Instructor: Samani Unnata Pragya

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REL 3316 RVC Healing in Asian Religions

Fall 2012

Instructor: Samani Unnata Pragya

Phone: 305-348-2186

Office Hours: Online

Email: Please use Blackboard course messages only

Course Description

We may often ask: Why do we suffer? Why are we ill? How do we heal? In addressing these questions this course will analyze the healing panorama in Asian traditions, including the nature of illness, the multiplicity of causes and the diversity of healing techniques. We will examine the philosophical imperatives as well the practical applications of healing techniques in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Confucianism, and Daoism. Students will also reflect on the differences and similarities of concepts and techniques of healing that have arisen with geographical changes, even those as small as the distance from India to China. The course will also serve as an opportunity to analyze the role of healing in dissolving barriers between religion and secularity.

Course Objectives

Students will be able:

  • To obtain a broader idea of how various Asian traditions define health and ailment.

  • To explore the contribution of Asian traditions to the development of philosophy and practice of healing.

  • To apprehend the roles of body, mind and spirit in healing.

  • To learn the efficient and alive healing techniques of Asia.

  • To explore the beliefs and practices of mystical healing techniques.

Important Information

Please review the policies page as it contains essential information regarding guidelines relevant to all courses at FIU and additional information on the standards for acceptable netiquette important for online courses.


Course Prerequisites

There are no prerequisites for this course.


No textbook is required.

Reading material will be made available online in the course content. There could be more than one article for each lecture, please read all the study material & also listen to the lecture in the presentation. Also enjoy the Video clips

Expectations of this Course

This is a fully online course, meaning that all course work (100%) will be conducted online. Expectations for performance in fully online courses are the same as for traditional courses; in fact, fully online courses require a degree of self-motivation, self discipline, and technology skills that can make them more demanding for some students. Student engagement is a necessary condition for an effective learning experience, and includes contributions to debate and discussion, positive interactive learning with others, and an enthusiastic attitude towards inquiry. Everyone is expected to be a positive contributor to the class learning community, and students are expected to share the responsibility of teaching each other.

In an effort to provide online students with reliable and secure access to the online learning technology resources, FIU Online has standard maintenance periods to perform scheduled maintenance and system upgrades. FIU Online courses will be unavailable during the established maintenance schedule. System maintenance is performed weekly between the hours of 11:59 PM on Friday night through 5:00 AM on Saturday morning. Please do not submit any assignment during these hours. We thank you for your patience and we apologize in advance for any inconvenience that this may cause.
No extra work is accepted; you must master the assigned material.
Incompletes: Under university rules: Incompletes are only available to students who have completed the majority of work in the class. I will only give Incompletes when asked, and only when asked in advance of the end of classes, and incompletes granted will only extend until the next semester you enroll for courses (and, if you do not complete the work within two semesters your Incomplete will default to the letter grade ‘F’ under university rules).

Make-Up Policy: There are no automatic make-ups given in this course. All assignments are due as indicated. If some unforeseen emergency arises that prevents you from taking an exam or handing in an assignment, documentation must be provided (i.e., a summons for jury duty, letter on Physicians letterhead stating explicitly why student could not hand in assignment/take exam, etc). This documentation will be verified by contacting the appropriate individuals; be sure to include contact numbers. Once verified, a decision as to how to proceed will be made by the Professor

Course Details

Course Communication

Communication in this course will take place via messages

The message feature is a private, internal Blackboard only communication system. Users must log on to the blackboard system to send/receive/read messages. There are no notifications in Blackboard to inform users when a new message has been received; therefore, it is recommended that students check their messages routinely to ensure up-to-date communication.

Discussion Forums

Keep in mind that forum discussions are public, and care should be taken when determining what to post.

There are three discussion assignments in this course. Each discussion assignment should be a minimum of 300 words. After you post your initial response to the topic that you will be given, you must reply to at least 2 other students’ posts. The responses to your classmates’ posts should be approximately 50-100 words each. You may agree or disagree with what others have written, but you must provide evidence for any viewpoint you assume.

Your discussions will be evaluated based on:

  • Grammar and Punctuation

  • Clarity of Argument(s)

  • Understanding of the course materials

  • Support of your arguments (must refer to week’s readings, videos, etc.)

