Notes to New Visitors

Here’s a copy of the leaflet we hand out to new visitors when they arrive at the Ashram.

Food
We only start eating after a short praise to the Lord: Jay Shree Radhe!
– Food is touched only by the right hand while eating. This leaves the left hand free and clean to use for passing on plates, glasses etc. Don’t pass on anything with the hand you’re eating with!
– Wash your hands before and after meals. If you only touch your glass with your left hand and drink without touching the glass with your mouth, you can use the same water to wash your hands with after you finished your meal, because then it is not jhuta (touched).
– Take your own plate and glass to the pump and wash it with soap and/or ashes. Rinse well.
– All food is vegetarian (no eggs). Please don’t bring non veg food or alcohol to the Ashram.
Untouched food can be given to the cows. Food on your plate is jhuta (touched) and cannot be given to the cows. The dog will be happy with it, but please feed him outside of the Ashram’s premises.

Good habits
– Remove your shoes before entering any hut or the main building of the Ashram.
– Avoid touching people with your feet or pointing your feet at them while sitting together, as this is considered to be disrespectful.
– The fire in the fireplace is holy. Treat it with the same respect you would show to people. Don’t point your feet at it. Avoid putting used glasses and plates on the side of the fireplace.
– After you use the toilet, please flush with water and wash you hands with soap and/or ashes.
– The garbage should be thrown in the right bin: paper – plastic etc. – compost
– Take care of you belongings: don’t leave them behind in the ‘meeting house’. Always put your important belongings in a safe place, preferably in your room. A lock is availble, so you can close your room when you’re not there.
– Don’t hand out presents to children and don’t lend out any of the Ashram’s belongings to anyone. We prefer to support the people of the area in more structural ways, so encouraging them to beg for chocolates and toys won’t help. And we are happy to say that the children of the village are still only shouting ‘hello’ and ‘bye bye’ and not ‘chocolate’ or ‘school pen’.

Daily chores
If you would like to take up any of these daily tasks, feel free(
– The dishes are washed with ashes, sometimes mixed with some soap. Please wash them properly and rinse them well.
– Collecting the gobar (cow dung) and making the kanda (cow dung-cakes) with the girls.
– Feeding the cows and giving them water.
– Cooking: cleaning and cutting vegetables, bringing plates and knifes, making chapatti… If you pay attention, you can learn how to make some Indian style Ayurvedic food.
– Sweeping the floor, cleaning the water pump-area, empty the compost and trash cans, small reparations, making chai…. There’s always something to do.

Work
– On the field: there’s plenty of work on the fields or in the garden: weeding, giving water, spreading compost, picking roses, harvesting