The Vedic tradition continues to be followed up to this day. It envisages personal spiritual experience to be the foundation of all education in every area of learning. Such education can be imparted only under the guidance of an acharya who has him/herself undergone the disciplines and purifications necessary to qualify as a guide.
This is the ideal of a Gurukulam, literally, the Guru’s Family. The ancient Gurukulam were forest academies where the children were admitted from the age of five and studied and practiced their disciplines in a celibate state for as long as it took to master an area of knowledge.
Even now, the system is followed in modern gurukulams where the disciplines are still maintained, where the student may reside under the daily discipline of the acharya for a period of time agreeable to both the teacher and the taught.
In the tradition, there are three kinds of graduates (snatakas):
Vidya-snataka: those who have graduated with honours in an area of knowledge.
Vrata-snataka: those who may not be brilliant in intellect but may have excelled in disciplines.
Vidya-vrata-snataka: those who have excelled both in learning and disciplines.
Our goal is to produce the third category of not only the learned, but the wise.
Swami Rama Dhyana Gurukulam follows as much of the practice of this ancient ideal of relationship, and the daily disciplines and methods of learning that may be feasible under the constraints imposed by limits of the time periods available to students, financial situation, and the fact that the students from different international backgrounds have a very different upbringing and capacity than those who are born and brought up in the traditions. By and large, the students are expected to follow the rules of etiquette of humility, egolessness, self-control, renunciation and love towards teachers and towards each other.
The main goals of the gurukulam are to prepare:
Citizens who hold a personal spiritual philosophy of life based on meditative experience and traditions, and who will translate it into all areas of life in the world.
Teachers and guides who will give their lives to creating the next generation of such citizens.
The areas of learning of the Swami Rama Dhyana Gurukulam are:
Meditation, its philosophy, practice, and application for daily life in contemporary context, as taught by the Himalayan tradition and interpreted by Swami Rama of the Himalayas.
An understanding of the vast expanse of the meditation methods, their interconnectivity and sequential procedures. This can by no means be completed in one lifetime, but a general understanding, including the personal experience imparted to the student to the extent of his/her capacity can be given.
The ancient texts, such as the Vedas and the Upanishads, that were revealed in the meditative states of the Rishis, serve also as guides to meditation. How they depict the meditation methods and the meditative states are taught in an experimental context.
The students are to acquire a sufficient background in the Sanskrit language so that the keys to the interpretation of these texts can be imparted.
Brief history of the meditative and spiritual traditions of different cultures from all parts of the world, together with selective readings of their texts.
How meditation, its practices, philosophy and psychology may be applied to such contemporary concerns as personal and interpersonal problems, psychosomatic illness, as well as spirituality in business, management and administration.
How to teach in different cultures, and for that purpose acquiring skills in international communication.