Frankly Answered Questions

What does Pragyata mean?

Pragyata is a Sanskrit noun and like many Sanskrit words, you cannot accurately translate it to English in a single word, unless you are a suspect colonial scholar working for The East India Company. It is the rough equivalent of wisdom, learning or intelligence and could also refer to the process of acquiring these increasingly diminishing attributes of the human race.

What is Pragyata about?

Pragyata is a portal dedicated to the daunting goal of reviving interest in the Indian systems of knowledge. It is a learning platform, hosting online courses (MOOCs) about India, its culture and its unique world view. It encourages genuine scholars and experts to share their insights about Indic knowledge with the world, thus providing an authentic, uncompromised and unbiased learning experience.

Who is a genuine scholar / teacher?

A genuine scholar is one who understands India and its culture as an insider as opposed to someone who has a Eurocentric view of the great knowledge traditions of this land. The hallmark of genuine teachers is respect for the teachings they impart, which does not imply a lack of critique and innovation. In other words, it is someone, regardless of ethnicity, who has spent many years studying and mastering a given aspect of Indian knowledge but who has no ideological axe to grind. By this definition, many non Indians would qualify as genuine teachers while a great number of Indians would fail to make the grade.

What kind of subjects can I learn about here?

Basically anything that has its origin in India. We have courses on all kinds of subjects ranging from Yoga to Music to Dance forms to Languages to Philosophy and more. Bollywood and Cricket are not part of the ‘more’.

Who are these courses for?

If you’re from India and find yourself wondering as to why you know Europe’s history better than your own, if you’ve read all of Shakespeare but can’t tell Tulsidas from Kalidas, if you’ve learnt to regard Sanskrit as a ‘dead’ language and Yoga as a primitive form of pumping iron, you can call yourself a thoroughly colonised Indian and you certainly need to take these courses. If the above description does not accurately fit you, you can still enrol in a course to acquire an Indian perspective on things that generally interest you.

If you’re not from India and want to know more about the Indian civilization / systems of knowledge, you’ve reached the right place. If you don’t even know that India is a country, buy an atlas, locate it on the world map and come back to know everything else about it. If you don’t know what an atlas is, you must be the colonized Indian described above.

Why would I want to learn about these topics?

India is the oldest living civilization on earth and has, for millennia, been a great source of knowledge, both spiritual and temporal, for the entire world. For followers of the Indian tradition, the knowledge is integral and complete, contributing to a world view that is spiritually enriching, intellectually robust and in harmony with the needs of the planet. It will help you discover new ways of thinking and expressing yourself creatively besides giving you access to the insights of the oldest living tradition in the world. If you’re not convinced, try one of our free courses and see for yourself.

Are the courses free or do I have to pay for enrolling?

Although it is said that nothing in life comes for free, many of our courses actually do, with no advertising strings attached. In the Indian tradition, the teacher is considered supreme. It is only natural that on Pragyata, the instructors have a free hand as far as fixing prices of courses is concerned. Some of them offer courses for free, others favour an open price model wherein students pay what they can / want and yet others ask for a fixed price for the knowledge they share.

How can I pay? What about refund?

The site is equipped to accept payments through credit cards / debit cards and net-banking mode. International cards are also accepted. Once enrolled, you are eligible for a full refund, if you feel that the course is not as per your expectations. Read more here.

How long does a course last?

Typically, a course has a few hours of video content in the form of lectures and demonstrations, supported by text sections that elaborate the key concepts discussed in the videos and also point to further suggested reading. Given the emphasis on practice or abhyasa in the Indian learning system, it takes a student months of dedicated practice to fully acquire the skills demonstrated or the concepts explained in a single video lesson. Depending on the complexity of the course and time that the student devotes to abhyasa, it should take an average student 3-12 months to complete one course.

Is help available for addressing my questions about the course content once I am enrolled?

Yes, you can discuss everything about the course with other students on the related discussion thread, with occasional participation by the instructor too. Also, some teachers entertain direct private questions from enrolled students. You can directly send the course instructor your questions by following the QnA link on the right side of your main course window.

I know of a brilliant teacher of Sanskrit, how can I help her reach interested students through Pragyata?

Please click here and tell us more about him/her. Alternatively, you can also send us a mail on with details of her expertise and her contact information, so that we can get in touch with her directly.

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