Importance and Guidelines
The most important followup measure of the Gnana Yagnas is the Study Group program. The basic concept of the Study Group is to study the scriptures by those who have curiosity/thirst to benefit from the perennial wisdom of the Rishis.
A group of 10 to 15 like minded people get together at a place, time and day mutually agreed upon for 90 minutes a week for a systematic study of the scriptural texts prescribed in the Study Group Scheme by Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda after testing its validity over several years.
What is read or heard, in order to take root, must be thought over (tat chintanam). The test of clear thinking is in the ability to express our thoughts clearly (tat kathanam). Again, whether our understanding is right and proper, is brought out in the rational and mutual discussion of the Study Group members (anyonya prabodhanam) Thus, to the sincere and diligent student, the Study Group technique provides an opportunity and a forum for gaining a deep and quick perspective of our scriptures. The forum, in the Sat Sangh atmosphere, also fosters and develops brotherly understanding among the members and strengthens the “One Family” concept.
How Study Groups are organized
Each Study Group member will be allotted a portion in the text. During the subsequent class the Sevak would summarize briefly the proceedings of the last class and request the allotted member to offer his contributions. After the member has finished his contributions/raised questions, the Sevak would request other members for their suplementary contributions on the topic under discussion as also answers to questions raised. Repetition of stanzas and word meanings given in the text under study is essential to become familiar with Sanskrit verses. After the contributions are over, the Sevak, as a member of the class could also make his contributions. Repetitions are to be avoided. After the 90 minutes of class time, the Sevak should punctually close the class with the recitation of the Pledge by all and quietly disperse with “Hari Om”. By following the procedure with sincerity and enthusiasm, members would get the cream of wisdom of the text under study by the technique of cooperative thinking.
More than a thousand Study Groups function under the guidance of Chinmaya Mission Centers around the world.