Ananda Marga Gurukula – Education for Liberation and Sustainable Community Development

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Ananda Marga Gurukula

Education for Liberation and Sustainable Community Development

by

Ac. Dhanjoo N. Ghista

Ananda Marga Gurukula

This article is on Ananda Marga Gurukula, contributing to Ananda Nagar Holistic Development: A Partnership in Education for (i) Liberation and Enlightenment, and (ii) Sustainable Community Development.  Ananda Nagar will be the original set up of our Gurukula, to propagate Baba’s mission to build a new society on this planet:

“From this very auspicious moment, you should take a vow to progress individually and collectively and build a new society on the planet Earth. We have come to build a new society, to construct and to remain engaged in constructive works throughout our life. This would be the greatest mission of our life”, Baba, on 29 September 1990, Madhu Korak, Calcutta.

 However, we cannot rest here in order to propagate Baba’s mission worldwide.  In view of what is happening in US and worldwide, it is very important for us to set up Ananda Marga Gurukula in many countries, so that we can develop a new civilization on this planet, promoting a more evolved society based on the following vision and mission of Gurukula.

VISION

Education for Knowledge and Discovery, Liberation and Service, Human Wellbeing and Society Building, Evolution and Enlightenment.

Mission

  1. To promote knowledge and discovery in all fields, cosmic outlook and enlightenment.
  2. To serve as a model for the role of university in community development.
  3. To educate the ‘whole student’, by inspiring them to (i) become community builders and global citizens, (ii) advance human development in all realms, build bridges and bring people

together, (iii) solve problems of poverty and healthcare, (iii) take care of the wellbeing of all living beings including all animals, and through it all to build a new era of evolved human

civilization.

  1. To sow the seeds for cultivating a happy living world of shared prosperity, without suffering due to poverty and disease, religious and social discrimination, old age neglect and isolation.
  2. To promote Neohumanism, to elevate humanism to universalism, the cult of love for all   created beings of this universe.
  3. To develop the basis and implementation of economic democracy, PROUT, for the economic liberation of human beings and the universal well-being of all—including plants and animals.
  4. Provide the basis for an advanced human society and civilization on this planet—promoting cosmic thinking and outlook beyond materialism and capitalism, eliminating poverty and

destitution, modernizing healthcare to promote wellness and prevent suffering due to disease and old age, ending discrimination and persecution.

  1.  Develop a heightened spiritual civilization on this planet, in which people can live happily and divinely.

The lotus flower grows in muddy waters and rises above the surface to bloom with remarkable beauty, fixedly gazing at the moon—its inspirational ideal. Untouched by the impurity, the lotus flower symbolizes the sustained purity of heart and mind under the most adverse circumstances.

Likewise, let us live untouched by the muddy landscape around us by fixedly gazing at Baba, and invoking His divine grace!

 

Education is the primary vehicle for advancement of backward communities. The philosophy of Neo-Humanism is the back bone of the Ananda Marga Gurukula Education system.

Today, Ananda Nagar is a timeless land whose mystic beauty stands as a witness for the human drama 

prevalent within it. Ananda Marga Gurukula is committed to transforming Ananda Nagar into a vibrant and sustainable Neo Humanist community by providing living security to the people.

VISION

Education for Knowledge and Discovery, Liberation and Evolution, Human Wellbeing and Society Building, Enlightenment and Service.

Mission

1. To promote knowledge and discovery, humanitarian thinking and cosmic outlook.

2. To serve as a model for the role of university in community development, in Ananda Nagar.

3. To educate the ‘whole student’, by inspiring them to (i) be community builders and world citizens, (ii) advance human development in all realms, to build bridges and bring people together, (iii) solve problems of poverty and healthcare, (iii) take care of the wellbeing of all living beings including all animals, and through it all

To build a new era of advanced human civilization.

1. To sow the seeds for cultivating a happy living world, without suffering due to poverty and disease, religious and social discrimination, old age neglect and isolation.

2. To develop the structure of smart political governance, sans political parties.

3. To develop the basis and implementation of economic democracy, PROUT, for the economic liberation of human beings and the universal well-being of all—including plants and animals.

4. To bring sunshine in the lives of the people of Rarh and Ananda Nagar.

5. To develop the University campus as a ideal garden-city, inspiring everyone to come together based on the concept of Sam’gacchadhvam’ Sam’vadadhvam, to develop a cosmic andspiritual civilization.