Quizzes & Exams

In order to mitigate any issues with your computer and online assessments, it is very important that you take the "Practice Quiz" from each computer you will be using to take your graded quizzes and exams. It is your responsibility to make sure your computer meets the minimum hardware requirements.

Quizzes are timed and open for one week. You will only have 10 minutes to complete each quiz.

You may take each quiz twice, though the questions will usually be different because they are selected randomly from a large database. The purpose of the second attempt is to allow students who may have been disconnected from the Internet during a quiz to submit a complete quiz. Disconnection does happen; plan to make your first attempt a serious one. If you know that you will be unable to take a quiz during a specific week, contact the instructor by Course Mail in advance, and the quiz may be opened so you may take it early.

You will not be given any reminders for the availability of each quiz. Please follow the course calendar.
IMPORTANT: Resetting quizzes after they have passed will require a serious and verifiable reason (death in the family, hospitalization, serious accident, etc.). It is the responsibility of students to keep up with the readings and take the quizzes on time.

Quiz answers will not be released to students for any quizzes.

Midterm (Exam 1) & Final Exam (Exam 2)

The Midterm (Exam 1) & Final (Exam 2) will be open for one week. You will have one hour and 20 minutes to complete the objective portions of each exam. If you know you will not be able to take them on the scheduled days, make arrangements to take them in advance of the scheduled days.

The exams will have both objective and essay parts, separately timed, with an hour for the essay. The midterm essay and the final essay should be each at least 700 words.

Term paper

Please refer to the end of your syllabus for instructions and requirements of the Term Paper.

***Late papers will not be accepted.

If a late paper is accepted, it will require a serious and verifiable reason (death in the family, hospitalization, serious accident, etc.); and, it must be turned in before final exams week.

Course Requirements Weight

Ten (10) Quizzes 20%

Midterm (Exam 1) 25%

Final Exam (Exam 2) 25%

Term paper 20%

Discussions (3) 10%

Total 100%

Grading Scale

A Above 93 B- 80 - 82 D+ 66 - 69

A- 90 - 92 C+ 76 - 79 D 63 - 65

B+ 86 - 89 C 73 - 75 D- 60 - 62

B 83 - 85 C- 70 - 72 F < 60

Course Calendar

Week 1 - The Sacred and the Profane

August 20

  • Intro to Healing Lecture

  • Sacred or Profane Lectures - Part 1 and Part 2

  • Reading: Mircea Eliade Readings - Intro and Chapter 1

  • Quiz 1

Week 2 - Hinduism and Indian Healing

August 27

  • Indian Healing - Sound Healing Lecture Part 1

  • Indian Healing - Prayer Healing Lecture Part 2

  • Indian Healing - Mantra Healing Lecture Part 3

  • Reading: Short History and Background on Hinduism (7 pgs)

  • Reading: Prayer and healing, A medical and scientific perspective (10pgs)

  • Video: David Icke - Sound Vibration Creates Form

  • Quiz 2

Week 3 - Hinduism and Indian Healing (continued)

September 3

  • Indian Healing - Yoga & Dance Lecture Part 4

  • Indian Healing - Pranayama & Tantra Lecture Part 5

  • Reading: Traditional Healing in India - Mrinal, Nihar, pgs. 75-94

  • Reading: Health & Medicine in the Living Tradition of Hinduism - Kakar, pgs. 111-126

  • Quiz 3

Week 4 - Ayurveda in Indian Religions

September 10

  • Video: Lecture on Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Ayurvedic Medicine

  • Reading: Hinduism & the Tradition of Ayurveda - Knipe, pgs. 89-107

  • Reading: Integrative Endeavor for Renaissance in Ayurveda

  • Reading: Indian Medicine

  • Quiz 4

Week 5 - Spirit Possession and Healing

September 17

  • Spirit Possession Lectures - Part 1 and 2

  • Reading: Healing Through the Spirits - Majumder (pgs. 167-207)

  • Video Link: CNN Report on Amma Link


  • Documentary: World’s Scariest Ghosts Caught on Tape-

  • Discussion #1 (initial post due Friday 11:59pm, 2 peer review posts due Sunday 11:59pm)

