Yogiraj Sri Paresh Chandra Barman (1924-8th Oct 2020)
Yoga is the Science of life and art of living. To live in harmony with oneself and the environment is the wish of every human being. It is possible only through Yoga. Yoga is a spiritual discipline which needs to be followed every moment and in every decision. This discipline demands the understanding of oneness between individual self and the universal self. With such understanding, every decision taken will turn out to be philanthropic and harmonious.
Yoga has a holistic effect and brings body, mind and consciousness into balance. In the words of our Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Ji, “Oneness with our families, society we live in, with fellow humans, with all the birds and tree with whom we share our planet – this is Yoga.” This oneness removes differences and brings unity and peace in the universe. Hence, Yoga is being increasingly accepted at the international level as an instrument of overall development of human race.
Yoga has now got worldwide acceptance. On 11th December 2014, the 193 member UNGA approved India’s proposal by consensus with a record 177 co-sponsoring countries, a resolution to establish 21st June as “International Day of Yoga”. In its resolution, the UNGA recognised that Yoga provides a holistic approach to health and well-being and wider dissemination of information about the benefits of practicing Yoga for the health of the world population. Now, Yoga has been inscribed as intangible cultural heritage of humanity by UNESCO on 1st December, 2016. Yoga brings harmony in all walks of life and thus, is known for disease prevention, health promotion and management of many lifestyle-related disorders. Accordingly, International Day of Yoga (IDY) is being celebrated worldwide on 21st June every year. Millions of people participated in commemorating IDY throughout the world. This shows the importance and growing demand for Yoga.
Vedic Yog Peeth(VYP) is conducting Certification of Yoga Professionals- 1.Yoga Education and Training 2. Yoga Therapy for Madhyamik, H.S and Graduates which is very popular course within and outside India. Yoga Professionals are getting ample job opportunities both in public and private sectors. Apart from the said course, the Institute has started Yoga for School students Class wise (Yoga Science) of one year’s duration every class followed by NCERT & QCI/YCB (AYUSH Government of India) curricular syllabus. The Institute is also conducting many other Yoga Educational, Therapy and Training Programs. It is also conducting many activities for promotion, propagation and research of Yoga.
(MR. Tapan Barman) Director
The Aim of the Institute is to promote deeper understanding of Yoga philosophy and practices based on ancient Yoga Traditions for holistic health and well-being of all.
Objectives of the Institute are:
• To act as a Centre of Excellence in Yoga;
• To develop, promote and propagate the philosophy, science and art of Yoga; and
• To provide and promote facilities of teaching, training, therapy and research to fulfill the above two objectives.
Health, Happiness and Harmony for all through Yoga.
To provide the best of Yoga Education, Training, Therapy and Research facilities to the aspirants, researchers and practitioners of Yoga to meet the aspirations of modern age.
The Vedas, meaning knowledge in Sanskrit, are the oldest known Sanskrit scriptures. They are a body of texts attributed to ancient sages or rishis. In the epic Mahabharata, their creation is said to be the work of Brahma (the god of creation).
The Vedas were usually taught at gurukuls. Gurukul was a residential schooling system popular in ancient India. At the gurukul, all were considered equal. The guru (teacher) and shishya (students) lived in the same house or near each other. This relationship was considered sacred and no fee was taken from the students. Students typically attended the gurukul from age of 8 into their early twenties. At the end of their education, each student offered a gurudakshina, a token or mark of respect to the teacher. It was usually money or a special task that the teacher required. The gurukul was otherwise supported by public donations.
Before the British rule, gurukuls were the preferred form of education in India. During colonial times, the British imported their centralized system of industrial-era education while systematically de-emphasising Vedic education. However, lately this ancient form of education is seeing renewed interest.
Dayananda Saraswati, the founder of Arya Samaj and Swami Shraddhanand, were the pioneers of the modern gurukul system, who in 1886 founded now-widespread Dayanand Anglo-Vedic Public Schools and Universities.
In 1948, Shastriji Maharaj Dharamjivan Das Swami followed suit and initiated first Swaminarayan Gurukul in Rajkot in Gujarat. Recently, several gurukuls have opened up to retrace the roots of Indian culture. This urge is being driven by the government, academics and parents.
Simplicity of living, a strict schedule and respect for the teacher are principles emphasized at a gurukul. Equality and independence is impressed upon the students by having all of them clean and pick up after themselves. Spirituality is impressed upon the students through prayer, yoga and meditation. In today’s competitive world, this can help children reduce stress and anxiety. Vedic education is more than just an education system; it is a way of living. This focus on all-round personality development is an attractive aspect of Vedic education.
Vedic Education is not the same as religious education. Before the British arrival and decline of Vedic Education, India was ruled by the Mughals (Muslims by religion). The system existed and flourished even under their rule over 3 centuries. It points to the religious neutrality of the system. The aspect of peer learning was even praised by the British Governor of Bengal (comprised of modern day Bangladesh, West Bengal, Orissa, Bihar, and North East India). According to historian and author, Mr. A.S. Altekar, the aims of Vedic education are as under:
In Vedic education, one’s personality was developed through self realization and self respect. The end goal was to build self awareness ie. knowing oneself intimately. Good judgement had to be developed through practice. Daily tasks focused on physical, mental, and emotional development. Students built their personalities in a multi dimensional manner.
Ancient Indians did not believe that intellect alone was important. Morality was equally necessary. Learning divided from morality was considered useless. Vedic education helped form character by encouraging a simple life. Students were Brahmachari (celibate) as long as they were learning. Their lives ran according to a strict schedule. Pleasures, comforts and luxuries were seen as unnecessary. Plain food, good behaviour and high ideals were encouraged. The gurus did not only teach the students but watched over their moral behaviour as well.
Performance of Civic and Social Duties
The students’ responsibility to society was made clear. In the gurukul, they all lived as equals, and participated in all jobs. Their daily tasks involved cleaning and keeping their residence in liveable conditions. Their duty to the world outside their walls was also of great importance. They were made aware of the importance of being good spouses and parents. Their wealth was not to be used for their own wants, but for the good of society. They were also taught to honor the codes of whatever professions they may choose.
Vedic education was not based solely on learning out of books. Hands on training in professions that interested the students was encouraged. They were taught the dignity of manual labour and the value of having a vocational training. Vocations included weaving, pottery and a number of other arts and professions.
Preservation and Spread of Culture
A large part of the vedas is dedicated to traditions, cultures and rituals. Preservation of the literary and cultural traditions was necessary. Education was seen as the means to pass traditions to the next generation. Hence, the students were taught that they owed three debts — to the gods, to the past gurus, and to their ancestors. The students learned to serve the gods, which paid the first debt. The second was paid by learning the teachings of past intellectuals. The third debt to the ancestors was paid by raising children and educating them. Thus, all the traditions were preserved and passed on.
While education was used to make students productive members of society, it had a spiritual element to it. Prayers and rituals were performed both daily and at important milestones such as birth, marriage, and death. This was done to teach each student the importance of the non-physical world. The aim was to lay an equal emphasis on body and soul.
Methods of Teaching
While some students went to their trades or professions, many continued to learn. Institutions known as Parishads were places of higher learning. Advanced students gathered there to learn through discussion and discourse. Three Brahmins conducted these sessions. Eventually that increased to 21 Brahmins learned in theology and philosophy. In today’s world, they would be considered equal to colleges.
Scholars would continue learning through their life by attending Sammelans (gatherings). These were discussions and competitions in which some of the most learned people in the country participated. They were often presided over by kings, who invited the scholars.