The silence was the easy part. Technically, we just spent two and a half days in total silence. And trust me, when you know that a 1000+ people around you are unavailable to talk to, it really isn’t very difficult. Sadhna, Seva and Satsang are the three main pillars of AOL. For Seva, I was allotted the Gaushala (cowshed). (The Bengaluru Ashram has this and stuff like an AgriBusiness College, a Vedic Gurukul, a dedicated centre for Vedic Maths, among other things, spread across 65 acres of land that the AOL Foundation owns) This meant that I had to collect cow droppings that’d later be used as manure. Once in a lifetime experience it was!
The Ashram kitchen doles out sumptuous meals thrice a day for thousands of Ashramites. It was the first time I saw vessels the size of steam boilers being used to cook gallons of sambhar and giant wardrobe-sized machines being employed to maintain a steady supply of well rounded chapattis. What’s more, Bau had transformed the cafeteria into a jazzy bistro christened La Khana. This was a welcome respite. Visit Bawa and Dineshda’s blog here to sample the menu.