Fellowships and Scholarships
The Muktabodha Indological Research Institute
has been actively encouraging the development of the next generation
of scholars of the Hindu Tantra in India and the West through
fellowship grants and scholarships.
Muktabodha's scholarship program began in 1998 by
sponsoring three US graduate students to study in
India under the guidance of internationally
recognized scholar Dr. B. N. Pandit, a traditional
expert on the philosophy of Kashmir Shaivism.
This well known senior traditional scholar
steeped in Indian methods of study and interpretation
worked rigorously on a daily basis with these dedicated
Western students. They were deeply impacted by his
engagement with Sanskrit as a living language,
and his penetrating insight into the text they
studied with him, Utpaladeva's Isvarpratyabhijna Karika.
A book was published based on their recorded lessons with
Dr. Pandit, and the students subsequently completed their
dissertations and are now sharing their knowledge through
their own teaching and writing.
Recognizing that such students play a key role in
defining the next generation of scholarship,
Muktabodha began offering three levels of scholarships.
Dissertation Research Fellowships in Hindu Tantra
This annual grant enabled outstanding Ph.D. candidates
to undertake field research in India in preparation for
writing their dissertations specifically on the Hindu Tantra.
International in scope, these grants have been awarded to
students from Russia, Austria, England and the United States.
These younger scholars have studied with various traditional
Indian pandits, as well as conducting their own research.
*Please note that Muktabodha is not currently
offering Dissertation Fellowship Grants.
Graduate Scholarship Program in India
This program began in 2003 to support
Masters' level students
of Kashmir Shaivism and Sanskrit in India.
International Masters' Scholarship in Hindu Tantra
This scholarship has been awarded from time to time
to help exceptional students complete their Masters
degree with leading scholars in the field.
for her project titled:
"The Descent of the Power of Grace (Saktipata)
in Tantric Saivism." Ferrario is a Ph.D. candidate
in Religious Studies (Hindu Studies)
at the University of Pennsylvania.
for his project titled:
"The Mahanayaprakasa and the Krama System."
Pomeda is a Ph.D. candidate in South Asian Studies
(Sanskrit) at the University of California, Berkeley.
for her project titled:
"Samvit Cakra the Wheel of Consciousness:
Dynamism of the Ultimate Principle in the Krama
System of Kashmir Shaivism." Wenta is a
Ph.D. candidate at Banaras Hindu University.
for textual research in Trika philosophy
towards his project:
"Sparsa/Touch towards a 'Spiritual
Hermeneutics' of Kashmir Shaivism." Fuerlinger
was a Ph.D. candidate in Religious Studies at the University of Vienna
when he received the fellowship and was subsequently awarded his degree in 2005.
Shaman Hatley for his project titled:
"The Cult of Yoginis in Early Tantric Shaivism."
Hatley was a Ph.D. candidate in Religious Studies
at the University of Pennsylvania
when he received the fellowship and was subsequently awarded his
degree in 2007.
Travis Smith for his project titled:
"Secrets of the Sacred City: Tantra in the Puranic Mahatmya
Literature on Varanasi." Smith was a Ph.D.
candidate at Columbia University when he received
the fellowship and was subsequently awarded his
degree in 2007.
Mark Elmore for his project titled:
"Picturing Death: Photographic Mediations of Death
and their Tantric Heritage", a study of visual
imagery in a classical Tantric text.
Elmore was a Ph.D candidate in religious studies
at the University of California at Santa Barbara
when he received the fellowship and was
subsequently awarded his degree in 2005.
Deven Patel for his project titled:
"Commentary and Consciousness: Studying Critical
Hindu Intellectual Traditions".
Patel was a Ph.D candidate in
South Asian Studies (Sanskrit)
at the University of California at Berkeley
when he received the fellowship and subsequently
was awarded his degree.
Maxim Voroshilov for his project titled:
"Paramarthasara as an Example of Medieval
Sanskrit Religious Literature."
Voroshilov is a post-graduate student in the
Faculty of Oriental Studies at St.
Petersburg State University, in St. Petersberg, Russia.
Alex Watson for his project titled:
"Ramakantha's Views on the Self."
Watson was a 5th year doctorate student at Balliol College,
the University of Oxford, United Kingdom
when he received the fellowship and
was subsequently awarded his degree.
Marcy Braverman, Jeffrey Lidke, and John Nemec
for a six-month research and study program with Dr. B. N.
Pandit (esteemed scholar of Kashmir Shaivism)
focused on Utpaladeva's Ishvarapratyabhijnakarika.
Braverman and Jeffrey Lidke subsequently
each earned their Ph.D at the University of California at Santa Barbara.
John Nemec completed his Ph.D in religion at the University of Pennsylvania.
A Sacred Debate: A graduate student recounts his study experience in India
Masters' Scholarship Recipients:
student of Dharmagama at Benaras Hindu University,
Varanasi, India. Purohit's scholarship
has also enabled him to take additional
private classes and read Sanskrit
texts with senior pandits living in Varanasi.
for his Masters of Philosophy in Classical Indian Religions
at the University of Oxford. Wallis wrote his
thesis on Saktipaata, and graduated with honors.
for his Master of Studies, Oriental Studies at the University of
Oxford. The focus of his studies is on Kashmir Saivism, the history
of the Tantric systems in Kashmir, and the science of
textual criticism in Sanskrit.