Arsha Vidya Gurukulam
(est. 1986)
   The Arsha (from the RISHIS) Vidya (knowl-edge) Gurukulam (spiritual learning center and residence) at Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, was founded in 1986 by SWAMI DAYANANDA SARAS-WATI (1930– ) in the tradition of the ancient gurukulams of India. The institute is dedicated to the traditional study of advaita VEDANTA, SAN-SKRIT, HATHA YOGA, AYURVEDA, Vedic chanting, MEDITATION, astrology, and other classical Indian disciplines. It offers courses in the UPANISHADS, BHAGAVAD GITA, VEDANTA SUTRA, and other clas-sical Vedic texts in English. The more than 15 teachers have all studied with Dayananda Saras-wati. The center offers short- and long-term study programs and on-site accommodations. The 54-acre campus includes a temple dedicated to Lord Dakshinamurti, considered the first teacher of Vedic knowledge.
   The Gurukulam also sponsors the All India Movement (AIM) for Seva, established in New Delhi in 2000, as its service outreach. It hopes to unite Indian society through service and car-ing, in a way that promotes self-sufficiency and dignity among those served. It seeks to transform Indian society by bridging the gap between privi-leged and less-privileged people through a policy of Indians’ caring for fellow Indians. AIM has 22 branches in different states of India and publishes many books on various topics in Vedanta, includ-ing a Bhagavad Gita Home Study course and a Vedic Heritage Teaching Program for children. The Arsha Vidya bookstore in Pennsylvania has over 3,000 publications on Vedanta, Hinduism, Sanskrit, yoga, astrology, Ayurveda, philosophy, and Indian history.
   Further reading: Swami Dayananda Saraswati, Arsha Vidya: The Vision of the Rishis (Rishikesh: Sri Gangad-hareswar Trust, Swami Dayananda Ashram, 1999); ———, Collection, Talks and Essays of Swami Dayananda Saraswati (Rishikesh: Sri Gangadhareswar Trust, Swami Dayananda Ashram, 2000).

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

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