Sixty years ago, 25-year-old Vishwesha Tirtha Swami of Pejawar Mutt and his guru Vidyamanya Tirtha Swami of Palimaru Math took on the task of building a vidyapeetha in south-west Bengaluru’s Kattriguppa.
They went house to house to collect donations, to set up a gurukul where young boys would be taught Vedas, Upanishads and Shastras. In 1956, they opened Poornapajna Vidyapeetha in a 3.5-acre campus. Today over 350 train here across various levels including prathama, kavya, sahitya and vidvath (which is equivalent to graduation in regular schooling).
Over 13 years, they are given lessons from the very basics such as Aksharabhyasa, Sthrothra and Manthrapata to Vedanta, Tharka and Pooja Vidhana. Education is free and students have to be at least nine years old when they are inducted. Every student, after passing Sriman Nyaya Sudha Examination in the final year, is given a scholarship of Rs 1.5 lakh to purse further education or research. The vidyapeetha’s students are working across the country as researchers, teachers and philosophers at mutts.
Regular subjects such as computer science and English are taught along with the Vedic lessons, and students are also given tuitions to help them pass the state board exams for tenth standard and graduate through an open university.
Ramchandra Aachar, senior priest at Andhra Pradesh’s pilgrim village Mantralaya, has enrolled his 13-year-old son Bharatisha here.“We have a small temple in Mantralaya, where we have frequent functions and rituals. Bharatisha was being trained there but he finished late every day, so we thought the Bengaluru school would be better. Here children are well cared for and they feel like they are at home.”The Vidyapeetha is opening a similar gurukul in New Delhi soon.
Courtesy: New Indian Express