Students graduate at ‘Gurukula’ Hindu youth camp

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(At Centre) Dr. Satish Prakash flanked by students who display their certificates at the Maharishi Dayananda Gurukula at the Arya Samaj Temple, Windsor Forest West Coast Demerara. (Delano Williams Photo)

ONE hundred and forty students graduated from a Hindu religious youth camp on Saturday hosted by the Maharishi Dayananda Gurukula (Guyana Chapter) in collaboration with the Windsor Forest Arya Samaj.

The diplomas were handed out to students at the Arya Samaj Temple, Windsor Forest West Coast Demerara.

According to Camp Administrator Vedkumar Bowan, it is the 62nd training camp and the focus this year was on discussing critical questions on Hinduism.

He explained that the event was facilitated by Dr. Satish Prakash who is the executive director of the New York arm of the chapter.

“The 140 students were from across the country and two of our young leaders were sent to India for nine months for musical training and they taught some of the students who were interested in various instruments,” Bowan explained.

In service to humanity, Dr. Satish Prakash, who is also a Pandit and the spiritual head of the movement in Guyana, said his intention is to complete the Gurukula building at Uitvlught, West Coast Demerara with a full residential facility.

He explained that the Gurukula complex will be made up of an L-shaped three storey building.

“We have already erected a concrete fence around the perimeter of the land. The foundation for the auditorium is currently being laid. The expected date of completion of the auditorium is September, 2018. The entire Gurukula complex is expected to be complete in September, 2020,” he said.

Further, he explained that two programmes will be taught side by side in the Gurukula – one for those students who need a second chance at acquiring their high school diploma, and the other for youngsters who wish to train to become Vedic-Hindu missionaries. All students will be taught Hindi, Sanskrit, Music, and Yoga. Teachers will be recruited from both Guyana and India.

“I have been on the platform of the Arya Samaj. I have been travelling worldwide, providing support services by way of lecturing, Vedas and allied Sanskritic subjects to Arya Samaj/Sanatani groups in many countries of the world – in India, in Trinidad, Guyana, Suriname, Canada — as well as various cities of the United States, preaching from Vedas, Ramayana, Bhagwat Gita, and other holy books,” he noted.

Born at Uitvlugt on the West Coast of Demerara in Guyana, Dr. Prakash attended St. Stanislaus College before pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in modern languages, specifically French and Spanish, at the University of Guyana. After graduating in 1974, he worked as head of the Arya Samaj Youth Movement until 1997; when, in January of that year, he left Guyana’s shores to pursue religious studies in India.

Dr. Satish attended the Gurukula, a school of Sanskritic studies located in Haryana, India, where he studied advanced Sanskrit grammar for three years, which he described as very intense and advanced; and this attached a Sanskrit component to his Bachelor’s degree in Modern Languages. This qualified him for admission to the Master’s degree in Vedic Sanskrit in Gurukul Kangri University, located in Haridwar, India, which is known as a Sanskritic city in Eastern Utter Pradesh. In 1985, Pt Satish received his PhD in Vedic Sanskrit Literature.