GURUKUL: The Schools of Ancient India: History
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Subjects: History

This article talks about the Gurukuls of Ancient India, the education system of our own India which was demolished by the Britishers.

  • history
  • gurukul
  • india
  • south asia
  • ancient
  • ancient india
  • gurukul system
  • indian history
  • indian subcontinent
  • indus

During today’s generation, we are accustomed to going to school, studying from textbooks, giving tests, and returning home. This is a far cry from the ancient Indian education system that existed in the form of “Gurukuls.” The term “Gurukul” is derived from the words “Guru” meaning “teacher” and “Kula” meaning “family” or “home.” The Gurukul system emphasized applied knowledge, discipline, and hard work, and stressed holistic learning, which included professional, social, religious, and spiritual education. The Gurukuls originated around 5000 BCE and played a significant role during the Vedic period. The admission of students to Gurukuls varied based on their caste, with Brahmins being admitted at the age of 6, Kshatriyas at 8, and Vaishyas at 11 years of age. The Gurukul system did not follow a strict syllabus from books; instead, the Gurus observed each student and tailored lessons based on their understanding and abilities. Students were taught a wide range of subjects, including Sanskrit, grammar, astronomy, mathematics, Ayurveda (medicine), Darshan (philosophy), political science, Arthashashtra (economics, political science, administration), Yoga (religion), and Dhanurveda (war-craft). A typical day in Gurukuls involved students undertaking chores such as cleaning, cooking, and physical fitness, as well as learning concepts from texts such as Upanishads. One of the fundamental ideas of the Gurukul systemwas its emphasis on personalised training. Unlike the one-size-suits-all method of current education, where college students are regularly predicted to comply to a standardized curriculum, Gurukuls diagnosed and nurtured the person strengths and talents of each student. The Guru (trainer) located the specific competencies and gaining knowledge of forms of their disciples and tailor-made their practise for this reason. This personalised method not handiest facilitated higher academic effects however also fostered a deeper connection between trainer and student, developing a supportive and enriching getting to know surroundings. Moreover, the Gurukul machine turned into characterised by way of its holistic approach to schooling. While contemporary education tends to compartmentalize understanding into discrete subjects, Gurukuls embraced a extra incorporated and interdisciplinary method. Students were exposed to a diverse variety of subjects, which includes language, philosophy, mathematics, technology, and the arts, taking into consideration a comprehensive information of the sector. This holistic schooling prolonged past the classroom, encompassing realistic abilities, moral values, and non secular improvement, as a consequence nurturing nicely-rounded individuals able to navigating lifestyles's complexities with wisdom and integrity. Another exclusive characteristic of the Gurukul system become its emphasis on experiential studying. Rather than depending completely on theoretical preparation, students engaged in fingers-on sports, actual-international stories, and realistic apprenticeships to deepen their expertise and abilties. Whether it was farming, craftsmanship, or meditation, learning in Gurukuls become deeply rooted in lived stories, enabling students to not handiest collect knowledge but also observe it in significant ways. This experiential method now not simplest improved retention and comprehension but also instilled a experience of confidence and self-reliance in students, preparing them for the demanding situations of adulthood. Furthermore, the Gurukul gadget prioritized individual improvement and ethical training along academic getting to know. Ethics, integrity, compassion, and admire for others had been integral aspects of the curriculum, instilled via both training and instance. Students had been endorsed to domesticate virtues inclusive of humility, honesty, and strength of will, laying the muse for a society based on ideas of justice and righteousness. The near-knit network of the Gurukul, where college students lived and discovered collectively underneath the steerage of a wise mentor, fostered a feel of camaraderie, mutual help, and shared obligation, nurturing now not best scholars but additionally precise residents and leaders. Despite its many virtues, the Gurukul system became no longer without its boundaries and criticisms. Critics argue that its hierarchical shape, primarily based on caste and gender, perpetuated social inequalities and exclusion. Admission to Gurukuls changed into frequently constrained based on caste, with Brahmin college students receiving preferential treatment over the ones from lower castes. Similarly, ladies have been in large part excluded from formal schooling, relegated to domestic roles inside the household. Additionally, the Gurukul system changed into criticized for its conservative approach to understanding, privileging traditional texts and religious teachings over scientific inquiry and vital wondering. These criticisms highlight the need for a more inclusive and equitable approach to education that addresses the various desires and aspirations of all people, irrespective of caste, gender, or history. However, in 1858, the Indian Education Act was passed by Thomas Babington Macaulay (also known as Lord Macaulay), which outlawed the Gurukul system and gave more preference to Western-style schools and education. Under this new system, the emphasis shifted from holistic studying and sensible utility to a greater established curriculum based totally on textbooks and standardized trying out. Western subjects like technology, literature, and arithmetic took precedence over conventional Indian disciplines. Despite the decline of the Gurukul system, its have an impact on can still be felt in diverse aspects of modern-day Indian schooling. Concepts consisting of personalised gaining knowledge of, mentorship, and experiential training are an increasing number of being diagnosed and integrated into present day instructional practices. Efforts are also underway to restore and keep factors of the Gurukul system. Some instructional institutions in India have followed Gurukul-stimulated models, combining traditional wisdom with cutting-edge coaching methods to provide a properly-rounded training. Furthermore, there may be a growing recognition of the price of indigenous information systems and a reevaluation of the Western-centric approach to schooling. Initiatives to incorporate conventional Indian knowledge into mainstream schooling are gaining momentum, aiming to create a greater inclusive and culturally touchy gaining knowledge of surroundings. In conclusion, at the same time as the Gurukul system may additionally have diminished into history, its standards retain to resonate in the ongoing discourse on schooling in India. As the country navigates the complexities of globalization and modernization, there is a renewed appreciation for the rich heritage of its educational traditions and a commitment to charting a course forward that honors each the past and the present. In end, whilst the Gurukul system may also belong to a bygone technology, its legacy continues to encourage and inform instructional practices in India and past. Its emphasis on personalised, holistic, and experiential learning resonates with modern-day moves for instructional reform, which are seeking to prioritize the individual desires and capabilities of college students, foster a deeper information of the sector, and cultivate ethical management and citizenship. By drawing upon the timeless knowledge of the Gurukul lifestyle whilst embracing the possibilities and demanding situations of the modern global, educators can create getting to know environments that empower college students to flourish intellectually, morally, and spiritually, thereby pleasing the genuine motive of training.




  1. GURUKUL reference . Youth Ki Awaaz. Retrieved 2024-4-25
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