Hindu epics Mahabharata and Ramayana will be taught in the upcoming Fall semester at Harvard University (HU), one of the world’s top and United States’ oldest institution of higher education established in 1636.
These great Sanskrit epics will be focus of the graduate level “Indian Religions Through Their Narrative Literatures: The Epics” class taught by Professor Anne E. Monius of Harvard Divinity School starting August 30.
Ramayana, a narrative poem of about 25,000 slokas beginning in BCE period is divided into seven kandas. Mahabharata, the longest poem ever written, contains around 100,000 verses beginning in BCE period, and is divided into eighteen parvan and Bhagavad-Gita forms part of it.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, commended Harvard University for highlighting Hindu heritage.
Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged major universities of the world; including Oxford, Stanford, Cambridge, Princeton, UC Berkeley, Yale, Columbia, Toronto, Tokyo, Melbourne, etc.; to frequently offer Hinduism focused classes, thus sharing rich philosophy-concepts-symbols-traditions of this oldest religion with the rest of the world. If they needed any assistance, he or other Hindu scholars would gladly help, Zed added.
HU, whose motto is Veritas (Latin for “truth”) and which has about 22,000 students, boasts of “48 Nobel Laureates, 32 heads of state, 48 Pulitzer Prize winners”. The Harvard Library—claimed to be the “largest academic library in the world”—includes about 20.4 million volumes. Drew Gilpin Faust is the HU President, while Scott A. Abell is President of its Board of Overseers. It was named after John Harvard, a Christian minister.
Hinduism, the third largest religion of the world, has about 1.1 billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal. There are about three million Hindus in USA.