Service (seva)

Recognizing the value of service in improving the plight and health of humans, animals, plants and the natural world and universe, we offer this partial list of organizations engaged in such service.

Life should be chiefly service. Without that ideal, the intelligence that God has given you is not reaching out toward its goal. When in service you forget the little self, you will feel the big Self of Spirit.
~Paramahamsa Yogananda (1893-1952)

Strong one! Make me strong. May all beings look on me with the eye of a friend. May I look on all beings with the eye of a friend. May we look on one another with the eye of a friend.
(Yajur Veda 38.16, trans. Bose, 1966)

The wise say that dharma is whatever is based on love for all beings. This is the characteristic mark that distinguishes dharma from adharma.
(Mahābhārata 12.251.24, trans. Sutton, 2019)

Be a humane being—a man of use to other men.
(Kirpal Singh from The Master’s Talk Satsandesh Sept and Oct 1971)


Serving either humans, animals or the plant world, serves all of them. They are interconnected.

For convenience sake, we’ve categorized some organizations or opportunities below into land service, animal service and human service.  These are resources one or more of us have found to align with our values. Maybe you’ll find one that aligns with yours. Some of them are country-specific. We can’t vouch for their current practices or quality. The descriptions below are taken from the organization’s materials.

If you want to research details about non profit organizations, you could check them out at Candid. Here’s what they say about their services: “For a combined 88 years, Foundation Center and GuideStar each helped change the world by giving people the information they needed to do good. But the world faces growing challenges: polarization, climate change, technological revolution, and poverty and inequality. That’s why we combined our talent, technology, data, and leadership to become a new organization, Candid. Now, it’s easier than ever to get the information you need to create change.”

Land service:

Navadanya works to Conserve diversity and reclaim commons: Navdanya is an Earth Centric, Women centric and Farmer led movement for the protection of Biological and cultural Diversity. We live and practise the philosophy of Earth Democracy as one Earth Family ( Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.) with no separations between nature and humans and no hierarchies between species, culture, gender, race and faiths. We have conserved our rich seed heritage of nutritious, climate resilient food in more than 150 community seed bank freely saving, sharing and breeding our native varieties. Across 22 states in India we grow real living food from Desi living seed.

To protect nature and people’s rights to knowledge, biodiversity, water and food, we have organized more than 50 international courses on Biodiversity, Food, Biopiracy, Sustainable Agriculture, Water, Gandhian philosophy, Globalization, IPRs, Buisness Ethics, Grand Mothers University etc.

The Center for Humans and Nature partners with some of the brightest minds to explore human responsibilities to each other and the more-than-human world. We bring together philosophers, ecologists, artists, political scientists, anthropologists, poets and economists, among others, to think creatively about a resilient future for the whole community of life.

The National Forest Foundation is the leading organization inspiring personal and meaningful connections to our National Forests, the centerpiece of America’s public lands. Working on behalf of the American public, the NFF leads forest conservation efforts and promotes responsible recreation. We believe these lands, and all they provide, are an American treasure and are vital to the health of our communities. The National Forest Foundation, chartered by Congress, engages Americans in community-based and national programs that promote the health and public enjoyment of the 193-million-acre National Forest System, and administers private gifts of funds and land for the benefit of the National Forest

Palluyir Trust for Nature Education and Research was registered in 2021 and is based in Chennai. Our goal is to create diverse nature-education resources, curricula and interfaces; work with children and public across ages and social backgrounds. We hope to and strive to make the joy and relevance of nature-based, place-based and outdoor learning accessible to ‘everybody’. We center local nature and biodiversity in our process of reimagining learning and living together.
Beyond education, we also work actively with ecological advocacy and documentation in Chennai and Tamil Nadu. We give solidarity to environmental campaigns, conservation work, socio-ecological battles happening on the ground to protect living landscapes and peoples.

