The K. J. Somaiya Centre for Buddhist Studies now offers a full time M. A. (Buddhist Studies)

The K. J. Somaiya Centre for Buddhist Studies now offers a full time M. A. (Buddhist Studies). A two year programme, it is based on the credit system introduced and implemented by the University of Mumbai.

A brief description of the course and some information about the institute is given below:
Buddhism has been India’s greatest gift to Asia and indeed, to the rest of the world. Over the last fifty years, Buddhist Studies has grown into a complex field, with historical, philosophical, linguistic, and socio-cultural aspects which are being studied independently as well as in comparative light. New materials came to light in the last century and have created the need for sustained research into this important chapter in human history.

The MA programme has been designed keeping in mind the advances made in this field. It will facilitate the creation of a strong resource base in the areas of history, philosophy and Buddhist literature as also in the allied fields of art and architecture. Language component of introducing , Elementary Pali ,Sanskrit , Buddhist ( Hybrid ) Sanskrit and Tibetan Language are introduced to give exposure to Buddhist teachings and literature preserved in those languages.. Modern developments, such as socially engaged Buddhism and the interaction of trade and religion have been incorporated, so that students of other disciplines may also participate and benefit from the specialized courses.

In addition, this programme underscores the students’ personal growth, as a result of the exposure to diverse perspectives, to ethical values and their application in responsible citizenship.

The core papers in the syllabus cover all the basic subjects that any student of MA (Buddhist Studies) would be expected to know. The electives have been drawn up in such that students can explore their particular interest, such as history, canonical language ,philosophy, literature, etc. Each semester will have four papers, two of which will be compulsory (core papers) and two will be electives. There are two sets of electives offered in each semester and the student will have to choose one from each group.
According to the rules of the University of Mumbai, this course is open to all students who have a Bachelors’ degree in the Humanities. Those from other disciplines are also eligible, after they have cleared an entrance test. Such students will be provided with study material to help them prepare for the test.

This course is of interest to two kinds of profiles – those who wish to pursue a career in academia and would use this base to then go on to do doctoral work and research as well as teach in this field. The scope for this is growing in India as students are becoming increasingly drawn to the interdisciplinary nature of this field and the extent to which Buddhism exercised an influence on Indian religious and philosophical traditions. Added to this is the fact that Buddhism across Asia presents an exciting challenge to those with a research-oriented disposition, as there is more than a thousand-year period of dissemination, with its attendant impact on art and culture.

This course will also be of interest to those who are seeking to continue education after retirement. Many such persons have enrolled into our Diploma and PG Diploma courses through the years and it contributes not just to a feeling of positive engagement but is also deeply fulfilling as they delve into areas they had interest in but did not have time to commit to.

The K. J. Somaiya Centre for Buddhist Studies is the only institution committed to research in Buddhism in western India. Inaugurated in 1993 by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, it has been at the forefront of bringing visibility to this field in Indian academia. Over the years, a number of research projects have been undertaken, often in collaboration with scholars from Southeast Asia, Europe and Japan. The institute hosts a biennial international conference which draws some of the best-known scholars in the field. The introduction of an MA (Buddhist Studies) in Mumbai University is yet another contribution by the institute, as the syllabus was developed by the faculty of the institute, with inputs from scholars all over India.  The institute is justifiably proud of this effort as the syllabus is one of the finest MA syllabi in this particular field.

For further information please call on 022-21024338 / 21022537 or send an email to
Link to PDF of syllabus