Arsha Vidya Pitham, Saylorsburg, PA

Vedic Heritage class – 1st and 3rd Sundays (Children)

10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m :        Krishna Puja

10:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m:         Chanting

11:15 a.m. -12:15 p.m:          Yoga/Purna Vidya

12:30 p.m – 1:30 p.m:            Aarti / Lunch


We hope you are doing well! As the summer starts, we would like to share more information about our upcoming summer camps for children.
Please register for the camp at

We are still looking for adult volunteers and teachers to look after the kids during the camp. Please consider this excellent service and reach out to Shivam if interested. 

    • We will be operating three summer camps for children ages 6-17 –
  • Family Camp 1 & Children’s Couse 1  – 7/27 – 8/2 
  • Children ages 9-17 can attend this camp without their parents. Parents are, of course, welcome to attend the adult retreat.
  • This camp will include teenage counselors led by Shivamji and Team
  • Family Camp 2 & Children’s Course 2 (unaccompanied by parents) – 8/3 – 8/9 
  • Children ages 13-17 can attend this camp without their parents. Parents are, of course, welcome to attend the adult retreat.
  • Led by Suryaji and Team
    • Family Camp 3 (children must attend with parents/guardians) – 8/10 – 8/16
  • During the first and second camps, children can attend the camp with or without adults (unaccompanied).  Please pay attention to the ages listed above. 
  • Campers must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 two weeks before arriving at AVG. COVID-19 vaccination records will be asked for when they arrive.
  • At this point, we will not require masks for indoor activities except in specific environments around immunocompromised adults.

If you have a specific question, please contact Shivam Gosai at for more information. 

Please register for the camp at

We look forward to seeing you and your children at the Gurukulam soon!

2021 Children’s camp details

*** MESSAGE UPDATED 5/28/21 – CDC guidance for summer camps has changed on 5/28/21. Now all three summer camps will be open for vaccinated children due to the CDC guidance***

Dear Parents,

First and foremost, we hope that you and your loved ones are safe and healthy. We have received questions from parents about if and how COVID-19 will affect Arsha Vidya Gurukulam’s children’s summer camps. We know this pandemic has been stressful to many and recognize that socializing and interacting with peers can be a healthy way for children to cope with stress and connect with others, particularly after spending quite a bit of time at home. 

The CDC has changed its guidelines on 5/28/2021 and accordingly, we are excited to let you know that we plan to resume all three summer family camps for vaccinated children ages 12-18 while following CDC considerations to protect campers, families, and our community.
Please register for the camp at

 To clarify:

We ask that you help us protect the health of campers this summer. Anyone who is sick or was sick with COVID-19 or recently in contact with someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days— including staff, campers, and families— should not come to camp. Be on the lookout for symptoms of COVID-19, which include fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, and loss of taste or smell. Call your doctor if you think you or a family member is sick.

If you have a specific question about this plan or COVID-19, please contact Shivam Gosai at for more information. You can also find more information on the CDC’s website for youth and summer camps.

Please register for the camp at
If your child is interested in being a teenage counselor (ages 16+), please have them fill out this link

We look forward to seeing you.
Thank you and stay healthy,
Shivam Gosai & Suddhatma Chaitanya
2021 AVG Camp Administrators

2020 Camp details
We are very excited to announce the Arsha Vidya Gurukulam Children’s Summer Camps! The theme this year will be on the topic of Connecting to Ishvara. This topic will explore different means of worship, relating, and understanding what is Ishvara/Bhagavān. Please see the attachment!
Dates for the children summer camps:
Camp I – July 19- July 25
Camp II – July 26 – August 1
Camp III – August 2 – 8
Please register your children (and your friends’ children) through THIS LINK

Even if you have called and registered through the office please complete this online form (this will guarantee we have all the correct information). 

With our team of trusted and friendly teachers, your children can new friends and learn through these activities: Vedic Heritage, Yoga, Meditation, Singing, Story Telling, Games, and Arts & Crafts.

Children may be unaccompanied for children’s course 1 (ages 9 – 16) and course 2 (ages 9-12). They will stay with trusted adults.

