by and between the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies (OCHS) and the Department for the Study of Religion, Aarhus University, Sanskrit students from Aarhus at BA, MA and PhD level have the opportunity to spend a semester in Oxford as visiting students at the centre. The purpose of this short article is to give the reader and interested Sanskrit student an impression of  how this programme works at present.

Friends Event: Is Modern Yoga Really Yoga?

Birmingham Friends Event
Saturday, 20 September 2014 - 6:30pm to 8:30pm

A talk by Ramesh pattni of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies

Yoga has become a multi-billion dollar commodity with over 30 million people in the US alone practising one form or another of Yoga. Where did all these forms arise from and are they traceable to earlier scriptures? What does Patanjali have to say about what has come to be known as the Classical text of Yoga called the Yogasutra? We look at Patanjali’s text in detail and trace some of the developments in Yoga philosophy and practice from ancient times.

Friends Event: Hindu Perspective on Success and Failure

Leicester Friends Event
Saturday, 6 September 2014 - 6:30pm to 9:00pm

A talk by by Anuradha Dooney of the OCHS.

In our world we see success on the X-Factor and on talent shows, we see success in industry, in banking, in sport, and in schools. But how do we measure success? Who has defined success for us? Is it to do with social acceptance? national agreement? moral standards? wealth generation, or fame? In this talk we dip into ancient texts to see if we can find different measures of success and failure to reflect on, to inspire thoughtful discussion, and even to challenge or norms.

Friends talk: Review

A review of a Leicester Friends of the OCHS talk, given by Ramesh Pattni on 2 August 2014.

To an audience of approximately 60, Ramesh introduced his topic – The Three Faces of Vedanta:Shankaracharya, Madhavacharya, & Ramanujacharya – with a brief overview of the six systems of Indian philosophy, giving us a context into which Vedanta sits.

The Three Faces of Vedanta: Shankaracharya, Madhavacharya, and Ramanujacharya

Leicester Friends Event
Saturday, 2 August 2014 - 6:30pm to 9:00pm

A talk by Ramesh Pattni of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies

Vedanta, as one of the six orthodox systems of philosophy in Hinduism, has had a deep effect on Hindu thought for many centuries. It has been subject to a variety of interpretations of the three primary texts: the Brahmasutra, the major Upanishads, and the Bhagavad Gita. Although the common factor in all these interpretations is the acceptance of Vedic authority, the perspectives on reality, God, the individual, and the universe are quite diverse. In this talk we explore the lives and thoughts of the great Acharyas of Vedanta.

The Three Faces of Vedanta: Shankaracharya, Madhavacharya, and Ramanujacharya

Birmingham Friends Event
Saturday, 26 July 2014 - 6:30pm to 8:30pm

A talk by Ramesh Pattni of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies

Vedanta, as one of the six orthodox systems of philosophy in Hinduism, has had a deep effect on Hindu thought for many centuries. It has been subject to a variety of interpretations of the three primary texts: the Brahmasutra, the major Upanishads, and the Bhagavad Gita. Although the common factor in all these interpretations is the acceptance of Vedic authority, the perspectives on reality, God, the individual, and the universe are quite diverse. In this talk we explore the lives and thoughts of the great Acharyas of Vedanta.

Sitting at the Guru's feet: Teachers, students and education in the Upanisads

Leicester Friends Event
Saturday, 5 July 2014 - 6:30pm to 9:00pm

A talk by Dr Rembert Lutjeharms of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies

The Upanisads are among the most influential Hindu sacred texts. Though often cryptic, they form the foundation of Vedantic discourse, and still influence the religious imagination of countless spiritual seekers, both traditional and modern. Its 'secret' teachings are often presented through the voices of Vedic teachers, and the roles these teachers play is central to these teachings.

Focusing on the stories found in these religious texts, this talk will explore the character of the Upanisadic gurus, the roles they

Friends Event: Hindu Attitudes to Wealth

Leicester Friends Event
Saturday, 7 June 2014 - 6:30pm to 9:00pm

A talk by Anuradha Dooney of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies

Despite global recession India edges closer to being one of our wealthiest nations, yet the face of poverty also continues to portray India to the world. In a country of economic and social contradictions it is easy to play one off against the other. But wealth and India are not new bedfellows, either materially or spiritually. In this talk Anuradha Dooney asks if wealth is generated by hard work or by destiny? How can debt be a blessing and not a curse? Who decides what is valuable?

Friends Event: Hindu Attitudes to Wealth

Birmingham Friends Event
Saturday, 31 May 2014 - 6:30pm to 8:30pm

A talk by Anuradha Dooney of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies

Despite global recession India edges closer to being one of our wealthiest nations, yet the face of poverty also continues to portray India to the world. In a country of economic and social contradictions it is easy to play one off against the other. But wealth and India are not new bedfellows, either materially or spiritually. In this talk Anuradha Dooney asks if wealth is generated by hard work or by destiny? How can debt be a blessing and not a curse? Who decides what is valuable?

Friends Event: Caring for the Planet: A Hindu Response

Leicester Friends Event
Saturday, 3 May 2014 - 6:30pm to 9:00pm

A talk by Gopal Patel of the OCHS Bhumi Project

In 2009 the OCHS launched the Bhumi Project, an international initiative to encourage Hindus to address environmental concerns, including climate change. Since then the Project has developed partnerships with interested parties in Africa, Europe, the US, and India. Initiatives include the Green Temple programme, which was launched at the White House in 2011, and the Green Pilgrimage Network – an effort to make pilgrim sites across India environmentally friendly.