Buddhist Studies is an interdisciplinary discipline wherein students are taught about the social, historical, and cultural context of Buddhism in different parts of the world. The curriculum includes learning sources of Buddhism (such as Pali, Tibetan, Chinese, or Japanese) and the study of Buddhist ideas, texts, inscriptions, arts/artefacts, and values....
The story of Buddhism is all about a prince who transformed his thinking after getting hold of human suffering. It can be traced to India before the 6th century BCE. Bodh Gaya (in Bihar, India) is one of the most famous places of pilgrimage for Buddhist followers. It is believed that Siddhartha Gautama also known as Lord Buddha attained awakening sitting under a pipal tree, now known as the Bodhi tree in Bodh Gaya.
Buddhism is a practice that originated in India and is followed by millions of people across the globe. The beliefs and spiritual practices of Buddhism are inspired by the teachings of Lord Buddha and the term Buddha literally means ‘enlightened one’ or a ‘knower’. All traditions or beliefs are characterized by non-violence, tolerance of differences, and lack of dogma. It also puts an emphasis on the practice of meditation to gain insight, develop compassion and wisdom, enabling one to tap into his/her potential to realize the ultimate goal of enlightenment. So, Buddhism is more about practical implementation as compared to theory and the mentors need to experience it first and then master the practices.
The Study in India partner institutes offers Buddhist Studies courses in 2 levels namely- Diploma and Postgraduate. The choice of courses depends on students and eligibility set by different institutes.
A diploma degree in the Buddhist Studies discipline is a short-term course with a duration of 1 year and the students can pursue it after completing their 10+2 in any stream.
2) Post Graduate (PG)
A master’s degree in Buddhist Studies discipline is a full-time course with a duration of 1-2 years and the students can pursue it after completing their graduation in any stream.
Please note, the eligibility criteria are different across various institutes offering courses in Buddhist Studies. So, before applying students may confirm it through the Institute Search page.
Branches of Buddhist Studies:
The branches provided by the Study in India partner institutes under Buddhist discipline include:
The term ‘Pali’ translates to ‘a line, row or series’ in Sanskrit. It is the language in which scriptures of the Theravada school of Buddhism have been documented and passed on too. The study of Pali revolves around understanding its basics through vocabulary and grammar. In brief, students learn various aspects of the Pali language such as drama, poetry, fiction, literary history, etc.
Prakrit is the term used to denote a group of Middle Indo-Aryan languages that were used in India between the 3rd century BCE to the 8th century BCE. The study of Prakrit involves a basic understanding of various features of Prakrit dialects and the students are taught how to understand the original Prakrit text with the help of the appropriate tools such as grammar and dictionary.
After completing the degree in Buddhist Studies the students can go ahead with research in this field or choose to impart the learnings by joining any Buddhist missionary or institutes. Apart from these a few career options are mentioned below.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1) Why take up Buddhist Studies in India?
You should take up Buddhist Studies in India as it is the birthplace of Buddhism and has been a crucial part of India’s heritage. It is an interdisciplinary field that involves the study of Buddhist Economics and language sources of Buddhism (such as Pali, Sanskrit, Chinese, Tibetan, etc)
2) What is the eligibility criteria to take admission in a Buddhist Studies course?
The Study in India Programme provides Buddhist Studies at the postgraduate level (post-graduate diploma and M.A) only and the eligibility to take admission is the completion of an undergraduate degree. However, you are advised to check the specific eligibility criteria for different Buddhist Studies courses at the time of applying.
3) What is taught under a Master in Buddhist Studies?
Students opting for Masters in Buddhist Studies are taught about the historic, cultural and social elements of Buddhist texts and culture. Generally, the following subjects are taught under MA Buddhist Studies:
Pali language elementary courses
Introduction to early Buddhist philosophy and literature
Life and teachings of Buddha
History of Buddhism
Later History of Buddhism
Women in Buddhism
Buddhist Rites and Rituals, etc
4) What will a MA in Buddhist Studies prepare students for?
A post-graduate degree in Buddhist Studies prepares students to become practitioners/teachers/mentors or activists to work with Buddhist communities. Moreover, students may also choose to pursue PhD (doctoral degree) after completing their Masters in Buddhist Studies.
5) What are the career prospects after completing a degree in Buddhist Studies?
Some of the career prospects after completing a degree in Buddhist Studies:
Activist / Librarian
6) Why choose Buddhist Studies?
Buddhist Studies is not just about learning the theoretical part but it lets you explore the culture and practices of Buddhism. As a discipline, it promotes and teaches knowledge, empathy, self-discipline, love and compassion.
7) Can a student from any background pursue a course in Buddhist Studies?
Yes, any student who is interested in gaining deep knowledge about Buddhism can pursue a course in Buddhist Studies.
8) Who all can pursue a degree in Buddhist Studies?
All the students who wish to broaden their knowledge of Buddhism religion and want to get introduced to its academic approach can pursue a Buddhist Studies course. Moreover, students willing to explore a professional career in this field can also choose Buddhist Studies for their higher education.
9) Are there any short term or diploma courses available for Buddhist Studies? (To be checked once courses are added)
Yes, there are diploma courses available for Buddhist Studies.
10) What are the programme levels available in Buddhist Studies courses?
There are two programme levels available in Buddhist courses namely, Diploma (with a duration of one year) and Postgraduate (with a duration of one-two years).
11) Are there any branches/subjects under Buddhist Studies?
There are mainly two branches/subjects provided by Study in India partner institutes under Buddhist Studies, namely Pali and Prakrit.
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