Sivananda Math - Its Growth and Development

Sivananda Math is a social, charitable society founded by Paramahamsa Satyananda at Munger in 1984, in memory of his Guru, Swami Sivananda Saraswati of Rishikesh. The aim of the institution is to facilitate the growth of the weaker and underdeveloped sections of society, especially in the rural areas, by following the precepts of seva (service), karuna (compassion), prem (love) and sneha (affection).

In order to fulfil the needs of the underprivileged, rural people, the activities of Sivananda Math include the following:

  • Distribution of free scholarships and course books for higher studies to deserving students;
  • Provision of clothing and grain to the needy in times of difficulty and/or natural calamity;
  • Digging of wells and boring of tube wells to provide water for drinking and irrigation in rural villages;
  • Assistance in ploughing and watering of fields to farmers;
  • Construction of low cost housing for the homeless;
  • Gifting of livestock, such as cows, bullocks and goats to the needy;
  • Provision of free medical care by opening dispensaries and first-aid centres;
  • Provision of free veterinary services;
  • Undertaking of any other projects which may be necessary and/or desirable to further the aims and objectives of Sivananda Math.

1984

Sivananda Math was founded as a social and charitable society with the blessings of Paramahamsa Satyananda. The institution was dedicated to the ideals of Swami Sivananda, to convey the precepts of seva, karuna, prem and sneha, for the upliftment of the underprivileged and weaker sections of society.

1985

A humble beginning was made by awarding scholarships and course books for higher study to 65 bright and needy students from Munger district.

Financial assistance was also given to Saraswati Shishu Mandir, Munger, for installing a hand pump to provide a drinking water facility for young students.

In order to assist the projects of Sivananda Math, Swami Atmananda Saraswati, the first sannyasin disciple of Paramahamsa Satyananda and also the Acharya of the Yoga Ashram in Singapore, along with her associates and well-wishers, made a sankalpa to collect and send new and second-hand clothing for distribution. Eight bales of clothing came from Singapore by ship and were distributed to the needy villagers of the Munger district.

1986

This year scholarships were awarded to 36 new students along with the continuation of 65 scholarships from the previous year, covering tuition fees, entrance fees, examination fees and other requirements. Students were also provided with used text books which were donated by students who had already completed their studies.

Financial assistance was provided to Sri Kapil Dev Sharma of Munger district to construct his house.

Emergency aid, consisting of six tons of rice, dal and other foodstuffs, along with clothing and blankets for women and children, was supplied for about 800 persons from Laxmipur Diara village which was ravaged by fire.

Further supplies of clothing were received from Singapore and distributed to 2,879 labourers and needy people in Munger district.

1987

Until this year, Sivananda Math had no property or building of its own. It was functioning from Ganga Darshan, but a need was felt for a separate headquarters so that it could work more effectively. Therefore, an application for an allotment of land was submitted to the District Authorities at Munger.

Meanwhile, the associates and members of Sivananda Math were investigating ways to provide further socio-spiritual upliftment to the rural sectors, and a plan was made to adopt several villages for their total development.

1988

Four villages were adopted in Munger district: Ramgiri, Jawayat, Sitarampur and Nathtola, where yoga training and medical assistance were provided on a regular basis. Every month, yoga seminars were conducted for one week by trained yoga teachers. The villages were visited by a medical team at regular intervals and medication for TB, night blindness, stomach disorders and other common ailments was distributed free of cost.

In order to facilitate the health care project, Sivananda Math procured a Tata 407 which served as an ambulance and a mobile hospital.

1989

Free veterinary services for cattle were also provided for the adopted villages with the help of related government departments and officers. Medical aid was provided to the villages regularly. A team of twelve medical students from Sydney University in Australia visited Munger for one month to assist Sivananda Math and to obtain field experience in the treatment of tropical diseases.

Due to acute shortage of drinking water in Munger town during the summer of this year, at the request of the District Authorities, the volunteers of Sivananda Math repaired and installed 45 hand pumps throughout the town within a span of 17 days.

Sivananda Math received a proposal from District Authorities for construction of a private Bus Stand in Munger, which was considered and discussed.

In the meantime, the institute submitted an application to the District Authorities for the opening of 100 adult education centres in the surrounding interior areas of Munger district.

1990

Sivananda Math procured a second-hand HMT flatbed printing machine to print the Yoga and Yoga Vidya journals which were previously printed by BSY.

Construction of the private Bus Stand in Munger town began at the request of the District Authorities. In the first phase, the roads, boundary walls, gates, pathways and ramps were designed and constructed.

Every month, veterinary services and medical services were provided to the adopted villages in Munger district by the teams of Sivananda Math.

Sivananda Math also extended its services to Deoghar district for the upliftment of the village people in and around Rikhia where the sadhana sthal of its founder, Paramahamsa Satyananda, is situated. The mobile hospital and medical team travelled from Manger to Deoghar twice in order to provide medical assistance to the villagers in Rikhia which was to become the future headquarters of the Sivananda Math.

1991

Sivananda Math acquired 0.40 decimal land through the government authorities at Amarwa village in Deoghar district, which was adjacent to the site where Paramahamsa Satyanandaji took up the Paramahamsa lifestyle after kshetra sannyasa, and now performs the higher vedic sadhanas. This is a deprived area in terms of health care and agricultural skills.

Plans were made for the construction of the Sivananda Charitable Dispensary on this land in order to provide medical care for the villagers of this area.

1992

On Basant Panchami, at the aadesh (command) of Paramahamsa Satyananda, Sivananda Math made the historical decision to undertake the task of providing low cost housing for the underprivileged sectors in Santhal Parganas, Deoghar district.

