The history of Sandipani Vidyaniketan starts from a school situated in a village named Babda about 35km North of Porbandar in Gujarat. This school was started by some teachers who migrated from Ahmedabad to teach eager students in the locality. In 1984, when Pujya Bhaishri was at Porbandar delivering a Shrimad Bhagavat Katha, he was invited to visit this Sanskrit school, Babadeshwar Vidyalay, by the teachers and the local people. There was amazing dedication and sacrifice being shown by the teachers and students in order to provide and receive this education. The teachers solicited money from the surrounding villages to support the school.  Though the resulting budget was meagre, the students responded in kind, dedicating themselves wholeheartedly to learning.

Students of Babda Sanskrit Mahavidyalaya

Pujya Bhaishri with students of Babda Sanskrit Mahavidyalaya

Teaching in the tapovan style at Babda Sanskrit Mahavidyalaya

Pujya Bhaishri with students of Babda Sanskrit Mahavidyalaya

Pujya Bhaishri thought, “Why not spread the Vedas, Upanishads and Sanskrit language and make this exemplary?  He had seen priests in temple who could hardly perform rituals correctly due to a lack of this knowledge. Today’s child is tomorrow’s future. The society, country and world needs youth who will impart their knowledge for the welfare of others and live by example with discipline, righteousness and service to humanity as their life”.

Pujya Bhaishri decided to support the school. Soon after, Pujya Bhaishri was appointed the Chairman of the trust running the school to take complete charge and lend his vision.

Expansion of the Trust

This led to the establishment of the governing body Bhartiya Sanskruti Samvardhak Trust (BSST) in 1984 which consists of fifteen trustees chosen by Pujya Bhaishri.  While they are entrusted to support and run the school, he personally invests his time, energy and money to expand this institution and make it a beacon of knowledge that is so vital to the future.

The school grew faster than anticipated, with more children clamouring for the education that was being provided. Applications grew too numerous for the school to accommodate. A larger school was needed and he decided that it would not only have room for more students, but also include aspects that would make it more useful for the student body. He decided to set up Sandipani Vidyaniketan, which he emphasised, would be run like an ashram and be called Rishikul. This was the ancient way of imparting education in India.

Pujya Bhaishri with the students of Sandipani Rishikul

All his students would be called Rishikumars, who after completing their studies from the Rishikul, would become assets to society. Pujya Bhaishri said that the motto of Sandipani Vidyaniketan would be:

Gyānārth Pravesh, Sevārtha Prasthān”

Meaning, the student would enter the school determined to gain knowledge and leave to be of service to mankind.

Pujya Bhaishri finalising plans for Sandipani Vidyaniketan

Vidyaniketan – an Educational Institution

Pujya Bhaishri approached the Government of Gujarat requesting an adequate piece of land to set up his Vidyaniketan. Deeply impressed by his endeavours, the Government of Gujarat allotted 85 acres of land in 1991 to set up this Vidyaniketan in Porbandar.

Porbandar is the birth place of Mahatma Gandhi ji and Lord Krishna’s great friend, Sudama. Lord Krishna and Sudama both received their primary education from the same Guru, known as Rishi Sandipani. Hence, he named the newly created school in Porbandar after Lord Krishna’s beloved Guru, Sandipani Vidyaniketan.

Plans were formulated to set up a complex with amenities to house 500 students on campus and to provide them education in Sanskrit grammar and modern subjects necessary to become capable and virtuous Brahmins.

Residential building of Sandipani Vidyaniketan in the making

Pujya Bhaishri and Pujya Krishnashankar Dadaji inspecting the progress of construction of Sandipani Vidyaniketan 

The inauguration of Sandipani Vidyaniketan with Trustees and local supporters of Porbandar

The Shilanyas Samarambh of Sandipani Vidyaniketan

The Shilanyas pujan by Pujya Bhaishri and Trustees of Shri Bharatiya Sanskruti Samvardhak Trust

The inauguration of Sandipani Vidyaniketan by Padma Bhushan Pujya Swami Kalyandevji Maharaj (Shukatal)

Sandipani Vidyaniketan was fully operational on February 6, 1992. Since then it has been continuously expanding its activities. The discipline adopted by Sandipani is based on the system of ancient education of Vedic culture specifically termed tapovan.

Pujya Bhaishri says that according to the motto of Sandipani Vidyaniketan,  Gyānārth Pravesh, Sevārtha Prasthān”, Students here will learn to be virtuous and kind people and earn a living; they will be selfless and live for others.

Pujya Bhaishri believes greatly in the spread of knowledge and wisdom. He believes that education and scriptures not only makes one intellectual but also a good character to serve in the society and world. He strongly suggests that teachers should be of high standards and high morale. This will empower the right education in students of today’s generation therefore leading to good citizens of the country.

The residential building of Sandipani Vidyaniketan