In this episode, we speak with Dr. Raj Balkaran about his early days of spiritual seeking in Toronto, discovering religious studies, the power of myth and narrative in Hindu traditions, his work on the Purāṇas, the Devī Māhātmya and Sūrya Māhātmya of the Mārkeṇḍeya Purāṇa, as well as a preview of his upcoming online course, YS 112 | Yoga and Hindu Mythology.
Raj Balkaran is a scholar of Hindu mythology and author of The Goddess and the King in Indian Myth (2018) and The Goddess and the Sun in Indian Myth (2020), both published as part of Routledge’s Hindu Studies Series. He holds advanced degrees in Hinduism from the University of Toronto and University of Calgary.
Alongside his academic training, Dr. Balkaran apprenticed with an Indian master for twelve years as part of a living oral tradition dedicated to the preservation and application of Hindu philosophy. He therefore brings hundreds of hours of traditional transmissions of yoga philosophy to the table, which he dovetails with academic rigor and captivating storytelling.
A seasoned online educator, Dr. Balkaran also teaches online courses privately and at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies. Beyond teaching and research, he enjoys a thriving life consulting practice and hosts the New Books in Hindu Studies Podcast.