1. Building Self-reliant Villages
Mata Amritanandamayi Math has selected 101 villages in India with the goal to help them become self-reliant role-model villages
The Mata Amritanandamayi Math (MAM) is engaged in many spiritual and charitable activities ever since its inception. Apart from the spiritual and religious activities, the Mutt works in various areas like housing, healthcare, medical services, education and food for the needy. Its network exists in 40 countries around the globe, and has built and supported schools, orphanages, housing, and hospitals throughout India.
Prominent among the charity institution of the Math is the Amrita Institute of Medical Science or AIMS. It is a 1600-bed super-specialty hospital in Cochin, Kerala.Amrita SeRVe is a programme through which the Math has selected 101 villages throughout India with the goal of helping them become self-reliant role-model villages. With the goal of holistic development, Amrita SeRVe is providing assistance to villages in several focus areas—health, education, water and sanitation, agriculture, eco-friendly infrastructure, income generation. Along with healthcare, and training in vegetable cultivation, the Math provides 46,000 scholarships throughout India through its Vidyamritam programme and most of the beneficiaries are in these villages.
2. Promoting Vedic Knowledge
Sri Ahobila Math is dedicated to the preservation of Vedic traditions and knowledge for the last 610 years
Sri Ahobila Math was founded in 1398 in Ahobilam, Andra Pradesh. It was founded by Srimad Adivan Satagopan at the behest of Lord Sri Lakshmi Nararsimha Himself. The mutt has been preserving the Vedic traditions for the past over 610 years. It has unbroken lineage of 46 Saints/Acharyas imparting spiritual education for all.
Veda Prabandha Shastra Mahakalashaia, Madurantakam, TN, which was founded by 42nd Jeeyar in 1942, is affiliated to Madras University (State Syllabus till OSLC – 10th Standard). It offers Nyaya, Vyakarana, Vedantha Shiromani – 7 Years, Krishna Yajur vedam – 7 Years, 4,000 Divya Prabandham – 6 Years courses with Boarding & Lodging facilities.
Besides this, it has Sri Ahobila Math Oriental High School in West Mambalam, Chennai (established in 1952). After the introduction of Samacheer Kalvi (uniform syllabus in state board schools) it converted from OSLC to new syllabus. It is a feeder institution to the Maduranthakam College. Students are being taught modern subjects along with religious studies. It also has a similar school in Madurantakam. Floated in 1974, Sri Malolan Educational Trust donated extensive land at Madurantakam for the purpose of education.
The Math has expanded the existing Sanskrit facility. Founded by 45th Jeeyar in 2003 it offers Krishna Yajurvedam (Kramantham-8 years), Samvedam – (Rahasyantham-8 Years), Divya Prabandham & Agamam (Sri Pancharathram-6 Years) with Boarding, Clothing & Lodging provided to students. Sri Malolan College of Arts and Science at Madurantakam, near Chennai, offers UG and PG courses.
3. Health Camps
Apart from running educational activities and reviving authentic Vedic traditions, the Madurai Adheenam conducts regular health camps
Madurai Adheenam is the oldest Saivite Math in South India established more than 1,300 years ago and is said to have been rejuvenated by Thirugnana Sambandar. It is located near the famous Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai, which is one of the most famous Shiva-Shakti shrines in the world. Its present pontiff is Arunagirinatha Gnanasambanda Desika Paramacharya.
The Math runs various charitable trusts, educational institutions and temples as part of its consistent social service activities in the field of imparting education and to revive and retain the sanctity and authentic Vedic tradition, which is one of the prime responsibilities of Madurai Aadheenam. It organises medical camps on regular intervals. It has more than 13 charitable trusts.
4. Providing Quality Education to All
Set up by Saivite Math, the Dharmapuram Adheenam runs various educational institutions & publishes Savite literature
Saivite Math, established in 1946 is the Thiru Dharumai Adinam in Nagapattinam District which was founded by Shri Guru Gananasambandar. The Math administers 27 temples. Dharumai Adinam has a special credit of publishing translations of Panniru Thirumurai by eminent scholars. Shri Gurugnasambandar Service Society has set up Shri Gurugnasambandar Higher Secondary School in Mayiladuthurai, Matriculation Schools in Mayiladuthurai and Thriukadaiyur, Middle Schools in Sirkazhi.
