The Upanishads are among the earliest wisdom literature of the world and form the foundation of Hindu philosophy. Composed in the main part from about the 8th c. B.C.E. to the 2nd c. B.C.E., they are the earliest explicit teachings of yoga expressed in a language that is extremely fertile and lends itself to many interpretations and approaches of practice. Since the 8th c. C.E. the principal Upanishads have been variously interpreted to form the various schools of Vedantic non-dualist philosophy (darshan) such as exclusive non-dualism, qualified non-dualism, dualistic non-dualism and unthinkable non-dualism-in-dualism. Interpretations of the Upanishads continue into modern times.
The 20th c. yogi and philosopher Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950) founded a school of yoga which he called Integral Yoga. This has a Vedantic basis which has been called Integral Non-dualism. In these talks and workshops, the wisdom of the Upanishads will be discussed in the light of integral nondualism with a focus on some of the principal Upanishads such as the Isha, the Kena and the Katha Upanishads.
Offered as 3 workshops and 3 satsangs (subject to change).
Debashish Banerji, Ph.D., is the Haridas Chaudhuri Professor of Indian Philosophies and
Cultures and the Doshi Professor of Asian Art at the California Institute of Integral Studies
(CIIS), San Francisco. From 1991-2006 he served as the President of the East-West Cultural
Center in Los Angeles, an institution that introduced Indian philosophy and culture, including the work of Sri Aurobindo from a scholarly perspective, to American audiences.
He has authored and edited several books on major figures of “the Bengal Renaissance,” as well as on Critical Post-Humanism, Integral Yoga Psychology, and a variety of creative and art-related projects. His most recent books are Meditations on the Isha Upanishad: Tracing the Philosophical Vision of Sri Aurobindo (Sri Aurobindo Samity and Maha Bodhi Publishers, 2019) and Integral Yoga Psychology: Metaphysics and Transformation as Taught by Sri Aurobindo (Lotus Press, 2020).
June 22: Evening Satsang – Introduction to the Upanishads
June 23: Noon Workshop – Isha Upanishad and Evening Satsang – Contemplative Themes from the Upanishads I
June 24: Noon Workshop – Kena Upanishad and Evening Satsang – Contemplative Themes from the Upanishads II
June 25: Afternoon Satsang – Katha Upanishad
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