Pandit Producing Gurukuls

A good part of Gurukuls today are focussed on producing pandits and people who study the ancient scriptures & literature of India. To a greater or a lesser degree, they may be focussing on the practical aspects of spirituality also, like, meditation, devotion, etc.

These Gurukuls produces Pandits (Indian Priests), but do not focus much on the practical aspects of Spirituality. They are primararily focussed on memorizing Scriptures instead of focussing on Spiritual Realization.

PROS of this category of Gurukuls

They teach a lot of life skills

CONS of this category of Gurukuls

Lack of focus on Practical Religion

Except the ISKCON Gurukuls, most of the Gurukuls in this category, the ones listed above and those which are not listed, focus a great deal on memorising scriptures instead of following them practically. Ex: They do not focus much on realising the self through meditation and devotion. But the very aim of Religion is realisation.

Most well known modern Saint, Swami Vivekananda, said:

"Religion is realisation; not talk, nor doctrine, nor theories, however beautiful they may be. It is being and becoming, not hearing or acknowledging; it is the whole soul becoming changed into what it believes. That is religion."

Spirituality, Religion, God, and Scriptures have no meaning if they do not push one toward Self-Realization or God-Realization.

It is true that reading, memorising, and thinking about the scriptures also very slowly pushes towards Self-Realization. But it also fills one with pride of knowing a lot intellectually.

That is why Kabir said:

Hindi: "Pothi padh-padh jag mua, pandit bhaya na koye.

Dhai akhar prem ka, padhe so pandit hoye."

Translation: Bookish knowledge does not make anyone a scholar, one who understands the language of [Divine] love is a true scholar.

Making Indian Priests (Pandits) is the focus

They focus on producing Indian Priests who spend their lives focussing on conducting Religious ceremonies like Yagya (havan) or Ritualistic Puja (Prayer) during Indian Marriage ceremonies, House Warming, etc. If someone wants to live a normal professional life like that of an Engineer, Doctor, Business man, these Gurukuls are not fit for them. Pass-outs of these Gurukuls are not fit for joining a normal college like an Engineering College, Medical College, etc.

Looks and Lifestyle of the child are strongly affected

Students need to cut the hair and have a small patch of hair on the back of the head. Their clothing is also changed and many times they continue to wear the same for lifetime because they end up choosing a profession of a priest.

Take aways for SoM:

Studying these kinds of Schools gives an exposure to this category of Indian Schools. The focus on practical Spirituality in these schools is very superficial. SoM is much different.