The Dharampuram Adheenam is involved in publishing Savite literature, specifically Thevaram and Tiruvasakam and its translations. It is also involved in literary scholarship. The Twelve Thirumuraigal has been published in 17,000 pages consisting of 16 volumes. Through the publication of Gurugnanasambandam press many holy treatises like ‘Sasthirangal’ (treatises on God and goddess) Stothirangal (parts of Vedas) and devotional books (Bhakthi Noolgal) have been published.
A college started in 1946 to teach Tamil language, was upgraded to Arts and Science College with 12 UG courses and 6 PG Courses, 10 Diploma courses and two Research Departments. There are also many Primary Middle, Matriculation and Higher Secondary schools. It also runs a Devara Padasalai to recite them with rhyme.
The Math has also established a Vedic Siva Agama School and a Degree is awarded to the students with the title ‘Agama Praveena’ who undergo studies for 5 years. It has a separate school for Sanskrit language. Besides it offers Tamil language PG degree course, Thevaram, Thiruvasagam recitation courses for Temple Othuvars.
The Adheenam along with Thiruvaduthurai Adheenam and Thiruppanandal Adheenam were founded during the 16th century to spread Saiva Sidhantam.
5. Promotion of Tamil Language
Apart from various educational institutions, the Thruppanadal Adheenam makes substantial contribution to maternity and veterinary hospitals
The Thiruppanandal Adheenam, about 18 kms from Kumbakonam on the Kumbakonam to Anaikkarai Road (Chennai Highway), is a Saivite monastic institution. Kumaraguru Paraswamigal, a disciple of Srilasri Masilamani Desigar of the fourth head of the Dharmapuram Adheenam was the founder of the Thiruppananthal Adheenam, which is also known as Kasi Math. Its 21st head is Sri La-Sri Kasivasi Muthukumara Swami Thambiram Swamigal. The 20th head of Sri Kasi Math, Sri Arulnandhi Thambiran Swamigal established Tamil College in 1945 for awarding Diploma in Tamil.
The present Head of the Math “Kailaimaa Munivar” Sri-La-Sri Kasivasi Muthukumaraswamy Thambiran Swamigal expanded the College with Arts and Science subjects by allocating a huge fund to meet the modern needs. Under his patronisation, the College has grown with 11 UG programmees, 6 PG programmes and research programmes in Tamil and Commerce.
The Math also runs a Sri La-Sri Kasivasi Swaminatha Swamigal Arts College at Thriupanandal. The educational institutions founded and maintained by Sri Kasi Math includes Thiruppanandal. They are Sri Kumaragurupara Swamigal Middle School, S.K.S.D.S. Higher Secondary School and Sri Kumaraguruparar Matriculation Higher Secondary School at Thiruppanandal, Sri Kumaragurupara Swamigal Middle School, Tiruloki, Thanjavur District, Sri Kumaragurupara Swamigal Arts College and Srivaikuntam, Tirunelveli District, Thiruppanandal. For Medical relief, about 150 acres of land has been provided. Also the contributions are made to the T.B. Sanatorium at Thanjavura and substantial contributions are made for Maternity and Veterinary Hospitals.
6. Harnessing Youth Potential
Chinmaya Seva Trust provides education and training to youth to harness their potential
Chinmaya Mission was established by Swami Chinamyananada Saraswati in 1953. Inspired by the vision of Swami Chinmayananda, the mission Chinmaya Seva Trust was founded in 1986 to coordinate and guide the social service activities of the mission. Many activities of the trust are focused on providing education and training to youth and children who are from underprivileged backgrounds.
Chinmaya Mission Sree Sankara Balasramama at Tiruvananthapuram provides shelter, food, life values and emotional succour besides proper education to the young destitute and economically depraved children. The children are provided with hygienic and nutritious food. Regular health check-ups of students are conducted by doctors.
The Balashramam is a second home to more than 60 children who are in the age group of 5 to 16. Most of them are devoid of proper parental care and decent shelter and are susceptible to anti-social activities. Hence, the aim of the Balashramam is also to ensure that these kids have a spiritual upbringing with a strong foundation in the ethical values of Hindu philosophy. Chinmaya Yuva Kendra is the global youth arm of Chinmaya Mission. It is meant for youth aged 18–30 and its motto is “Harnessing Youth Potential through Dynamic Spirituality”.
