("Gurukula" is a Sanskrit word meaning "family of the Guru")
Our purpose is to provide a contemplative community for the study of the wisdom teachings of East and West. We respect both independent study and the Upanishadic tradition of teaching, that is, "sitting at the feet" of a master.
The original home of the NARAYANA GURUKULA is in Kerala State at the southwestern tip of India. It is named for Narayana Guru, born in Kerala in 1854, whose mystical visionary teachings continued and revalued the ancient teachings of nondual wisdom (advaita vedanta.)
The Gurukula was established by Narayana Guru's successor, Nataraja Guru, born 1895.
Narayana Guru wanted his disciple to have a Western education, and Nataraja was schooled at the Sorbonne, where he was immersed in the intense intellectual ferment of the revolution in quantum theory and other Western philosophy during the first decades of the century.
Because of this profound interest in the deepest philosophy of both East and West, the NARAYANA GURUKULA is committed to a world-wide perspective, always based on Narayana Guru's vision of the one-ness of individual identity with the All.
Branches of the family are now worldwide. Several groups are based in the United States, with others in Australia, Fiji, France , Singapore and England. There are about 20 branches in South India.
Each family branch is more or less autonomous, and refers directly to the Guru, in the Upanishadic tradition, and not to any organization.
Guru Nitya Chaitanya Yati further evolved Nataraja Guru's world-perspective by creating the East-West University of Unitive Sciences, a "University without walls," which is an integral function of the NARAYANA GURUKULA.
This Website is being offered by an American branch of the Gurukula---Island Gurukula Aranya ("forest"), located on Bainbridge Island in Puget Sound---as a point of cyberspace contact and an introductory archive of the wisdom writings of this school.
East-West University publishes works in English with a regular publication and distribution schedule. At this writing our publication list includes some 38 titles.
We also publish a magazine called GURUKULAM, which includes traditional writings, the writings of the Narayana Gurukula line of teachers, and contributions by students to the wisdom line.
Island Gurukula Aranya and Portland Gurukula are the U.S. distribution points for all publications, including those originally printed in India.