Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Aspects of the Classical Indian Psychology

Psychology is a social institution which incorporates many of the values and demands of its surrounding society. This course will explores the traditions of India that are concerned with the broadly termed concept of mental health and healing. The essence of so called Indian psychology (mano vidya), its principles, methods and aims will be disscused. Students should learn theoretical foundations of Indian psychology and how traditional Indian therapeutic efforts combine elements from classical Indian philosophy, religion, medicine (Ayurveda), aesthetics, astrology, alchemy, tantra, various mystical-spiritual Hindu and Buddhist practices. The aim of this course is to investigate the general speculation in Indian literature regarding the nature and levels of consciousness, states and functions of mind, emotions, abnormal perceptions, the theories on the nature of deams and the concept of unconsciousness. Special attention will be given to the relation between traditional psychology and religion, development of the main psychological concepts, typology of mental diseases, validity of yogic percepcion, importance of meditational practices. Also will be discussed how some of the modern Western psychologists (mainly psychoanalitical and humanistic schools) recognize and interpret the different sophistication of of ancient Indian psychology and incorporate various of its aspects into their theories and even clinical practises.
Reading list:
1. Singha J. Indian Psychology, Motilal Banarsidas, Delhi, 1986, Vol. I-III.
2. Bhattacharya D.C. Aspects of Indian Psychology, Narendrapur, W.B., 1988.
3. Ross Reat N. The Origins of Indian Psychology, Berkely, California, 1990.
4. Safaya R. Indian Psychology, Delhi, Munshiram Manoharlal, 1976.
5. Kakar S. The Inner World. A Psychoanalytical Study of Childhood and Society in India, Oxford University Press, 1981.
6. Kakar S. Shamans, Mystics and Doctors. A Psychological Inquiry into India and Its Healing Traditions, Oxford University Press, 1982.
7. Vigne J. The Indian Teaching Tradition. A Psychological and Spiritual Study, D.K.Publishers, Delhi, 1997.
8. Bepin Behari Myths and Symbols of Vedic Astrology, Passage Press, USA, 1990.
9. Coward H. Jung and Eastern Thought, Sri Sat Guru Publications, Delhi, 1991.