The module covers the following topics: Introduction to the Bhagavata Purana: Its antiquity, authorship, structure in terms of its twelve books (cantos), and status within Hindu tradition. Narrative and contents: A detailed examination of the narrative structure and contents of the Bhagavata Purana. The Theology and Philosophy of the Bhagavata Purana: A consideration of Samkhya, Yoga, Vedanta, Bhakti and the role of the Bhagavata Purana in shaping Vaisnava theology and practice. Stories of Creation in the Bhagavata Purana and Brahma's prayers for creative energy. Looking at the Bhagavata Purana's teaching on avatar, stories of avatars, and the status of Krishna and Vishnu. Devotional Role Models 1: Readings from the life and teachings of Prahlad in book 7. Devotional Role Models 2: Reading from the lives and teachings of Dhruva, Gajendra, Kuntidevi, Ajamila, and Bali Maharaja. A consideration of the gender roles in the Bhagavata Purana. Sages and Kings in the Bhagavata Purana: Looking at the pedagogical, sociological and political roles of the main sages and Kings in the Bhagavata Purana (Narada, Vidura, Kapila, Suta, Maitreya, Durvasa, Markandeya, Avaduta brahmana, Prithu, Ambarisha, Chitraketu, Pariksit etc.). Siva in the Bhagavata Purana: A consideration of the stories and status of Siva in the Bhagavata Purana. Krishna in the Bhagavata Purana (1): Looking at Krishna's birth and childhood in Gokul-Vrindavan as described in book 10. Krishna in the Bhagavata Purana (2): Readings from Krishna's Gopi-lila in book 10 in the light of their religious significance to the Vaisnava tradition.
- Teacher: Kenneth Valpey