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Two-semester Course Indian Psychology
last update: 1 August 2015

Indian Psychology is an approach to psychology based on the consciousness-centred understanding of reality that originated in the Indian civilization. Its psychological insights, practical know-how and life-affirming spirituality can make valuable contributions to almost every aspect of modern psychology.

The Indian tradition is extremely complex, and different interpretations are possible. The present course is largely, but not exclusively, based on the work of Sri Aurobindo, who made an exceptionally comprehensive and integral synthesis of its psychological essence. His vision of an ongoing evolution of consciousness offers, moreover, an inspiring perspective for our individual and collective future.

Course objectives

The primary objective of this course is to provide the participants with a sufficient foundation to

  • help others with their learning of Indian Psychology.
  • Additionally, it should help participants to:
  • apply the basic principles of Indian Psychology for self-development;
  • apply the basic principles of Indian Psychology in psychology-related professional work;
  • develop further knowledge, experience and know-how in the field of Indian Psychology;
  • conduct research in Indian Psychology (together with other prerequisists for doing research).

Course content

The course consists of:

  1. A core curriculum consisting of
  2. Text-based courses covering texts like
    • the Rig Veda,
    • the major Upanishads,
    • the Bhagavad Gita,
    • Patanjali's Yogasutras,
    • selected other texts in Sanskrit and Pali (e.g. from Kashmiri Shaivism, Shankara and early Buddhism),
    • selected texts from Sri Aurobindo and the Mother;
    •      NB. For the Sanskrit texts, a working knowledge of Sanskrit is helpful but not essential.
  3. Short, intensive workshops on special areas like Ayurveda, Vipassana, and Qualitative Research;
  4. An individual project involving both theoretical study and inner work;
  5. Optional subjects like Hathayoga, classical and spoken Sanskrit.

Course structure and method of teaching/learning

The basic concepts and processes that are part of Indian Psychology are taken up in lectures and discussion groups that allow an intense, direct interaction between the facilitators and the participants. Information transfer is, however, only one aspect of the course. In Indian Psychology one has to begin with understanding one’s own self. For teaching Indian Psychology successfully one should have, moreover, at least some experiential knowledge of the concepts. Accordingly, self-work and maintaining a specially structured diary are important elements of the course. Participants are encouraged to explore, both collectively and individually, how the core concepts and processes that come up in the lectures can be taught and utilized for one’s personal growth and professional work.

During the course the participants are required to take up a research project in any area of Indian Psychology of their choice. These largely self-directed projects must involve besides literature study, detached self-observation and other yoga-based research methodologies. There will be opportunity to discuss and present the projects at several points during the course. At the end of the course, a project-report needs to be submitted. Conducting sample classes based on one's project or on any other subject of one's choice is also part of the programme. The best projects and model-classes will be published on the IPI website, and we will assist in getting the best of the best published as journal-article or book-chapter.

Dates, duration, and daily routine

The course is a full-time course, held in Puducherry.
It will be conducted over 2 x 16 = 32 weeks:

  • First semester: September 1 to December 18, 2015
  • Second semester: January 11 to April 30, 2016
A normal working day has two 75-minute sessions in the morning and two in the afternoon. Early morning and late afternoon are kept for optional classes and self-study. This routine will on occasion be interrupted for intensive workshops on specialised areas of study like Ayurveda, Vipassana, etc.


For lodging, there are basically two options:

  • Ashram related guesthouses. Ideal for short stays, perhaps less so for longer durations.
    Room-rents vary from Rs.150 to Rs.1000 per person per day.
  • Sharing an apartment with one or more other participants.
    It is relatively easy to rent an apartment in the vicinity of the venue, and for an 8-month stay this may well be the best solution. The rent for a two bedroom flat that could be used by 2-5 students should be somewhere between Rs.7000/- to Rs.15,000/- a month, depending on size, presence of furniture, location, etc. The cost per person will then depend on the level of comfort and privacy one looks for.
Though we will not be able to pay for your stay, we will help arranging it, and we're quite confident everybody will find a good place.


There is no tuition fee, but participants will have to take care of their own board and lodging during the course.
There is a nominal registration fee of Rs. 1001 (only for those who have been accepted).


This course is open to anyone who seriously wants to get an experience-based understanding of Indian approaches to psychology. However, preference will be given to academics and research scholars who intend to take up teaching or research in the field of Indian Psychology.

Registration closed

The following information was requested at the time of registration:

  1. Factual information
    • Name:
    • Gender:
    • Birthdate:
    • Educational qualifications:
    • Present position & place of work:
    • Preferred Postal Address:
    • Email address(es):
    • Telephone / Mobile:
    • Passport size photograph
  2. A 300-word “biographical note”
    • Focus here on the work you have already done in the fields of psychology, Indian philosophy and yoga.
  3. A 300-word “motivation note”
    • Focus here on
      • why you are interested in this course
      • what you expect from it, and
      • how you plan to use what you will learn after completing this course.
  4. Recommendations
    • Please give one or two recommendation letters, mentioning the name, position, contact details (phone/email) and relation to you of the person who is giving the recommendation.
    • We understand that obtaining a recommendation may take time, so you can send the rest of the application now, and add the recommendation-letter later.

Further information

For any further enquiry, please feel free to contact us at: mail@ipi.org.in


Please note that all the information given above is indicative only and open to change.