Vedic teachings combine a practical life-guidance with a comprehensive pursuit of higher consciousness, showing us how right living must be based upon a deeper sense of unity with the whole of existence. There are many Vedic texts and disciplines but all share this profound orientation.
Vedic Counseling is the ancient Vedic art and science of life guidance on all levels of our nature, body, mind and consciousness. It is common to all the Vedic arts and sciences – those inner ways of knowledge rooted in Vedic thought – including Yoga, Vedanta, Ayurveda, Vedic astrology, Vastu and Tantra.
Vedic counseling and Vedic instruction extends to all Vedic arts, musical, visual or literary, and the Vedic view of the social sciences and laws of dharmic living. Yet Vedic counseling relates to all aspects of human life for everyone, with transformational guidance relative to physical, psychological, social and spiritual well-being. Though rooted in a venerable ancient tradition, it is of crucial importance for the planetary age.
To put in modern terms, Vedic counseling is relevant to all forms of healing, creativity promotion, life-enhancement, and experiential spirituality. It provides in-depth guidance into how we as individuals can lead our lives in the optimal manner from our daily action and personal behavior to unfolding higher powers of thought and action, to the supreme Self-realization. In this regard, we can better describe Vedic counseling as a Vedic spiritual or yogic counseling, as it looks to the role of consciousness over that of body and mind.
Vedic counseling has a vast scope of connections and applications. Its value begins with the individual but extends to all fields of knowledge, art and spirituality, with applications for groups, businesses and communities of all types, up to the level of nations and the state of the planet. Its scope is as broad as life itself.
The American Institute of Vedic Studies Integral Vedic Counseling Course, is based upon the book, The Art and Science of Vedic Counseling (By Frawley and Kshirsagar, Lotus Press, 2016), but extends and links its material to our integral work in the Vedic field of yogic and Vedic knowledge
The course emphasizes an “integral” approach to Vedic counseling, providing the student with key insights in the main Vedic fields of Ayurveda, Yoga, Vedic astrology, Vastu and Vedanta, as well as a thorough background of Vedic philosophy, Vedic values, and a Vedic way of life. The course expands the information in the book to provide a clear foundation for a modern Vedic counseling discipline, emphasizing yogic and meditation principles and practices of Yoga and Vedic thought.
I. Vedic Counseling:
Nature, Meaning, Orientation and Goals
Vedic counseling is not just another form or branch of modern counseling to be added to so many others. Vedic counseling is not just another form of counseling, as it is usually known. It is the counseling aspect of Vedic philosophy and Vedic healing, which pervades all the Vedic arts and sciences, with a different oriented, larger literature and older tradition than modern counseling. Vedic counseling is the practical way of instruction for all Vedic teachings, which inherently aim at changing how we live, think and perceive the world. Vedic counseling is not an aspect of modern counseling but the approach of Vedic knowledge and the Vedic worldview.
This means that our Vedic counseling course is not meant to train you as a counselor in the ordinary sense of the term. For this there are specific counseling schools with their teachings, guidelines and definitions that can help you, if that is your interest. Modern counseling courses usually reflect specific aspects of life like relationship counseling, career counseling or family counseling from the standpoint of a modern largely western view of the world, as linked with modern disciplines of psychology, sociology and career guidance.
The goal of our course is to provide you with a Vedic view of counseling and life-guidance overall as part of a way of Self-realization in the yogic sense of the term of realizing the universal awareness at the course of our being. Our course is primarily oriented for those already active practicing or teaching in Vedic and related yogic fields.
We call our subject of study “Integral Vedic Counseling” as it is a broader approach than current professional counseling practices, based upon different values and part of a different subset of several different but related Vedic disciplines. Vedic counseling requires that we bring in Vedic teachings like Yoga, Ayurveda and Vedanta for a comprehensive learning model that can be very different from current counseling and psychology models. The course teaches you Vedic counseling according the foundational views and approaches behind the Vedic arts and sciences, including certain specific applications, and their orientation towards consciousness as the basis of all our potentials.
Background for the Course
The Integral Vedic Counselor course is an “advanced course” in the Vedic field. It functions best if the student already has a background in one or more of the main Vedic disciplines of Yoga (particularly Yoga philosophy), Vedanta, Ayurveda, and Jyotish or Vedic astrology, such as graduates of our other Vedic courses will possess. In this regard, this Vedic counseling course is not a “stand alone course” but a “link course” to bridge various Vedic studies and practices. If you have any doubts as to your possessing the appropriate background in these fields, please contact us by email accordingly.
