"Life is a individual journey of constant learning, discoveries and continuous development of our individual being."
So is each of our journey and this is a part of mine.
About a year ago I returned to India in quest for a master and ashram to pursuit my spiritual journey and further deepen myself in Vedic mantra, Vedanta, Sacrificial Rituals and Sanghit (Indian Classical Music).
Disappointed by the overpriced commercialised ashrams that had lost touch with the ancient rituals and traditions and swami's that still hadn't mastered their sensors or any other non-spiritual nonsense, I decided with the grace of Ishwara (god) to continue the journey alone.
Following the flow of Ganges downstream, I stopped in Varanasi, one of the world’s most spiritual cities where the ancient traditions and practices of the Brahmans Pandits (Vedic priests) are still vivid.
For 11 months, I lived along the ghats in Varanasi studying and observing these priest, integrating myself into their society by chanting out-load in their temples and sitting by their side performing Japa (Mantra repetition) ... yes I am a little sweet rebellion and up for equal opportunities and woman rights.
Just before returning to Belgium I finally started to receive their respect and recognition but still there is lots of work to do. Eventually it was the community of Panch Ganga in Varanasi, who cleared my admission at Panini Kanya Mahavidyala.
As from August 2019 I will be joining the Vidyala, a Gurukula (Ashram type school) where Brahman girls are being trained for 12+ years and educated in Acharya traditions learning Sanskrit, the four Vedas, Dharmashastra, Vedic Priest rituals and much more. A detailed description of my course syllabus is noted further.
In 2004 this school had an interview with the news you can watch here (24-hours breaking the rules of religion). It's about the position of the woman in chanting Vedic mantra's and performing priestess rituals. A practice that is still today, 15 years later, by the Brahman priest community in Varanasi still isn’t accepted and recognised to perform by woman.
India has many Mata Mandir's (Mother temples where the female energy is being worshiped and embraced) but very few have female priestess. There are also 4 main Yogini temples of which two are loceted in Odisha and two in M.P. These temples were, in ancient times, where only used by woman to worship Mother Earth under the bright light of the full moon.
Today, these sacrifices are there not longer performed and male priests are looking after the temple sites ...
Photo: Me with the girls in Panini Kanya Mahavidyalaya
In order to succeed in following my dreams I am seeking support for my studies and training to keep these ancient traditions and practices alive.
My two year studies at the Vidyala (college) cost around 120,000 INR (1.2 Lac) equivalent to 1,528.76 Euro. I added an additional 100 INR a day to cover basic living needs such as transportation, a cup of chai (tea), a pair of socks or a new toothbrush … rounding the total of my fundraising to 2,500 Euro’s.
I have have set up an online fundraiser using Go Fund Me. If I attain my goal, I will be at ease for the next two years to be able to fully devote myself to my studies. You can support me using the Go Fund Mata button above or directly support me using the PayPal donation button next to it.
I am grateful for the time you have taken to read and review my fundraiser project and thank you in advance for your support in whichever way this may be.
Blessings and Love,
Panini Kanya Mahavidyala 2 Years Special Course Syllabus (August 2019 ~ August 2021)
Sanskrit & Hindi (3 months): translation and communication practice
Primarily Sanskrit Grammar (5 months): knowledge of Karath, Vibhakti, Sandi, Samaas, Prataya, etc.
Dharma Shastra (4 months): Basic knowledge of Manu Smriti, Yagya Valkya Smriti, Bhagavat Gita, Upanishad, Bhashya Bhoomika and Satyarth Prakash
Paurohitya Karma Kunda (2 months): Knowledge of Sanskar and other important Karma Kunda by Sanskar Vidhi
Vedas (4 months): Rg Veda, Yajur Veda, Sam Veda, Atharva Veda important Sutras ~ Pronounciation and meaning.
Sat Dharshan (6 months): Basic knowledge of Darshan philosophy, Nayay Vesheshik, Sankhya Yoga Mimansa, Vedanta