The bhoomi puja of Vaikhanasa Vedapatasala was performed at Vivekananda Nagar on Avadi Poonamalle Road on Sunday.
An initiative of A N Ramesh Babu, founder trustee of the Hindu Charitable Trust, the Patashala would be modelled on the ancient Gurukul tradition, according to Lakshmi Mandhata, coordinator. The patashala was born out of his intention to do something for the Hindu society with the blessings of the Kanchi seers, she said.
While the new patashala would provide free boarding, lodging, education and regular schooling for the students, it had already started functioning from a temporary structure at Jai Gopal Garodia Vivekananda Vidyalaya at Avadi from October last. “The Governor inaugurated the launch in March last year,” Lakshmi said. “We wanted to start the classes on an experimental basis.”
Of the 40 students enrolled at the Vedapatashala, 25 hail from Andhra Pradesh and 15 from Tamil Nadu. The boys, aged between 8 and 13, were admitted through entrance examination and interview and ascertaining that they were eligible to learn the agamam.
Besides learning the Vedic scriptures, the students would attend regular schooling at the CBSE-based Jai Gopal Garodia Vivekananda Vidyalaya.
At the end of each year, examinations would be conducted and certificates issued by the Kanchi Mutt to successful students, who would undergo a total six years training at the patashala.
Set-up under the Adi Shankara Institute of Cultural Research and Training, the patashala had four teachers - two for teaching agamam, one each for teaching Sanskrit and the Vedas, the coordinator said, adding that there were plans to enroll 25 more students.
Early on Sunday, members of the Kanchi Mutt performed the bhoomi puja at the new site, which was later blessed by the junior pontiff of the Kanchi Mutt, Sri Vijeyendra Saraswati.