Barley & wheat harvest at Om Ashram
In Northern India people harvest the wheat in spring, which is either in late February or early March. Before they start harvesting they make a traditional ritual. In our Ashram in Jadan we do this at the end of March when the barley is completely ripe as it is the first grain we reap.
First, when the wheat becomes ripe, but is still slightly green, two thousand separate plants are cut and bound into big, very tight bundles, so as to be dedicated to the God of fire, Agni, because of which this takes place in the open fire. That is done in order to make the harvest successful, to remove the obstacles and the diseases, to make sure that the wheat remains healthy so that it will be good for us. It is also consecrated to the fire within us, Jatha agni, on which our health depends. When the baking is finished and the ears have become black, the grains are separated from them by being pressed on a wooden surface with the palms. When all of the wheat is cleaned, we serve it along with gur, solidified sugar cane juice, dry coconut and then eat it as prashad which is food dedicated to God. As is traditional in India, all meals are eaten with the right hand and so is this prashad.
After that, we can start with the harvest, which is done by hand, first the barley and then the wheat. The harvesting lasts for approximately seven days.
In our ashram we aim to do our best to cultivate the land in a natural way, to grow plants in an organic way. In addition to that, our work here is perceived as a part of our spiritual practice through being aware of God’s presence in everything we do.