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Friends Event: Is Modern Yoga Really Yoga?

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

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’s 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.

OCHS Board Member, Pramod Thakkar, Resigns

Mr. Pramod Thakkar will be retiring from the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies Board of Governors. Mr. Thakkar has been on the Board since June 2007, during which time he has provided a wealth of expertise and advice to the Centre.

Mr. Thakkar was instrumental in establishing a relationship between the OCHS and the Jalaram Mandir of Leicester. From sponsorship of OCHS programmes at the temple, and educational activities held on temple premises, the partnership naturally contributed to the development of a Friends of the OCHS organisation in Leicester.

Hinduism and Modernity

Birmingham Friends Event
Saturday, 15 March 2014 - 6:30pm to 8:30pm

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

In modern, secular society Hinduism is sometimes regarded as backward looking and the source of conflict and communalism. On this view, as scientific knowledge and technology develop, Hinduism will fade into the past and people will leave behind a superstitious phase of their development. Yet in spite of this assumption Hindu culture continues to exert force in the contemporary world.

Friends Event: Hinduism and Modernity

Leicester Friends Event
Saturday, 1 March 2014 - 6:30pm to 9:00pm

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

In modern, secular society Hinduism is sometimes regarded as backward looking and the source of conflict and communalism. On this view, as scientific knowledge and technology develop, Hinduism will fade into the past and people will leave behind a superstitious phase of their development. Yet in spite of this assumption Hindu culture continues to exert force in the contemporary world.

Leicester Holi Yatra 2014

Leicester Friends Event
Sunday, 16 March 2014 (All day)

The word yatra usually refers to treks to holy cities – in India. In Leicester, however, the Friends of the OCHS take a different approach to this ancient religious practice.

On Sunday 16 March, the Friends will conduct their annual Holi Yatra. On the auspicious day of Holi, this sponsored walk will start at 8:30 am (registration starts at 8:00), taking participants on a 13 mile walk to visit the following 12 temples:

  • Jalaram Mandir (starting point)
  • Jain Centre
  • Hare Krishna temple
  • Shri Shirdi Sai Baba temple
  • Geeta Bhavan
  • Radhe Krishna Mandir
  • Hindu Mandir
  • Sanatan Mandir
  • Swaminarayan Mandir (BAPS)

Forthcoming title: Caitanya Vaisnava Philosophy

Sixteenth century scholar-saint Caitanya has inspired many a Krishna devotee over the years. His message made its way from east India, travelling around the world, and reaching millions. 

Dr. Ravi Gupta, alumnus of OCHS and Charles Redd Chair of Religious Studies at Utah State University, has compiled a volume on Caitanya’s Vaisnava tradition, titled Caitanya Vaisnava Philosophy: Tradition, Reason, and Devotion

Noted contributors include Joseph T. O’Connell, former OCHS academic director, and Kenneth Valpey and Kiyokazu Okita, OCHS alumni. 

It begins with an introduction by Professor

This term's Shivdasani Fellow: Prof. Sushil Mittal

The OCHS is pleased to welcome Prof. Sushil Mittal as this term's Shivdasani Visitng Fellow.

Prof. Mittal is a Professor of Religion in the Philosophy and Religion department at James Madison University in Virginia, USA.  A cultural anthropologist by training and education, he has previously held positions on the faculty of University of Florida in Gainesville and Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois. At JMU, he served as the Founding Director of the Mahatma Gandhi Center for Global Nonviolence, a post he held for five years, from 2005 to 2010.

Prof.

Bloomsbury Companion to Hindu Studies released today

In a field as varied as Hindu Studies the need for a comprehensive guide has become urgent. OCHS Fellow, Dr. Jessica Frazier, has risen to the occasion as Editor of the Bloomsbury Companion to Hindu Studies.

This research guide, contains a foreword by Professor Gavin Flood, OCHS Academic Director, as well as sections that cover topics of historical and contemporary interest.

Part I, the introduction, discusses new perspectives on Hinduism. Parts II and III, on reading paths and the history of Hindu studies, respectively. Part IV contains essays specially commissioned for this volume 

Ayurveda and the Hindu Philosophical Systems

Leicester Friends Event
Saturday, 11 January 2014 - 6:30pm to 9:00pm

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

Ayurveda is perhaps the oldest system of human medicine and looks at the human being in a holistic manner. What are the core principles of this system and how do they relate to the philosophical systems of thought in Hinduism? We look at Ayurveda and consider its place in these systems of thought.

Friends Event: Understanding the Perfect Hindu Scripture: An Exploration of the Bhagavad-gita

Birmingham Friends Event
Saturday, 18 January 2014 - 3:00pm to 5:00pm

A talk by Gopal Patel of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies

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 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.

Friends Event: Speaking of Shiva: eko hi rudro na dvitiyaya tashtuh

Birmingham Friends Event
Saturday, 7 December 2013 - 3:00pm to 5:00pm

A talk by Dr Nick Sutton of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies

Most Hindus will at various times in the year offer their devotion to Shiva but there is also a rich tradition, stretching back to the Vedas and Upanishads, which regards Shiva as the one Supreme Deity standing above all others, including even Vishnu and Krishna.  Over the centuries Shaivism has taken on a number of different forms and in this talk Nick Sutton will consider the nature of the Shaiva tradition, past and present, and the significance of Shiva for Hinduism today.

OCHS Publications – The Truth Within

What is truth? How does it relate to our understanding of the inner self? What role does religion play in this intersection between the two? Professor Gavin Flood, Academic Director of OCHS, explores these questions in his book The Truth Within: A History of Inwardness in Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism.  

Part I focuses on the history and texts pertaining to inwardness, and the role of religion in shaping one’s inner reality. In Part II, he analyses the theory and phenomenology of inwardness, and engages in a comparison of three world religions. Integral to the volume is the idea of an