Ananda Nagar: The Dreamland

Ananda Nagar is situated in the north-eastern part of India, in the heart of “Rarh”. It is one of the most underdeveloped regions of  India, covering Purulia and the neighboring districts of Bengal, Singhbhum and the adjoining areas of Bihar and Orissa. However, Rarh was the starting point of civilization and was once covered by dense forests. Its villages, named Baglat (meaning abode of tigers in creepers and shrubs), Singhagra (the roaring of lions), and Dimidiha (a place covered with eggs and where Siberian birds used to lay eggs), bear testimony to that glorious past.

A hill stands southwest of Ananda Nagar named Asthi Pahad (Fossil Hill), which contains ancient fossils, including those of dinosaurs. The great Maharshi Kapila was born in Pat Jhalda (23 kilometers southwest of Ananda Nagar) 3,500 years ago. Maharshi Kapila was not only the first philosopher of the world but also the inventor of algebra and geometry.

Today Ananda Nagar is a dreamland – the dreamland for seekers for peace and tranquillity, the dreamland of educators – of teachers and education-conscious students and guardians. Alighting at the quaint Pundag Railway Station, one proceeds towards central Ananda Nagar, which is being developed between the rivers Daksina and Uttara, gently flowing down the rugged terrain.

The  Changing  Landscape

With the setting up of Ananda Marga Gurukula, this prehistoric landscape will reverberate with the neohumanistic endeavours of Gurukula educators and students, to bring about all-round renaissance in the civilization of its forgotten people, through agriculture and farming, engineering and minning, healthcare and education, literature and itihasa, linguistics and fine arts, all based on the foundations of supra-aesthetic and Tantra science.

Ananda Nagar is composed of a total of some fifty-five villages. The emergence of Gurukula township will take these villages into the modern but Neohumanistic age, through the influence of the various Gurukula institutions in the areas of medical treatment, agro- research, veterinary care, cultural activities and training in the Tantra yoga of their ancestors

Ananda Nagar Project Founding

The Ananda Nagar project took birth in 1962, as the vision of Sadguru Shrii Prabhat R. Sarkar. Our goal is to make Ananda Nagar the economic, cultural, educational and spiritual capital for those desiring a happy blending of the synthetic outlook of the East and the analytical rigour of the West.

The Ananda Nagar project is in fact an attempt to build an oasis in the midst of this desert caused by human neglect and exploitative mentality. In order to take Ananda Nagar and its neighbouring poorest districts of the West Bengal (especially Purulia and Bankura) and Jharkhand out of the vicious cycle of poverty, attention has first to be given to guarantee the minimum requirements of life to the people, and to provide to them socio- cultural, healthcare, employment and economic security. Towards this end, Sadguru Prabhat R. Sarkar outlined the detailed planning for economic sustainability of every single part of Ananda Nagar aside from giving general information about the development of its surrounding districts and region.

Education is the primary vehicle for  advancement of backward communities. The philosophy of Neo-Humanism is the backbone of the Ananda Marga Gurukula Education system. If humanism accepts humanity as one and indivisible, Neo-Humanism goes beyond it and declares that the future of all co-existing human beings, as well as of animals and plants is woven together. The ecologists of the day accept this fact, and the world is becoming increasingly aware of oncoming ecological disasters, due to the recklessness and selfishness of human culture.

Under the slogan Education for All, Gurukula can bring education to Ananda Nagar and other economically neglected areas. “Education for all” emphasizes a clear understanding of the deep relationship between humans, other living entities and the environment and, at the same time, promotes the development of the subtle expression of the inner-self.

Gurukula Founding

Ananda Marga Gurukula (AMGU) was founded by Sadguru Shrii Prabhat Rainjan Sarkar on September 7, 1990, just prior to His Holy departure on October 21, 1990. The Gurukula is an initiative to remold the contemporary educational systems in light of Neo-Humanism, a philosophy that extends the love of the human heart to all people, plant life, animal life, and the inanimate world. Ananda Marga Gurukula was defined by Rev. Baba in great detail. Herein, we are summarizing it.

Aim of Ananda Marga Gurukula: “To serve humanity with Neo- Humanism spirit and to acquire knowledge for that purpose”.

