Arya Samaj was a reformist movement that Swami Dayananda Saraswati started. There is an estimated 40+ gurukuls that are affiliated with Arya Samaj in one way or the other. Most of these gurukuls are free i.e. they do not charge any fees from the students and provide free education as well as free boarding.
Though they are run to revive the ancient gurukul education system. But the primary focus of these gurukuls is on studying Sanskrit grammar.
The gurukuls run by Arya Samaj are the closest to the Vedic gurukuls though they implement only a subset of the system that used to be followed in Vedic Gurukuls. The system followed by gurukuls teaches:
- These gurukuls are keeping the ancient tradition of Hinduism alive.
- They offer free education as well as free boarding.
- Though something is better than nothing. But these gurukuls are focusing only on the religious parts.
- Arya Samaj gurukuls only focus on Sanskrit grammar. No other subjects or the study of shastras is offered.
- Some gurukuls offer courses in Darshan (philosophy)
- The system is stagnant and dying. No further research is being conducted and there are no other courses on offer.
- Newer gurukuls that are opening are nothing but residential schools i.e. following the same curriculum of schools. So the system is diluting.
Following are the subjects taught at an Arya Samaj gurukul:
- Panini’s Asthadhayayi
In addition to studying these subjects, brahmacharis (students) learn to perform yagya and imparted physical education.
Most of the gurukuls do not charge any fees i.e. they are completely free. These gurukuls provide free learning, boarding, and free food as well.