Many individuals, firms and charities gave donations for the purpose of providing low cost housing for the homeless. The Math began its housing project with construction of a Kalisthan in Amarwa village to seek the blessings of the Divine Mother. The Kalisthan was constructed with the sankalpa of eleven year old Aditya Bhaskar from Delhi.

In the span of one year, three houses were completed at village Lorhia, Devichak and Amarwa. These houses comprise six rooms, each 8' by 10', covering an area of approximately 500 square feet. A tamaa patra (copper plate) with the donor's inscription was placed in each house before handing it over to the recipient.

Recipient's Name Donor Village House Name
1. Nakul Ramani Sw. Satyasangananda, Paramahamsa Alakh Bara Lorhia Deoghar
2. Gunjari Devi Shivanjali Bhaskar, Delhi Devichak Ganga Dussehra
3. Sadhu Ramani Magniram Goenka Charitable Trust, Munger Amarwa Sadhu Niwas

Medical care was provided to the villagers of Rikhia by the associates of Sivananda Math. Doctors from Bhagalpur and Munger diagnosed and distributed medicines free of cost to approximately 200 patients on every visit. Associates and well-wishers came forward to take the responsibility for providing complete medical care to TB patients.

Sivananda Math submitted a proposal to provide Munger with a Community Hall for conducting cultural, educational and scientific programmes for the all-round development of the district.

1993

On Basant Panchami, Sivananda Math commenced construction of the Sivananda Charitable Dispensary at village Amarwa.

The plans for construction of low cost housing were thoroughly revised, so that the entire project could become more effective and also provide jobs for the jobless. In order to facilitate the construction, Sivananda Math started to make bricks in the Bangla Bhatta style. In one season alone, 150,000 bricks were made. The excavated land at the brick-making site will later be converted into a water reservoir for the use of the local villagers and their livestock.

A compressed earth brick-maker was procured through Development Alternatives, New Delhi.

A mini-truck was donated to Sivananda Math by Ishwar Mining Corp., New Delhi, for transportation of materials to and from the construction sites which at present range between distances of 2-15 kilometres.

A four-room house was constructed of rammed earth as a prototype of further housing possibilities.

Financial aid was given to Tetu Ramani to start a small enterprise in Nawadih.

During winter, 3,000 items, including warm woollen clothing such as sweaters, socks, chadars, topis, banians etc. and 5,000 blankets were distributed to adults and children in seven surrounding villages by the team of sannyasins and volunteers at Amarwa.

Construction of the Sivananda Charitable Dispensary was completed at Amarwa. Headed by Dr. Swami Aparnananda Saraswati (MBBS) from Orissa, free medical treatment was provided on a daily basis for the local village people. Many visiting doctors and specialists, also came to offer their seva. Over 200 patients were attended to on a daily basis. This has brought much relief to the villagers as, prior to this, there was no medical facility in this area.

Two cases were referred to specialists in Calcutta. Dr. Neerja Rateria, an eminent eye surgeon in Calcutta, undertook the treatment of an eleven year old boy who was blind due to cataracts in both eyes. She fitted him with an inter-ocular lens, due to which his eyesight was saved. Similarly, Mrs. Indira Jalan from Calcutta undertook the treatment of Mahadev Ramani, and arranged to have a hearing aid fitted for him. During their treatment in Calcutta, these two patients were hosted by Mrs. Sona Ghosal.

Mr. N.C. Hira of Bombay undertook the complete treatment of ten TB patients in this area. Due to inadequate diet and facilities for personal hygiene, many villagers in this area suffer from this disease.

1994

This year the Math is in the process of acquiring one acre of land adjacent to the Alakh Bara on the south side, which has been donated by the villagers of Nawadih. A water reservoir, Sivananda Sarovar, 100' by 200' by 20' deep (minimum) will be made on the land by the Math to be used for potable water as well as irrigation of fields by the nearby villagers. Even in times of drought, it can be filled with water from a 300 foot tube well on the premises.

A tractor with plough was donated to the Math for tilling the fields of local villagers who own land but have no bullocks or other means of ploughing it. Sprinkler pipes, which have been installed at Amarwa village by Premier Irrigation, are being utilised for irrigating the fields of adjacent farmers in times of need.

Seeds were also donated and Sivananda Math has started a small nursery where seedlings of vegetables and trees are prepared and distributed to the local villagers who have land and want to cultivate it.

A four room house (each room 10' by 10') with kitchen, verandah and boundary wall was constructed of compressed mud blocks for Tetu Ramani with the offering of Waliram Taneja, Dhanbad, the Pradhan of Nawadih village. As he runs a small shop in the village, adequate provisions were made for that as well.

Construction of Prasad Kutir: Bholenath Ready-made Store, where the donations of clothing, blankets and other items will be kept, sorted out and distributed, was completed.

Construction of Tribhuvan, the new Sivananda Math Headquarters where administration of the building work and other projects of the Math will be located, was undertaken. It will also house the satellite dish system to provide global access and information to the villagers, which will give them a peep hole into the outside world through educational and informative programmes.

The mud houses constructed by Sivananda Math belong to the star quality. Although they are made of mud, they are completely modern, clean, safe and secure from all hazards. However, even though the mud house has met with good results, further methods of improvement are being examined and tested through experiments conducted at laboratories in Delhi, as well as at the site itself.

Future Projects

  1. To construct houses for the weaker sections of the village community who would otherwise be homeless.
  2. To provide scholarships and aid to deserving students who are unable to pursue their studies due to financial reasons.
  3. To acquire suitable land for constructing a community centre where reading material will be provided and educational TV programmes will be shown to the local villagers.