Week 6 - Buddhism and Healing

September 24

  • Buddhism and Healing Lectures - Part 1 and 2

  • Reading: Chinese Buddhist Traditions of Healing - Birnbaum (pgs.33-57)

  • Quiz 5

Week 7 - Tibetan Buddhism and Healing

October 1

  • Reading: Buddhist Medical History (pgs. 9-30)

  • Reading: Oracles of Ladahk (pgs. 59-74)

  • Film: The Knowledge of Healing (in 4 parts)

  • Discussion #2 (initial post due Friday 11:59pm, 2 peer review posts due Sunday 11:59pm)

Week 8 - Midterm week

October 8

Objective and Essay Portion

Available from Monday-Friday

Week 9 - Jainism and the Ascetic Lifestyle

October 15 (note that there is a quiz and discussion assignment due this week)

  • Jain Ascetic Life Style Lectures (Parts 1, 2, and 3)

  • Reading: The Case Against Meat by Jim Motavalli

  • Reading: Dundas, Paul – The Ascetics (pgs. 150-178)

  • Reading: Fundamentals of Jainism (pgs. 1-16)

  • Discussion #3 (initial post due Friday 11:59pm, 2 peer review posts due Sunday 11:59pm)

  • Quiz 6

Week 10 - Karma and Therapy

October 22

  • Karma and Therapy Lectures- Part 1 and 2

  • Reading: In the Vestibules of Karma - T.G. Kalghatgi

  • Reading: "The Levels of Human Existence" - Zaveri

  • Quiz 7

Week 11 - Preksha therapy

October 29

  • Preksha Meditation Lecture Part 1

  • Preksha Meditation - Anupreksha Lecture Part 2

  • Reading: Chakras and Endocrine Glands (pgs. 21-25)

  • Reading: Case Study - Therapeutic Thinking & Spiritual Healing - Zaveri (2 pgs)

  • Reading: Preksha Meditation, an introduction

  • Video: The Illuminated Chakras

  • Quiz 8

Week 12 - Daoism and Chinese Healing

November 5

  • Daoism Lectures Parts 1, 2, & 3

  • Reading: The Immortals, from the Taoist Body, - Girardot (pgs.160-182)

  • Reading: The Crucible & the Elixir (pgs. 67-120)

  • Quiz 9

Week 13 – Work on and review your Research Paper

November 12

This week should be used to finish writing and proofreading your Research Paper.

  • Research Paper Due Nov. 16th 11:59pm (located via Assignment Dropbox)

Week 14 – Daoism and Chinese Healing (continued)

November 19

  • Chinese Healing Lecture

  • Reading: Conditions, Ways, and Means of Healing in the Perspective of the Chinese Taoist- Florian C. Reiter

  • Reading: History of Chinese Alchemy - Pregadio (pgs. 203-223)

  • Film: Healing and the Mind, Mystery of Chi (in 6 parts)

  • Quiz 10

Week 15 – Thanksgiving Week Off

November 26
Week 16 – Finals Week

December 3

Objective and Essay Portion

Available from Monday-Friday

Research Paper Instructions

Topic: Select one healing tradition/ technique (only from Asian Countries).

Analyze the technique/tradition’s history and development in its country of origin and in the Diaspora (a place other than its origin).

Note: At least 40% of your paper should focus on the Diaspora-aspect of the healing tradition/technique.

Length and Formatting:

• MLA Format

• 7-8 pages, 2500 to 3000 words

• 12 pt font, Times New Roman

• Minimum: 10 references

Grading will be based on:

• Grammar and punctuation

• Style and coherency of ideas

• Content

• References used

Which sources are acceptable?

• Scholarly articles and academic books only – for further clarification please read:

• No Wikipedia references or non-academic websites

Recommended Academic Databases:


accessible via

Humanities Full Text and Humanities and Social Sciences Index Retrospective

accessible via


accessible via

ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials

accessible via

Navigating through FIU Library Research Tools

-Go to:

-Select Off Campus on the top right hand corner

-Log-in info:

-username is your email address without the “”

- your password is what you use to login to

-Under Research Tab, click Humanities, browse through the different categories and through the

different databases

Most articles have the full text available for download.

Use the Find@Fiu yellow button that appears for each article/source, in order to find the

full article through additional links.

If you cannot access the library via the Off Campus login page (,

please contact UTS 305 348 2284

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