Aim and Audience for Course
The Integral Vedic Counseling course is first of all aimed at existing practitioners and serious students of the main branches of Vedic sciences (Yoga, Vedanta, Ayurveda, Vedic Astrology, and Vastu). It is designed to help them in their study, practice, teaching and communication. We offer specific courses that teach Ayurveda, Yoga and Vedic astrology in detail, so that more detailed information will not be repeated here, though it is potentially useful and relevant.
The course emphasizes counseling principles and methods for those already at work in the Vedic field. This is particularly important, since many Vedic practitioners lack counseling training or skills and were not taught them as part of their course of regular studies. What we know, however valuable, may not be helpful if we do not know also how to communicate it properly, which requires understanding the individual nature of our clients and students.
The course can be used by those new to the Vedic sciences and the Vedic way of life, but will require more effort and learning more new terminology. It can be helpful for counselors in other fields but may require adaptation or additional studies, as well as their receptivity to the Vedic view of life.
Course Orientation and Information
Our Integral Vedic Counseling Course is not just a matter of imparting information or helpful techniques of working with people. It first aims at teaching and promoting certain values or a way of dharmic living and thinking or what could be called a “Vedic Life” staring with ourselves This implies character development, which is a matter of self-discipline, not simply imbibing information.
The course asks us to recognize the unique nature of each individual and does not give out en masse formulas to be applied mechanically. For this purpose of individual orientation, it employs a number of Vedic typologies based upon the three gunas, three doshas, five elements and nine planets to aid in this determination of individual nature. These are important to learn as part of the examination of the client and understanding of their issues.
The course directs us to a deeper study of Vedic ways of knowledge with the additional help of Vedic counseling recommendations. It helps us become a Vedic educator, counselor, coach, life-guide or mentor – depending upon the nomenclature that works best for you.
What Students Can Expect from the Course
Below we examine what students can gain from the course relative to their background or areas of study.
Students without any background in the Vedic Field
If you do not already have a good background in Vedic teachings, Yoga, Ayurveda, Vedanta or Vedic astrology, the course will provide you with additional information about Vedic Counseling and its main lines of application. You will receive an introduction to Ayurvedic psychology primarily and aspects of Yoga psychology, Vedantic philosophy, Vedic astrology and Vastu. You can then continue with further studies in these fields if you wish.
Students with a Background in the Vedic Field
Students with a background in the Vedic field will gain an understanding of how to orient their knowledge towards a counseling and educational model. Some of the concepts presented they may already know but the application will be different and better integrated into a counseling model.
Students of Ayurveda
The course will provide special teachings on Vedic Counseling, more detail on Ayurvedic Psychology, and helpful information on Yoga, Vedic Astrology and Vastu, which will be good for you to know in examining the life and mind of your clients. You will have a better understanding of how to communicate with your client and encourage them in their Ayurvedic behavioral modifications and Vedic values. Some of the Ayurvedic material presented may be familiar to you but the orientation will be different.
Students of Vedic Astrology
The course will provide you with special teachings on Vedic Counseling, more detail on Counseling in Vedic Astrology, and helpful information on Yoga, Vedic Astrology and Vastu that is good for you to know as a Vedic counselor. Vedic astrologers often do not have good counseling skills and think that imparting information and making predictions is enough. This course will teach you how through better communication and rapport you can be of greater help to others and not unduly disturb them with recognizing astrological difficulties such as we all have. Some of the Vedic astrology material presented in the course will be familiar to you but the orientation and application will be different.
Students of Yoga and Vedanta
The course will provide you with special teachings on Vedic Counseling, with more detail on counseling as relevant to teaching Yoga on various levels, and helpful information on Vedic Astrology and Vastu that is good for you to know as a Vedic counselor. It presents Yoga according to its deeper philosophy and psychology of Vedanta as a way of Self-knowledge and Self-realization, which few Yoga teachers have truly studied or understand.
By combining Yoga with Vedanta and Ayurvedic psychology for understanding the mind and psychological issues, you can take your Yoga teaching and Yoga therapy to a much higher level than the asana approach that dominates Yoga practice today. You will gain insight into Raja Yoga and its attitudinal changes as compared with the physical changes emphasized in Hatha Yoga.
The Integral Vedic counseling approach is particularly helpful for meditation teachers, particularly those who follow a Vedic or yogic approach and use mantras, especially seed mantras, as one of their primary tools. It will help you add a full counseling approach to your teaching of meditation, helping in psychological well-being and spiritual growth. Its teaching of Yoga and Vedanta is also relevant here, as these form the Vedic philosophy of meditation.