The price is $100 for registration and $350 for room and board for each child staying at the Gurukulam.
Also, we are seeking adult volunteers to serve as “Cabin Parents” staying with the children. If you are willing, please contact We will then guide you on completing a background check, etc.
Please call the AVG office at 570-992-2339 or email if you have any other questions.
[pdf-embedder url=”” title=”AVG Summer Camps 2020″]

2019 Children’s Camp schedule

July 21-27 Children’s Course I (Ages 9-16) Unaccompanied by parents

July 28-Aug 3 Children’s Course II (Ages 9-12) Unaccompanied by parents

You can get more information by calling Gurukulam’s office at Call: (570) 992 2339 or Email:

Arsha Vidya Gurukulam is hosting a traditional Gurukulam style camp for children, a tradition where students live and study with their teacher. The camp will be conducted by experienced teachers in-keeping with the vision of Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati of helping everyone grow to their full potential.

It will also include topics on culture, religion, philosophy, psychology and health. The camp will build character and values while children learn responsibility and cooperation and gain independence and self-esteem. With experienced teachers, beautiful facilities, and unique variety of activities, we aim not just to provide a fun camp environment, but to shape and train young minds. We invite children to come and join us at the serene and picturesque Gurukulam for a week filled with motivational talks and demonstrations, energizing activities, games.

Camp activities include learning Yoga, Slokas, field trip, cultural activities and more.

Lord Daksinamurti

In the vision of the Veda, this creation is a manifestation of the Lord. Being the cause, he is all knowledge, especially spiritual knowledge. We have a name for that Lord Daksinamurti.

The Lord presented in this form as Dakṣiṇāmūrti is the one who has eight aspects. The first five aspects are thefive elements. In the Veda the world is presented in the form of five elements—ākāśa, space,which includes time; vāyu, air; agni, fire; āpa, water; and pṛthivī, earth.

In this Vedic model of the universe, the five elements are non-separate from the Lord. In fact, these five elements constitute the Lord’s form, which is this universe.

The next two aspects are represented by the sun and the moon.

When, as an individual, I look at this world, what stands out in the sky are the sun and moon.

The moon represents all planets other than earth, and the sun represents allluminous bodies.

The eighth aspect is me, the jīva—the one who is looking at the world.

These eight aspects are to be understood as one whole. This is the Lord.

When we look at the form of Dakṣiṇāmūrti, we can see representations of the five elements. Space, ākāśa, is represented by a ḍamaru, a drum, in his right hand. In order to show space in a sculpture, it needs to be enclosed.

Empty space is enclosed in the ḍamaru, enabling it to issue sound, or śabda.

Next, vāyu, air, is represented by Dakṣiṇāmūrti’s hair with the bandana, the band, holding his hair in place against the wind. Bandana is a Sanskrit word which comes from the root band, to bind.

In his left hand, you will see a torch, which represents agni, fire.

Āpa, water, is shown by the Gaṅga, in the form of a Goddess, which you can see on Dakṣiṇāmūrti’s head.

Pṛthivī, the earth, is represented by the whole idol.

Then there are people, the jīvas, Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanātana and Sanatsujāta, who are the disciples of Dakṣiṇāmūrti, sitting at the base of sculpture.

The sun and moon are also shown in this form of the Lord.

On the left side of Dakṣiṇāmūrti you will find a crescent moon, and on his right side there is a circle, representing the sun—a whole circle.

So we see five elements, two planets and the jīva constituting the aṣṭa-mūrti-bhṛt, the Lord of these eight factors that are the whole.

You can worship Dakṣiṇāmūrti as the Lord, the one who is aṣṭa-mūrti-bhṛt, or you can invoke him as a teacher, because he also is in the form of a teacher.

His very sitting posture, āsana, is the teacher’s āsana. What does he teach? Look at his hand gesture. That shows wha the teaches. His index finger, the one we use to point at others, represents the ahaṅkāra, the ego.

The other three fingers represent your body, deha, mind, antaḥkaraņa and sense organs, prāņa.

