[Advaita-l] Gurukula system - Is it Vedic?

anupam srivatsav anupam.srivatsav at gmail.com
Sat Aug 23 05:56:40 CDT 2008

Dear Sri SriKrishna,


> With my limited knolwdge of Vedas I could not find Gurukul Sytem of Education in Vedas. I shall be grateful if referece to Vedic riks/mantars/hymns could be given
> about Gurukul system of education.

With regard to the Gurukula System, I shall give you a reference from
non other than Upanishads itself.  Though what kind of gurukula and
how the system was etc were not discussed at length, nevertheless the
system existed.  Explaining the gurukula system perse is not the
purpose of any of the Upanishads.  The details are worked out in
either smritis or in puraanas.  The learned members of this group may
correct me if I am wrong or add some more information on this subject.

1) Prasnopanishad: Six disciples approached Pippalada, the teacher for
getting their doubts cleared.  The teacher instructed them to live (in
the gurukula) by practicing austerities and brahmacharya.  See
Prasnopanishad: 1.2

Aacharya Shankara explains the upanisadic text "bhuuya eva ##...##
sa.mvatsara.m samvatsyatha " (again one more year you people live
here) as follows:
"yadyapi yuuya.m pUrvatapasvina eva, tathaa.api iha ##...##
samvatsyatha sa.myag guru sushruushhaaparaaH santo vatsyatha." It
means, Even if you are all great tapasvins already, by doing seva to
Guru, you live here.

2) Srimad Bhagavatam: Skanda 8, Chapter 12, Sloka: 1

nArada uvAcha .
brahmachArI gurukule vasan dAnto gurorhitam .
Acharan dAsavannIcho gurau sudR^iDhasauhR^idaH ..

Narada Said: A Brahmacharin should stay in the Guru's campus. He
should practise control over the senses, remain obedient to the Guru,
be humble before him like a servant and be loving towards him.  Both
morning and evening he should attend on the Guru.  (see Srimad
Bhagavata, Vol 2, Translated by Swami Tapasyananda of Sri Ramakrishna
Math, Page 271)

Chapter 12 is fully dedicated to how a disciple should live in the
house of the Guru.

Some other references are also there in Chandogya Upanisad and the
like.  Other members may quote them there.

With regards,

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