Generally when people from the UK think of going to the countryside for even a weekend, we would first consider all the things that we would need to take with us. This simply isn’t the case here. Living so far away from the nearest city, the staff and students here have learnt to make do with what they have around them. That and their dedication to that which is Ayurvedic. The immense amount of greenery around is incredibly refreshing and indeed it’s also what is utilised the most. I’ll take you through the many examples which I have seen, though there are many more.
While the beautiful cows provide milk, they also provide ghee and dahi. With this, chaas, kudhi, chai is made. Cow dung is used to fertilise the fields but also to layer the floor of the outside bhojanalaya. It’s also lovely to see the cows treated well. They have one full time staff member looking after the gaushala but during the seva karya hour, the kids do some major heavy lifting in there.
There is a massive plot opposite my kaksh that hosts a whole garden full of various plants. This is used as initial treatment for the kids. The kids also take care of the plants on a daily basis. When we were out farming, one of the girls cut themselves. My initial thought was I have antiseptic cream in my room along with plasters, I’ll run back and whip them out. After all, there was a lot of blood. However before I could, the other girls huddled around, assessed the wound and went off to gather various plants. Plants that have antiseptic qualities were grinded and placed on the wound. Other leaves were placed on top to act like a plaster. I didn’t have my camera at the time unfortunately, but it was amazing to see.
A vast array of beautiful flowers grow along the entire campus, these are offered in the mandir.
The wood from trees is used not only to cook the food, but the ash is used as per Vedic tradition to clean the cutlery. Apparently, this is exactly what Ramdevji puts in his Patanjali washing up soap (ash and lemon juice).
While I’ve spoken previously about chana which is grown, cut and eaten in house, Makai (corn is also grown). It is eaten in house but also, the leaves and left overs are fed to the cows. Any left over food is also given to the cows (from the kitchen).
The kids have to bring their own sweeping brush to the school which they use during their seva karya hour. All bring sweeping brushes made from tuver sticks from their own farms. The same goes for the bamboo sticks they use in Shakha for Dand!
As for entertainment, the kids make their own swing from rope found on the road, as well as cricket bats from unused wood. Their wickets is a recycled metal tin. It’s incredible that the kids still find the energy to laugh and have fun in what is nearly 40 degrees heat now.
Even Diwaliba (she makes rotli at the school) uses limba (bay leaf) twigs found on site to maintain her good teeth as do some of the kids! 🙂
I hope this blog entry has given you a taste of Madhav Vidhyapeeth and the kids natural resourceful nature. It’s definitely given me a new perspective on how I live my life in the UK. Until next time 🙂