Arsha Vidya Pitham, Saylorsburg, PA

Donate and Participate

Click here for Printable Donation Form

Personal Info

Contact Details
Puja Details
Billing Details

Donation Total: $2,000.00 One Time

Note: If you are a part of Phoneix Satsang Group, please click here for the donation form

Participation Ethos

The knowledge imparted at Arsha Vidya Gurukulam, being the knowledge of the Rishis, is sacred. And Vedanta being the knowledge that solves the human problem, it frees an individual from samsara, a life of becoming.

Accordingly, one cannot put a price on it, and this is the reason that there are no fees for Vedanta classes at the Gurukulam. There are also no other conditions for access to the knowledge. It is available for anyone who is interested—for the asking.

Those who have a value for this knowledge, and those who have benefitted from it, are naturally inclined to ensure that it continues to flow, which includes preserving the Gurukulam, the infrastructure that supports it.

Thus, the Gurukulam has been developed and is being supported almost entirely by the donations of these people who have imbibed the spirit of loka-anugraha, furthering the welfare of the people. Most of the expenses of running the Gurukulam are paid for by generous contributions and Gurudakshina, offerings to the teachers at the conclusion of courses.

And the entire campus with all its facilities, including the new lecture hall complex, was developed because of the contributions of people who benefited from teaching.   

There are nominal fees as required by IRS regulations for course registrations and lodging, which help offset the operating expenses of the Gurukulam.

Be a Volunteer

The flourishing of the Gurukulam is due in large part to the dedicated help of many volunteers. If you would like to contribute your time and/or skill in the following areas, please contact

  • Children’s Program
  • Bookstore
  • General Office Work
  • Library
  • Fundraising
  • Media Archiving
  • Photo Digitization Project
  • Publications
  • Kitchen
  • Grounds
  • Maintenance
  • New Year’s Day Abhisekham Sponsorship
  • Phone
  • Tree
  • Anniversary Function

Types of Donation

Patron Membership

To cover annual operating expenses, including meals, utilities, and maintenance, the Gurukulam requires funds equivalent to at least four Gift For a Day (GFD) sponsorships every day. In order to secure a committed source of these funds, Arsha Vidya Gurukulam offers a Family Patron Membership program. Participating families in the Patron membership program make an annual pledge of $2000 (which equals four GFD sponsorships).

Just as in the GFD program, participating families in the Patron membership program can choose any four days during the year to have abhisekam performed to Lord Dakshinamurti. If the family cannot be present, the prasadam will be sent to them. The names of patrons will be acknowledged at the Gurukulam. Patron Membership gifts are tax-deductible.

To participate in the Patron Membership program, click on below donation button or contact or or call 570.992.2339 ext. 1-241. Printable Donation Form

Gift for a Day

The Gift for a Day Program (GFD) provides the Gurukulam with vital ongoing support. Your gift of $500 for the day of your choice helps to cover a part of that day’s operating expenses, including meals, utilities, and maintenance.

You can choose one or more special days, such as a Birthday, Wedding Anniversary, Memorial (shraddham), or a Religious Holiday.

On the day(s) you have chosen, an Abhisekam will be performed to Lord Dakshinamurti. If you cannot be present, the prasadam will be sent to you. Your participation in this program will be acknowledged at the Gurukulam and in its newsletter. Gift For Day donations is tax-deductible.

To participate in the Gift for a Day Program, click on below donation button or contact or write the Gurukulam with the details of the dates and the occasion along with your gift. Printable Donation Form

Endowment Fund

Pujya Swamiji established an endowment fund in (year?) for the operating expenses of the Gurukulam. Because of Swamiji’s foresight and the generosity of people who value the programs offered, this fund safeguards the availability of this knowledge for generations to come. Printable Donation Form

Capital Donation

The development of the Gurukulam facilities has been ongoing since the beginning, due to growing participation in the Gurukulam programs. With the recent completion of the new lecture hall and kitchen-dining complex, the facility is complete. As more and more people discover the blessings of the teachings imparted by our Acharyas, the need for expansion of the facilities will continue. The Capital Fund ensures that this need can be met in a timely manner. Printable Donation Form

Additional Donation Opportunities

General Donation

Along with Gift for a Day and Family Patron Membership programs, the Gurukulam depends on General Donations to meet its annual operating expenses. General donations are also tax-deductible and are deeply appreciated by the Gurukulam. Printable Donation Form

Personal Info

Contact Details
Puja Details
Billing Details

Donation Total: $2,000.00 One Time

Matching Gifts
Any gift you give to the Gurukulam in terms of Gift For a Day, Patron Membership, or General Donations can bring additional benefits to the Gurukulam through matching donations made by your company. Please check with your company to see if it has a Matching Gift program. If you need information on companies that already provide matching gifts to the Gurukulam or if you need supporting documents to encourage your company to include the Gurukulam on its list, please contact

Gifts of Life Insurance, Stocks & Bonds, and Property

There are many ways of using Gifts of Life Insurance such as donating a paid-up policy, donating a policy that is not yet paid-up and undertaking to pay the premium, or taking out a new policy. In all these modes of giving, you would name Arsha Vidya Gurukulam as the beneficiary and owner of the policy.

Appreciated stocks and bonds can also be donated to the Gurukulam.

Both the Gifts of Life Insurance and Gifts of Stocks & Bonds offer tax advantages. The staff at the Fund Raising Office at the Gurukulam would be pleased to work with you and/or your advisor in assisting you with your Gifts of Life Insurance & Stocks and Bonds. Please contact or call 570.992.2339 ext. 1-217.

Gifts of Property

The Gurukulam can benefit from receiving Gifts of Property such as:

  • Real estate
  • Automobiles in working condition manufactured within the past 8 years or with mileage less than 100,000.
  • Computer hardware – PCs (In working condition with Window 10 or better s/w)
  • Computer software – Latest editions of office, publishing, and graphics ware Maintenance Equipment

Gifts of Property items may also be tax-deductible for the fair market value of the property. The Fund Raising Office at the Gurukulam would be pleased to assist you in your Gifts of Property. If you have any Gifts of Property to donate to the Gurukulam, please contact or

Anniversary Souvenir Page Sponsorship or Advertisement

We thank all of you who have supported the Gurukulam over these years and invite you again to support this year’s souvenir fund-raising effort.

The anniversary souvenir contains articles on Vedanta by Pujya Sri Swami Dayananda, Sri Swami Viditatmananda and Sri Swami Tattvavidananda.

Sponsorships and advertisements in the souvenir underwrite the expenses of the anniversary celebration and are vital fund-raising sources for the Gurukulam.

Sponsorship is a tax-deductible contribution that directly supports the production of the souvenir booklet. At the bottom of a page of text, the sponsor(s) of that page are given credit for their support. You may sponsor a full, half, quarter, or eighth page.

You may advertise your business or offer a message from your family or study group. We use your camera-ready ad or design with your information. Advertisements are not tax-deductible.

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.