Indian Ethics and Values

This course covers a broad range of topics and instances from the Upanishads to texts such as the Arthshastra that offer guidelines on the role of ethics in the life of an Indian. The viewpoints and day to day actions of many individuals from India's past & present is also mentioned to highlight the actual practice of such traditional values.

Instructor: Michel Danino

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Suggested Time

3 days







Unit 1: Introduction

Indian Ideals & Happiness Quotient 27 min

This introductory chapter gives you a glimpse of the origins of ethics and values in Indian culture and how possibly it could be an indicator of the happiness present India as compared to the rest of the world. Also some of the widely practiced values riht from the Purusarthas to general ethics that have been inculcated in Indians through the puranas and other classics.
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Upanishad's Viewpoint 7 min

The philosophical viewpoint that the Upanshiads' present have been of great significance to various sects in Hinduism and give direction to individuals to lead a just and fulfilling life. This chapter mentions some of those teachings, which are mostly metaphorical, to delineate the idea further.
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Unit 2: Gita & Rama's teachings

Gita's Philosophy 5 min

The Bhagavad Gitas' influence has a large bearing on India's way of life due to the many exacting circumstances under which the events take place. Hence its relevance is heightened and the lessons learned have remained the bedrock of Indian pscyhe.
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Rama's advice 10 min

Rama's advice to King Bharata to help him rule his kingdom so as to serve his subjects rather than exploit them for his own gains. Here the urge to practice dharma is ominpresent and deemed to be above all in carrying out the king's duties.
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Unit 3: Buddhism's path & Infulential Texts

Eightfold path & Ashoka 7 min

The Buddha's path is a level that one should aspire to in order to achieve freedom or nirvana. King Ashoka after accepting Buddhism laid out his edicts which were never imposed but encouraged to be practiced among his subjects.
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Arthashastra, Kural & Subhashitas 16 min

This chapter enumerates lessons in ethics from some of the greatest literary texts ever written. The arthshashtra by Chanakya that spoke about politics, economics, duties of a king; Kural - the famous 5th CE classical Tamil poem comprising of 1330 couplets and Subhashitas which are sanskrit epigrammatic poems which offer truths or maxims.
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Unit 4: Testimonials & Contributions

Travellers & Scholars 5 min

Various merchants, scholars, writers through the ages have travelled to India and formed a deep bond with it. Their experiences are shared, which is objective and not corrupted with the need twist the narrative. Many Indian greats contributions are also mentioned, as was the tradition - hardly any take credit for the work they have done, much like how it was in the Vedic era.
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Ordinary Indian's Ethos 11 min

Many common folk have made a tremendous impact in everyday life and these are just a few glimpses of the bravery and selflessness that was driven by the values they had imbibed.
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