Many a times students tend to overdo or under do certain activities. They may spend too much time studying often letting their study hours invade their sleep or other regular activities or on the other hand spend too little time on studies postponing them for later. Such a habit is quite not only underproductive but also counterproductive. What it means is that unless one is regulated in his habits of eating, sleeping, work and recreation one will not be able to maintain his enthusiasm in his life.(BG 6.17) As the famous saying goes – all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy and all play and no work makes him a mere toy. If one overdoes one’s studies most often than not one will lose his interest in studies. So it is vital that students maintain regulation in what they do. What will happen to a bike if you change gears haphazardly 1,4,2,3,4,1,3, etc? The bike will soon break down. Similarly, the body is a machine, if our daily routine is haphazard then our body and mind will soon break down leaving us with little or no enthusiasm for studies. Also if we our lifestyle is haphazard our peak concentration hours become unpredictable and consequently we may start feeling sleepy in class when we are supposed to be awake and we may feel hungry when it time for taking rest. Imagine if this happen on the D-day of competitive exams!! So it is important to regulate our lives so that we can be predictable in our performance and not lose interest in our studies..
Students often feel that one has to spend a lot time to study for competitive exams. This is actually a misconception. Let us take the particular case of JEE Adv. The IIT system has long been critical of the student quality which has been entering the IITs. The main reason for such a grumble is the dissatisfaction with coaching industry which is depleting the students of their creative potential and making them dullards, selfish with no desire to serve nation and God. To counter this system JEE Committee has been trying various means of fighting the coaching business and over the years the exams have increasingly become oriented towards conceptual understanding rather than calculation or rote based learning. Understanding this an intelligent student would better spend his time in comprehending and internalizing the concepts rather than just spend long hours memorizing formulae or merely do more problems in a brute force manner. This is not to say that one should neglect solving problems or memorizing formulae, but they should not be prioritized at the cost of grasping the essence of the subject.
Also instead of being result oriented a student would do better if he/she studied being duty oriented towards God.(BG 2.47)  As the famous saying goes – Don’t run behind success, run behind excellence and success will chase you!
This habit is counterproductive for two reasons. Firstly, according to modern psychology – the brain works the best early in the mornings after one has rested for 6-7 hours. This is same fact has been stressed in the Vedas. The early morning hours – brahma muhurta are especially suited for intense spiritual practices of focusing the mind on God. It is a particularly good habit to wake up early and meditate on the names of God.. There is no better rejuvenator for the mind than this. Afterwards one can immediately start off with one’s studies. Most students tend to go late nights which is a dangerous for one’s health and detrimental for one’s studies. A simple way to understand this is through an analogy. If you would like to drive long distances what is the best time of the day to begin your journey? Early mornings!! Why? Because then the traffic on the roads is minimal and you have the whole day to complete a long journey. If one were to start in the evening one would be harassed by highway traffic and also would have to break his journey to rest for a while. Similarly, our mind keeps storing various impressions it receives during the day and when one sits for  studies in the evening or night these stored impressions act like highway traffic inhibiting our peak concentration levels. But a rest of 6-7 hours at night refreshes the mind so that early in the mornings we are at peak concentration levels. Secondly, sleeping late and waking late forms a habit that may play havoc with one’s performance on the final day of the exam. A habit of studying at night and resting in the day habituates the mind to be more focused at night and relaxed in the day but unfortunately competitive exams are held in the day and not at night, so one is losing one’s capacity for concentration during the day by studying at night.
Maintain a time log to see where you are wasting time, i.e. every time you are changing an activity – record the activity in a diary along with the time. Note even the time wasters, like gossiping with friends, taking a stroll around, etc. That way you will realize where your time is getting lost imperceptibly… now all that you have to do is to reduce these time wasters – and it is no big deal. Just reduce your access to these things and your mind will settle down…
Also whenever you are studying track the time using a stop watch. Pause the stop watch whenever you take a break from studies. That way you’ll know the exact time you are studying.
