Gurukul – The Education System of Ancient India


You must have heard many times about the ancient Gurukul system of India. In this education system, you know the meaning of going to Guru’s house and getting an education. Here is the information of a Gurukul method for the purpose of explaining what is a Gurukul, how is there a routine, how is the teaching method used. Rama and Krishna grew up in this Gurukul education. Therefore, their utility to society was unique.

Schools where students get education away from their families by being part of the Guru’s family. Such schools were of great importance in the ancient history of India. The students studied in the Gurukul of famous Acharyas were highly respected everywhere. Rama was educated by staying at sage Vashistha. Similarly, the Pandavas received education by staying at the sage Drona.

1. A Routine

In the Gurukul, the discipline of routine is rigid. After 5 o’clock in the morning followed by Gangasanan, Suryanandanam at sunrise, chanting of Gayatri mantra and then doing Suryanamaskar or Yogasana. After this, the text takes place until 11.30 am. After the recitation, one has to go to ask for alms (madhukari). Begging is a part of the celibacy fast; Therefore, it is unavoidable. After begging students are given time to rest for about an hour and then the lessons go on till sunset. The study is stopped some ten-fifteen minutes before sunset. At the time of the evening, Sayansandhya then takes hymns and snacks. Then Rest.

2. Teaching

The new text is related to the previous text so it was previewed. Ten minutes before he started teaching the lesson, Acharya used to test how much was estimated from the lesson taught yesterday. A new lesson started thereafter. In this education, Acharya used to check the students’ learning every day; That is, they were tested every day. Therefore, there was no question of exam date and preparation. It was always a test.

3. Subsidies

Our educational institutions were never dependent on government support and do not currently exist. People considered themselves to be grateful by donating there themselves. The administration also never interfered in educational institutions or institutions. This was the policy of our ancient politics and administration. Education was completely free.

The present system of education and the ancient Gurukul system in comparison, wherein intelligent students should not be compulsory to read the subject slowly according to their reason for less intelligent students!
If your son is abnormal, intelligent. He has so much ability that he can complete the course up to the tenth standard in 3 years bypassing the first class, But it is not possible to do this in the current education system! It is compulsory to complete the 10th course with other students. This makes 6 years of his life wasted. Although he will pass the first number in every examination, the important 6 years of his life go in vain.

This does not happen in our Gurukul system. Here, students learn the Samhita near Guruji. It takes one month for a minority student to memorize the simple Purusukta and another wise student can memorize the Sukta in 7 days, then Guruji teaches him the next Saurasukta. Then teach third, fourth. Her progress does not stop due to other minority students. Some students memorize Samhita in 3 years. After that, we learn to post, sequence, jata, cube, etc. It may even take 5-6 years for a minority student to learn this. No one is harmed due to this method!


There were three types of education institutions under the Gurukuls of ancient India –

(1) Gurukul – where students stayed in the ashram and studied with the Guru,
(2) Council – where education was given by experts,
(3) Tapasthali – Where there were big conferences and gatherings and discourses yielded knowledge.

Naimisharanya was one such place.

In the Gurukul Ashrams, crores of students have been studying since the beginning of the year. In the Ramayana period, Vashistha had a large ashram where King Dilip went to perform austerities, where Vishwamitra attained brahmata. Another famous ashram of this type was that of Bharadwaja Muni in Prayag.

Gurukul‘ literally means ‘Guru’s family’ or ‘Guru’s clan’. But it has been behaving in the sense of education in India for centuries. The history of Gurukuls contains the history of India’s education system and the defense of knowledge science. In the development of Indian culture, the beliefs of four Purusharthas, four varnas, and four ashrams were interdependent for the accomplishment of their objectives, Gurukul was also a great seeker in their success.

Brahmins, Kshatriyas, and Vaishya children were taken to the Gurukuls at 6, 8 or 11 years of age (Yajnopaveet, Upanayana or Upavita) by sacrificial rituals and seated near the Guru and studied as Brahmachari. The Guru completes his psyche and intellectual rites, teaches him all the scriptures and useful disciplines and finally initiates and marries him and sends him back to perform various duties of householders’ labor.

This initiated an inclusive bachelor who would have been a full-fledged citizen and would have taken measures to attain the trilogy while carrying out various responsibilities of the society. It is clear that the Gurukuls had an important role in the development of Indian civilization and culture.

Gurukuls were often run by Brahmin householders, both inside and outside the villages or towns. The lay scholar and sometimes the clergy also used to attract learners from far away and keep them in their family and with them for many years (ideal and legislation were for twenty-five years).