Central Organisational Structure of Ananda Marga Gurukula President and Purodha Pramukha is the Highest Authority of AMGK Cakradhuri (AMGK steering body and Mahasamiti—Faculty Senate)

Kulapati – Chancellor,

Upa Kulapati – Vice Chancellor,

Mahasachiv – Registrar

Karyalaya –  Office Secretary, Varga

Pratinidhis – Academic Controllers,

Faculties

Tantra Studies, Bengali, English, Hindi, Samskrta; Philosophy, Psychology,

History, Archeology, Ecology; Teachers Training, Moral Teaching, Journalism, NHE, Socio-Economic Liberation of Women, Economics, Political Science, Law, Music, Fine Arts, Health & Sports, Anthropology, Geology & Mining; Commerce, Home Science, Chemistry, Bio-Science, Zoology, Botany, Math, Physics, Statistics, Integrated Medicine (Allopathy, Homeopathy, Electro Homeopathy; Ayurveda, Naturopathy, Acupuncture, Chandsi), Scientific Research, Farming, Veterinary Medicine; Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Industry were the initial departments mandated by Shrii Sarkar.

1. Ananda Marga Gurukula for Ananda Nagar Renaissance

Ananda Marga Gurukula constitutes an integral component of the Ananda Nagar Holistic Development project. It’s educational, social, infrastructural farming, industrial, and community development programs are meant to impact all aspects of Ananda Nagar transformation: socio-culturally, agriculturally and industrially, economically, healthcare, and education (from primary to tertiary), from enhancing literacy to spiritual rejuvenation.

The  educational  system at Ananda Nagar is based on Neohumanism. This innovative philosophy of Ananda Nagar’s and Gurukula’s founder Sadguru Shrii Prabhat R. Sarkar is based on spiritual values. It accepts that the destinies of all existences; including human beings, animals, plants and inanimate objects, are tightly woven together. All must be properly cared for, if we are to avoid or at least reduce a rapidly approaching global ecological catastrophe.

Gurukula is the traditional name for residential universities and educational centers in ancient India, involving holistic education combining knowledge imparting and enlightenment development. Ananda Marga Gurukula University is being created in the Tantric and bhakti tradition, which will apply Neohumanist values in all areas of academic and professional life. This monumental project constitutes a model of how to transform an impoverished community into a vibrant sustainable community, having:

  • Education and healthcare;
  • Farms and agro-industry;
  • Community infrastructure: electricity, telephone system, water supply, roads;
  • IT, pharmacy,  banking, computer and handphone manufacturing industries;
  • Employment guarantee;
  • Socio-cultural and economic security.

Already, several hundred students are attending various primary and secondary level educational institutions at Ananda Nagar. The present College of Arts and Sciences will be developed into a comprehensive Gurukula Faculty of Arts, Science and Education.

Now, we are planning to set up the following six Colleges:

  1. Ananda Marga Gurukula Faculty of Arts, Science and Education (FASED)
  2. Ananda Marga (Gurukula) Institute of Technology (AMIT)
  3. Ananda Marga Gurukula Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS)
  4. Ananda Marga Gurukula Faculty of Farming, Veterinary Science and Agro-Industrial Development (FFVSAID)
  5. Ananda Marga Gurukula Faculty of Industrial Development and Business Management (FIDBM)
  6. Ananda Marga Gurukula Faculty of Law and Governance (FLAWGOV)

2. Gurukula’s Role for making Ananda Nagar’s multi-faceted development to be sustainable:

The modern concept of colleges and universities is that they should also be agents of social transformation. So in keeping with this enhanced theme and purpose of academic institutions, we are setting up our Gurukula Faculties to be intrinsically involved in community development and its social transformation from its present impoverished state to a sustainable community, providing socio- economic security to its people.

Gurukula Faculties Mission for Multi-faceted Development of Ananda Nagar:

These Colleges will be contributing to the transformation of Ananda Nagar into a sustainable community and bringing sunshine into the lives of its poor forgotten people. All the Faculties will offer bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in their respective fields.

The Faculty of Arts, Science and Education (FASED) will Comprise of: School of Humanities and Social Sciences (including Neohumanism and PROUT); School of Physical, Biological and Life Sciences (including Microvita); School of Education; School of Women’s Rights and Empowerment; School of Sports Science; School of Spiritual Science (including Tantra, Bhakti and Prabhat Samgiita). The Faculty will contribute to (i) the cultural renaissance ofAnanda Nagar’s community, (ii) teach students to integrate the disciplines of Literature & Arts, History & Sociology, and Philosophy & Psychology into a Humanities bloc, to enable them to develop the outlook and means for individual and collective welfare, and (iii) enable students to understand and appreciate the mechanisms of natural phenomena and processes that they encounter in day-to-day living. The School of Education will offer M.Ed degree in Education for school teachers; it will also set up new schools for girls, with a comprehensive curriculum to prepare them for college education in all the disciplines; we can even consider having a separate College of Education.

