Anna Hazareji visits Parmarth Niketan for Ganga Aarti

Respected and beloved Indian leader Anna Hazareji came to Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh, to visit with Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji. In August, 2011, when Annaji was on his extended hunger strike in Delhi, Pujya Swamiji had gone to visit him and had urged him to take a little nourishment in order to save his life for service of the nation. Pujya Swamiji had told him that he was needed not only to get a “bill” passed, but also to change the “dil” [heart] of the country! Yesterday, Annaji came to Parmarth Niketan (Rishikesh) to spend time with Pujya Swamiji and on the holy banks of Mother Ganga, to preform Ganga Aarti and take a sankalp to continue serving the nation on the scared occasion of Akshaya Tritiya.

Pujya Swamiji reminded him that just as the ‘chitra and charitrya’ (picture and noble character) of Swami Vivekanandji pulled and guided Annaji to discover the true meaning in life and to lead a life dedicated in service of the nation, so too does Annaji serve to pull young and old alike to lead a life dedicated to service of humanity. Pujya Swamiji amongst many divine words of inspiration mentioned that Annaji’s simplicity and divine example illustrates that while visiting hundreds of pilgrimage sites can’t create a noble man, a single noble man can become like visiting hundreds of pilgrimage sites.

Annaji humbly and sincerely thanked Pujya Swamiji saying that while Swami Vivekanandji had inspired him many years ago, today, Pujya Swamiji inspired him to continue on his path of service and to be renewed with the strength and vigor of a youth even at the age of 75. He took the pledge that he would continue on his path of service to the nation and to humanity as long as he lives and that he would also consider it a blessing and an honor to give his life in this sacred service.

Annaji also shared a profound analogy that just as a field full of swaying crops tells us that a grain has buried itself into the ground to give birth to thousands more, the grains which do not bury themselves are under the illusion that they have survived for they are later taken to the flour-mill and ground. Therefore, his team is touring all of India inspiring people to offer and sacrifice their own small and petty wants and desires to serve the larger values of the nation. In this way, the transformation of ‘dils’ (hearts) can happen alongside the implementation of bills.

Pujya Swamiji honored Annaji with a Rudraksh sapling, symbolizing the small and simple beginning that has the potential to change and transform the world for the welfare of all.

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