Indian Psychology - Core & Context

Indian psychology has a consciousness driven approach that emphasizes on the first person perspective. It's practical outlook promotes self understanding instead of an outsider looking in to provide a panacea for the masses. Hence this subjectiveness which is essentially derived from the yoga school of thought encourages the reflection of one's consciousness in our actions for the ultimate aim to achieve moksha.

Instructor: NPTEL

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Suggested Time

1 weeks







Unit 1: Introduction

Mainstream & Indian Psychology 8 min

Mainstream Psychology which is in effect western, has an anthropocentric worldview which sees the world as an object, only meant for human exploitation and benefit. This disengagement from nature as well as culture is at odds with the Indian worldview which focusses on the environment, takes the middle path instead of the dialectic one and is inherently gets organized based on relationships.
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Indian Psychology & Thought Systems 18 min

The Indian world view due to its belief in the oneness of the cosmos has a collective outlook while the west has a decisively individualistic one. Everything is context driven depending upon the time, place and situation. It is a meta theory that has global appeal where knowledge is attained for the purpose of liberation from ignorance by letting go of the ego. The psychological systems were developed from both the astik and nastik schools of philosophy as well as smritis. A person is the embodiment of Consciousness that includes body, mind and atman. The indian system recognizes that humans have different layers to their existence, not just the physical, and represents this in the 5 koshas.
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Unit 2: Human Nature

Person, Mind & Ego 13 min

The essential elements which constitute a person's nature are sattva, rajas and tamas which determines his behaviour. The mind works in conjunction with the body and our consciousness. The desire to let go of ignorance lies in overcoming one's ego which leads to continous frustration in life.
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Self Realization & Human Action 14 min

Yoga lies at the heart of self realization where the ego is deconstructed and the person is able to achieve higher states of consciousness. Bhakti, Jnana and Karma are the paths through which one can objectively percieve the truth which is a blissful state, free from ignorance.
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Unit 3: Knowledge & Yoga

Knowledge Realms 9 min

Knowledge is discerned by humans through either the senses, the mind or through intuition which is by self realization. These are further divided and there are in all 6 methods in the Indian knowledge systems through which knowledge is recognized.
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Yoga as a tool 13 min

Yoga has been a part of Indian consciousness for millenia whose influence is now clearly visible on the rest of the world. It is a philosophy as well as a theory of the mind whose ultimate aim is to help humans become detached. The mind's functioning is dependent on the manas, buddhi and ahamkara which it refers to before making a decision.
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