As a reward, the Brahmachari child either offered his services to the Guru and his family or paid a fee in the event of completion. But gifts with such financial rewards and other items were given as Dakshina form only after initiation and before starting the Guru Vidyadan neither the visitor would ask for anything from the students nor did he return any student from his door. The doors of the Gurukuls were open to all deserving students, rich and poor. His inner life was simple, reverential, devotional and sacrosanct.

The disciple learns from his personality and conduct by staying near (staying close) to the Guru. The Guru and the disciple had a code of mutual dealings and were fully adhered to. All types of scriptures and sciences were taught in the Gurukuls till then, and upon completion of education, the Guru would take the disciple’s examination, initiate and perform the Samvartan rites and send it to his family. While walking, the disciples would give Dakshina according to their power, but the poor students were also freed from it.

The system of Gurukuls continued for a long time in India. The state considered it its duty to make all arrangements for the maintenance of the gurus and Gurukuls. When Kautas, the disciple of Varatantu, despite being very poor, urged him to get some Dakshina, the Guru got angry and asked for an impossible amount of fourteen crores gold coins.

Kautas considered it his right to get that money from King Raghu and that akaichan king who donated everything in the yagna decided to attack Kubera to fulfill the demand of that Brahmin child. Regardless of the superhuman put in this story of Raghuvansh, it is a complete reflection of the education-related rakatayas. There are many such discussions in the Pali literature, from which it is known that kings like Prasenjit donated many villages to the Vednishnat Brahmins, who used to run Gurukuls for distribution of Vedic education. This tradition was often continued by most of the rulers and there are descriptions in many inscriptions of the Gurukuls running in the villages donated to the Brahmins of South India and the teachings taught in them.

The developed forms of Gurukuls were the universities of Taxila, Nalanda, Vikramashila, and Valabhi. It is known from the travelogue of the Jatakas, Hieuwensang, and many other references, that students from far and wide universities used to come to study from the world-famous teachers there. Varanasi was the main center of education since time immemorial and till recently there have been hundreds of Gurukuls, Pathshalas and the Annakshetras continued to feed them.

The same situation remained in Bengal and Nashik and many cities of South India. In the era of Indian national and cultural renaissance beginning in the 19th century, many Gurukuls were established on the tradition of ancient Gurukuls and they had a significant contribution in the spread of nationalism. Although the system of ancient Gurukuls cannot be re-established in modern terms, their ideals can be adopted with necessary changes.

There were patriarchs in ancient Indian Gurukuls. Kalidasa has named Vasistha and Kanva Rishi (Raghuvansh, first, 95 and Abhi Sha, first digit) as the patriarch. The names of some famous and learned patriarchs of the university named Nalanda Mahavihara, established during the Gupta period and attaining their height during the time of Harshavardhana, are known by the description of Hieun Tsang. Buddhist monks Dharmapala and Shilabhadra were prominent among them.

In the ancient Indian period, Gurukul used to be the principal center of teaching, where Brahmachari Vidyarthi or Satyavasi Parivrajakas from far and wide went to complete their teachings. Those Gurukuls were of all types, big or small. But all those Gurukuls can neither be called universities in modern terms nor were all of them headteachers. According to the memoirs ‘मुनीनां दशसाहस्रं योऽन्नदानादि पोषाणात। अध्यायपति विप्रर्षिरसौ कुलपति: स्मृत:।’’

It is clear that the Brahmin sage, who nurtured ten thousand sage students by Annaadi, taught them education, it was called the patriarch. It is clear from the use of the word ‘Smritah’ quoted above that the patriarch’s tradition of an eclipse was very old. The patriarch simply meant the lord of a clan. The family could either be a small and undivided family or a large and many small families of similar origin. The Antivasi student was a member of the patriarch’s great school and the mental and intellectual development was responsible for the patriarch; He was also concerned about the physical health and happiness of the students. Nowadays the term is used to mean ‘vice-chancellor’ of the university.

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7 Replies to “Gurukul – The Education System of Ancient India”

  1. Pingback: Char Dham of India - Char Dham Yatra ~ The Great Ancient India
  2. The relation between teacher and student- The need of present times is to ensure that teachers and students share a friendly relation and respect. This is as when the children feel secure and have trust in the caregiver then they are most likely to emulate the same. This was present in the Gurukul system which can be inculcated today through use of activities, training workshops to bond with the students.

  3. India has always boasted of a rich tradition in the area of learning and education since ancient times. It is well known that people from other nations such as Europe, the Middle East, and Portugal came to India to get a quality education. One of the famous educational systems practised in India in the ancient times was The Gurukul System. You might wonder what exactly a Gurukul system is. Let’s find out more about it.

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