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The Mahabharata: From Exile to Apocalypse

at Brooklyn Institute for Social Research - Online

(21)
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$315
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Description
Class Level: All levels
Age Requirements: 21 and older
Average Class Size: 14
Teacher: Bruce King

Flexible Reschedule Policy: This provider has flexible, free rescheduling for any-in person workshop. Please see the cancellation policy for more details

What you'll learn in this history lesson:

The Mahabharata is one of the great literary works of South Asian history. It narrates an epic story: the introduction to our supposed age, the Kali Yuga—one of downfall and decline, but also eventual rebirth. Preeminently a dialogic work, the Mahabharata remembers a past that requires constant re-narration, simultaneously defining and critiquing dharma—or “proper conduct.” These dialogues culminate famously in the Bhagavad Gita, the battlefield conversation between the hero Arjuna and his charioteer, who is “revealed” to be the great god Krishna. On the edge of battle Arjuna and Krishna argue some of the most delicate points of moral philosophy, theology, and cosmology, all revolving around the questions of the justness of waging inter-familial war, how to resolve personal duty and culpability, and the nature of the universe itself.  What does it mean to live well? Is there such a thing as a just war? How should we understand and respond to suffering? What hope is there for the world?

This course will focus upon gaining a sense of the narrative sweep of the whole, from exile to apocalypse, while also centering our reading and discussion upon a selection of key episodes, characters, and themes in the vast work: Yudhishthira’s dice game, Draupadi and the depiction of women and sexuality, the Bhagavad Gita and the relations between mortals and gods, Karna and the fate of the outsider, battle and purification, poetry as consolation, genealogy, and commemoration, and the possibilities for ethical life in calamitous times.


Remote Learning

This course is available for "remote" learning and will be available to anyone with access to an internet device with a microphone (this includes most models of computers, tablets). Classes will take place with a "Live" instructor at the date/times listed below.

Upon registration, the instructor will send along additional information about how to log-on and participate in the class.

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Refund Policy

Note: This provider has a temporary cancellation policy for COVID-19 related cancellations which is as follows:

We'll grant full course credit up to the start of the first class. After the first class we can offer 75% course credit; after the second 50%; and after the third 25%.

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Original cancellation policy (non-COVID-19):


Upon request, we will refund the entire cost of a class up until 1 week before its start date. Students who withdraw after that point but before the first class are entitled to a 75% refund. After the first class: 50%. After the second: 25%. No refunds will be given after the third class.

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Reviews of Classes at Brooklyn Institute for Social Research (21)

School: Brooklyn Institute for Social Research

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research

The Brooklyn Institute for Social Research was established in 2011 in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. Its mission is to extend liberal arts education and research far beyond the borders of the traditional university, supporting community education needs and opening up new possibilities for scholarship in the...

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