“Poojya Swamiji’s vision was that a sadhu/sadhvi who has studied and understood the vision of Vedanta under a traditional guru, should be available to people in every few square kilometers in the country,” says Gitama. “Once his/her presence is known, people will come either because they want to learn or because they may require counselling to deal with problems of life”. Arshavidyalaya is one such establishment.
All teaching done at Arshavidyalaya follows the parampara and is based on understanding of the sastra. These include teaching of the prasthana traya (Upanisads, Brahmasutra and Bhagawad Gita), other texts by masters — particularly Adi Shankara — to expand on one or more the concepts contained in these, Samskrutam language for a clearer understanding of these texts, and chanting of mantras and slokas. In keeping with growth of technologies, most of these classes are available on-line, making them accessible to people not able to attend in person.
Arshavidyalaya lays special emphasis on teaching children. In regular classes, they are taught chanting, basic samskrutam, puja vidhi etc. – all of which are made fun and enjoyable for the children. They also attend annual camps during their vacations, participate in daily puja as well as in the annual Saraswati Puja. A visible change in the behavior of those children who attend these regularly can be seen. They continue to practice their learning at home and chant slokas even when they are playing or driving with the parents. All of these will stand them in great stead as they grow up and face the increasing stresses of modern-day life.
Besides regular classes, activities of Arshavidyala includes daily puja and chanting, annual Spiritual Retreat, Children’s camp, Saraswati Puja (with Medha Sukhta Yagna, and puja by individual child to its own image of Devi Saraswati), Gita parayanam every ekadashi, parayanam of Devi-Mahatmyam during Navaratri, and others. Children and adults are also given opportunities to interact with and talk to Swamis and other learned people, and inculcate in them vedic values.
Two resident teachers, Swami Ganeshaswarupananda and Gita Chaitanya conduct these classes and other activities. They also make themselves available to anyone who needs help in dealing with difficult situations.