Vedic Educators and Priests
The course is relevant to Vedic teachers and priests of all types, who perform rituals and impart guidance at temples or to Hindu communities and other interested groups. It will provide them many new teaching skills and approaches, a new modern language of imparting traditional knowledge, particularly relevant for people in the West who look to Vedic practices for their healing and karmic improvement.
II. Facts about the Course and Format
Dr. David Frawley (Pandit Vamadeva Shastri) D.Litt is one of the most respected Vedic educators worldwide. He is the only western Vedic teacher to have received the prestigious Padma Bhushan award, the third highest civilian award from the President of India, for his work as a Vedic teacher. He was one of the first individuals to receive a prestigious doctor of letters, from SVYASA (Swami Vivekananda Yoganusandhana Samsthana), the only deemed Yoga university in India, for his wide breadth of knowledge and writing in the Vedic field. He also gained a special National Eminence Award from the South Indian Education Society (SIES) under the auspices of the famous Kanchi Shankaracharya Math, one of the main sites of traditional learning in India.
Dr. Frawley is the author of fifty books published in twenty languages worldwide over the last thirty years. He has direct experience teaching and guiding individuals, groups and organizations in the different fields of Yoga, Vedanta, Ayurveda, and Vedic astrology, and has written extensively on all the topics. He has been part of important Vedic educational institutes and projects worldwide, including at a national level in India.
Books Used for the Course
The course contains as part of its text material, the book, the Art and Science of Vedic Counseling, by Frawley and Kshirsagar. Yet it presents a widely expanded version of the book, along with special study questions and exercises, including many new lessons on topics not contained in the book. This extends to over eight hundred pages of course material.
The course complements our other books and courses on Ayurvedic medicine, Vedic astrology and Yoga, some of which we are recommended reading for the course. The course has recommended reading in other published books for those who wish to go indepth into the aspects taught, or for those who may need some additional help with the terminology. Such reading is not required for answering the course tests but has its value for those who truly want to understand the field of Vedic knowledge.
Main Recommended Books by Dr. Frawley
For those of you interested in additional studies in the Vedic field, either with or beyond the course, we mainly recommend the books of the course author, Dr. David Frawley, who has a number of relevant titles. Dr. Frawley’s books are published by Lotus Press and available in both print and kindle editions. Kindle editions are also convenient for those who live outside the USA, as overseas book shipments can be expensive. Yet none of these books are required for the course, which is self-contained. They are for additional study.
Ayurveda and the Mind: the Healing of Consciousness
Yoga and Ayurveda: Self-healing and Self-realization
Astrology of the Seers: A Comprehensive Guide to Vedic/Hindu Astrology
Ayurvedic Astrology: Self-healing through the Stars
Yoga and Vedanta
Inner Tantric Yoga
Mantra Yoga and Primal Sound
Yoga for Your Type: An Ayurvedic Guide to Your Asana Practice (with Kozak)
Vedantic Meditation: Lighting the Flame of Awareness
Other Helpful Books by Dr. Frawley and Yogini Shambhavi
These following books are not part of this course but are used in our other courses and can be relevant. Ayurvedic Healing is particularly relevant for those who do not have any background in Ayurveda and want to understand the Ayurvedic treatment of common diseases. Yoga of Herbs is a helpful material medica for more information on the herbs recommended in the course.
Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine (With Lad)
Ayurvedic Healing: A Comprehensive Guide
Ayurveda and Marma Therapy (with Ranade and Lele)
Soma in Yoga and Ayurveda: The Power of Rejuvenation
Yogini Shambhavi’s books are particularly important for women’s issues and Shakti Sadhana. Her chanting CDs, Yogini Bhava and Jyotir Bhava are also helpful for the mantras discussed in the course.
Yogini: Unfolding the Goddess Within, by Shambhavi Chopra
Yogic Secrets of the Dark Goddess, by Shambhavi Chopra
Sanskrit Terminology, Mantra and Pronunciation
There are a number of Sanskrit terms in the course, as well as some lessons relative to the use of mantras. In the Appendices we have included a Glossary of Terms and a Sanskrit Pronunciation Guide. Some of our audios will address the subject of mantra and Yogini Shambhavi Chopra’s mantra CDs will also help here as well as some mantra audios by Vamadeva.
Audios and Videos for the Course
The Audio Portion of the Course consists of over twenty audios, some on general course topics, others on special topics within the course.
In additions are half a dozen videos on general topics of the course. We are adding more audios and videos over time.
Course Format and Testing
The course consists of a series of lessons divided into five sections, each with various study exercises and study questions for you to complete on your own to show you that you have understood the course material. Lessons vary in length and difficulty, with the more challenging lessons more common later in the course.
There are five section final tests that you must return to us by email for course credit.
