About Bhakti Yoga and the Mythology
For many millennia, myth has been an integral aspect of humanity’s evolution. Humans created story and meaning out of the world around them, poeticising their relationship to it and their wonder around it. Images and artwork representing this reverence and deification of Nature have been excavated from the Harappan culture and civilization dating all the way back to 2600-1900 BCE. This civilization was as advanced as those in Egypt and Mesopotamia and are our starting point in learning about the deified world as seen through the eyes of early humanity.
The Vedic era followed the Harappan culture and this is where we begin to see more detail and specificity around the potency and characteristics of the deities. And the deities are, among many other things, a way to be in relationship with the subtlety of the world around us. So much has changed since this time, but the essence remains, that a deepening of our understanding into primal myth patterns enables a greater capacity for relationship to the subtleties of being human.
The Bhakti era arose out of the Vedic culture which is where our familiar Gods and Goddesses Viṣṇu, Śiva, Durgā, Sarasvatī, Gaṇeśa, and Hanumān arise, and these archetypes continue to hold sway over temple culture and religious Hindu practices in India.
This course is an introduction to the relevance of these myths and the development of personal relationships with the subtlety of Nature, whether or not you ultimately choose to revere a particular form from the Indian traditions.
About the Course
Spring 2021 - An Intro to Myth, Deity, and Devotional Practices
Pre-recorded: details HERE
Summer 2021 - Vedic and Nakṣatra Deities
Summer Session: Fridays, 6:00 - 7:00pm ET, July 30 - Sept 24
This course will approach the earlier elemental deities from the Vedas who set the tone for the deities that evolved into the Bhakti era. We’ll focus on Ādityas (heaven realm deities), Rudras (atmospheric realm deities), Vasus (earthly realm deities), and more.
There will also be some discussion on nakṣatras, or the lunar constellations, and the deities and myths associated with the stars. As well as more cultural and devotional background on how we can develop relationships with these subtle realities.
Alain Danielou: The Myths and Gods of India: The Classic Work on Hindu Polytheism
Radhe: The Divine Forces of the Lunar Nakshatras as Portrayed in the Vedas: mystical forms, ancient epithets and sacred mythology
Amar Chitra Katha: Gods and Goddesses: From the Epics and Mythology of India
Hart de Fouw and Robert Svoboda: Light on Life: An Introduction to the Astrology of India
Autumn 2021 - Rāmāyaṇa Storytelling Class
Allison will tell the stories from the Rāmāyaṇa! This epic story tells the tale of Rāma, an avatar of Lord Viṣṇu, born a prince, but thrust into exile due to jealousy on the day he was to become King of Ayodhya. Rāma travels the forest with his wife Sītā and his brother Lakṣmaṇa and has wild escapades slaying demons and meeting enlightened sages along the way. Sītā’s kidnapping by the 10-headed demon Rāvaṇa enables Rāma to meet the monkey God Hanumān who becomes the devoted friend and servant to Rāma’s new sole purpose which is to save Sītā.
William Buck: Rāmāyaṇa
Sanjay Patel: Rāmāyaṇa: Divine Loophole
Winter Session 2022 - Śrīmad Bhāgavatam Storytelling Class
Allison will tell stories from Śrīmad Bhāgavatam! This classic Indian epic ultimately traces the birth of Kṛṣṇa and all the karmic implications of his existence. Kṛṣṇa is an avatar of Lord Viṣṇu, descended to clean the material world of delusion. The stories are an absolute delight as the stage is set for his birth. His myth re-shapes the world away from ritual worship into a deeper more interactive relationship to caring for the land and people in your family and within your purview.
Kamala Subramaniam: Srimad Bhagavatam
Four Sessions, Nine Weeks each, One 60-minute class per week
$432 for all four sessions
- or $162 each session
- Lifetime access to the videos