Asian and Comparative Studies MA and PhD Programs
Sri Aurobindo stresses the fact that a sound and adequate philosophy should be based upon an integrated vision of the nature of existence. Such an integrated vision can be attained not through mere critical reflection upon the purity of fragmentary human experiences such as common sense, art, science, morality, religion, and the like, but by outgrowing all partial experiences through a total mobilization of the different resources of human personality. . . . Philosophy is not, therefore, a theory, but an activity.
— Haridas Chaudhuri, The Philosophy of Integralism
Institute founder Haridas Chaudhuri arrived in the United States at a time when the Global Village was still imminent; a visionary himself, he believed that education was the best vehicle for informing the new culture that would evolve. A philosopher and student of the 20th-century Indian spiritual master Sri Aurobindo, Dr. Chaudhuri ceaselessly promoted in teaching and writing the full integration of the human being—the intellect, emotions, personality, and spirit—to achieve the wholeness of which we are each capable.
The CIIS commitment to integral education, therefore, challenges students to deepen their own perspectives on the self and the world through inquiry, research, reflection, and experiential learning.
The Asian and Comparative Studies program’s unique mission attracts individuals from diverse backgrounds who pursue a curriculum of classical subjects offered, as well as engage fresh perspectives on spiritual philosophies and traditions.
Through advanced study of major Eastern religious and philosophical traditions, students encounter world traditions and cultivate an integrative understanding of the personal and the social, the intellectual and the spiritual, the historical and the contemporary. The program prepares students for life in the multicultural world in which we now live.