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University of Creation Spirituality
Doctor of Ministry Degree/Certificate Program

August 2004 Intensive
August 2-6 2004 CA

Seminar: Hindu Mysticism and Spirituality - #60072

Instructor: Russill Paul

Faculty Bio: For the past decade, Russill Paul has taught in graduate spirituality programs and also presented his work at prominent educational institutions widely across North America and internationally. He presently teaches in the M.L.A. program at Naropa University Oakland and in the Doctor of Ministry program of the University of Creation Spirituality, also in Oakland, CA.  He is recognized nationwide as a forerunner in understanding and applying sonic mysticism from the Indian tradition of yoga.  A student of the Benedictine sage, the late Dom Bede Griffiths, Russill lived as a monk under his direction at a monastery in South India, studying Sanskrit, Indian Classical music and Indian spirituality in the vibrant temple cities of Tamilnadu.   A prolific recording artist, he has produced several acclaimed albums of yoga music and chant including The Yoga of Sound, a 3-CD audio program.  He is also the author of The Yoga of Sound: The Healing Power of Chant and Mantra.  For more information on The Yoga of Sound, please visit his website www.yogaofsound.org

Course Description:  

The Hindus are an ancient people who rank among the most spiritual of the world’s great civilizations.  A vibrant culture of spirit, Hinduism developed uninterruptedly over thousands of years despite numerous invasions and foreign occupation. Hinduism is amazingly complex, multileveled and immensely profound: it is a living ocean of spiritual power that has given birth to many great traditions such as Buddhism, Jaininsm, Sikhism, Shaivism, and Vaishnavism. Unfortunately, it is a tradition that has often been misunderstood and misinterpreted by its observers.  Our goal is to study and understand the breath and depth of this tradition and see how we can apply it to our lives in the West today.


This week we shall address some of the key teachings of Hindu spirituality with a special focus on Tantrism, Yoga and the Vedic culture of Brahmanism.

We will explore the Hindu mystical perspective by focusing on two of Hinduism’s most sacred texts: 1) The Bhagavat Gita and 2) A choice selection of The Upanisads, which a collection of mystical teachings that are a culmination of the Vedas. 

No proper study of Hinduism can be undertaken without taking into consideration its powerful use of sacred sound known as mantra shastra.   It is precisely this knowledge that provides the backbone for India’s fascinating philosophies, theologies and cosmologies.


Each day, we’ll use a combination of lecture, discussion and meditation on select scriptural passages to absorb the dominant theme of that day. 

Day 1:  An overview of Hinduism and its historical developmental over the past 3500 years.

Day 2:  The Brahminical tradition of the Vedas and the Upanisads.

Day 3:  Yoga and the Bhagavat Gita.

Day 4: The Tantric tradition as the heart of Hindu ritual observances.

Day 5:  Summarizing our study along with a discussion on what Hinduism offers the West today.

Required Reading:

1) Mitchell, Stephen – Bhagavat Gita: A New Translation. (Three Rivers Press,)

2) Mascaro, Juan – The Upanisads. (Penguin Books, 1965)

3) Huyler, Stephen – Meeting God: Elements of Hindu Devotion. (Yale University Press, 1999)

4) Paul, Russill - The Yoga of Sound: The Healing Power of Chant and Mantra.

(New World Library, 2003)

Suggested Readings:

1) Knipe, David – Hinduism, HarperSan Francisco, 1991

2) Griffiths, Bede – Cosmic Revelation: The Hindu Way to God, Templegate Publishing

Pre-Class Writing Assignment:          5 – 8 pages (double spaced)

How do you view Hinduism? Discuss at least 3 aspects of Hinduism that either intrigues or challenges you.

Post-Class Writing Assignment:        5 - 8 pages (double spaced)

Outline and develop at least 5 essential principles or teachings of Hinduism that you have absorbed and understood through this seminar.  Describe how you will apply this knowledge in your own spiritual journey from now onwards.

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