The concept of Gurukul is a traditional system of education in ancient India, which is still practiced in some parts of the country. In this system, a student lives with a guru (teacher) and learns various subjects such as scriptures, mathematics, astronomy, medicine, and warfare, along with practical skills such as farming, cooking, and household work.
What is a Gurukul System?
The term "Gurukul" literally means "family of the guru," and it reflects the close relationship between the student and the teacher. In this system, the student is considered as a member of the guru's family and is expected to perform various tasks such as cleaning, cooking, and serving the guru, as a way of showing gratitude and respect.
The Gurukul system is based on the principle of holistic education, which includes physical, mental, and spiritual development. The student not only learns academic subjects but also develops practical skills and learns about ethics, morality, and spirituality.
The gurukul system of education
The understanding of holistic development of human being through Gurukul education system.
Srila Prabhupada's idea of Gurukul
Srila Prabhupada, the founder of the Hare Krishna movement, was a strong advocate of Gurukul education. He believed that it was important for young devotees to receive a spiritual education from a young age and emphasized the importance of a Gurukul education in his teachings. According to Srila Prabhupada, Gurukul education should be focused on teaching students about Krishna consciousness and the Vedic scriptures, as well as practical skills such as cooking and farming.
Gurukul in Scriptures
In the Vedas, there are references to the education system of ancient India, which was primarily centered around the gurukul system. The Vedas describe the role of the guru or teacher as a guide who imparts knowledge to the students through personal instruction, lectures, and debates.
In the Upanishads, which are a collection of philosophical texts that form the basis of Hinduism, there are also references to the gurukul system. The Upanishads emphasize the importance of acquiring knowledge through a guru who possesses both theoretical and practical knowledge.
The Mahabharata, one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India, also mentions the gurukul system of education. The story of the Mahabharata revolves around the relationship between a guru, Dronacharya, and his pupils, the Pandavas and Kauravas, who were trained in the gurukul system.