On 18 December 2020, Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai made a very significant announcement. He exalted the importance of recognising the divinity within everyone, and emphasised that since ancient times, the knowledge of vedānta has been shared only with the deserving and the important criterion being that the Guru would test the disciple and only then was the secret teaching passed on. He went to reveal that the Sri Sathya Sai Veda Gurukulam will be initiated soon and select students would be enrolled. These students will be trained for 15 years i.e., primary school to University, and the focus of education being vedā vedānta along with academic subjects with emphasis on English speaking for effective communication skills and computers. After gaining rich knowledge, they will travel to every country and continent to spread the vedāntic teachings. Hence, parā vidyā and aparā vidyā, both would be taught.

Swami announced that He would also perform a Mass Upanayana ceremony for the vatus who will join the Veda Gurukulam and stressed on the importance of sandhyavandanam. He then stated, “This was one piece that was missing in the jewel of our education system. This is the crest-jewel (chudamani) of all the education”.

There was another announcement that on Sankranti, Bhoomi Pooja for the Veda Gurukulam at Sathya Sai Grama, Muddenahalli would take place. Two Pandits from Tirupati (one, a scholar in Rigveda and the other in Yajurveda) had been chosen to teach at the Gurukulam and both had studied at Sri Venkateswara Veda Vignana Peetham at Tirumala. 

The momentous day soon arrived. On the auspicious morning of January 8, 2021, bhoomi pooja (a ritual performed in honour of Mother Earth) was performed at the site for the upcoming Sri Sathya Sai Veda Gurukulam in the gracious presence and with the blessings of Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai. When Sadguru had visited Tirupati in December 2020, this ceremony was pre-decided with the pandits (Vedic scholars) there and in accordance with the panchangam (calendar), this auspicious muhurtham (auspicious time) had been chosen.

The proceedings for the bhoomi pooja began with Ganapathi pooja (worship of Lord Ganesha), kalasha sthapana (kalash is an urn, and this ritual is performed before a pooja), poojas to the ashta dikpalakas (guardians of the cardinal directions), go pooja (worship of cow), sarpa pooja (worship of snakes) and prayers to various creatures and beings of different lokas (worlds). Special offerings were made to invoke their blessings.

Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai arrived at the site by 9.30 a.m. and shanku sthapana (laying the foundation stone) was performed at exactly 9.47 a.m. in the eeshanya or north-east direction of the Tapovanam where a temple for Lord Shiva will be constructed. Sacred offerings of navaratnas (nine gems) and navadanyas (nine grains) were made along with panchamrutha abhishekam (a ritual where the idols are bathed with milk, curds, honey, sugar and ghee) amidst Vedic chants. 

Even as Sadguru broke the coconuts during the Ganapathi pooja and shanku sthapana, big flowers were found inside which was a sign of auspicious beginnings, in accordance with divine sankalpa. An ashatakona homa kunda (an octangular pit for making offerings during yagnas) had been specially designed for the occasion and Ganapathi homa, vastu homa (prayers to the deity of directions) and navagraha shanti homa (prayers to the nine planets) were performed by Vedic priests from Tirumala. Poornahuti (offering made at the end of a ritual) was offered, after which the sacred water from the kalasha was sprinkled on everyone. 

Thereafter, one of the priests Vidwan Kashiji explained the significance and importance of Vedas and how the Vedas are the basis of everything one does in their daily lives. Sadguru also spoke about the sacred land, as it has been sanctified by the penance of various sages and saints. It is the land blessed by Lord Rama Himself and therefore has been chosen for the Veda Pathshala. 

Sadguru revealed the forthcoming structures that will be constructed – the Uma Maheshwara temple, yagashala (a place for worship), pushkarini (pond), Sharadamba temple, the Veda pathshala and residential blocks for teachers and students. 

After the programme concluded, Sadguru partook lunch along with the guests, staff and students of Vedic Studies at Atmadeep, blessed everyone and proceeded back to Premdeep.