Brahma Kumaris Abu road KITCHEN

By Sanjeev Nayyar | 2018

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Visited Brahma Kumaris Headquarters at Abu road. It is called SHANTIVAN. When I visit spiritually powerful places click pictures so that can share positive vibrations worldwide. Drive from Ambaji took about 45 minutes. Post breakfast was shown around. This album covers kitchen. Volunteers doing sewa cleaning cauliflower. Another album shows facilities at Mount Abu and Abu road.

Board tells how many for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It was 11,000 meals. We had idli sambar for breakfast. Imagine making idlis for 11,000 people - assuming 3 per person 33k idlis to be made and served. At times number of meals cooked crosses 30,000 per meal. So if three meals need to be cooked it is 90,000 meals a day.

Dining Hall, kitchen occupy a whole building. This is main kitchen. On left u see steam coming out of huge steel cupboards. Idli batter put in trays and placed in steamers where idlis are cooked. Right of pic are containers for cooking. Area is spotlessly clean.

Another part of the kitchen where cooking happens. I reached about 11 ish when lunch had been prepared. Was told more time is spent in cleaning than cooking.

Action time. Left you see a group of ladies making potato ka vada. Right evening meals were being cooked. Food cooked by volunteers, many of whom are full-time sewaks. Everyone performs their role to perfection - no chatter.

Dal / curries made in these containers. They have machines that can slice, grate and dice the vegetable. Some objectives of Brahma Kumaris are "teach Rajyoga Meditation for self-empowerment, help people rediscover their original self for inner peace, free people of negative tendencies, purify the 5 elements of nature i.e. air, water, fire, ether and earth."

Cooking time - watch the action. Kitchen resembles a factory operation. Volunteers not only cook but add lots of love to the food. Layout increases productivity. High degree of mechanization. Has machines to do all the cutting and chopping, make dough and chapatis as we shall see later.

There is a bakery as well. It is huge and highly mechanised. Bread is baked as you see on right of pic. This machine cuts the bread into slices. Brahma Kumaris have adoped Swachta or Cleanliness as a way of life. The entire complex is very very clean.

U see sewak making lassi. The room also has huge steel containers where milk is boiled and served. They also have ability to make about 1100 ice-creams per hour. Also have machines to make tea which is like served throughout the day.

Overview of the Roti Making department. U see sewaks - volunteers making chapatis. What I liked most is the sewa bhavna with which volunteers worked. Simply put I call it a state of egolessness.

Dough is made in these machines and then sent to volunteers. Meals are vegetarian, simple, tasty and nourishing. You do not have to pay for a meal. Donations are voluntary.

Group of devotees from Sangli Maharashtra work on dough to make it softer after which it goes into the chapati making machine. Post taking the pic the ladies spoke about the importance of meditation, focus on the soul etc. I smiled to say that the Divine has ordained a different role for me.

Dough put in such a roti making m/c (there were 6 like these). It comes out ready to eat. Lady volunteers apply ghee and then place roti in boxes. U see two group of ladies in rear of pic. WHAT are they doing. More on that later.

Front view of roti making machine. Rotis fall out of center of machine (u see lady sitting on ground level). Volunteers applying ghee. There are 6 roti making machines. Each has a capacity of 2,000 Rotis per hour.

When more rotis need to be made they are made on these rectangular plates (tawa). They can be used to make dosas and parathas. End of pic a sewak is frying potato vadas. Had it for dinner that day. Loved it. These ladies cook the chapati before passing it to the next group as u shall see in next pic. Brahma Kumari followers always in white, a colour that symbolises purity.

Chapati shown in earlier pic is cooked and given to this group. They make it brown after which ghee is applied and then put into boxes. Note couple of ladies worn a vizier on head. Visitor volunteers get going when there are more people for meals. Packed meals are given to all devotees leaving for a onward journey.

There are multiple dinning halls. This is one of them. Devotees in front serving idli, sambar and thepla that morning (very tasty). Again clean and less noisy. At various places saw boards urging one to talk less. Helps in preserving energy. Brahma Kumaris have a in-house carpentry department. The organization was formally established in 1937. It relocated to Mount Abu in 1950.

Used steel utensils kept in huge trolleys from where it is brought here. Team rinses with water before putting them in a cleaning machine. Jagadamba Saraswati was the 1st administrative head of Brahma Kumaris. Dadi Prakashmani was the chief of BK from 1969 to 2007. Dadi Janki is chief of BK. Dadi Hridaya Mohini is Additional Chief of BK. Dadi Ratan Mohini is Joint Chief of BK. Women empowerment at Brahma Kumaris started decades ago.

Utensil cleaning machine. Put in from far end and them come out here. Reminded me of a bag scanning machine at airports. BK have a in-house sewage treatment plant that recycles water.

Cleaning once cooking for evening meal was over. Excellent management, everything works seamlessly. Whilst leaving was given TOLI. It is the equivalent of prasadam. It is offering made to Brahma baba, the founder & then shared with public. It is usually a sweet. I shared TOLI with a dear friends wife, a Brahma Kumari follower, who could not thank me enough.

The cooking is done with the help of solar power. There is another huge solar power site which we shall talk about in the other album. Firewood is not used. What I liked about the kitchen is it is contemporary, scientifically laid out, eco-friendly, clean and most importantly the selfless service by volunteers. I felt so happy seeing and speaking to them.

Annakshetras in ashrams and temples are common. Next few pics show langars at various places. U see devotees enjoying meal at Sringeri Mutt, Karnataka. Unlike Brahma Kumaris where there are tables and chairs, here everyone sits on the ground. Instead of chapatis there is rice. Pic of 2012. Kitchen very clean. To see pics of Annakshetras in Karnataka Click Here

Langar at Golden Temple or Hari Mandir Amritsar. Pic of 2012. Hope they have mechanised the operation. Food eaten sitting on the ground. To see pics of Golen Temple Langar Click Here

Kitchen at Dharmasthala Karnataka. Steel containers used to make rice and sambar. When I visited there was a room full of rice. It was covered with white cloth. When required filled the bucket with rice and served. Very clean. Huge hall. Food eaten sitting on the ground. Pic of 2012.

ISKCON kitchen Tardeo Mumbai. They make mid-day meals for school children. Again awesome, works like a factory, very clean, strong element of devotion. Pic of 2013. To see pics of kitchen Click Here

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