In the midst of urban mess, a school dedicated to teaching Vedas flourishes | gurgaon | Hindustan Times
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In the midst of urban mess, a school dedicated to teaching Vedas flourishes

gurgaon Updated: Oct 30, 2012 01:36 IST
Himabindu Reddy
Himabindu Reddy
Hindustan Times
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Swanky malls, plush offices of multi-national corporations and sky-kissing high-rises are all what we know about the Millennium City.

But there is another facet of the city that is unseen, unexplored probably unheard of - away from the mundane.

Named Shringeri Sharadha Peeth Ved Pathshala, the one of its kind school in Gurgaon, teaches the Vedas to students in age-old gurukul style.

The school is situated at the Sheetla Mata temple, about 2 km from Old Delhi Road.

Apart from the Vedas, the students are taught rituals and other scriptures and the Upanishads.

Raghavendra Bhatta, 33, hailing from Karnataka, came to Gurgaon to start this Vedic school in January 2011.

At present, there are 16 pupils in the gurukul and many of them are from Haryana, while others are from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

"Students are admitted on the auspicious day of Akshay Tritiya, which falls in the month of May," said Bhatta, who is not only a Guru but is also an astrologer and a Vastu expert.

Initially, when the school started, children of Brahmin community from Narnaul in Mahendergarh district took admission. "Most of the children enrolled here are in the age group of eight to 14 years," added Bhatta.

For pupils here, the Vedas are a way of life. They undergo a rigorous routine. "We wake up at 4am and sleep at 9.30pm," said Jitender Bhardwaj 16, a student from Narnaul.

The students get a day off after every 15 days - a day after the full moon and a day after the new moon.

"The reason behind this is the scriptures don't allow us to repeat anything on these days. Teaching them requires repetition," Bhatta explained.

Apart from this, pupils go home only on Raksha Bandhan and if there is a marriage ceremony at their place. "If they stay at home for long, they may get distracted and lose practice of the discipline taught here," he added.

It takes six to eight years to learn the Vedas thoroughly. It also depends on the pupils' grasping capacity. After which these boys grow up to become professional priests solemnising marriages, conducting Yagnas, Havans and poojas.

Rigorous routine a way of life here
Gurgaon: While pupils gather to recite the Shiv Tandav Mantra, youngest of all, 10-year-old Shivam Sharma spreads a mat, opens the lofty Rig Ved, touches his guru's feet and joins the group.

In May 2011, Shivam came from Mahendergarh district of Haryana, to learn the Vedas. His mother is a tailor and father is a farmer, his two sisters are married. He and his brother study here. "He is the youngest, but the sharpest of all," said Bhatta.

The 10-year-old adores his school. "I enjoy reading the Vedas. I don't miss home; this place is a home to me. I don't need an alarm to wake up. It has become a part of my life," said Shivam.

None of these 16 pupils of Shringeri Sharadha Peeth Ved Pathshala have ever visited a mall, saw a movie in the multiplex, sat in a luxurious car, or shook a leg in a discotheque.

Jitender Bharadwaj, 16, another pupil, who has studied till Class 10 in his village school, believes that he got true education in the gurukul.

"After coming here I felt that, I have learnt nothing," said Jitender.

Moreover, corporal punishment is a common practice here. One is beaten if he uses slang.