A gurukula or gurukulam (Sanskrit: गुरुकुल, romanized: gurukula) is a type of education system in ancient India with shishya (‘students’ or ‘disciples’) living near or with the guru, in the same house

The guru-shishya tradition is a sacred one in Hinduism and possibly appears in other dharmas in India, such as Jainism and Buddhism

(In the Sikh tradition by contrast, the word Guru has a very restricted use and not generally applied to individual teachers, while the institution of Gurdwara has a major social role instead of a monastic one

) The word gurukula is a combination of the Sanskrit words guru (’teacher’ or ‘master’) and kula (‘family’ or ‘home’)

The term is also used today to refer to residential monasteries or schools operated by modern gurus

The proper plural of the term is gurukulam, though gurukulas and gurukuls are also used in English and some other Western languages

The students learn from the guru and help the guru in his everyday life, including carrying out of mundane daily household chores

However, some scholars suggest that the activities are not mundane and very essential part of the education to inculcate self-discipline among students

Typically, a guru does not receive or accept any fees from the shishya studying with him as the relationship between a guru and the shishya is considered very sacred

At the end of one’s education, a shishya offers the guru dakshina before leaving the gurukula

The gurudakshina is a traditional gesture of acknowledgment, respect and thanks to the guru, which may be monetary, but may also be a special task the teacher wants the student to accomplish

While living in a gurukula, the students would be away from their home from a period of months to years at a stretch