Greenpeace International uses non-violent creative action to pave the way towards a greener, more peaceful world, and to confront the systems that threaten our environment. We want to live on a healthy, peaceful planet. A planet where forests flourish, oceans are full of life and where once-threatened animals safely roam. Where our quality of life is measured in relationships, not things. Where our food is delicious, nutritious, and grown with love. Where the air we breathe is fresh and clear. Where our energy is as clean as a mountain stream. Where everyone has the security, dignity and joy we all deserve.

The Cousteau Society: Our mission is to uncover the secrets held within our Water Planet, use our knowledge to influence world policy that will help us protect our planet, and educate people so that they will care about our Water Planet and work to keep it alive and healthy for future generations.The Cousteau Society has been exploring the seas since 1975, establishing protected areas for endangered species, advocating for the silent world which cannot advocate for itself, and educating children and adults so that they can carry on his legacy of protecting our Water Planet. Now led by Jacques Cousteau’s widow, Francine Cousteau, the Society continues to be at the forefront of environmental protection and ocean research. With global warming, increased shoreline development, pollution, plastic infiltrating our oceans, the mass extinction of species that have survived millennia, the mandate to protect what we love has never been as urgent as it is today. The only way to protect what we love is to understand the levers that keep it alive, resilient and sustainable.

The Sierra Club’s Mission Statement is:
– To explore, enjoy, and protect the wild places of the earth;
– To practice and promote the responsible use of the earth’s ecosystems and resources;
– To educate and enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment; and to use all lawful means to carry out these objectives.
Today, there are serious challenges ahead: a warming climate, unprecedented levels of pollution, and powerful special interests undermining basic protections. There’s no time to waste in coming together for new solutions—which is why the Sierra Club is bringing people together to build the most powerful and effective environmental movement the world has ever seen. The Sierra Club is the most enduring and influential grassroots environmental organization in the United States. We amplify the power of our millions of members and supporters to defend everyone’s right to a healthy world.

Rainforest Action Network preserves forests, protects the climate and upholds human rights by challenging corporate power and systemic injustice through frontline partnerships and strategic campaigns.

Animal service:

Saving Wild Tigers and their habitat in India: Three of the eight tiger subspecies that roamed Asia only 50 years ago are gone and the remaining population is under severe threats from habitat loss, hunting of its prey and poaching. India, being home to about 60% of the world’s wild tiger population, is now the best hope for tiger survival.

New Gokul Farm is a unique project that aims to promote peace through providing sanctuary to cows, bulls and oxen. These beautiful animals are extremely dear to Lord Kṛṣṇa, and it was Śrīla Prabhupāda’s vision that sustainable farms centered around cow care and protection were developed.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals ® (ASPCA®) was the first humane society to be established in North America and is, today, one of the largest in the world. Our organization was founded on the belief that animals are entitled to kind and respectful treatment at the hands of humans and must be protected under the law. Headquartered in New York City, the ASPCA maintains a strong local presence, and with programs that extend our anti-cruelty mission across the country, we are recognized as a national animal welfare organization. We are a privately funded 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, and are proud to boast more than 2 million supporters across the country. The ASPCA’s mission, as stated by founder Henry Bergh in 1866, is “to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.”

Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization: Lawrence Anthony said, “[Elephants] taught me that all life forms are important to each other in our common quest for happiness and survival. That there is more to life than just yourself, your own family, or your own kind.”

A non-profit, non-partisan, issue-oriented organization whose members come from all walks of life, from all cultures, races and religious backgrounds, all motivated by a common cause, to reverse the decline of life on Earth, and create a healthy habitable Planet.
They work in association with other environmental groups around the world in projects of mutual interest. And educate people all over the world, to preserve the environment. LAEO works actively on the rescue and preservation of wildlife at risk, including supporting preservation of natural areas, wildlife protection, as well as the rescue and rehabilitation of species under pressure.

Human service:

Vaidyagrama Ayurveda Healing Village with Ayurveda Clinic, Hospital, Learning Centre & Retreat; part of a global community close to Nature & traditions.

Asha Deep Vidyashram, a school running under the auspices of the NGO Hope and Joy Society for the Under Privileged, was started in February 2004 with the purpose of providing education to underprivileged children in the city of Varanasi, India. The name of our school translates loosely as Lamp of Hope School.