They also may be seen as the three bodies, śarīras, the gross, subtle, and causal. This is what the jīva mistakes himself to be. The aṅguṣṭha, the thumb, represents the Lord, the puruṣa. It is away from the rest of the fingers of the hand, yet at the same time, the fingers have no strength without it.

In this gesture, mūdra, in Dakṣiṇāmūrti’s right hand, the thumb joins the other fingers to form a circle, teaching that the jīva, who takes himself to be the body, mind and senses, is the whole. The circular hand gesture visually states the entire upadeśa, teaching: tat tvam asi, “You are That.” Just as a circle has no beginning or end, you are the whole. That is the final word about you. Nobody can improve upon that vision; no culture can improve upon it.

Even in heaven, it cannot be improved upon, for the whole includes heaven. Therefore, you have the final word here, because you are everything. It is better that you know it. That teaching is contained in the Veda, represented by the palm leaves in the left hand of Dakṣiṇāmūrti. And to understand this, you require a mind that has assimilated certain values and attitudes and has developed a capacity to think in a proper and sustained way.

This can be acquired by various spiritual disciplines represented here by a japa-māla, The fact that the Lord himself is a teacher, a guru, means that any teacher is looked upon as a source of knowledge. And the teacher himself should look upon Īśvara, the Lord, as the source of knowledge. Since the Lord himself is a teacher, the first guru, there is a tradition of teaching, so there is no individual ego involved in teaching.

Dakṣiṇāmūrti is seated upon a bull, which stands for tamas, the quality of māyā that accounts for ignorance. This is the entire creative power of the world and Dakṣiṇāmūrti controls this māyā; Then, there are bound to be obstacles in your pursuit of this knowledge. Dakṣiṇāmūrti controls all possible obstacles.

Underneath his foot, under his control, is a fellow called Apasmara—the one who throws obstacles in your life. This tells us that although there will be obstacles, with the grace of the Lord, you can keep them under check and not allow them to overpower you. There is no obstacle-free life, but obstacles need not really throw you off course; you keep them under control.

Thus, the whole form of Dakṣiṇāmūrti invokes the Lord who is the source of all knowledge, the source of everything, the one who is the whole, and who teaches you that you are the whole. He is Dakṣiṇāmūrti, the one who is in the form of a teacher, guru-mūrti.

We invoke his blessing so that all of you discover that source in yourself. If this self-discovery is your pursuit, your whole life becomes worthwhile. This project of self-discovery should be the project of everyone. That is the Vedic vision of human destiny

Arsha Vidya Gurukulam was founded in 1986 by Pujya Sri Swami Dayananda Saraswati. In Swamiji’s own words,

“When I accepted the request of many people I know to start a gurukulam, I had a vision of how it should be. I visualized the gurukulam as a place where spiritual seekers can reside and learn through Vedanta courses. . . And I wanted the gurukulam to offer educational programs for children in values, attitudes, and forms of prayer and worship. When I look back now, I see all these aspects of my vision taking shape or already accomplished. With the facility now fully functional, . . . I envision its further unfoldment to serve more and more people.”

Ārṣa (arsha) means belonging to the ṛṣis or seers; vidyā means knowledge. Guru means teacher and kulam is a family.  In traditional Indian studies, even today, a student resides in the home of this teacher for the period of study. Thus, gurukulam has come to mean a place of learning. Arsha Vidya Gurukulam is a place of learning the knowledge of the ṛṣis.

The traditional study of Vedanta and auxiliary disciplines are offered at the Gurukulam. Vedanta mean end (anta) of the Veda, the sourcebook for spiritual knowledge.  Though preserved in the Veda, this wisdom is relevant to people in all cultures, at all times. The vision that Vedanta unfolds is that the reality of the self, the world, and God is one non-dual consciousness that both transcends and is the essence of everything. Knowing this, one is free from all struggle based on a sense of inadequacy.

The vision and method of its unfoldment has been carefully preserved through the ages, so that what is taught today at the Gurukulam is identical to what was revealed by the ṛṣis in the Vedas.