1. When do the Veda Courses start ?
We follow the ASU semester and offer 13-14 week courses in Fall and Spring. Fall semester starts mid Aug and Spring semester starts mid January.
2. Can women and children register for the course ?
Women and Children (> 13 years of age) can register. You need to have the passion and drive to learn Sanskrit and explore the hidden meaning in Vedic Literature. You teacher will help you in every step of the way.
3. How many instructors will I have ?
We have six instructors on the teaching staff. Usually the course is handled by a single instructor with a back up instructor, in case the primary instructor has to travel.
4. Can I just learn to chant since I am not well versed in Sanskrit ?
Yes. The Course work will gradually lead you through aspects of learning the vedas – including methods of chanting, benefits, transliterated meanings, hidden meanings and so on. We have Shastris with us since 2004, taking VE500 level courses and also serving as instructors for other courses.
5. How do I sign up for Veda Courses ?
Visit avgf.org and register in the Courses section to pay the tuition. The Fall session typically opens up third week of July and Spring third week of December for Registration.
6. Can I cancel out of a course and get a refund ?
Please make sure you pick the right course and intend to attend. No refunds will be provided after the first week.
7. Can I audit the course and then decide on registering ?
No. Our classes typically run full. However, you can meet privately with one of the instructors to get a ½ hour evaluation and recommendation.
8. Is there a final exam for the course ?
The course is sprinkled with simple home work problems and the final exam is simply a self reflection exercise to assess your own readiness to take on more complex courses. Your instructor will guide you on your individual development plan.
9. How does Atma Veda Gana Celebrate ?
The disciples have mastery and discipline in comprehending and chanting Vedas and Vedanta and translating it to a simple framework for the layman to follow. Celebrations will include learning retreats, private programs at residences as well as public performances blending Vedic chants for health, prosperity and mental peace along with other forms of Vedic culture such as dance, music and drama.
10. Can I participate in a Vedic event ?
We have periodic Public retreats and events – these you can attend by registering for the event. For the private events conducted at the host’s premises – due to limited seating, these events are by invite only, from the AVGf Event Manager or from the host.
11. What types of general programs can be hosted at home ?
We offer programs for general health, prosperity and spiritual well being. These are accomplished through invocation of energies such as Rudra, Aditya, Shiva & Parvathi, Lakshmi & Vishnu, Saraswathi, Durga, Ganapathi and so on. The procedures for invocation involve complex algebra and geometry, astrology and astronomy coupled with yajna, abisheka, ashtottara, shodashi puja methods to arouse and diffuse the energies throughout the home.
12. What types of personal programs can be hosted at home ?
AVGf offers many programs customized for specific personal milestones (birthdays, wedding anniversary), one time events such as Jatakarma (post child birth), Chowla (first hair dress), Upanayanam (for boys), Seemantham (for successful delivery), Shastiabdha Poorthi (age sixty), BhimaRatha Shanthi (age seventy) and Sahasra Chandra Darshana (age eighty one).
13. Can I request celebrations on specific dates tied to the Solar/Lunar calendar ?
Absolutely. We usually have premium events scheduled for certain dates such as Makara Sankranthi, Shivarathri, Ugadi, VarshaParuppu,Karka Sankranthi, Shravana Purnima,Ganesha Chathurthi, Nava Durgi,Lakshmi Deepavali, Kartika Somavara and so on. These events are highly sought after and fill fast on the calendar. Please make your bookings at least six months in advance.
14. How can I share some personal information in confidence regarding the program ?
Any information provided to us is treated host/priest confidential. If you have any specific requests, you can do so without hesitation. In fact, the Event manager and Priest can help you plan a more relevant program based on this information.
15. What is the expected service fees for home programs ?
Typically hosts make donations to the AVGf cause, and we appreciate generous donations. Since, every program is special and customized, it varies based on the complexity, and the required invocations needed for the energies. Some of the programs require some pre-work by the Priest starting the prior evening. Please consult with your Event manager regarding fees for your specialized event. For standard events, typical fees range between $301 for small programs and $501 for medium programs. Some hosts choose to welcome a particular energy home through a energized gem stone or deity, with an additional donation.
16. Do any of the proceeds from donation go to Individuals and Ritwiks ?
No, all proceeds go towards AVGf mission and cause. All Ritwiks (professionals, doctors, engineers, professors, home makers, students) devote their personal time and volunteer towards the AVGf cause.
17. Will I get a receipt for tax filing ?
Yes. We are 501-c3 Non-profit Organization and all donations are tax deductible. You will receive a receipt for your donations by the fourth week of January of the following year. Please consult with your accountant regarding tax deductions.
18. I have been told that it is not safe to invite a deity/energy to our home given the elaborate maintenance required. Can you clarify this ?
Our Vedic principles are grounded in the principles of Advaita (non duality), which guides that youas a person (jiva) are not different from a divine energy source, but rather one and the same. It is just that most of us need tools and knowledge to develop this realization.This is also referred to as Atma Vichara and Atma Jnana. Once you come to terms with this fact, all these fears will vanish. We highly recommend that you educate yourself in this area by attending our Vedic Courses.
19. Do I need to purchase any materials for conducting the program ?
You event manager will provide the customized list of small items to procure from local grocery stores, two weeks prior to your schedule program. Please make sure you are ready to start the program at the prescribed hour and spend your full focus on participating actively.
20. Can I place an order for a particular deity (vigraha) for installation (avahana) at home ?
We will try our best to fit your needs… but in some cases, it may take 6 months to 18 months to build and procure certain stone carvings or Panchaloka idols. Most of the items are one of a kind and they have been pre-energized upon arrival.
21. I would like to purchase Rudraksha Malas and bracelets. Are they available for sale ?
Yes. We have certain pre-energized items on the web site available for purchase. Most of these items have been imported from the East including Thailand, Indonesia, Burma, Nepal and India. If you don’t see a specific item, please make a request.
22. How many Ritwiks attend the hosted program ?
AVGf has trained ritwiks (Shastris) that attend the program, and the number depends heavily on the customized event. You event manager will provide the details, but typically depending on the program 5 to 15 Ritwiks attend.
23. Do we need to make special food arrangements for the priest and Ritwiks ?
No. It is not necessary as long as the food is Satvik. Usually the food offered to the divine energies (also known as Neivedya) is partaken by the Rithwiks.
24. Do AVGf Ritwiks take gifts or personal donations ?
Rithwiks typically do not accept any gifts for performing at homes. Your Event Manager can help clarify our guidelines and provide further clarification on this.
25. I keep seeing the term Rithwik, Shastri and so on. What does it mean ?
The educational process in vedic times began at age 9 in a boarding school format called gurukula, where the students were in close proximity to teachers day and night. After multiple years of study the student graduates from Rithwik to Sharma to Acharya to Shastri to Avadhany to Ganapati and so on... So these names indicate varying degrees of expertise in Vedic and Sanskrit literature.