Go Dharmic Love all, feed all, serve all. Inspire compassion in action and selfless service around the world. Go Dharmic aims to bring people together to have compassion in action, however small that may be. Our ideal is for all people to be a force for good around the world. If we were all making positive contributions regularly then imagine how different the world would be. This is why we have set up campaigns varying from feeding projects, setting up school libraries in impoverished schools around the world, spreading awareness of hygiene, planting trees and more. We want to give our volunteers the freedom to create campaigns in the best way they know how to help and we will always be here to support.

World Central Kitchen (WCK) is first to the frontlines, providing meals in response to humanitarian, climate, and community crises. We build resilient food systems with locally led solutions. Everyone knows that food is central to life and family all over the world. What we learned very quickly was that food is even more essential in a crisis…It’s why we make the effort to cook in a crisis.
We don’t just deliver raw ingredients and expect people to fend for themselves. And we don’t just dump free food into a disaster zone: we source and hire locally wherever we can, to jump-start economic recovery through food.Grassroots Law Project

The Prison-Ashram Project/Human Kindness Foundation Established in 1987, the Prison-Ashram Project encourages people who are incarcerated to use their time for focused spiritual growth. HKF publishes several books that teach classic spiritual practices such as prayer, meditation and yoga, and sends them for free to people in prisons and jails. We serve over 30,000 people a year by sending books, notes and encouragement to people in some of the toughest places we know.

The King Center Champions of educated nonviolence. The Triple Evils of poverty, racism and militarism are forms of violence that exist in a vicious cycle. They are interrelated, all-inclusive, and stand as barriers to our living in the Beloved Community. When we work to remedy one evil, we affect all evils. To work against the Triple Evils, you must develop a nonviolent frame of mind as described in the “Six Principles of Nonviolence” and use the Kingian model for social action outlined in the “Six Steps for Nonviolent Social Change.”

Friends Of Tasaaga Friends of TASAAGA (Tokamalirawo Aids Support and Action Group Awareness) funds and provides strategic Guidance for the community based Ugandan non-profit, TASAAGA. Our support improves the lives of disadvantaged youth and rural communities affected by HIV/AIDS and poverty. We equip TASAAGA with the tools it needs to help ugandans build secure, productive, and healthy communities.

Grassroots Law We combine the best of grassroots organizing with legal expertise to radically transform policing and justice in America.
White supremacy, bigotry, greed, and corruption are no doubt at the center of police brutality and mass incarceration, but do not confuse the presence of these evils with simplicity. These systems are complex, deeply entrenched, and took hundreds of years and millions of laws and policies to create. Dismantling them, and replacing them with something imaginative and redemptive will be the work of our lives. But together, step by step, we can do this.

Real Justice PAC elects civil rights-minded prosecutors who use the powers of their office to reduce mass incarceration, police violence, and injustice.
Prosecutors — also called district attorneys, commonwealth attorneys, and state attorneys — are among the most powerful local elected officials in the U.S. They have broad discretion to either reinforce or transform a criminal legal system that is racist, oppressive, and preys on the poor and marginalized.

Big Brothers Big Sisters helps children realize their potential and build their futures. We nurture children and strengthen communities. And we couldn’t do any of it without you.

Boys & Girls Club To enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.

The Southern Poverty Law Center We employ a three-pronged strategy to battle racial and social injustice in the US: 1. Fighting Hate; 2. Learning for Justice and 3. Seeking Justice. Your gift will help win justice on behalf of those who have no other champion, expose and fight the hate that thrives in the US, and provide tolerance education materials free of charge to schools across our nation.

Planned Parenthood: At Planned Parenthood our mission is to ensure all people have access to the care and resources they need to make informed decisions about their bodies, their lives, and their futures. Founded in 1916, Planned Parenthood is a trusted health care provider, educator, and passionate advocate here in the U.S. as well as a strong partner to health and rights organizations around the world. Each year, Planned Parenthood delivers vital sexual and reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of people.