The gurukula or gurukulam system had its origin in 5000 BC. The term ‘gurukula’ or ‘gurukulam’ is a combination of two words ‘guru’, which means teacher, and ‘kula’, which means family or home. Gurukal was a residential school system that used to be prevalent during the Vedic age. In this system, students used to reside near their teacher’s residence and learn various subjects and also learn to lead a disciplined life. At the Gurukul, everyone was treated equally, and both the shisya and the guru lived in the same home or close by.
As a sign of respect, students used to pay guru Dakshina to their gurus. Guru dakshina can be money, or they can pay respect in the form of any task that they do for their guru. The Vedas and Upanishads are among the first literary sources to refer to the Gurukulam System of Education. The cultural and religious practices prevalent at the time had a significant impact on the education provided through the Gurukul system. This system focused on the holistic development of students. Along with studying ancient books for theory, the students also received instruction in physical fitness and daily life skills. Students were taught the importance of balance at a young age. Moreover, the students are also involved in activities such as dance, music, sports, crafts, etc. All these activities helped them in the enhancement of their confidence and also paved the way for the personal development of students. The gurukulam system was based on practical knowledge and the students were skilled to face any challenges as the system helped them be competent in all aspects of life.