7. Serving the Humanity
Intro : The Kanchi Math’s services stretch from spreading Vedas and Agama, renovation & maintenance of temples, cultural training, awareness programmes for women, hospitals and educational institutions Nearly 2,500-year old Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham runs, through its various Trusts, over 200 schools, several hospitals including the Shanakara Netralaya and Child Trust Hospital in Chennai and at Guwahati apart from various other cities. It also runs 25 colleges including the deemed university, Chandrashekarendra Saraswathi Vishwamaha Vidyalaya, which runs Colleges for MCA, Engineering College, Degree Colleges and a Management School.
The Math, founded by Adi Shankaracharya in 482 BC, has a huge following. The Math’s services to the society stretch from spreading Vedas and Agama, renovation and maintenance of temples all over the country, feeding the economically deprived, cultural training classes, awareness programmes for women, Hindu Mission Hospitals, Sankara Eye Hospitals, Child Trust Hospitals, home for the aged and disabled, etc.
The late His Holiness Chandrasekarendra Saraswathi Swamigal had envisaged the necessity of having a modern educational institution to promote ethics in personal life of the students who are the proper citizens of Bharat. His Holiness Shri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal, who passed away this year, established a Deemed University in 1993 at Enathur near Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu. The objective of the centre of learning is to impart knowledge of modern sciences, humanities and art studies with emphasis to promote moral consciousness, character improvement, ethical behaviour and true character-building, along with the acquisition of modern knowledge and skills. Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery, a Certificate/Diploma course on Silpa and Agama Sastra dealing with sculpture and temple architecture is being offered. This unique course of study involves reference of Vedas to modern science management concepts in Sanskrit classics like Ramayana and Mahabharata, concept of Government and management of society in Agamas and Arthasastras, the core ideas of Periyapuranam dealing with all the Nayanmars, essence of Vaishnavite Panchatantra and Vaikanasa Schools of thought and practices, the structure of Vedas and Smruthis, the development of sculpture through ages, the organisation of Shiva Temples and rituals, the intrinsic features of carnatic music, etc.
In addition to a number of Pathasalas run by the Math, the first of its kind being SRI Sankara Arts and Science College founded in 1991 to provide liberal education to the rural folk. Based on the success of the Sankara Smartha Samskrutha Pathsala at Vidya Niketan, Bangalore, and the Vaikanasa Patashala cum CBSE school, at Avadi, Chennai, two new Pathsala’s were started in Andhra Pradesh. The first, Panchanga Purohita Pathsala, is located in Karveti Nagar, Andhra Pradesh, and teaches the younger generation academic studies as well as rituals such as Powrokithyam, Nithya Parayana Mantras, etc. The Nadhaswara Pathsala is run at Tirutanni and Karveti Nagar to review and infuse extra strength into Nadhaswaram music. Jana Kalyan Movement, started under Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Swamigal, is constantly working towards providing vocational skill development and improving self-employment support to the people of economically backward classes.
The Math runs 25 colleges, a deemed university, which runs Colleges for MCA, Engineering, Management and degree colleges
8. Serving Visually Challenged
Nethra Vidyalaya by Jeeyar Educational Trust aims to empower every visually challenged
Sri Sri Sri Tridandi Chinna Srimannarayana Ramanuja Jeeyar Swamiji established the Jeeyar Educational Trust Vedic University at Sitanagaram, Guntur and in 1987, Pancharathra Agama School at Kakatiya Cements premises in Jagayyapeta, Andhra Pradesh. Currently it has five branches and more than 1500 students have studied in the schools till date.
The students are provided with free education, boarding and lodging, clothes, books, supplies with the help of generous supporters. Swamiji aims to have at least 1000 students enrolled in the campus to study the Vedas. JIVA Gurukulam was established in Samshabad in 2009 on the occasion of Sri Sri Sri Pedda Jeeyar Swamiji’s centenary celebrations. Students of all sects study Vedas, Vedanta and academic subjects here.
