Arshavidya Gurukulam: An institute of Vedant and Sanskrit!

Niranjan Shah, a civil engineer, who pioneered famous high-rise buildings in Baroda, is a broadcaster in India and the USA and a prolific writer. Under “A Letter from Grandpa.” he has been writing since 2002 on India’s historical, philosophical, and literary heritage. He can be reached at  

By Niranjan Shah
My dear Nikita and Sanjna:

Arsha Vidya Gurukulam is an institute for traditional study of Advaita Vedant, Sanskrit, Yoga, Ayurveda, Astrology, and other classical Indian disciplines. The word Arsha means that which is from the Rishis — the great sages of ancient India. The word Vidya means knowledge. Gurukulam is a place where one learns the knowledge imparted by Rishis.

Established in 1986 by Swami Dayananda Saraswati, the Gurukulam is patterned after the ancient gurukulams of India. The Gurukulam offers Indians and Westerners alike an opportunity to study the profound spiritual knowledge of the Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, Brahmasutras, and other classical Vedic texts in English in the USA.

Located on 14 acres in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, a serene setting in the Pocono Mountains, the Gurukulam offers short-term and long-term programs of study for guest and resident students of all ages. The campus is adorned by a beautiful temple dedicated to Lord Dakshina-murti, considered the first teacher of Vedic knowledge. Apart from Vedant, classes on Sanskrit, Vedic chanting, Vedic Astrology, Ayurveda, Medita-tion and Yoga (Iyenger) are also offered. There are ongoing meditation and Vedant classes on weekends, which anyone can attend without prior registration.

The Gurukulam also publishes many books on various topics in Vedanta, including a Bhagavad Gita Home Study Course and a Vedic Heritage Teaching Program for children. The Arsha Vidya bookstore has over 7,000 publications on Vedanta, Sanskrit, Yoga, Astrology, Ayurveda, philosophy and Indian history. Funding comes in the form of donations from people who value the Gurukulam’s offerings. Additional fund comes from book sales.

Swami Dayananda Saraswati is a distinguished, traditional teacher of Vedant. His depth of understanding and nuance appreciation of Western culture makes him that rare teacher who can communicate the vision of non-duality to modern listeners. He is able to make one see, with immediacy, the truth of oneself as the whole.

Swami Dayananda has been teaching Vedanta in India for more than four decades, and around the world since 1976. In his public talks abroad, Swami has spoken at many of the most prestigious American Universities, and has ad-dressed international conventions, UNESCO and United Nations, where he participated in the Millennium Peace Summit.  In addition to teaching, Swami Dayananda has initiated and supported various philanthropic efforts.

In addition to teaching, Swami Dayananda has initiated and supported various philanthropic efforts. The All India Movement (AIM) for Seva, inaugurated in November 2,000 brings medical, educational, nutritional and infrastructure assistance to villagers in the remote areas of India. This movement enjoys the blessings of all traditional spiritual leaders who have united as a single body, the Acharya Sabha, through the coordinating efforts of Swami Dayananda.

In November 2001, Swami Dayananda convened the first World Congress for the Pre-servation of Religious Diver-sity in Delhi, inaugurated by the Dalai Lama and the then Prime Minister A.B.Vajpayee. An important outcome of the Congress is the formation of a Global Commission for the Preservation of Religious Diversity, spearheaded by Swami Dayananda.

24th Anniversary of Arshavidya Gurukulam and 80th Birthday of Swami Daya-nanda Saraswati are being celebrated on Sunday, August 15, 2010 – 9:30 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. at the Gurukulam Campus. Program includes music concert by Maharajpuram Ram-chandran. Dr. Manan Trivedi, Democratic Candidate for the US Congress for 6th District of PA and Professor Ved Nanda, the vice Provost for Internationalization, at the University of Denver will address.  Swami Dayananda Saraswati will give address on “May you lift oneself by oneself.” The address will be followed by a question-answer Session with Swami Daya-nanda. For information, please contact Arsha Vidya Gurukulam P. O. Box 1059 Saylorsburg, PA 18353. Phone 570 992 2339 ext. 210/234/241. Email: with Web site:
— Grandpa’s blessing

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