Diploma in Indian Wisdom Traditions

(This programme will be conducted in online mode.)

Programme details for Academic year 2024-25 will be updated soon

This programme has been specially curated for students who wish to read a text with a teacher, in sessions that draw upon commentarial materials as well as contextualise the text in Indian philosophical, social and historical context. The selection of texts is announced at the start of each year. 


In the academic year 2023-24, we offer students an opportunity to read any one  of the following texts:

1. Siddha-Hemaśabdānuśāsanam: A text of Saṃskṛta  and Prākṛta Grammar

2. The Yoga Upaniṣadas

3. Therigatha: The earliest collection of women’s poetry


The detailed information of the above texts is appended below in the curriculum.

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Key Information


Minimum HSC or equivalent examinaton. Knowledge of Sanskrit, Prakrit or Pali will be helpful but not essential


Participants will read the text with the teacher, discussing it in its historical and philosophical context, while also appreciating its aesthetic and linguistic features. Commentarial materials, which are an important traditional method for understanding, analysis and interpretation, will also be referred to, ensuring students have a comprehensive learning experience.

Programme Outcomes

At the end of successful completion of the course the student will develop an understanding of –
  • Close reading of a text from the rich collection of ancient Indian literature,
  • How meaning is extracted from language, the range of interpretations 
  • The various approaches through which a text can be studied and the findings thereof.


The programme offers a unique opportunity to read a text with a qualified teacher and understand its importance in the Indian 

religious and philosophical traditions.

The curriculum requires students to read, reflect and prepare for each class and therefore seeks their active involvement in seeking to draw out the meaning, at the overt as well as subtle levels.

Critical analysis, Interpretation, Hermeneutics

The K J Somaiya Institute of Dharma Studies has a library with over 30,000 books, which is an important resource.





Semester I Semester II
Siddha-Hemaśabdānuśāsanam - I  Siddha-Hemaśabdānuśāsanam - II 


Semester I Semester II
The Yoga Upaniṣads -10 Upaniṣads  The Yoga Upaniṣads -10 Upaniṣads  


Semester I Semester II
Therīgāthā - selected gāthas  Therīgāthā - selected gāthas  



About Texts

In the academic year 2023-24, we offer students an opportunity to read any one of the following texts:


1. Siddha-Hemaśabdānuśāsanam: A text of Saṃskṛta  and Prākṛta Grammar


The grammar book Siddha-Hemaśabdānuśāsanam was written by Hemacandrācārya in the 11th century. Of its eight chapters, the first seven deal with saṃskṛta grammar. The 8th chapter is dedicated to the Prākṛta Language and that is what will be the focus of study. Hemacandrācārya bases the grammar mainly on Mahārāṣṭrī  Prākṛta but also deals with Māgadhī, Paiśācī, Śaurasenī, and Apabhraṃśa. Even Ardhamāgadhī receives a place in his grammar. The text has sūtras organised according to noun, verb, conjugation, compound, etc., which facilitates methodical study of Prākṛta grammar.

The primary study of Prākṛta grammar as well as the reading and explanation of the sūtras will be done in this programme.


2. The Yoga Upaniṣadas:


The Yoga Upaniṣadas are a collection of twenty different Upaniṣadas. 108 Upaniṣadas are listed in the Muktikā Upaniṣada. 20 of these ancient texts, known as the Upaniṣadas, primarily focus on yoga.

The Yoga Upaniṣadas deal with the theory and practice of Yogic techniques, with varied emphasis on methodology and meditation, but with some shared ideas.

Yoga Upaniṣadas discuss different aspects and kinds of Yoga, including Āsana (posture), Prāṇāyāma  (breathwork), dhyāna (meditation), nāda (sound), tantra (kundalini anatomy), and more. Rāja Yoga, Laya Yoga, Mantra Yoga, and Haṭha  Yoga are discussed in detail. The techniques of Haṃsa Vidyā  and Brahma Vidyā are also outlined.

The following Yoga Upaniṣadas will be taught : Haṃsa Upaniṣada, Amṛta Biṃdu  Upaniṣada, Amṛta Nāda Upaniṣada, Kṣurikā  Upaniṣada, Tejo Biṃdu Upaniṣada, Nāda Biṃdu Upaniṣada, Dhyāna Biṃdu Upaniṣada, Brahma Vidyā Upaniṣada, Yoga Tattva Upaniṣada, Triśikhi Brāhmaṇa  Upaniṣada, Yoga Cūḍāmaṇi Upaniṣada, Maṃḍala Brāhmaṇa Upaniṣada, Advayatāraka Upaniṣada, śāṃḍilya   Upaniṣada, Yoga Śikha Upaniṣada, Pāśupata Brahma  Upaniṣada, Yoga kuṇḍali Upaniṣada, Darśana  Upaniṣada, Mahā Vākya Upaniṣada, Varāha Upaniṣada.


3. Therigatha: The earliest collection of women’s poetry


Therigatha is among the earliest compositions in Pali and part of canonical literature, attributed to senior bhikkhunis. These gathas are the earliest known collection of women's poetry, with an inspiring articulation of their struggle and spiritual attainments. Close reading of the text reveals not just the challenges encountered on the path but also provides a commentary on society of the time. Students will read these verses along with parallel narratives in the Theri Apadana, as well as narratives about Upasikas, (female lay disciples) and narratives from Buddhist Sanskrit literature.

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