Date of Award
Honors Thesis Number
My focus in the following project is to examine and understand questions regarding how humankind should act and what we ought to strive to know through the context of the ancient Indian tradition of yoga philosophy. My ultimate goal is to understand the experience and role of the teachers who have the duty to guide the majority of us along the path of life and to examine the process of proper action and duty. I will carry out this investigation in four parts. First, I will examine the origins of spiritual and ritual thought explained in the ancient works of the Vedas and the Upanisads, and then describe the origin, language, and system of yoga philosophy. Secondly, I will focus on the divisions of thought in the tradition of Vedanta and further examine the conceptions of reality, illusion, and the human condition according to the school of Advaita, or non-dual, Vedanta. The last two sections, which include expositions of the Bhagavad Gita and Sankara's interpretation of the Bhagayad Gita, focus on the proper paths of action and knowledge and guidance toward proper examples of how we should act and what we ought to strive to know.