Well. IIT is not all in all! IITs are not the only good colleges in India. There are many other options as well. We should have an optimistic outlook in life. We can expect for the best but we should also be prepared for the worst. If you have a narrow outlook then you will not be able to attempt the exam in a healthy state of mind. Your high expectations from yourself – not being able to accept any other kind of result will make your mind filled with anxiety. In fact this will make you under-perform than your actual ability. You should understand that you are writing a competitive exam. 1.5L students sit for IIT JEE (Adv.) we cant say that all of them should get the seat. There are only 15000 seats… Even if one cracks still one may not get the “dream branch” he/she desires in a particular IIT. We can only try our best and leave the rest to God and have faith that whatever is coming is the best for us.
If you think that you will not be able to crack then we can never crack. But if we think let me try my best and work sincerely with a positive hope then there is a chance that by God’s grace your dream can get fulfilled.
This is a problem for 80% of the students preparing for JEE. Since the syllabus is vast, the coaching institutes somehow try to cover hurriedly and keep putting many tests one after another. This is the nature of this world. You never get the best arrangement. Some or the other defects are going to be there – if the professors are good the way the program is conducted may not be good – and if the program is good then the quality of tests etc. may not be good. So, we have to “adjust” – you can choose a good institute which you are confident of and try to get the best that institute can offer. It is always advisable to “try” to follow the program in the coaching institute – it is not that bad after all! If you start making your own one, you will mess up. You will surely not be able to perform well in the exams conducted by the institute and you will be discouraged. If you try following the structure of the program given by the institute – still you may not be able to get sufficient clarity in all the topics. No problem! The institutes normally cover the syllabus much early so that revision can be done. You can put those topics for the revision time and gain more perfection. Prepare for all the exams conducted by the institute and try to perform sincerely. You will be able to evaluate your level and your progress.
This will happen with any student. We commit mistakes and that is human tendency! The question is what are we going to do after committing the mistake? Are we going to learn or give up? This is a principle that applies to every walk of our lives. A sincere student will try to learn from the mistakes rather than becoming discouraged and frustrated.
Especially when we are learning a topic in physics and we are trying to do some problems – you will be able to do some depending on your understanding till then and you will not be able to do some because your understanding is not sufficient yet – so you make mistakes. We should understand that mistakes will help us to learn and understand the concept in a much better way. So see mistakes as a “Learning opportunity” rather than as an “Inability” in you. You will be able to make a positive progress in your learning of the subject.
Choosing a career is an important Life decision. And it should not be made in a haste. It should definitely not be made under pressure.
If you choose a career path because so many others are choosing the same or because your parents are forcing you to choose it, beware – it can become a worst decision of your life.
We, at ARJUNA, have interacted with hundreds (if not thousands) of students who are in pain due to wrong career choices.
Several students feel ‘I want to choose Engineering’ and ask them which stream, ‘Computer Science’ is their reply. Most of these students don’t know what it means to be a Computer Science Engineer, they are unaware of the skills and mindset which it requires. They opt for such a career only because of media boom or parents pressure or because someone became famous in their locality or town after choosing CS, IIT!
Little do students know that even in IITs only handful will get CS branch. And even among those students in CS branch, at least a half regret their choice. Rest others ‘select’ their branches based on luck, we mean to say, their ranks. Result: most pursuing Engineering never get to study the subjects they are really interested in. Most even say, that they would best fit in some other career field.
The same holds true for medical.
So how should you decide your career option?
Simple. Based on your inclination. Answer few imp questions.
  1. What are you good at and what are you interested in? Answer to these two questions will give you a small list.
  2. Then next ask yourselves – Can you do this for next 40 years of your life? This requires little more knowledge to gather. Knowledge about the challenges and about the opportunities. Becoming aware of opportunities and challenges will further reduce the list.
  3. Then comes the next question – Financial security. Does the option which you are choosing give you enough financial security? If yes, go ahead. If no, then you have to intelligently balance between interest and finance.
Today’s complex economic system is far from being balanced. And the leaders of society will have to work to make enough options financially viable. Till then an intelligent choice has to be made which balances financial security and the interest / inclination of the student.