Netra Vidyalaya imparts education to visually challenged and is part of the Jeeyar Educational Trust. It provides education from Primary to College leve, where hundreds of students are benefitted every year. The mission of the Vidyalaya is to empower the visually challenged with the latest technology. Today, the Vidyalaya caters to more than 1860 students by providing them the best education and making them self reliant. The Vidyalaya is the only English Medium Educational Institution in India exclusively for the visually challenged. The Trust provides free boarding, lodging, food, study material, education from all communities irrespective of religion, caste, colour and gender.
9. ITI College for Skill Development
Giving impetus to skill development by offering state of the art training in various disciplines
Built in 12th century, the Moorusavira Math in Hubli comprises the tomb of Shri Gurusiddeshwar Swamy, the founder member of the Math. It is said that during the Kalyan Revolutionistic period, Sri Channabasavanna (one of the most revered saints of the Lingayat faith) who was accompanied by 3,000 Shivasharanas (saints), halted here on their way to the pilgrimage centre ‘Ulavi’.
On request of Channabasavanna, the saints resides there to spread the universal Gospel and he installed Shree Gurusiddheshwar as the head of three thousand Shivasharanas. In Kannada, ‘mooru savira’ means three thousand and the place came to be known as Moorusavira Math.
The Math established Shree Jagadguru Moorusavirmath Vidyavardhak Sangha to cater to the increasing needs of quality education, especially women in Hubli. The SJMVS’s Arts and Commerce College for Women exclusively caters to higher educational needs of women in Hubli and surrounding districts. The institution provides special grants and scholarships to the talented and needy students from underprivileged backgrounds, irrespective of their caste and creed.
Moorusavira Math also runs an ITI College in the city aimed at giving impetus to skill development among boys and girls from disadvantaged sections of the society. The ITI College has courses in fitting, welding, draughtsman, radio and TV repairing, stenography, etc. Students who have passed out of this institution have found employment in various prestigious companies across India.
The Math also runs various other educational institutions which cater to different needs. Some of them include Shri Jagadguru Gangadhar School and PU College, SJMVS Laith Kala Mahavidyalaya and SJMVS SR Shetty Girls School.
10.Preserving rare Manuscripts
Pejavar Math Udupi strives to revive the age old tradition of Gurukul and Vedic system of education
The Pejavar Math, one of the Ashta Maths of Udupi started by Shri Adhokshaja Tirtha, is one of the foremost dharmic institutions in Karnataka. Its Poornaprajna Vidyapeetha Sanskrit Pathshala provides education to students from primary to Post-Graduation, with food, shelter, and education being provided free to all. Now over 350 students study here for 13 year course, and over the years more than five hundred scholars have studied here. Now the Pathshala is recognised as a Post Graduation study centre and affiliated to the Karnataka Sanskrit University Bengaluru.
Poornaprajna Samshodhana Mandiram (PPSM), a Research Institute has carefully preserved a significant collection of rare manuscripts, books, and publishes many rare works which have never before been seen in print. The Union HRD Ministry has recognised the PPSM as a model research institute, and included it in the prestigious group of the Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan (Deemed University) in 1994. The Ministry also sanctioned financial assistance of 95% by way of a grant through the Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan. Post P.G. students can enroll their names for Vidyavaridhi (Ph.D.) courses here. Already more than 19 students have been awarded Ph.D. from Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, New Delhi, through the PPSM Centre. The institution has also published 115 valuable Sanskrit works (Dvaita, Advaita, Vishishtadviata, Nyaya, Sahitya, et). 15 books were published in Kannada. The Math also runs schools, colleges, orphanages, Goshalas and hospitals.
The SMVA Trust has provided free houses to about 500 families in villages of Nellore District
Sri Mathrudevi Vishwashanthi Ashram Trust (SMVA Trust) was established to further Amma Karunamayi’s social service projects. The Trust has undertaken many humanitarian projects such as free schools, free hospitals, mobile medical care, free housing projects, and water treatment plants. The Trust is also actively involved in community services like feeding the hungry, cloth distribution, leprosy care, wheelchair distribution, natural disaster aid, eye & dental screening, cataract operations and much more around the globe.
