Bihar School of Yoga is a conglomeration of different organizations which are spread across the towns of Munger and Rikhia.
BSY is an educational and charitable institution was founded in 1964 by Swami Satyananda Saraswati with the aim of imparting yogic training to people from across the world. BSY has been a hub for the dissemination of the science of Yoga. The salient features of Bihar Yoga are that it presents the ancient teachings of Yoga in a simple, scientific, systematic, practical and holistic way. It aims at integrating all aspects of Yoga, leading to harmony and balance in the modern day individual and in society.
BSY also guides yoga projects and medical research in association with prestigious hospitals, organisations and establishments. Programs by Bihar School of Yoga are being used today in the education sector, prisons, hospitals, Defence Services, Private and Public Sector industries
The Yoga Research Foundation is a scientific research institute founded by Sri Swami Satyananda Saraswati at Munger in 1984. It aims to provide an accurate assessment of yogic practices within a scientific framework, and to establish yoga as an essential science for human development.
During Sri Swami Satyananda Saraswati’s numerous travels, world wide research on yoga was one of the main areas of his focus. This resulted in valuable data which forms the archives of the research foundation at Munger. This data which can substantiate the myriad claims of yoga are made available from time to time in the publications YOGA and YOGA VIDYA, published from Munger.
Through the continued inspiration and guidance of Sri Swami Satyananda Saraswati and subsequently his successor, Swami Niranjanananda, disciples across an international arena have undertaken extensive research in their specialized fields of training.
These cover a diverse range of subjects within the areas of health and medicine, psychology, pregnancy, children, education, in-depth literary and scriptural studies, and further research into the ancient science of yoga.
At present YRF is working on projects involving fundamental research, clinical research and applied research. The effects of yoga on improving proficiency, for example, in the defence services, in prisons and in children are under investigation. These projects are being carried out in affiliated centres nationally and worldwide.
Future plans include literary, scriptural, medical and scientific investigations into other little-known aspects of yoga for physical health, mental well-being and spiritual upliftment.
Bihar Yog Bharati
Sri Swami Sivananda Saraswati first had the vision of a yoga institute when he established the Yoga Vedanta Forest Academy in Rishikesh. This inspiration was carried forward by Sri Swami Satyananda Saraswati, who established Bihar School of Yoga in 1963 in Munger. Swami Niranjanananda, with the blessings of his predecessors, founded Bihar Yoga Bharati in 1994 in order to preserve and regenerate the total scope of yogic science by combining academic and scientific methodology with a spiritual vision.
Sannyaspeeth was set up in 2011 as a result of Sri Swami Satyananda’s instruction to Swami Niranjananda to start a program where people can imbibe a particular lifestyle, which is not based on social values, but on spiritual values and principles.
Sannyasapeeth upholds a lifestyle where one is enabled and empowered to come out of the shell of limited individual existence and connect with the larger whole. In the modern context sannyasa has to be interpreted in a practical, logical and systematic way. The purpose of sannyasa is to cultivate and to live the higher spiritual qualities. That means changing the entire software of material life. The system that changes the gross software into more transformative, transcendental software is the guidelines given in the sannyasa tradition.
Rikhia is Swami Satyananda’s Tapobhoomi. It was here that he established himself in the higher spiritual sadhanas and started living the higher spiritual teachings which he had received from his guru.
He always believed in the upliftment of society, not only through yoga, and spiritually, but also physically and materially. Therefore, the three cardinal principles of Swami Sivanandaji were made the foundation of Rikhiapeeth: Serve, Love and Give. This tradition is being carried on by Swami Satsangi at Rikhiapeeth. The entire area has been transformed into a vibrant centre of spirituality where people throng in large numbers for spiritual solace. On January 1st 2007, Swami Satsangi was appointed as the Peethadhishwari of Rikhiapeeth by Swami Satyananda. Presently she resides at Rikhia, the place where Swami Satyananda lived, and is fully committed to the material and spiritual upliftment of the local community, who are the neighbors of her guru..
Since its inception Sivananda Math has facilitated the growth of the weaker and deprived sections of society, especially focusing on Rikhia Panchayat, in the remote areas of Santhal Parganas of Jharkhand district, so that what was once a deprived, desolate panchayat, now flourishes with vitality and prosperity.
Sivananda Math aims to uplift the impoverished in rural and underdeveloped areas, not by creating a culture of dependency, but by fostering peace, health, plenty and prosperity, and above all, self-sufficiency for one and all. The activities are not rendered as charity, rather as an aradhana or worship of God in human form based upon the highest vedantic teachings of atmabhava. The selfless service offered is an expression of the spiritual precepts of Sri Swami Sivananda Saraswati whose central teachings of “Serve, Love and Give”, were bestowed by Sri Swami Satyananda Saraswati as the foundation of all activities at Rikhiapeeth.
Sivananda Ashram is a social and charitable institution which was founded by Swami Satyasangananda Saraswati in 2004 at Rikhia. This institution was inspired by the sankalpa of her Guru, Sri Swami Satyananda Saraswati, to help and love his neighbours.
Sivananda Ashram has devoted itself to looking after the poor, deprived and largely ignored elderly and infirm who are in the twilight of their life, so that they may live with dignity and respect. In this way Sivananda ashram aims to fulfill the vision of Sri Swami Satyananda Saraswati to provide shelter, aid and succour to the senior members of society by following the vedic precepts of seva (service), karuna (compassion), prem (love) and sneha (affection).
The ashram’s center of activities is at Rikhia, in the Deoghar district of Jharkhand and its central project at present encompasses aid to the senior citizens or gramins of Rikhia panchayat, whom Sri Swamiji fondly called his co-travelers in the journey of life. These oldies but goldies, of Rikhia panchayat, some of whom cannot even walk or see and have even been rejected by their own kith and kin, are at first identified and singled out for this project. The most needy are then provided services such as blankets and warm clothing in the winter, raincoats and umbrellas in the rainy season, cooking ingredients and utensils and toiletries. Walking sticks and other necessities such as hearing aids are provided as required. Free medical check ups and medicines are also available to them on a daily basis. They are also provided cooked wholesome meals on festivals and special occasions throughout the year.
In addition, Sivananda Ashram also undertakes the maintenance and upkeep of widows through its programme of providing them with daily wages for chanting the name of God. These widows are considered outcasts of society and are often treated with contempt by members of family. They are not permitted to attend any functions and festivals and are forbidden to lead a normal life as others do, thus depriving them of a useful place in society.