Real success is not measured by status, monetary gain or any personal achievement, but by how much one is able to offer others in their time of need, for their upliftment and for the removal of their distress.
Swami Satyananda Saraswati
Satyananda Math was founded in 1991 by Swami Sivamurti in honor of her guru, Swami Satyananda, and his mandate to uplift and bring joy to the less privileged and those in need. His sankalpa is summarized in the phrase "Serve, Love, Give and was the foundation stone for all his activities in Rikhiapeeth, India.
It is the philanthropic arm of Satyanandashram Hellas.
Its purpose is the pursuit of the well-being of others, and the serving of general social interests, regardless of gender, nationality, religion and social order, through the philosophy and practice of the Satyananda system of yoga. Its charitable activities include many service projects in partnership with local community organisations throughout various parts of Greece, as well as various inspirational projects for society and the environment. The Satyananda Yoga women’s groups of Greece play a significant role in supporting the aims and objectives of Satyananda Math.
Based on the inspiration of Satyananda Math, a non-profit association entitled ‘AMBA’ which means ‘compassionate mother’ was formed in Athens in 2017 and is the legal entity of Satyananda Math. Amba is able to undertake a wide range of activities, including educational, cultural, scientific and social, for the purpose of propagating the spirit and aims of Satyananda Math nationwide.
Amba’s activities aim to support the less privileged members of our society by offering support through a variety of activities and social services such as health and education and prepares and offers necessary daily items such as food and clothing, wherever needed. It also aims to provide incentives for those less privileged through offering employment within its own activities, whenever possible.
The more we give, the greater we become, we learn to see ourselves in others. Their suffering becomes our suffering and their joy our joy.
Swami Satyananda Saraswati
Take care of the needs of others, and your needs will be taken care of, take care of the prosperity of others and your prosperity will be taken care of, take care of the liberation (Moksha) of others and your liberation (Moksha) will be taken care of. Serve the poor, give food to the hungry ones, care for the sick ones, go from door to door and see what their problems are, this is the only way to reach peace. These are the commands of Christ and of all the spiritual masters “Love your neighbor as your Self”. “Do to others what you would wish others to do to you”. One doesn’t need to know anything else. The secret is just to put it into practice.
Swami Satyananda Saraswati
Activities of Satyananda Math include the following
Yoga Teaching for refugees and feeding the homeless
Since the economic crisis began in Greece in 2011, more and more people are now homeless.
In Thessaloniki in 2013, a group of Seva yogis, inspired by the aims and goals of Satyananda Math, formed a philanthropic organization - Annapurna, to address the urgent problem of the homeless in Thessaloniki.
At the current time, March 2020 the Annapurna team undertakes feeding 230 homeless people in the center of Thessaloniki, once a week. Up until now, the Annapurna team have offered more than 40.000 meals to the homeless with their own resources and 4.500 meals to refuges. Hundreds of blankets and winter clothing have been distributed to the homeless for the winter months.
In Athens in 2015, a new project has commenced and food for homeless and refugees is regularly prepared and distributed on a weekly basis.
Impressions from the Seva yogis of Amba and Annapurna under the auspices of Satyananda Math
The enthusiasm of the Annapurna Kitchen Seva yogis is such that it becomes contagious. Members gathered at each other’s homes to cook and generally prepare the meals with a lot of love and care.
Every time we distribute the meals we are overwhelmed by emotion. Some of us cry or feel deeply moved. What we have realized now, is that this is the feeling of ‘atmabhava’ (a deep feeling of unity with all). This happens when ‘anahat’ (the heart chakra) is fully opened and bhakti flows, and it's the closest one can feel to God. All of us have had this same feeling at one stage or another. When the homeless people receive their package and express their sincere gratitude by saying ‘thank you’, we say ‘thank you’ back to them because we realize that by helping them, we are actually helping ourselves in our personal evolution. This is not an intellectual revelation, but a deep feeling we have from the heart. This feeling of ‘atmabhava’ of seeing God in all beings, dictates how the offering of food to the homeless is done. There is meticulous care and love put into the participation of the meals, the way they are distributed and the attitude we feel is that “I am about to feed God Himself” makes the team aware that everything must be organized perfectly and beautifully. The purpose behind this gesture must be love.
