Arsha Vidya Gurukulam
Arsha Vidya Gurukulam are a pair of institutions for Vedic teaching founded by Dayananda Saraswati. The two main centers are located at Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania and in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, with the sister institution Arsha Vidya Ashram located in Rishikesh and over 60 other centres in India and abroad. The name literally translates as residential learning for the knowledge of rishis (sages).
The Saylorsburg campus was established in 1986, and the Coimbatore center in 1990. The goal at the time of formation was to emulate academic institutions with the focus on study of Advaita Vedanta, the Vedas, and other ancient Sanskrit texts, in contrast to the practice of yoga and meditation taught by other similar institutions. Since then the institutes have added teaching of hatha yoga, ayurveda, astrology, meditation and other traditional Indian disciplines to the curriculum. Courses range in duration from a single-weekend to three years, and instruction is in English, though advanced students study the original texts in Sanskrit.
The centers run an outreach program called All India Movement (AIM) for seva (service) and a publication house that produces books on Vedanta, Hinduism, Hindu philosophy and literature, Paninian grammar, Indian history and related subjects. Several students and sanyassis (renunciates) who have studied at the centres, have gone on to spread Dayananda's teachings elsewhere and some have established ashrams of their own.
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