The Arya Samaj community in Guyana has opened what is called the Maharshi Dayananda Gurukula at Uitvlugt, West Coast Demerara.
Its aim is to preserve the culture of the community, including their language, music and religion.
The opening of the Gurukula, or school, was held following an intensive course in Hindi, Sanskrit, sanskaars, astronomy, Manu Smriti and music. Students will be able to Speak, Read & Write Elementary, Intermediate and Advanced Hindi & Sanskrit.
Speaking at the opening ceremony Sunday, the newly accredited Indian High Commissioner to Guyana, Dr K.J. Sreenivasa, lauded the fact that Indian traditions are being kept alive almost two centuries after Indian indentured labourers arrived in Guyana.
Having been in Guyana for just 11 days, the High Commissioner said “this shows that the people of Indian origin in these countries…the diaspora has indeed made a mark for itself.”
He disclosed that the Indian government is looking at ways to collaborate with the Gurukula. These include sourcing Hindi teachers.
“We’re already working on getting more Hindi teachers for Guyana, we are working getting more Hindi books, more Hindi learning materials, we’re also trying to see if somebody can come from India or students can be sent from here to India to be trained as pandits.”
The objectives of the Gurukula include creating a forum (but not limited to) individuals in the Arya/Hindu Community who will seek to maintain the cultural, religious and spiritual well-being of members and non-members for the promotion of unity by working together to achieve cohesive growth.
Another aim of the school is to improve the physical, social and spiritual state of being of both its members and non-members by creating and maintaining educational, social and religious institutions which will respond to the emerging needs of the population in Guyana.
“This land of ours is still in need of leadership, just pure, basic, humane leadership,’ said Yog Mahadeo, President of the Guyana Central Arya Samaj.
“I don’t care who they are that has been in power, they have let us down for 50 years and…I’m glad to see there is a plan to expand across communities and societies because this land of ours needs every one of you.”
The Gurukula said it will give back to communities and the country through charitable outreaches in the form of medical outreaches and other efforts in collaboration with various Non-Governmental Organizations, ministries of Government and other agencies.
One of the mottos of the school is to promote social, cultural and humanitarian activities designed to address the problems that exist in society and to arrange for the spread of Vedic pphilosophy.
The Gurukula says it will arrange for the spread of Vedic philosophy and for that to provide for recitation of Vedas and other Vedic ceremonies, lectures of philosophers from various fields, prayer and Yajna, etc. for moral and spiritual advancement of the general public.