There are always some boys who live in the Ashram, usually between 10 and 18 years old, who come from different parts of India. Their parents drop them off here for education. It can be of many different reasons. One common and important reason is that they are really poor and cannot afford to raise them nicely or give them education. Another reason is that many times when children do not have success in learning in the school and they fail the same year several times, the school also expels them. And what should they do then? Often they get bad company because there is nothing to do than linger around somewhere. This is why parents search for a good place where their child is save, gets education and can develop his personality in a good way and for a good future.
Those who come to us also have the wish not to study the normal mainstream school education but to study spiritually. This includes ancient scriptures, Sanskrit language and grammar and also Vedic astrology. In India we have mainstream schools but also Sanskrit schools which are fully approved by the government and with which you can even go to university. The boys who live in the Ashram study in a spiritual way and we provide them a place, food, clothes, books and classes. Two or three times a year, depending on where their family lives, they go home and visit.
Sometimes their families also visit, like right now, the mother of one of the students is here and stays with us. Sometimes we do not have much place for more boys but once a 70 year old man came with his grandson from 1000 kilometers away. He had not informed us that he would come but he brought his 13 year old grandson and said that he came with much hope and asked us to keep him as he could not look after him. Even though we did not have place, it was not easy to say no so we said okay, wherever he finds a place in the Ashram. He was here for quite a while.
You have to have a big heart and keep it open with the flexibility to adjust and to manage. The boys have a place, a room together with mattresses in it but they also like to sleep outside, altogether on mats on the floor, especially when it is warm like right now. Very often former students visit, who now have a job, are married, have settled down and manage their lives on their own. It is great and feels very good when they come and you feel that we, too, had some contribution to their life.