While most students consider student life as golden years meant to enjoy, bunk classes, watch movies, hang out with friends in addas or engage in chats, here is a notable exception, a couple of girls are learning Sanskrit upanishads staying at a residential school.
Kaveri Kanya Gurukulam at Srirangapatna, offers a five year integrated residential course exclusively for girls who have completed SSLC. The vision of the Gurukulam is to transmit the ancient knowledge of Upanishads to younger generation.
About 18 girls have enrolled at Gurukulam from all over the State in the last three years to learn Upanishads. The students are imparted with knowledge about both ancient Indian scriptures such as Vedas, Upanishads along with the modern education system.
The girls enrolled in commerce stream are studying B.Com. Spoken English, communication skills and speaking and writing in Sanskrit are also taught alongside. The girls have to engage daily themselves in agricultural activities. Any money that is earned in the agriculture activity will be deposited to the bank account of respective students. Yoga, Pranayama, Meditation, Agriculture activities are also given importance. Charted Accountants, guests lecturers and teaching faculty of reputed colleges are teaching these girls.
Student Shylaja hailing from Kodagu and staying in Gurukul for the past four years said: 'Modern education will impart us with skills required to pursue a professional career while Vedic knowledge helps to understand ourselves better and ability to handle ups and downs of life easily, also to know the rich ancient knowledge.'
'In most of the places girls are denied learning Upanishads and this is a perfect platform for interested girls to learn vedic language. Listening to chirping sound of birds and Cauvery river flowing, am enjoying my journey. Moreover earning from agriculture activities brings happiness,' adds another student Ashwini from Doddaballapura.
Gurukula founder Dr KK Subramani, basically an agriculture scientist developed a sudden interest in Upanishads around 16 years ago. He decided to convert a part of his commercial plot into Gurukulam and imparting free education to girls.
'Women are more attuned to learn these subjects as they have immense patience, and can spread the Vedic knowledge to next generation. A holistic growth is essential for todays generation and spiritually oriented education helps to lead life responsibly. Unfortunately today's modern society is influenced by external sources and it is possible to transform the human behaviour through vedic tradition,' opines 54-year-old Subramani.
Apoorva a psychology student who also has deep interests about ancient wisdom is assisting her father in his endevaour, says: 'Learning upanishads helps the young minds to make correct decisions at correct time, and to remove conflicts and solve adolescent problems. Its not about any religion, whereas to know ourselves.'
Only after conducting camps and ensuring they can adjust to the Gurukula life the students are selected. They will be made aware of what's happening in the world. About 20 students can be enrolled for every batch, she added.