Dating back to about 5000 BC in India, Gurukula specifies a type of education system in ancient India with shishya (‘students,’ or ‘disciples,’), living near or with the guru, in the same house. The guru-shishya parampara, (tradition), is a sacred one in Hinduism and appears in other religious groups such as Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism.
The word, ‘gurukula,’ is a combination of the Sanskrit words, ‘guru,’ (‘teacher’ or ‘master’) and ‘kula,’ (‘family,’ or ‘home,’). Before the arrival of British rule, they served as South Asia’s primary educational system. The term is also used today to refer to residential monasteries, ashrams, boarding schools or schools operated by modern gurus. The proper plural of the term is gurukulam, though gurukulas and gurukuls are also used in the English and other western languages.
The main focus of Gurukuls was on imparting learning to the students in a natural surrounding where the shisyas lived with each other in love, and with discipline. The essential teachings were in subjects like language, science, mathematics through group discussions, self-learning etc. Focus was also given on arts, sports, crafts, singing and spirituality that developed their intelligence and critical thinking – this made the shisyas of each gurukul different from each other and completed the individual to such heights, that they were priced for their wisdom. Activities such as yoga, meditation, mantra chanting etc., generated positivity and peace of mind and made them fit. It was also mandatory to do daily chores on their own with a motive to impart practical, sustainable and self-reliant skills in them. All these helped in the personality development and increased their confidence, sense of discipline, intellect and mindfulness which is necessary even today to face the world that lay ahead.
As with many systems of belief, the concept of the gurukul is innate in every segment of the Shakti system of worship – it is here that the teachings of Tantra and Shaktaism take place, as well as is, the birthplace of shamanic magic and feminine rituals.
My recent venture, Sujata Nandy World Gurukul, is the sacred space that embodies the teachings of Shakti, while embarking on the inner quest to defining the authenticity of what is truly righteous, sacred and objective, doing away with false spirituality and pretentious representations.
It is home to anyone seeking their highest Self, daring to come face to face with what is beyond our physical bodies, yet, being able to make informed decisions on what is holistic, sacred and wholesome.
Like the many rivers that flow from different directions into that same vast ocean, spirituality is about the many different paths – all leading to the same destination. The eventual is not about how much more one has learnt or about how much one has allowed oneself to relinquish, but about how ready we are to unlearn and to trust the unknown.
Can we really trust ourselves in the hands of people who are promiscuous of what they themselves don’t know or are we wantonly believing that anyone who wears the cloak of mastery and have years of practise behind them, are the people who can show us the right path? Who is to say???
Even our taking the wrong path or choosing the “wrong,” teacher is part of the journey, so that we discover our potential in the supposed “wrong,” path and learn to create our own paths.
I have been looking for a teacher for the longest of time; mind you, I’ve had the privilege of meeting many good teachers/masters along the way but none, agreed to being my teacher. They all said that I already had my teacher with me. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure what they were saying and persisted on my path of meeting the many people I have encountered in the last 27 years of my temple service to the great Goddess Kali – my guru!
Sujata Nandy World Gurukul is about that tradition that I have lived for the many years in reverence to the Dark Mother, as She is truly the reason as to why I embarked on this path, wrote the book, alchemically channelled Goddess energy oils and ventured into all matters of the Goddess and the higher Self.
SUJATA NANDY WORLD GURUKUL