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.

History
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.

Fellowship Recipients:
  • Alberta Ferrario 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.
  • Carlos Pomeda 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.
  • Alexandra Wenta 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.
  • Ernst Fuerlinger 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.
    See A Sacred Debate: A graduate student recounts his study experience in India .
Masters' Scholarship Recipients:
  • Nihar Purohit, 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.
  • Christopher Wallis, for his Masters of Philosophy in Classical Indian Religions at the University of Oxford. Wallis wrote his thesis on Saktipaata, and graduated with honors.
  • Mrinal Kaul, 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.