Preaload Image

Sacred contribution of Guru – Dakshina

The timeless wisdom of the Vedic tradition has been sustained through the ages by a wholehearted giving of knowledge freely.

Unique to the tradition is a practice of offering some form of wealth to the guru called ‘guru dakshina’. It is a valuable gift that honors the guru’s selfless sharing of wisdom and supports the continuation of the teaching lineage.

Since sannyasis/monks do not earn for a living nor charge for the teachings, disciples offer “guru dakshina”  

In ancient times, disciples offered cows, grains, gold or land – anything the giver considered valuable which would sustain the work of the guru and the gurukulam (literally, the students forming the family of the guru or the teaching institution).

 Today, your financial contributions allow this sacred tradition to flourish in the modern world.

You participate in contributing to the Vedic tradition in the following ways:

  1. Enabling the teachings to reach across the globe through high-quality audio, video, online platforms and updated technology.

  2. Facilitating free workshops, public discourses and events to generously share the wisdom.

  3. Providing for the humble needs of food, shelter and travel for your guru who has dedicated her life to this work.

Just as the receiving bowl was once the means to humbly accept offerings, technology allows you to continue this revered practice through bank transfers.

Thank you for considering a contribution.   

For Indian donations – Gpay – brahmaprajnananda@okhdfcbank

For international donations via paypal to
Please account for an additional PayPal fee charge of 4% of transaction value


Aarsha Vidya Ashram projectIt was Pujya Swami Dayanandaji’s dream to establish an ashram in and around Mumbai and Swami Brahmavidananda took on this project to make his vision a reality. As a trustee of the Aarsha Vidya Foundation, Swamini Brahmaprajnananda appeals to you for funds. 

The primary purpose of this is to create future Acharyas of Vedanta through long-term intensive residential courses.

Due to the generosity of our Vedanta disciples, money was available to purchase the land of 3.5 acres but construction which is due to begin in May 2024 requires a steady flow of funds. Every bit helps.

Aarsha Vidya Foundation can accept Indian donations only.

Details are here.

As Vedanta disciples, the greatest offering we can make is to wholeheartedly embrace and live the teachings, awakening to our unchanging sacred nature.

In addition, if you feel inspired to express your devotion through further seva, service, the ways to contribute are manifold. These are –

1. Enroll in classes, courses and camps to live the wisdom through committed study and learning. 

2. Subscribe to stay deeply connected through this website, podcast- Vedanta – the river of Wisdom, our YouTube channel – Arsha Vidya Ananda and Aarsha Vidya Bharati, our monthly newsletter.

Liking and offering comments on the podcasts and videos increases the likelihood of these being promoted by social media and hence more seekers discovering Vedanta. Do spare a minute to do the same.

3. Express (Write or Video record) your reflection of how the teaching has changed/is changing your life and post on social media. This is a generous act on your part and the world can do with your positivity. 

4. Share/recommend the teachings through your circle and social networks on social media through Twitter, Instagram, Facebook etc. Tag us on social media @arshavidyananda (on Instagram and Twitter)

We often come across our friends, colleagues and relatives who might want to understand the meaning of shlokas, clarify doubts or are seeking solutions to their problems. Forwarding them the relevant video or podcast episode or article might be just what they need. 

For current enrolled Vedanta student-disciples you can contribute in the following ways  –

1. Volunteer to be a part of the social media teamA consistent presence on social media ensures that people can discover Vedanta to improve the quality of their lives. This requires a dedicated team of people who can spare 2-4 hours a week.

The work involves creating and editing relevant posters, audios, videos (Instagram reels, Youtube shorts) (from an existing  archive of timeless teachings), scheduling it on different platforms and managing social media accounts. It requires the volunteer to learn the necessary skills which can be provided.

2. Teach the next generation the Spiritual Heritage of India

Since all of us want to contribute to the next generation some of you can spare time and effort (just 2-4 hours a week) to teach children (6-13 years) the spiritual heritage of India through our SHINE program.

We provide training to the teachers so that they can start these classes in any part of the world. To date more than 300 children have been impacted and are living a life of Sanatana Dharma thanks to 14 of our teachers across the world. More here

If you don’t have the time, do recommend our SHINE program to friends and extended family so that more children can be impacted.