The SMVA Trust opened Karunamayi Charitable Hospital in 2002 to provide quality medical care to people. Today, it serves around 500,000 people from surrounding 250 villages of Rapur Mandal in Nellore District. In 2004, the Trust inaugurated a Mobile Medical Van. Villagers are severely hampered by lack of transportation, and often have to travel on foot. The Hospital and the Van treat over 2,000,000 people in rural areas of Andhra Pradesh.
The SMVA Trust has built free houses for nearly 500 local families. The “Jubilee Housing Project” was initially launched in Valasa, Obulyapalli, Gonupalli and Penubarthy, local villages of the Nellore district. The Trust designed the “Karuna Gruham” to be given free to the villagers. Each house commonly has two rooms, a veranda and a separate bathroom. The Project has brought the shelter, safety and comfort of a new home to thousands of people living below the poverty line. Each new home is gifted to a family in dire need and significantly impacts every aspect of their life.
12. Free meals to all
Anyone visiting Sree Siddaganga Math is never expected to go out with an empty stomach
Sree Siddaganga Math is a unique Gurukula providing education to more than 8000 children with free food and shelter. It also runs schools for visually challenged at various places and over 100 blind children are given free education and food with independent hostel facilities. Through Sree Siddaganga Education Society the Math runs more than 124 educational institutions. It also organises annual Agricultural and Industrial exhibition for the benefit of the farmers.
In the year 1966, the country was seriously suffering from shortage of food grains. Poor people came to Math with a hope that they will get a square meal for the survival. Sree Swamiji realising the plight of the poor, determined to feed them at any cost. He would starve himself, and see none would go without a meal. Let entire stock of food grains be spent to feed all those who came with hope and expectations, and in search of food. At this juncture Sree Swamiji himself stood in the kitchen, prepared food with the assistance of his followers. He would feel immensely happy when all went with a satisfied meal. Realising it the then Karnataka Government enhanced the foodgrains quota to the Math.
So it was virtually a magical situation then and also now. It is Sree Swamiji’s labour of love and in the religious parlance what is called ‘Dasoha’ made all this difference. The free food for all continues even today and
anyone visiting the Ashram is never expected to go out with an empty stomach.
13. Empowering the Farmers
Sri Jagadguru Veerasimhasana Suttur Math has particularly focused on empowering the farmers with modern knowhow
Sri Jagadguru Veerasimhasana Suttur Math is a multi-dimensional institution that has contributed immensely to the cause of societal advancement. Instead of making students come to cities seeking education, Swamiji thought of starting educational institutions in rural areas. In order to make this possible, Peethadheeshwara Jagadguru Dr Sri Shivaratri Rajendra Mahaswamiji started Jagadguru Sri Shivarathreeshwara Mahavidya-peetha in 1954. JSS Mahavidyapeetha which took its first step in the field of education with the starting of a high school has now forayed into crèches, primary schools, high schools, pre-university and degree colleges, law, engineering, medicine, dental sciences and pharmacy and has thus provided all people easy access to educational opportunities.
Now, the JSS Deemed to be University has been started and Medical, Dental and Pharmacy Colleges at Mysore and Ooty. Engineering, medical, dental and law colleges run by JSS are reputed to be the best educational institutions of their kind in the state and have also become autonomous. Apart from formal and vocational training, a training institute for Civil Services Examinations and Jana Shikshana Samsthans has also been established as the Mahavidyapeetha has realised the need for continuing education.
The JSS Krishi Vignana Kendra (Agricultural Sciences Centre) was established in Suttur in 1994 to improve the economic conditions of farmers in the field of agriculture, animal husbandry and rural development. The centre offers training, transfer of technology, material assistance and holds demonstrations and exhibitions in order to educate the farmers in modern agricultural methods. The publication division not only sponsors priceless books, but is also involved in religious publicity activities.
14. Ensuring Safe Drinking
Sri Satya Sai Ashram has done wonderful work of providing drinking to various parts of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu
Sri Satya Sai Ashram of Puttaparti through the Sathya Sai Organisation has established a network of free hospitals, clinics, drinking water projects, Ashrams and schools. The activity that attracts the attention of all is the supply of drinking water in various regions of Andhra Pradesh and Chennai. It also propagates the rich cultural heritage of India through construction of museums, convention centres, community halls, etc.
