Swami Dayananda Saraswati captivates seekers from India to Pennsylvania to Oman. A traditional eighty-year old monk dressed in saffron robes, Dayananda deftly weaves sophisticated philosophical concepts and methods for discovering emotional maturity with storytelling, humor, and insights into pop culture.
Gurukulam, which means "place of teaching" and also "family of guru," is set in a remote forest ashram in Tamil Nadu, India. An international community of students gathers there to listen to Dayananda as he unfolds the teachings of Advaita Vedanta, the Indian philosophical tradition of non-duality. Dayananda is one of the few remaining traditional teachers of Advaita Vedanta who now shares the ancient wisdom of the Upanishads and Bhagavadgita with non-Indians and non-Brahmins alike.
The tradition is in the midst of radical changes as it encounters modernity and changing social structures in India. Filmmakers Jillian Elizabeth and Neil Dalal follow the next generation of students as they navigate the austere intensity of monastic life and discover the core wisdom of Vedanta that transcends its cultural and religious forms.
With unique access, Elizabeth and Dalal invite viewers into the timeless teaching methods of Dayananda and the struggles of his students as they encounter this ancient tradition.
Gurukulam is near completion and will join the festival circuit in late 2012. Seasoned documentary film editor Mary Lampson completed the fine cut and Sweetgrass sound artist Ernst Karel is mixing the film.
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