The important thing is that we work for living not that we live for working. ‘Work for living’ means that work is just a part of life not the life itself. Life is a celebration of joy and happiness. Our work or career option should not spoil this celebration! What gives joy to life is not work itself but the ‘purpose’ for which we work. Relationships, selfless service and spiritual goals are far more important than the work.
Work integrated with the purpose of life is what will enhance the celebration of life. And that is what, at ARJUNA, we help you in – to define the purpose of your life.
India is known as ‘spiritual capital’ of the world. No doubt most Indians do come across the message of the Vedas in some or other way. For some reciting Bhagvad Gita gives them lot of inspiration and is a daily chore. Some chant mantras as their daily prayers. Many go to one temple or another. And practically everyone has watched Ramayana or Mahabharata telecasted on television. A few of the youngsters even do learn from Bhagvad Gita or some Vedic texts.
The India of the past had its educational basis in the Vedas. In the system of education known as ‘Gurukul’ the recitation of Vedic mantras, performance of Vedic sacrifices and most importantly study of Vedic spiritual sciences was one of the most important practice. There was a seriousness in learning Vedic science and most Indians were aware to some or other extent about the Vedic philosophy.
In the recent years, however, there is a trend and the trend is specially becoming viral among the young Indians who say ‘Spirituality is to be practiced in old age’.
Most of such uninformed youngsters feel that Spirituality has no productive output and thus can be taken up as a mere time-pass when one has nothing else to do (i.e. in the old age). In fact most feel that Spirituality means giving up happiness of this world and thus ‘Youth’ and ‘Spirituality’ is incompatible.
Shall we not rethink? Why did the glorious India of the past not only emphasized but practically made it compulsory for youngsters to learn the Vedas?
Because probably Spirituality is enjoyable! And perhaps it gives the right way of life which if followed one can becomedoubly productive!!
Spirituality is Enjoyable
Too often spirituality is seen as some regulation or restriction imposed on the self. It’s true that those who relish spiritual pleasures may become more disciplined and have better self-control, however that comes as a natural outcome of receiving higher happiness and inner satisfaction. It’s exactly like one who has a cake to eat will naturally not get attracted to a dry piece of stale bread.
How could it be that those who take up to spirituality will want to be miserable! Does it not sound ridiculous? No sane person would ever increase his misery. Many of the spiritualists were highly thoughtful and intelligent beings and it is certainly improbable that all of them made mistake to choose spirituality in the prime of their youth. A few among many who embraced spirituality were, ChanakyaPandit(a well knownphilosopher, economist & political advisor), Aryabhatta(mathematician &astronomer),Shankaracarya(a devout logician and philosopher), Madhvacharya (philosopher & theologian), SrinivasaRamanujam (mathematician & autodidact), etc.
Contrary to the popular notion, true spirituality brings deep inner fulfillment and an experience of true inner happiness. Padma Purana, an authoritative Vedic text proclaims, “ramanteyogino ’nantesatyänandecid-ätmani” that the spiritualistsderive happiness in the unlimited true pleasure of spiritual existence.There is a joy in the selfless acts, far more than the sensual gratification. Spirituality thus refers to the ‘higher pleasure’ which the youngsters can explore.
Spirituality is Doubly Productive
How to know the principles of success? Simple – read the success stories and the failures too. Spirituality means to learn from the success and failure stories given in the Vedas. Vedas discuss the real life characters facing challenges – internally and externally – and then emerging out victorious or learning from their failures. Learning from each real life story in the Vedas is a great treasure of wisdom. I doubt if anyone would want to miss out on this treasure hunt.
Thus spirituality is doubly productive as first it helps one to have better self-control, thus enabling one to stay focused. And second the Vedic wisdom helps one to avoid repeating the mistakes by teaching principles of success.
To reap the benefit of spirituality one has to practice it from early age. Youth is the right time to learn and to absorb. Thus when our minds are pliable the input of spirituality can prove to be a great boon. Spirituality is learning the right and the right way of learning. In old age one can’t learn and one can’t unlearn too. That’s why those who are misled in the youth carry deep scars of bad habits practically throughout their life. If young students learn spirituality they can much better handle the inevitable pressures of life with a calm mind.
