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Gurukulam - Summer Internship

 

Jai Sri:mann:ara:yana !

 

I would like to take a moment to express my sincere appreciation to JET USA and Summer Internship Team for organizing the Summer Internship Program 2022 and giving me this opportunity to be a chaperone for this 10-day program.

Firstly, I would like to thank all parents for their co-operation during this program. I hope all the families reached their homes safely.

Our Summer Internship program has given a great experience to all our interns and every one of us truly enjoyed the camp from July 1 – 10, 2022.

All our interns have been super energetic, curious, and adventurous through all the activities that each day had to offer.

The learnings and takeaways from this camp are going to be a bridge in transforming their perspective of viewing everything in their daily lives and connect this learning to science and spirituality through service.

As Sri Swamiji has quoted, true happiness and joy lie in using the knowledge for serving someone in need. And one should keep an open mind and should be always open to trying out new things even if it is just to know and familiarize with - although we may not know the importance of it now, it may certainly come in handy in the future 

All our interns enthusiastically participated in each activity and led a gurukulum lifestyle during this camp duration. They started their day at 4.30 am with Swamiji’s blessings and guidance for a 2hr yoga session, followed by se:vaka:lam at the temple to understand and follow Vedic practices performed at the temple, taking the temple tour,  and practicing pra:thaha smarani:yam in a gurukulam ambiance, under the trees, with the guidance of Saradamma garu.

Not only that, but our interns also interacted with the Vedic students to understand their lifestyle, asking questions to know the facts, and realize how the Vedic students are always so energetic despite the hectic schedule they go through - this became a great example for our interns to practice discipline, perseverance and learn spirituality.

From a scientific perspective, JIMS (Jeeyar Integrated Medical Services) activities provided a gateway for our interns to learn and understand how all the medical systems such as Homeopathy, Allopathy, and Ayurveda are integrated under one roof, and also learned how Homeopathy and Ayurveda are unique and consider, not just the condition, but also the connection between the body, mind, and spirit in treating a patient.

Our interns were given a guided hospital tour and JIMS college tour, understanding homeopathy, shadowing the doctors, and learning about homeopathy medicines.

At the Ayurveda hospital, our interns were given a guided tour and witnessed a live demonstration of patients getting treatment using therapies such as leech therapy and Agni karma, getting an opportunity for themselves to undergo nethra tharpanam for rejuvenating the eyes for vision conditions.

Our interns also learned how JIMS provides free and affordable medical care services in surrounding rural areas for patients who cannot afford proper medical care . With the grace of Sri Swamiji,  JIMS adopted 200 villages and running 24 camps per week. Our interns visited go:sa:la where they understood service and how to make the best from the so-called waste - watching how cow’s urine(go:mu:thram) is liquid gold. We watched the process of distilling go:mu:thram and how it is medicated to prepare various useful products that treat several ailments. They had a great time playing with the calves and enjoyed freshly prepared hot milk with jaggery and learn all about go-products.

Another area of service and joy was learned at the nethra vidyalaya where blind students demonstrated how happy one can be, no matter whatever challenges life may bring upon us. Not only that, the blind students demonstrated the usage of laptops using JAWS software to take online exams instead of using scribes in Braille. This is the first blind college where students use laptops to take online exams. Interacting with the blind students taught our interns simplicity in life, sharing and helping one another, boosting confidence and never losing hope.

From a cultural perspective, the Statue of Equality (SOE) tour provided a fun-filled and educational learning that taught the magnificence of Bhagawad Ra:ma:nuja and the prominence of 108 divya de:sams , and the rattha ya:thra procession along with the colorful dancing fountain show in the evening to fill our eyes with memories to take home.

More than anything else, our interns were under the direct grace of Sri Swamiji every day, starting the day with perfecting yoga postures and Swamiji teaching and explaining the importance of the 16 qualities that make a human to be called a ‘MAN’, and how these qualities should be practiced in one’s life to find true happiness. We all are also very blessed to have Sri Swamiji clarify several questions that our interns asked, answering them in a detailed and authentic manner starting from the source. We sincerely bow down to our Acharya for this time spent for us and greatly appreciate the patience of the kuteeram staff throughout the program,  due to the monsoon season.

Though all the above is just a glimpse of the in-depth camp experience, I am very delighted to say that the JET USA Internship program is a truly unique experience, and this has only been possible because of the ambiance and the spoorthi given by our Pujya Swamiji and Bhagawad Ramanuja Acharya. Only because of all this, and being in a Vedic lifestyle setup, that our interns could acquire so much learning, that connects their experience in all 3 dimensions: Spirituality, Science, and Service, within such a short duration of 10 days.

Overall, this has been a once-in-a-lifetime memorable trip for all of us, learning many things, singing songs to God in the temple, performing dances, doing yoga, attending ne:thra vidya:laya farewell celebrations, enjoying hot milk with jaggery at go:sa:la, enjoying rides and trips in a battery car within the campus, learning about go:products, or applying go:rinta:ku from mehendi leaves to hands, sharing freshly made juice at SOE, etc.

I am sad to say that I going to miss them all until we meet again 

Hope we will stay in touch through service with A:cha:rya krupa

 

We very much hope that your experience from this internship program will help to reach out many interested families to participate in this program for the upcoming year and take advantage of this unique experience - there is a signup sheet where you can enroll the children for next year. Please contact Rajesh ji and Manju ji at internship@jetusa.org for more details.

 

Thank you once again.
Sangeetha Parankusam, Connecticut

Jai Sri:manna:ra:yana