In March 1995, the Trust commenced work on the project to supply pure drinking water to villages in the drought-ravaged district of Anantapur. About 2000 kilometres of pipeline of varying diameters was laid and 43 sumps with capacities ranging from 1 lakh (0.1 million) litres to 25 lakh litres were constructed. 18 balancing reservoirs with capacities ranging from 3 lakh litres to 10 lakh litres were constructed on the top of hillocks. 270 overhead reservoirs were built with the capacity from 40,000 to 300000 litres.
Also 125 ground level reservoirs were set up. More than 1500 precast concrete cisterns of 2500 litres capacity have been installed in various villages. The Trust replicated this model to provide water to 320 villages in Medak and Mahabubnagar districts of Andhra Pradesh.
15. One Tree for One Person
Sri Adichunchanagiri Math has focused on the environment protection and plans to ensure one tree for one person to prevent the natural calamities
Sri Adichunchanagiri Mahasamsthana Math, through Adichuchanagiri Shikshana Trust, supports more than 450 educational institutions, hostels in all district headquarters. It also runs schools for visually challenged in Ramanagar District. Prominent among the institutions is BGS Global Hospitals. The Hospital’s specially trained health volunteers visit villages every day, educate patients and transport the critical patients by Hospital Ambulances for investigations, diagnosis and treatment. The Math is also actively involved in generating awareness about preservation of environment and empowerment of women. It inspires every person to plant a tree. By doing it the Math intends to prevent natural calamities.
Reports from Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala contributed by Prashanth Vaidyaraj and TS Venkatesan
16. Quality Education to Tribals
The quality and free education imparted to talented students by Pagalbaba Ashram in Baidyanath Devghar has forced the Missionaries to close their schools in the region
In Baidyanath Devghar, famous for one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, there is one Shrimad Lilanand Thakur Ashram, popularly known as Pagalbaba Ashram, which is famous for its outstanding service activities. The Ashram was formed by Shri Lilanand Thakur on February 20, 1967. Now the Ashram ensures free and quality education to 500 talented students from 1st to 12th standard, who cannot afford education due to various reasons. Apart from imparting modern education, the students are also imparted values so that they become good citizen.
In the region which is infamous for the activities of Christian Missionaries, providing quality education to the economically deprived tribal students attracts everybody’s attention. It is because of this school that many of the schools run by the Christian Missionaries have been closed due to non-availability of students. Most of the students are from tribal communities and the Missionaries failed to trap them in the name of free education.
The Ashram also runs a free homeopathy health centre. People from remote areas come there for treatment. There is one general hospital also where entire treatment is free. Also, health camps are organised on regular basis and mobile dispensaries are run to provide daily care to the people in remote areas.
The Ashram is also committed to preservation and promotion of the indigenous breeds of the cows. Organic manure and panchgavya medicines are produced from cow dung and urine. Many local people have got employment through the Gaushala. Another work of the Ashram which is not normally discussed but realised by one and all is the work towards strengthening social harmony. —Sanjay Kumar Azad, Ranchi
17. Promoting Mass Weddings
Shri Khatu Shyam Mandir Seva Trust in Meerut organises mass weddings every year
They feed hungry people daily, distribute new clothes to the poor every month and arrange marriage of girls every year. They are now 522 in number, working since 2005, after they formed Shri Khatu Shyam Mandir Seva Trust in Meerut, Western Uttar Pradesh.
A temple of Khatu Shyamji was built in Meerut about 20 years ago. Khatu Shyam is thought of as a deity, who helps the helpless with the utmost alacrity, and without fail. The Trust was formed in 2005 and in the initial years itself the mass marriage of five pairs took place on Akshay Tritiya the same year. In 2011, it was an all time high, 21 couples got married, one of them being Arun Sharma, a member of the Trust himself. He included his name to show solidarity with other couples, and make them feel as one family. This gesture was largely appreciated. For about more than six years, individual marriage functions are being arranged. The Trust gifts household items worth Rs.1.25 lakh to every couple. The donation received in the donation box of the temple is used for daily feeding of 400 people.
Another philanthropic work is distribution of new clothes to the needy every month on Shukla Ekadashi. Running of a Gaushala, school or hostel for economically deprived students have been planned for future.
— Ajay Mittal, Meerut