I commend Dr. Satish Prakash for founding the Gurukula (in Uitvlugt, West Coast). It is the first ‘formal’ Gurukula in Guyana, and Dr. Satish and his management team are lauded for this initiative. This magnificent feat is an outcome of the dedicated efforts of Dr Satish and the Gurukul fraternity transform or at a minimum help to improve the educational environment in Guyana and for the Guyanese diaspora.
A gurukula is a traditional system of education in which the teacher and students engage each other continuously at a particular residential location. The students interact around the clock with the gurus (teachers).
The purpose behind a Gurukul is for teachers and students share a friendly relation and respect. It is a rigid, structured system in which students are assigned specific tasks and studies. They are ‘corrected’ and evaluated in their progress and develop. The gurukul system was started and formalized in India over five thousand years ago and used by Rishis, Swamis, Satgurus, and gurus to train students in various disciplines. It is a formal residential schooling system and perhaps the only one in which students and teachers have continuous access to one another. Students are taught how to respect nature and engage in a sustainable lifestyle. They live a cultured and disciplined life and degrees are granted from Bachelors to Masters to doctorates. Dr. Satish himself is a product of such a system of training and education in India after obtaining his undergraduate degree at UG. He received a scholarship to further his education in India where he spent several years to study languages, Hinduism, and Vedic studies. He is a Sanskrit (mother of many languages in India and Europe) scholar as well as a linguist and specialist in Hinduism. He is very fluent in in several languages, not the least being Hindi and Spanish. He also understands several Indian dialects including Bhojpuri (spoken by indentured ancestors) and Brij.
Dr Satish is held in high esteem and revered globally. He gave lectures in several Indian diaspora countries (including Fiji, Holland, UK, and Mauritus) and presided over Hindu services all over the USA and Canada among Guyanese, Trinis, Fijians, Mauritians, and nationals from India. He taught for over 25 years in New York before retiring to spend full time teaching students in Guyana. The Guyana Gurukul is entirely his project and his hard work raising funds and spending millions of dollars of his personal money have finally materialized. He also received financial and material support from generous donors and expressed his gratitude to all who contributed to the project.
Dr Satish aims to transplant at the Gurukul his method of learning for his post graduate studies. Students will be very focused. Here learning will be imparted to students in a natural surrounding where they will live with each other with brotherhood, humanity and discipline. Such training and learning will also help students in personality development and increase their confidence and mindfulness to face challenges and reduce stress. They will develop into strong persons to address the society’s challenges.
The Guyana Gurukul will host students from all over the globe. Instructions will be imparted in person and virtually. Subjects and disciplines for studies are being finalized.
Let me say how delighted, proud, and elated I am to see this beautiful building, next to the Atlantic Ocean. I visited countless times as it was being built to cheer Bhai Dave and others and Dr Satish himself apprising them of progress in the construction. Great work Dr Satish, Bhai Dave, and gang. You have made the community, Arya Samajists, Hindus, and all Guyanese proud for this magnificent structure. It stands as a testament to Dr Satish passion for spirituality and continuous efforts and hard work to actually build and implement what he talked about about.
My heartiest congratulations and best wishes to him and his management team in their mission.