Bhaktivedanta Gurukula and International School (BGIS) in Vrindavan held it’s 4th Graduation ceremony on April 6th. Fourteen students graduated with their high school diplomas in Academics and Bhakti Yoga studies. One student completed a dual enrollment program, obtaining both the Indian Certificate of Education and an American high school diploma.
The ceremony included honoring the parents and teachers with garlands and obeisances, speeches of encouragement and appreciation, and the presentation of certificates to the students.
One particularly moving part of the program was the offering of a lamp and sankalpa thread to the students. The senior ashram teacher, representing all of the school’s teachers, offered a ghee lamp and bowed down before the students in gratitude for their efforts and achievements throughout their studentship.
Parents, community members and many alumni attended the ceremony. Graduates plan to continue their studies in many parts of the world and in a variety of fields. Ramacandra will go to Ireland to study Business Management, Madhava to Lucknow to prepare for Medicine, Nikhil to Melbourne for Chartered Accountancy, Jatin to Delhi to study Computer Animation, Gopinath to Dallas for studies in Psychology and Sociology, Madhav to Brisbane for Business Law, Shyam to South India for studies in Ayurvedic Health and Medicine, and Rahul and Shivam to engineering University.
BGIS is two schools in one – the primary Gurukula (Grades 1-8) and the secondary High School (Grades 9-12). The emphasis in the school is on character training through the practices of Bhakti Yoga (devotional service).
Each student offered a graduation speech during which they reflected on their time in the school. Jatin described how he was from a Brahmin family, and although he knew all the mantras and rituals, it wasn’t until BGIS that he was introduced to Krishna as a person and the possibility of having a unique and individual relationship with Him. He said, “My family gave me my body, BGIS gave me my soul.”
Shivam told how he joined the school with not one word of English and today he offers his speech in English. Ramacandra, from Nepal, remembered how his ashram teacher would daily check that he had done his japa meditation before getting lost in his final exam preparation. Madhava, from Australia, expressed that he felt every part of him had changed for the better by studying in Vrindavan.
We wish these students all success in life, both spiritual and occupational, so that they can contribute to making the world a better place.
Photos of the graduation can be viewed at www.bgis.org