3. Gift the book to your friends and colleagues and on important occasionsYou matter – Insights from Vedanta by Swamini Brahmaprajnananda

4. Teach or refer adults to learn shlokas (devotional chants) and pujaVery often the introduction to the Vedic tradition is through prayers and chanting.

Having learnt chanting and how to do puja, teach people how to do 5 step puja or 16 step puja. Currently, Rashmi Kaikini does this and can be contacted for the way ahead.

Gather a group of adults especially women to teach shlokas of the Bhagavad Gita or Vishnu Sahasranama in your respective areas once a week. Or

Refer interested people to Sonali Ambasankar who teaches chanting shlokas.

5. Form sacred circles of prayerOrganise a group offline or online to meet once a week or month to chant Stotra-s collectively for happiness and well-being of all.

For example in January 2023, a group of Vedanta students in Borivali started meeting online every evening at 5 pm to chant the Vishnu Sahasranama and continue to do so even if one of them is there. Although it was initially intended for helping one of the group to heal from a difficult surgery, the group was struck by the impact of their collective chants. So effective is their sacred offering that they receive petitions for healing from other students, friends and families and soon enough gratitude filled thank-yous for prayers answered.

6. Participate in festivals and community events –  Participate wholeheartedly in the celebration of festivals (Mahashivaratri, Shankara Jayanti, Guru Purnima, Gita Jayanti). We keep Sanatana Dharma alive.

Arsha Vidya Ananda and Aarsha Vidya Foundation jointly organise both offline and online events to celebrate key festivals bringing together the entire Vedanta community.

Participate in our monthly Sampurna Gita Parayanam (the complete chanting of the Bhagavad Gita) on the first Ekadashi of every month from 5 – 7.45 pm IST.

About 20-30 people take turns to chant few verses or a chapter of the Gita that they have volunteered to chant. This helps people to practice the chants, improve their Sanskrit pronunciation and remember its profound meaning.

Join the Whatsapp group

Do help in organising the events.

7. Help to organise the Vedic Wisdom festival, Mumbai – To share the glory and wisdom of the vast expanse of the Vedic tradition we have been curating 8- 10 talks by masters of Vedic Wisdom in December every year offline and later online. This event requires fund-raising and a lot of coordination.

8. Make recommendations to podcasts and other platforms which may feature Vedanta to invite Swaminiji.  

9. Organise talks and events on Gita by Swaminiji – Take the initiative to organise talks in your area or even online for your group, so that more people can benefit from Vedanta.   

Disciples in the past have proactively organised lecture series and talks in Mumbai, Delhi, Dubai and London,

10. Contribute articles to Aarsha Vidya Bharati, our monthly e-newsletter. 

11. Form study groups to transcribe notes, discuss and integrate the learning.

12. Get involved in new initiatives of Dharma for youth and The Glory of Grhasthashrama Please write to Swaminiji at

Any other option not mentioned above.

Together, through our humble offerings, may we keep the light of this ancient tradition blazing bright for our future generations. 

Thank you for your time, attention and contribution 


Guru dakshina – The Tradition of giving 

Many years ago, when I studied with my guru-s (in Mumbai) and in an intensive residential 3 year course in the gurukulam, there were no fees. Yes. No fees for the living arrangements, food, books, time given and the teaching, for three years! And, there were more than eighty of us in the course! And we were there for more than 3 years!

A teaching-learning relationship is different from any other relationship in that the student is not a consumer and is not getting educational services like in a school or college. Yet, the gurukulam, teaching institution and its running costs were sustained by the contributions we and many others made in terms of money, time and resources.
We gave because we were helping to sustain something bigger and greater than us.
We gave because we were blessed.
We gave and we wanted to give more because of the joy in giving.
We gave because we are a part of a glorious tradition that gives.

Continuing to serve the tradition, we teach without any charges for Vedanta classes or courses. As monks, we do not earn for a living nor do we teach Vedanta for a living. Our living revolves only around a single commitment of teaching and sharing what we have received from our guru-s. We give because we can give.

The only pre requisite to our giving is a desire for self knowledge and a willingness to learn and receive, on the part of the student.