We have over forty centres and ashrams throughout the world, all run by karma yogis.
Karma yoga (voluntary service, or seva) is the practice of serving with no idea of agency or reward. It allows us to transform our daily activities into spiritual practice, as we offer our services for the benefit of others.
Swami Vishnudevananda learned from his teacher Swami Sivananda that an ounce of practice is worth a ton of theory and created a karma yoga program throughout the organization for those interested in pursuing spiritual training.
Swami Sivananda says that work is worship. Work is meditation. Serve all with intense love without expectation of reward. All work is sacred. There is no menial work from the viewpoint of karma yoga. The spirit of service must be ingrained into our very bones. A karma yogi does not expect a return of love, appreciation, gratitude or admiration from the people he is serving.
Karma yoga leads to the removal of negative qualities such as anger, greed, jealousy and fear. With commitment and over time, selflessness, purity of heart and humility develop. The result of karma yoga is the eradication of the sense of separateness. Selfishness diminishes; tolerance, compassion and love manifest. Without these qualities, no spiritual development can take place. The practice of karma yoga, by giving natural expression to devotion and wisdom, provides an excellent opportunity to go deeper into spiritual practices and at the same time to be of great service to others.