These are longer tests consisting of around fifty questions each.
As the course is open book, we expect you to get all test answers correct. If you miss more than a few we will direct you to redo the questions involved.
Try to use your own words and not just cut and paste the course material in answering the course tests.
You can go do the lessons and tests at your own pace.
You will have up to three years to finish the course, after which a reinstatement fee will be required.
As the course is new, it is still undergoing development and will be expanded slowly over time. If you discover any errors or typos in the course material, or passages that are hard to understand, do let us know so that we can improve the course accordingly.
The course grants credit in “Integral Vedic Counseling: Foundation Course”, and 300 hours of credit with us. This can be added to any previous certifications with us in terms of Yoga and Ayurveda, Ayurveda, or Vedic Astrology. It grants you special study recognition and credentials as students of Dr. Frawley (Vamadeva).
Note that our course is not certifying you as a modern counselor in the western sense of the term – or validating that you have equivalence in education, training and background with the modern counseling profession today. Vedic counseling has a different orientation, and while crossing over to some degree with other counseling disciplines, has its primary affinity with other Vedic disciplines like Yoga and Ayurveda.
This certification is for a “foundation” course, not a complete training. Foundation courses are more than introductions, but should not be confused with a full training in the field.
Please note that Vedic counseling has no separate set of credentials of its own in modern western society, though Yoga and Vedic teachers have long shared their guidance at both individual and collective levels worldwide. Like the new field of Vedic management or the practice of Yoga, which also so far have no legal licensing, Vedic counseling has own field of expertise and is not a mere subset of modern counseling.
Your certification in this foundation course should be combined with further study and training in the different Vedic fields. You may add to it your specialization in Vedic practices like Yoga, Ayurveda, Vedic astrology or Vastu, or take an integral approach using aspects of all the main Vedic sciences.
Our course promotes an integral approach overall, but gives most important to Ayurveda and Yoga psychology, as counseling mainly works at the level of the mind. But even specialists in one Vedic field or another need to know something of the other Vedic disciplines, as well as key aspects of counseling such as the course provides.
This American Institute of Vedic Studies Integral Vedic Counseling foundation course is not meant to provide for the treatment of any diseases, nor meant to serve as a substitute for any medical treatment or advise on any type. It does not provide any medical diagnosis or claim to cure disease on any level, physical or psychological. Its information should not be used to cease any other medical treatments. It does not certify anyone as a licensed medical practitioner, or empower him or her to treat diseases as a licensed practitioner. The course information is for life-guidance and wellness suggestions in the Vedic and yogic field.
Vedic Counseling is not meant to substitute for any medical treatment or override the advice any other counseling field. If you wish to practice Vedic counseling, remember that this is only a foundation course and requires additional study and training, as well as specialization in the Vedic field.
Please remember to exercise caution in how you may guide others as any responsibility and liability belongs to you, adequately considering the existing regulations in the area, state or country where you live. We must remember that other people may not share Vedic values and may not have a proper orientation to benefit from Vedic Counseling. Please make sure that clients are aware of the Vedic background of what you do. If you have any other questions or concerns about the course, always feel free to email us. – email@example.com.
III. Greater Connections
In the following section we introduce additional resources and learning opportunities to supplement the course or by way of follow-up.
Consultations, Retreats and Programs with Us
Those looking for Vedic astrology consultations can schedule these with Yogini Shambhavi Chopra, Shambhavi.firstname.lastname@example.org. Shambhavi provides an excellent approach to Vedic counseling through Vedic astrology.
We conduct regular retreats and programs in the US, Europe and India, for those who are seeking a more personal interaction. These will be listed on our website home page and in our itinerary section at www.vedanet.com.
In addition, we have affiliated groups and associations in different countries, which can provide additional training in different Vedic fields. These can be found on the Resources section of our website.
Note our website at www.vedanet for additional information, resources, on-line books and articles and lists of publications.
We also have active Facebook and Twitter accounts, though these cover our other topics, courses and publications as well, and are not limited to or centered on Vedic counseling.
For advanced study you may consider more in-depth programs on any of the Vedic Sciences, if you have not studied these, including Yoga, Ayurveda, Vedic Astrology and Vastu. Note our courses in these fields. You might also want to take consultations with various practitioners in these fields.
Dr. Frawley takes on a few private students. You can contact us if you are interested in this option. Generally this is limited to those who already have studied, practiced or taught the Vedic teachings for a number of years. It usually requires that you attend some of our retreats as well
Om Sri Veda Purushaya Namah!
Om Sri Gurubhyoh Namah!
Reverence to the Self of the Vedas!
Reverence to the Great Vedic Gurus!