The Ananda Marga Institute of Technology (AMIT) will Comprise of: Departments of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Biomedical & Clinical Engineering, Mechanical & Production Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering, Waste Management Engineering, Chemical & Materials Engineering, Renewable Solar & Wind Power Engineering, Agricultural & Food Production Engineering. The prime remit of A M I T is to understake the responsibility for infra structural development of Ananda Nagar, ranging from water supply and irrigation systems to electrical power supply using renewable energy resources. This Faculty will also be involved in making the campuses of all the Facilities into eco-villages.

The Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS) will address the hitherto unfulfilled need for healthcare for the entire Ananda Nagar community and Purulia District, through its Central Hospital and Primary-care Clinics, by means of which medical and healthcare will be reached to all the corners of the community. The Faculty will comprise of (i) School of Medicine, providing integrated  medical education (in Allopathy , Homeopathy, Ayurveda) for MBBS and MD degrees, MD-PhD (Medical Sciences) and MD – PhD (Biomedical Engineering, Biophysics, Biochemistry) degrees; (ii) School of Nursing, offering BS, MS and PhD degrees; (iii) School of Health Sciences, offering MSc and PhD degrees and MD-PhD studies (Mind-Body Medicine) (iv) School of Healthcare Management, offering MS and MD-MBA (Hospital & Healthcare Management) degrees.

The Faculty of Farming, Veterinary Science and Agro- Industrial Development (FFV SAID) will provide food and occupational security to the region, by (i) providing to the local farmers, advanced methods on farming science and technology, for agricultural and horticultural produces, medicinal and bio fuel plants, and (ii) promoting the development of agro-industries, for a variety of products ranging from food and clothing to medicines. The Faculty will comprise of School of Farming, School of Veterinary Science, and School of Agro-Industrial Development. The College’s academic programs will be oriented to promote self-reliance to the region, by its orientation to foodproduction

The Faculty  of  Industrial Development and Business Management (FIDBM) will comprise of Schools of  Business Management, Industrial Development, Public Administration, Hospital Management and City management. Its prime remit is to (i) foster and manage the cooperative industrial development of Ananda Nagar township for its economic growth, and (ii) attract companies to Ananda Nagar to facilitate this development. This will be done as per the extensive development plans for Ananda Nagar given by Shrii Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar

The Faculty of Law and Governance (FLAWGOV) will provide the legal framework for industrial development of Ananda Nagar, respecting indigenous land and natural-resources rights. The Faculty will offer LLB, LLM and LLD degrees in all fields of Law: Civil Rights, Criminal Law, Cooperatives Law, Employment and Labour Law, Environmental and Natural Resources Law, Family and Juvenile Law, Intellectual Property Law, International Law, Real Estate Law, Tax Law, Rural Property Law and Human, Animal and Earth Rights Law. The College has hence a very important role in (i) not only providing education in all these fields, but also in (ii) providing legal implementation of constitutional rights and protection of the rural communities’ land rights. It will also work with the State Government in eliciting funding for infrastructure development and farming irrigation system.

3. Gurukula and Ananda Nagar

Through this integral project of “Ananda Marga Gurukula University and Ananda Nagar Township Development”, we will implement an enlightened concept of human society, as embodied in the almost 8 millennium old shloka of “Samgacchadhavam”, meaning “Let us move together”’.

We want to develop this project, as a model of how to transform poor communities into progressive communities, in which everyone  will  work   together to collectively develop human potentialities and land resources. We can then employ this project as a model for sustainable development of Developing countries.

  • Our Vision for Gurukula University is to:
    1.  Develop cosmic knowledge and outlook.
    2.  Provide the basis for a new human society and civilization on this planet—above materialism and capitalism, eliminating poverty and suffering, ending discrimination and persecution
    3. Develop a heightened spiritual civilization on this planet, in which people can live happily and divinely.

The lotus flower grows in muddy waters and rises above the surface to bloom with remarkable beauty, fixedly gazing at the moon—its inspirational ideal. Untouched by the impurity, the lotus flower symbolizes the sustained purity of heart and mind under the most adverse circumstances. Likewise let us live untouched by the muddy landscape ground us by fixedly gazing at Baba and invoking his divine Grace.

With this culture at heart, the mission given by Shrii Sarkar for Ananda Marga Gurukula will move forward with greater acceleration from now onwards. Shrii Sarkar gave the essence of this movement saying, “From this very auspicious moment, you should take a vow to progress induvidually and collectively and build a new society on the planet Earth. We have come to build a new society, to construct and to remain engaged in constructive works throughout our life. This would be the greatest mission of our life.”

(Gurukul: History and Planning)