Elective Selection

Please note that electives are optional. However, to ensure group continuity, every student that opts to attend an elective is asked to commit to attend all the sessions of that elective and not to change between electives as the week progresses.

The Electives are as follows:

1. Experiencing with Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (Bhāgavata Purāṇa)

"He on whom I am going to bestow my grace, I slowly deprive him of all his wealth (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 10.88.8) ......(because) the Brahman is extremely subtle, nothing but consciousness, Truth and eternal (10.88.10)."

The elective will focus on only two verses from the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, with each session consisting of part study and penetration of the words, and part contemplation, in an attempt to experience deeper and subtler experiences of the Reality that is within one's very own being.

2. Laws of Manu

Laws of Manu

His Holiness Mahārāja Śrī Śāntānanda Sarasvatī and His Holiness Mahārāja Śrī Vāsudevānanda Sarasvatī have on several occasions made reference to the expression of “sanātana dharma”, the Eternal Law, in the Laws of Manu and its relevance to the world today. 

We will read what has been stated in the Conversations and study some of the corresponding passages from the Laws of Manu in Saṃskṛta (and English!).

3. Śaṅkara’s Commentaries

Śaṅkara's Approach and Method in his Commentaries

We will look at principles and techniques for the study of the commentaries of Ādi Śaṅkara, and move on to translation of the commentaries relevant to the week.

For greatest benefit, participants should have completed IGCSE or higher studies.

4. Vedic Mathematics

Vedic Mathematics

Some of the Vedic Mathematics' verses/sutras that have reached us will be considered and how each sutra reveals the knowledge of its methodology and efficient application.

5. Sound


There are many indications in the śruti and the words of the wise that indicate the power of sound to transform and transcend.

In verse 18 of “The Eternal Way” it is said that the sound of the words of the Upaniṣads has a power that surpasses all thought and that from these words alone comes direct realisation, just as one who is asleep is woken by sound.

His Holiness Mahārāja Śrī Śāntānanda Sarasvatī in the 1971 conversations reveals how pure words with pure sounds have the capacity to create puṇya, good essence. This is the substance through which laws are regulated and is in addition to the actual meaning of the words themselves.

This elective will explore the nature of sound, breath, listening and pure vowels, drawing on the words of His Holiness, Mr Maclaren, Marsilio Ficino and others.

6. Saṃskṛta Dictionary

How to use a Saṃskṛta Dictionary

This elective will give an overview of

  • the “Monier Williams Sanskrit/English Dictionary”, its structure, its ‘indicatory meta language’, etc.
  • how to select meanings of words in the texts being studied based on the type of word, context, etc..

A freely available online dictionary will be used.

If you would like to sign up for an elective, please make your selection below:

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