Yoga Teaching for Children with Special Needs
Since 2015, an ongoing project has been running to teach yoga to children with special needs at the Public school in Larissa, for children with special needs with practices based on the Satyananda system of yoga.
I have completed my third consecutive year of collaboration with the special school of Larissa on a voluntary basis, teaching the Satyananda system of yoga to children with special needs who have cognitive or kinetic difficulties, working with children with mental immaturity and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
The occupational therapists who observed the children over this period noted marked improvements in the organization, performance and concentration of children within the classroom. The project will continue, and the new teaching season will commence November 2018.
Yoga for Children in Orphanages
Children’s welfare center of St George - Kavala
Since 2013 the women’s Group of Kavala under the auspices of Satyananda Math have been involved in helping children at the Children’s welfare center of St George that have been abandoned and have many psychological problems some of whom have been abused, both physically and sexually.
Pikpa Penteli orphanage – Athens
Since 2012 Satyananda Math has been assisting PIKPA orphanage by sending toys to the children for Christmas and Easter, vaccinations and visiting the children on a regular basis.
Contact with young children who expect to be adopted is not something that can be easily described as their desire to find a parent and to leave is so intense ... My experience in PIKPA's Penteli orphanage taught me as in all Seva activities, that one tries to forget the ego and look beyond one’s own needs and to the needs of others, in this case, the children. I am very grateful for the opportunity I was given to participate in this Seva.
Yoga for the Unemployed
To meet the social needs of our times and the growing number of people without work, the Satyananda Yoga Meditation Centers offer free yoga courses to the unemployed.
Interest and attendance in these departments is growing, as the need for substantial relief from external and internal pressures and conflicts is growing. So many people cease to be deprived of the enormous benefits of yoga techniques and philosophy due to economic dysfunction. They once again gain the opportunity to balance their bodies, strengthen the mind, power of will, and connect with the qualities of creativity, joy, self-esteem that exist within each of us.
Yoga for the Elderly
The Volos women’s group has spent the last four years visiting and caring for the needs of the residents of the "Nursing home of Volos" and introducing them to PM1.
In the beginning the groups found it difficult to concentrate but they slowly participate, and in the end there is great joy and laughter and they ask us to come back soon and we leave with our hearts full.
Yoga in Prisons
As part of a new program of the Ministry of Justice to introduce the teaching of yoga in prisons in 2017, Satyananda Math supporters, started giving yoga lessons to the inmates at Grevena prison, northern Greece once a week.
Satyananda Math is currently in discussion with other penitentiary institutions to offer yoga lessons to inmates on a regular basis. It is currently focusing on providing yoga lessons for the KETHEON corrections institution, near Athens.
In addition to this, clothing, basic health care and toys are also provided to women and children inmates.
How you can help
• Become a part of our team as a volunteer and assist in any of our projects. Satyananda Math - AMBA welcomes all people who can offer their ‘head, heart and hands’ time, expertise and general goodwill. We also welcome all ideas for new projects which can further its aims and objectives.
• Make a financial donation. AMBA needs your financial assistance, as it has no funding of its own. The total amount of the donation is forwarded to the project of your choice and there are no administrative fees.
• Help support Sivananda Math of Rikhia, India by making a financial donation or come and join the groups that travel to India for the celebrations of Sat Chandi Yajna, Sita Kalyanam and Yoga Poornima and participate in the joy of giving and distributing prasad (in the form of food, clothing, tools etc) to the village families themselves and living the sankalpa of Swami Sivananda ‘Serve, Love, Give’.
Name of bank: Alpha Bank
Beneficiary: ΑΜΒΑ ΚΟΙΝΣΕΠ
Account Number: 147 00 2002 015513
ΙΒΑΝ: GR 43 0140 147 0147 002 002 015513
The donor should indicate the name and VAT number of his/her submission.
Satyananda Math will grow and expand its services at a rapid pace in Greece as the Greek people have lived through deprivation and feel the needs of others. It will become a way of life.
Swami Sivamurti Saraswati
Contact info: [email protected]