One of the units closest to Bhagawan’s heart, the South Indian Canteen plays a major role in serving the devotees who visit the Ashram. The South Indian Canteen began its operations in the 1970sand has been relentlessly serving millions of devotees incessantly, providing them with tasty South Indian vegetarian delicacies as Prasadam (sacred food) to the devotees who arrive at Prasanthi Nilayam. This is the oldest of the three canteens locatedwithin the Ashram. Bhagawan has ensured that prices are kept low in spite of rising inflation and raw material prices due to his concern for the devotees, especially those who are economically backward.
The food that is served to the devotees is first offered to Bhagawan, and thus is literally considered as Prasadam, and not as just another meal. In accordance with the sentiment attached to the food, high respect and reverence is given to all matters pertaining to the food here. Baba says – “Annam Brahma” which means, Food is God. Thus, there is constant effort towards ensuring that the food prepared is not wasted. The devotees are also constantly advised not to waste any food as it is considered a sin.
- Breakfast is served between 6:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. Items such as Idly, Vada, Dosa and Coffee/Tea are available during this session. Click here to view the detailed breakfast menu.
- Lunch is served between 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. South Indian Thali (Meals), Chapathi and Quick meals are available during this session. Click here to view the detailed lunch menu.
- Evening Snacks are served between 3:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. - Tea/Coffee and Snacks such as Pakodas, Mixture, etc. are available during this time. Click here to view the detailed evening snacks menu.
- Dinner is served between 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. South Indian Thali (Meals), Chapathi and Quick meals are available.Click hereto view the detailed dinner menu.
All the items that are available are priced low and affordable keeping in mind the comfort of the devotees.
A delicious full meal (unlimited) for one person costs Rs.10. The breakfast, and quick meals are available for Rs. 4 per item per plate.
Baba says, – “Cleanliness is next to Godliness”. Cleanliness is given utmost priority in the canteen. The renovated canteen and the kitchen are sparkling examples for the care that the staff and the sevadal (Volunteers) who put in hours together to clean up the dining area and the kitchen – during and at the end of each session.
All the utensils, including the plates and glasses which are used by the devotees are cleaned by the sevadal who come in rotation from different states to Prasanthi Nilayam to perform voluntary service.
While the gents sevadal ensure that the kitchen premises are clean and ready for cooking at the end of each session, the ladies sevadal lend their hand in cleaning the plates and glasses for the dining sessions.
All the works in the canteen from purchase of raw materials, cooking, serving to washing the dishes, most of it is managed by people who are rendering complete voluntary service.
Apart from feeding the devotees, the South Indian Canteen has the privilege to cook prasadam for major festivals such as Shivarathri, Bhagawan’s Birthday, etc. The food that is served in the canteen is provided completely free of cost during these major festivals.
The canteen also has the privilege to cook and provide food for all the Sevadal who come to perform seva in Prasanthi Nilayam. In accordance with Bhagawan’s wishes, the food that is prepared and provided to the Sevadal is free of cost. None of the Sevadal are charged for the food that they consume in the canteen for all the four sessions, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
A coupon counter is located in front of the entrance of the canteen dining hall. Devotees who wish to partake food buy the coupons from the counter and enter the dining hall. The coupon counter operates in the same timings as the canteen.
Separate Dining Hall for Ladies and Gents:
As per Bhagawan’s instructions ladies and the gents are not allowed to move together in any of the places within the Ashram. Accordingly, there are separate dining halls for the ladies and gents.