My Gurukul Experience

‘India doesn’t teach you what you want to learn 
but it teaches you what you need to learn’ 

Gurukuls have a very unique system where student gets knowledge by residing with the teacher. The main objectives are self control, development of character, social awareness, integral development of personality, propagation of purity and preservation of knowledge and culture. The system had slowly become obsolete in the past few centuries due to foreign rulers. But off late several spiritual leaders have started reviving this system of education and I was fortunate to see one at Sri Sri Ravishankar’s ashram in Kanakpura, Bangalore.

The Veda Agama Samskrutha Maha Patashala, the Heritage school is a dedicated school in Vedic and Agamic studies. The institute offers both Vedic shastra (knowledge) and Agama shastra. Vedic Shastra deals with imparting of knowledge of Vedas (ancient Indian scriptures) its in-depth spiritual meaning. They learn the three types of Veda: Rig, Yajur and Sama Veda. The Agama Shastra is the scientific study of conducting poojas, homas and other vedic practices. Students after gaining this knowledge of Agama Shastra return to their villages and become temple pujaris. Some of them get appointed in temples outside their villages where there is shortage of pujaris. In addition to this they are also taught modern science and languages.

One of the gurus there explained: these studies have a profound effect on the environment. They create vibrations of peace, joy and brotherhood. Beyond the spiritual depth that Vedas and Agamas bring, they are also poetic, scientific and social treasures to be cherished by all. Students reside in the school for a period of 5 years during which they are trained in how to conduct temple rituals: pujas, abhishekas and other rituals. The students learn the Dravidian Style of Vedic chanting. The course syllabus also includes study of the Veda, Agama, Sanskrit language, Astrology, Yoga, music, Sculpture, Epics and Shaivic scriptures from the Dravidian tradition.

The age group for the Veda school is 11-14 years. There is no particular criteria for selection of students. Children from any caste can join the course. They sit on floor to study and each student has a table kind of furniture which doubles up as storage place for books. Their complete education and stay is taken care of by the ashram authorities. I was curious to know besides studies how they engage themselves in spare time. There is lot of recreation activities I was told including TV time. The children are given training in practical modern subjects including working with computers. Later I saw them playing cricket.

If you ever plan to be there to witness activities in Gurukul, I will strongly recommend that you be there during the nine nights of the Navaratri festival, when thousands of people meditate as the children chant for the pujas and yagnas in a synchronized and rhythmic manner. Every aspect of their learning and practice is directed towards universal peace and prosperity through the elevation of universal consciousness!

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Sri Sri Ayurveda Centre, Bangalore
My Stay at Shangrilas' Rasa Ria Resort, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

26 Responses to “My Gurukul Experience

  • What a wonderful place for young ones! We could surely use something like it here in the states! Thanks, as always, for sharing, Indrani!

  • Amazing that such gurukuls still exist. Lovely pictures, thanks for sharing In! 🙂

  • Thanks for sharing such a beautiful post !

    Brilliant lines:-

    ‘India doesn’t teach you what you want to learn
    but it teaches you what you need to learn’

  • Nice to know.
    The chanting must be ethereal!

  • This is a original education system in India. It has originated in India and slowly moved towards the western world just like every other arts. Good that it came back now. At the age where education is becoming a business, this for sure will revive the entire system. Great post Indrani!

  • Very nice post. Thank you for refreshing us with Gurukul tradition. In a way boarding schools are also meant to build personality of a student by making him self sufficient, independent and disciplined. But many have not succeeded. Gurukul tradition is old India. They teach spirituality to students. They inculcate they training of inner quest. But it is not for people interested to be successful materially. This education may not be for everyone because it will not be job oriented. But it is very important for creating human beings that are balanced, and rooted in their centre of gravity.

  • I was fortunate to see one at Sri Sri Ravishankar’s ashram in Kanakpura, Bangalore.Really You are very fortunate to be at a place of dreams. It was quite amazing to know about this place in this modern age . very beautiful. If I got a chance to visit it , I will remember your suggestion to be there in nine nights .

  • Gurukul – traditional and also a refreshing concept for today's lifestyle. awesome post and lovely pictures.

    A Rat's Nibble

  • New information for me! Glad you shared this 🙂 A better education system is surely the need!

  • So wise thoughts and way of living,
    lovely images!

  • Great place! Thank you Indrani:)

  • I've been there. It has beautiful landscape as well. Divine vibes could be felt there 🙂

  • Fascinating and informative post. Such gurukuls should flourish as they preserve Hindu heritage tradition and religion in its purest form.Similar patshalas are also run in many cities under the auspicices of Shringeri & Kanchi Mutts.Visited a lovely vedic patshala(similar to this) in Kaladi,Kerala the birth place of Adi Sankara.

  • What a wonderful concept! I think the planet would be so much better if every country had a school like that.

  • The navratri celebrations sound truly enchanting! And such green pictures!

  • It must have been wonderful to live a spartan life at the Gurukul away from the hustle and bustle of the city Indrani. You would have come back completely rejuvenated.

  • I have always been fascinated by gurukals and their education. I didn't know that any existed in today's day and age. Great pictures too.

  • That's interesting.
    Seems like a gurukul just right for the age. 🙂

  • Wonderful place!!!

  • Wow! I did not know that such gurukuls exist even in today's time. Lucky are the students who study in this gurukul. Lovely pictures and a very informative post, Indrani 🙂

  • This is one school I definitely want to visit! Hopefully some day soon. Informative writeup with some great pictures. Thanks Indrani for sharing this.

  • a very nice place 🙂

  • Gurukul is an ancient system of imparting education.The students reside with the teachers or gurus in this system.The students are taught each and every aspect of life and thereby making them physically mentally and emotionally fit to face any challenges in life,unlike the education system prevailing now where there is rat race.
    It is how nice to learn that the old Gurukul system is practiced now by some great spiritual leaders.Nice write up and besuti ful pictures.

  • Thanks for sharing such an interesting Post….It truly inspires one and being nearer, I decided to visit this Place once!

  • Great post on our ancient Indian Education system. Whole environment looks so calm.

  • A very different post,had little idea that this exists so close to us ,in the city itself.Wish more such places come up with the same concept.

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