An Institution for Spirituality and Science

O P Sharma

(Learning gives humility, humility makes one deserving, the deserving gets wealth, wealth gives Dharma and Dharma is the source of all relief and peace.)
Quite in spirit of the oft-quoted above Sanskrit Shloka, a Gurukul institution for imparting Vedic and modern education, started by Sri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB), is at work for shaping the destiny of the humanity.
A unique institute with some distinguishing features and popularly known as “Gurukul ” is growing up fast on the foothill of Shivalik Hill range near Katra, base camp of world famous holy Vaishno Devi shrine.
Set up by SMVDSB, it is a fully residential school at Charan Paduka, two kms from Katra, for imparting Vedic and modern education to produce adequately qualified and skilled professional youth. To begin with during 2010, only 20 students were admitted in Sixth standard but presently there are nearly 135 students studying in this Gurukul, which is affiliated to Sampurnanand Sanskrit Vishwavi- dyalaya, Varanasi.
Now this institution is shortly starting Shastri classes for which the building is nearing completion and all other arrangements have already been put in place to facilitate the students to pursue their studies upto graduation course.
The Chief Executive Officer, SMVDSB, A K Sahu gave details of Vedic and modern education coupled with Indian philosophy and culture. This institution certainly holds a promise for the future.
The Gurukul has latest facilities and highly qualified faculty to impart education to the students. Significantly, it has fully equipped decent class-rooms, labs, library, Yagyashalla, Bhojanalaya, play-ground and digital language lab. The students of this Gurukul are being provided education, boarding, lodging, uniforms, books totally free of cost by the Shrine Board.
The students are being imparted quality education in Vedas, Karamkand and Pooja rituals besides also teaching them English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies in addition to modern subjects like Computer Sciences and Music as well. The Shrine Board has also made elaborate arrangements for indoor and outdoor games for all round personality development of the students.
It is noteworthy that the students have been making a mark in both academics and extra-curricular activities. The annual examinations for classes 6th & 7th are conducted in-house, whereas the exams for classes 8th and onwards are conducted by Sampurnanand Sanskrit Vishwavi- dyalaya. The students have won laurels in academic and extra-curricular fields. From the very first session during 2012-13, some students have been continuously winning the prestigious Vakratund Shukal Swaran Padak (Gold Medal) which is awarded to the toppers in the entire Sampurnanand Sanskrit University.
The Gurukul students are also participating in the State and national level extra-curricular activities such as Shastriya competitions and many of them having won awards in various categories bringing laurels to this Gurukul. The J&K State Governor, N N Vohra, who is also Chairman of the Shrine Board recently felicitated eight outstanding students at a function held in the Raj Bhavan by awarding them appreciation letters, commemorative coins as also cash prizes.
The SMVDSB has also instituted two awards/medals for University toppers of Purva Madhyama (10th Class) and Uttar Madhyama (12th Class) known as “Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board Swaran Padak” and are awarded to the topper students from the Sampurnanand Sanskrit Vishwavidyalaya.
The Gurukul also organizes free of cost workshops and refresher courses for Pujaris with a view to sharpening their skills in the use of Sanskrit language and improving their understanding of the rituals and other religious practices. So far, 34 such courses have been organized and 395 Pujaris imparted re-orientation training.
The Chairman of the Shrine Board has also constituted a Governing Council for the Gurukul to oversee its functioning and provide useful guidance.
It is heartening to note that the vision and objective of this institution to produce persons of high learning, enlightened philosophy.
( Starline Syndicate Service)