WHAT THE HECK IS BHUMI?
THE ORIGIN OF BHUMI
Bhumi is the sanskrit word for ground. This is a literal translation, but the meaning of Bhumi is closer to the English word foundation, or stage.
In Hinduism, Bhumi-Devi is the Goddess of Mother Earth. So with this in mind how do we fit in? Well, at BHUMIhostel we have our completely organic permaculture garden. We have rescue animals here that we take care of, as well as working with our local animal shelter and helping them out. At BHUMI hostel, the Earth is definitely important to us, and now more than ever we must try to protect her.
In Buddhism, Bhumi also has a meaning. They have something called The Ten Bhumis, or the stages of Bodhisattvahood. These are the stages one must accomplish to become a Buddha. Now, I’m not saying that staying at our hostel will make you a Buddha, however the idea of enlightenment connected with some of these stages are not a million miles away from what you can experience here.
THE BHUMI EXPERIENCE
At BHUMI hostel we have a number of examples of our belief that we should work with Mother Earth. For example, we have a permaculture garden. If you don’t know what that means, don’t worry, neither did I. A permaculture garden is where it is designed based on patterns we see in nature and therefore should be self-sufficient. This has many types of fruits, herbs, spices, all completely organic and natural, and all available for our guests to pick and eat. We put any waste food we have into compost to use for our garden to help it along.
As well as our garden, we also have pets here. These pets are rescue animals, from the local shelter we work closely with. We give these animals the loving home they deserve. Pets make every home a brighter place, and if you don’t agree then you’re a monster. They say you shouldn’t have a favourite child, but my favourite is definitely our dog Ella. She was rescued with only one eye which breaks your heart, but she’s an absolute sweetheart who’s still happy all the time in true dog style.
LIVING THE SIMPLE LIFE
Now, when it comes to the Ten Bhumis as mentioned in Buddhism, I’ll just speak a little about the first one, which is simply translated as ‘joyous’. The focus of this is on the perfection of generosity (the first of the Six Perfections, which you can look up in your own damn time) and, very simply put, the idea that you can do things for others without expectation of reward or praise. This is actually something that all successful hostels are built on, hostels are about a communal living space and should encourage generosity towards other people. To be generous only for personal reward is not generous, it is a transaction, so we work with the idea that people will help each other because it is the good thing to do.
Along with this, what joins the Bhumis together is an overarching idea of a simple life. A life without worry, stress, or negative energies. This is what following the Ten Bhumis should achieve, and at BHUMI hostel I can see a reflection of this. The negative of this is that it can be very easy to take this the wrong way and become lazy. It is not a way of life for me, it is just a short break, but I get easily trapped in hammocks and deck chairs and local food. However, for some it can be a welcome break from a hectic lifestyle; so long as you can keep up the motivation to see this wonderful city and it’s surrounding areas during the day, and save the relaxing for the evenings.