By Sundari Johansen April 23, 2014

The Asian and Comparative Studies Program at CIIS is proud to host renowned Tantra scholar Madhu Khanna at CIIS as the Bina & Haridas Chaudhuri Visiting Fellow from Thursday, April 24-Wednesday, April 30.

This week, each of her talks as well as her 1-unit weekend course will be unique, each offering a fresh opportunity to learn from one of the world’s best known scholars of Shakta (Goddess-focused) Tantrism, whose work primarily focuses on spirituality, gender, and ecology.

Madhu Khanna, PhD, is the Founder and Chairperson of Tantra Foundation in New Delhi, a center for traditional learning, creative arts, and self-evolution. She is Professor of Religious Studies and Director of Centre for the Study of Comparative Religion & Civilization at Jamia Millia Islamia University in New Delhi. She received her PhD in Religious/Indic Studies from Wolfson College, Oxford University in 1986. She was awarded the Homi Bhabha Fellowship in 1991-1993. She has authored several books and research papers in journals worldwide.

We have planned an extensive schedule of public events over the next few days, including a 1-unit course on Saturday and Sunday, which is still open for auditing!

Thursday, April 24

Reading Kali and the Tantric Way: What Would Kali Do? with Madhu Khanna, PhD

Room 207, 6:15-7:30 p.m.
Cost: FREE

Kali is one of the most popular and awe-inspiring deities of Shakta Tantra who figures prominently in the cultural life of Bengal and eastern India. From her official debut in the Devimahatmya (6h century) to her momentous rise in the Shakta Tantra, she has assumed countless guises. Sung by the poets, revered by the Tantrikas, invoked as symbol of nationalistic fervor, and shunned by Victorian prudes, she has been favored by many feminists as an embodiment of inclusive womanhood. This lecture examines the contrasting personifications of the goddess Kali and suggests what Kali may mean to the women of today.

Sponsored by the Integral Counseling Psychology (ICP) program

Friday, April 25

Weaving the Worlds: The gyno-centric cosmology of Shakta Tantra and its potential for eco-dharma today with Madhu Khanna, PhD

Namaste Hall, 7-9 p.m.
Cost: FREE

This lecture by renowned scholar Dr. Madhu Khanna explores the inter-relationships of some of the seminal concepts that have given Shakta Tantra its distinctive signature - namely, the gyno-centric cosmology based on the principle of cosmic bi-unity, its gendered world-view, the relationship between the divine and mortal women, and the micro-macro system of correspondences. The lecture will examine the great potential that these meta ideas hold for providing an Eco-dharma today when humanity enters a new era of self-renewal and ecological sustainability.  

Co-sponsored by Asian and Comparative Studies (ACS), Ecology, Spirituality and Religion (ESR), Philosophy, Cosmology & Consciousness (PCC) and Women's Spirituality (WSE)

Saturday, April 26 - Sunday, April 27:

PARA 6087: The Sri Yantra - Theory and Practice, with Madhu Khanna

Cultural Integration Fellowship, 2650 Fulton Street, San Francisco, CA
10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Cost for audit: $275 students/non-students, $140 alumni (plus $85 registration fee if you are not a current student)

This 1-unit course will present the thealogy/theology of the Sri Yantra, the logo of the California Institute of Integral Studies, and discuss its philosophical and religious significance. The course will include Sanskrit chanting of the names of Sri Lalita, of whom the Sri Yantra is the subtle form. The meditation methods used in the worship of Sri Yantra will also be elaborated, including student participation. This course will be taught by Dr. Madhu Khanna, a world-renowned Tantrism scholar and the 2014 Bina and Haridas Chaudhuri Visiting Fellow. Dr. Khanna is both a scholar and initiate of Sri Vidya, and her dissertation on the Sri Chakra puja is still considered one of the most authoritative and comprehensive scholarly works on the subject.   Off-site location: 2650 Fulton St., San Francisco.   This course is still open to auditors. Your special student registration form must be received and processed by the Registrar's office by Friday, April 25th.

We hope to see you at one of these events!

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