Would you like to take an exam before going through the course-work? Indeed No! But entering into the adult-hood to face the real life challenges without first learning to deal with them through spiritual knowledge is exactly like that. No doubt many teenagers face failures. Life could be much better if one pursues spirituality and practices devotion.
Hot sumptuous nutritious lacto vegetarian sanctified Food We give 3 meals. Breakfast is also important for you. This will help you to grow well and avoid diseases. This food is favorable for your studies – what you eat you become like that. Since food is sanctified, it gives you good desires. This is not available at any other place in KOTA! Hardly there are messes where 3 times food is there, even!
Distraction free Study Environment We have a study room where you can sit and study nicely. We don’t allow any one to keep Smart phones etc
Meditation room We teach mantra meditation and we have 30 minutes schedule of practicing it daily. This will keep you mentally alert and spiritually happy. Not available anywhere!
ARJUNA Mentors You get constant motivation from mentors. They monitor your studies and guide you and encourage you. Not available anywhere.
Character education It gives you a sense of purpose in life and can become source of infinite motivation. Not available anywhere.
Ans: We appreciate your interest to stay at ARJUNA Homes. At AH we wish to give you the best ENVIRONMENT to facilitate your studies and your overall growth in life
While students feel single room is good for their studies so that they will not be disturbed by others and can study for long hours without having to deal with any trivial (at this point of time you have stated what is in the mind of student and thus he will be with you), however (with a smile J ), our observation has been otherwise. Single room is actually not best for young students staying away from parents.
What are the reasons lets look at them:
1. There is no one to observe and thus students tend to sleep for longer time and it leads to time waste. Some students day dream while having books open in front.
2. Sometimes students indulge in some malpractices like porn or other self-destructive habits.
3. Also students don’t learn to make relationships with others and thus may feel lonely.
4. They don’t get help from their other peers. At AH we wish that peers should help each other in their studies.
5. It is unnatural to live alone in a room for long rooms and thus students tend to become more depressed if they are unable to score.
6. And guess what! It is more costly too!
Thus we discourage you for having a single room. However, based on availability we will try to facilitate to get a single room for you.
Ans: We wish to provide ARJUNA Home facility at as less price as possible. We are an NGO and we surely don’t make exorbitant profits from the students. Yet the facility which we offer (hot food 3 times, good wonderful environment, ARJUNA Mentors to monitor progress, Value education, Meditation hall, healthy relationships, etc) comes at a very reasonable cost. Moreover, we provide sponsorships (up to 2500/- per month) for students Means cum Merit basis.
Ans: Mentor is a selfless person who wishes all well for you. Mentor is your friend and guide. You should trust him and wish to learn from him and actually serve him. He helps you manage your schedules. He would teach you some valuable life lessons from scriptures. He would monitor your studies. He will also give you some tips to study better.
Ans: You have your good teachers in the institute and they also have doubt solving sessions. So we would encourage to ask doubts from them. Mentor does a more important role – he inspires you to study well, he guides, monitors and oversees your progress. If you develop thick relationship with him you will feel great warmth and also a purpose in life. But if your Mentor is available then he may help on a few occasions to explain some concepts. Questions you have to solve yourself. And believe me if you have proper purpose and inspiration for studies, you can do it on your own. Just like your mother or father may not be able to help you solve your questions, don’t expect the mentor to do so
Ans: As you see we wish to give best environment to students. We have observed that if parents come and stay during that time other students can get disturbed. We will help your parents to get a lodge or hotel nearby. And they can come and take 1 or 2 meals on paid basis if we get information 24 hours before.
Ans: Unlike other hostels, at ARJUNA Homes we would like to guide and train those students who are serious about making a bright career for themselves and thereby serving God and society. Therefore we have a systematic procedure of written tests and personal interview.
ARJUNA Homes is not just a place to stay but to grow. We invest our time and energy in training the students and we expect them to follow a certain minimum standard of regulation which is for their own welfare, failing which we will be forced to take appropriate action as we have done in the past