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Arsha Vidyalaya and Swami Ganesha Swarupananda Saraswathi....

By Rajesh Govindarajulu, SimpliCity

Oct 11, 2017

Ganesh Krishnamurthy started questioning the reality of life and the world early in life. He went through what many people do - get a good education (IIT, Delhi, Topper, Iran Centre for Management Studies, Tehran, an affiliate of Harvard Business School, MBA, with Distinction), tasted material success, went through a phase of being known and recognised, travelled the world and observed people, customs and human relationships. However, fundamental questions about life kept resurfacing repeatedly. He wanted to understand the ultimate purpose of life and sensing that all the trappings of success did not satisfy what he was striving for, he started making serious enquiries. His travels in life made him author the book "Horns of a Dilemma" published by Partridge in the year 2015.

The scholar in him used the excellent training he had received from formal education as well what he had assimilated through observations in order to find the answers. Ganesh persistently asked erudite people, read the works of philosophers and thinkers while also discussing the subject of his quest with other seekers. Finally this lead him to the scriptures of our country. Ultimately he sought the guidance of the great traditional Guru of out times, Swami Dayananda Saraswathi with whose help he could unfold the secrets of the self. He spent about three and a half years living with and learning from his Guru at his Gurukulam in Anaikatti on the outskirts of Coimbatore. Now Ganesh is the self realised Swami Ganesha Swarupananda Saraswathi who lives at his ashram, ARSHA VIDYALAYA at the foothills of Marudamalai.

"Our tradition offers the best to the seeker. The vast repertoire of books which form part of our scriptures help us to lead a realised life. My teacher Swami Dayananda Saraswathi taught me and everyone the truth concerning Iswara, Jagat and the Athma or the soul. He really worked hard with us in spite of his deteriorating health by teaching us four hours a day for over three years. We basically learned the Upanishads like Kaivalya, Mundaka, Katha, Chandogya, Mandukya, Prasna and Taittreya. Sanskrit Vyakaranam was taught and we learnt how to chant mantras like Rudram, Chamakam, Medha Sukhtham, Purusha Suktham, Bhagya Sukhtham, Durga Sukhtham and Dakshinamurthy Stothram etc., We learnt the Bhagawad Gita and our study included the understanding of Sankarabhasyam on the primary text of Sanathana Dharma - The Brahma Sutra. Poojya Swamiji began with English while using Sanskrit and Tamil as and when it was required. We never did any exams and one should ultimately become an adhikari. The course helped each aspirant to understand the goals of life - Dharma, Artha , Kama and Moksha. It is only when we understand the scriptures can we become a Mumukshu - one who desires freedom. Freedom from the sense of limitation leads us to liberation. The sastras help us to remove the layer of ignorance and understand the true nature of the self which is already free. A Mango seed has the knowledge of a mango tree, is it not", smiled Swami Ganesha Swarupananda Saraswathi.

The Swamiji lives in the quaint retreat Arsha Vidyalaya and helps the seeker use the self as the torch which leads one to bliss. Adds the Swamiji, "Our cells change regularly and it is proven that change is constant for the body and everything else. In order to remove the limitations faced by us we should seek the guidance of a traditional Guru. The light of knowledge is the Guru. If we go into a dark room, a torch will show the objects but will not show the source of light. The source of light is the "Self" or "Athma". In order to help the seeker to understand the self and its potential the Arsha Vidyalaya held a Spiritual Retreat from the 11th of August 2017 for a period of one month. All the participants were offered breakfast, lunch and dinner. The stay facility was offered for a limited number of people and it was subject to availability of space. The day began with meditation followed by the classes which help us lead a stress free life with the aid of knowledge. We drew from the traditional texts and tried to help people address issues faced by them. The next part gave an introduction to Vedanta through "Tattwa Bodha" by Sankara primarily in English and the third part was addressed by Gitamma who taught a number of stotrams which will help the sadhaka to get a vision of Vedanta through the route of prayer and bhakti. Basically the ones who consistently attended at least one part of the three fold measures will help him or her to eventually become self realised."

The austere Swamiji takes classes for a number of people on line and in person as well. The ashram way of life is sure to induce a lot of good. Food is vegetarian and is therefore Satwik while the approach is completely calm and unassuming. Every meal begins with a chanting of the 15 th chapter of Bhagavad Gita. The ashram is self contained and the shrines of Lord Dakshinamurthy and Lord Ganesha are sure to aid the seeker pursuing Vedanta at this lovely premises. Swami Dayananda Saraswathi is ever present at Arsha Vidyalaya for it is sanctified by his portrait and his sacred sandals.

Swami Ganesha Swarupananda Saraswathi belongs to a rare tribe of monks who help people achieve their spiritual goals with the aid of Vedanta.
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