Was Indian Gurukul System of Education Destroyed by Foreign Invaders?

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What is Gurukul System of Education?

In the Gurukul system of education, a well respected and generally influential man of learning (a Guru) would clear up some land in the jungles, ideally near a river, and set up a commune (an Ashram), far from civilisation.

The living standards – simple. The focus was on detachment to facilitate the opening of one’s mind in the vicinity of mother nature.

Guru would choose few disciples who would participate in day to day chores, and would teach them knowledge of philosophy, sciences and/or martial arts.

Flaws in the System :

1) Gurukul System needed students to be sent away from their comfortable home surroundings. this idea of sending their children away from home didn’t go well with parents.

2) The Gurukuls gradually became an elite circle of haves within a nation of have-nots. Indian parents, not enthused by the idea of sending children away for a decade, started avoiding the Gurukuls, choosing instead to send their boys to local temples, madrassas and later Pathshalas (small informal schools).


Gurukul System failed to impart knowledge to masses and thus eroded with time.

When the British came to India, they needed Indian locals to run their basic work affairs. However, they were astonished with our education system primary teaching Persian, Sanskrit and a few other languages to a select few, they didn’t have anyone who could speak proper English – they felt a need to – ‘set things up’.


Thus, the English language based education system was introduced in India, after the passage of the much controversial, English Education Act of 1835 in the British Parliament.

Before this Primary language in our Country was Persian, even the court proceedings in Maratha empires the predecessors to the British, were recorded in Persian and not Marathi.

Sir Thomas James Babington Macaulay was brought to India to influence the masses with English literature.

He came to India – spent 4 years here and finally concluded and I quote:

A single shelf of a good European library was worth the whole native literature of India and Arabia.

He believed in the superiority[ of the European mind and went on to help design a ‘sanitised’ Indian Education System – completely devoid of any Indianness.

He and his children ( generation of Macaulay Putras in India ) killed the heavily influential knowledge imparted by Kalidas, Chanakya, and many more of our Past leaders.

Source : Quora

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