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Highlights in the Life of H.H. Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji Maharaj (Muniji)


Daily Highlights of the Kumbha:

Meditation: every morning began with sacred meditation, as the fog slowly began its ascent.
Universal Prayer: At 8:00 we gathered for universal prayer. It was a glorious and sublime time as the sun broke through the thick fog and showered our camp and our day with its brilliance.

Abhishek: We had special Shiv Abhishek and puja many days.

Yagna: Every morning we had a beautiful yagna ceremony, and on several occasions we had special yagnas (e.g. a Vishwa Shanti Yagna for 9 days and an Atma Shanti Yagna for the earthquake victims).

Pujya Swamiji performing abhishek, one of the many special pujas on behalf of those who could not be physically present Pujya Swamiji taking lunch (prasad) with the Rishikumars

Sangam Aarti: Each evening we gathered for divine aarti on the holy banks of the Triveni Sangam - the confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati.

Evening Sangeeth programs: The evenings found us gathered for joyous sangeeth, bhajan and kirtan programs, led either by visiting saints, acharyas, and musicians, or by Parmarth's special Sangeeth/Aarti group.

Bhandaras: We had so, so many devotees sponsor special bhandaras in which saints, sadhus, brahmacharis, priests and rishikumars were fed. Some of them fed hundreds, while others fed thousands. These were beautiful, divine gifts from people - those who could come and those who could not come --.

Special Events

January 9-- Prayag Raj (Allahabad):  Our camp opened on Shankaracharya Marg, Sector 6, on January 8, 2001. January 9 was a special occasion for two reasons. First, it was the first main bathing day, Paush Purnima, the first full moon of the Kumbha Mela. Second, it was a lunar eclipse. From 12:00 midnight until 3:30 am the entire camp sat awake in special meditation, for Indian tradition says that the time of an eclipse is particularly auspicious for spiritual practice.

Pujya Swamiji sitting in meditation with the Rishikumars at the sacred time of 12:30 am, during the eclipse

January 14:
Makar Sankranti: On this special bathing day, Pujya Swamiji, Acharya Shri Shrikant Vyasji and all the devotees walked together to the holy banks of Ganga for a special snan. Walking through the roads of Kumbha, with rows of golden-clad rishikumars on either side, chanting "Radha Krishna! Gopal Krishna!" with drums, cymbals and tambourines. The sight was glorious to behold.

  Procession to the banks of Ganga from the camp

Sankalpa (spiritual vows) led by Pujya Swamiji

January 16:
 His Holiness Pujya Shri Shankaracharyaji Kanchi Kaam Koti came to Parmarth's camp for special Shiv puja.

Pujya Swamiji performs special Lord Shiva aarti with His Holiness Sri Shankaracharyaji Kanchi Kaam Koti

January 18-26:
We had a special meditation and yoga camp led by
His Holiness Mahamandaleshwar Swami Veda Bharatiji Maharaj. Over 200 foreigners came from 24 countries to partake in the divine nectar of the Kumbha. For one week they had meditation classes, yoga classes, daily yagna ceremonies, Divine Sangam aarti and the darshan of so many revered saints. On their last evening, they had a special "thank you" ceremony in which members of the group representing different countries came forward and profusely lavished their gratitude and reverence upon H.H. Pujya Swami Chidanandji Maharaj (Muniji).

(left to right) His Holiness Pujya Swami Chidanandji (Muniji), His Holiness Pujya Swami Chinmayanandji, His Holiness Mahamandaleshwar Pujya Swami Veda Bharatiji Maharaj, His Holiness Pujya Swami Prakashanandji,

His Holiness Pujya Swami Veda Bharatiji Maharaj presents Pujya Swamiji with a token of love on the last evening of his meditation camp

January 23

Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji (Muniji) inaugurated the opening of the new Ayurvedic Centre by Baidyanath.

January 24:
Mauni Amavasya

Guests from 24 countries bathe in the holy waters surrounded (and protected) by our Rishikumars

January 25:
The Dalai Lama Visits Parmarth's Camp & Performs Divine Sangam Aarti

A divine, historic occasion began at Parmarth's Maha Kumbha Mela camp. His Holiness the Dalai Lama and His Holiness Sri Shankaracharyaji Kanchi Kaam Koti joined hands in several special, momentous programs.

First, the two holy leaders offered the final purnahuti in a special Vishwa Shanti Yagna (yagna for world peace). As the prominent leader of Buddhism joined hands with the prominent leader of Hinduism, this occasion -by the grace of God - hopefully set a precedent for leaders and followers of every religion across the globe.


Then, our revered leaders inaugurated an exhibition in honor of a new, historic project in the holy land of Mansarovar and Mt. Kailash.

H.H. Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji Maharaj (Muniji) has undertaken the crucial project of building a medical clinic and dispensary as well as an ashram (tourist rest house) in Mansarovar. Additionally, by the grace of God, future plans include building schools for the illiterate village children, vocational training programs, as well as sanitation and hygiene programs. Lastly, future plans include irrigation/water supply projects, for the people living in this land have no running water.
Then, after the inauguration, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and His Holiness Sri Shankaracharyaji Maharaj, Kanchi Kaam Koti proceeded, with the entire Parmarth Camp and hundreds of guests from abroad to the Sangam for a special, divine Sangam aarti.

50 Tibetan Buddhist Lamas joined hands with 50 of our young rishikumars and with hundreds of guests from India and from abroad to offer prayers of peace and harmony. There was not only a confluence of rivers, but there was also a confluence of cultures, of faiths and of peoples. There was not only a Sangam of the Ganga, the Yamuna and the Saraswati, but there was also a Sangam of people from every corner of the Earth and every walk of life.

After the Divine Aarti, these revered leaders graced us with their messages of universal peace for the benefit of the entire world.
CLICK HERE For the message of the Kumbha Mela

Pujya Swamiji shares lunch and a beautiful time with His Holiness on January 26, the day after the aarti


January 26:
Republic Day

It was beautiful to celebrate the day of Mother India's independence in the sacred land of Prayag Raj. The day was clear and beautiful and we gathered for a special flag hoisting ceremony.


(left to right): His Holiness Mahamandaleshwar Pujya Swami Asanganandji Maharaj, His Holiness Mahamandaleshwar Pujya Swami Veda Bharatiji Maharaj, His Holiness Pujya Swami Chinmayanandji Maharaj and His Holiness Pujya Swami Chidanandji Maharaj (Muniji) stand in solemn prayer as Vande Mataram (Glory to Mother India) is sung.

January 27-30:
International Conference on Rivers

Organized by Dr. MC Mehta, Supreme Court Advocate and Mrs. Kelly Alley Anthropology professor this conference united international scientists, ecologists, environmentalists, environmental lawyers and revered spiritual leaders in an effort to solve the growing catastrophe of the devastation of India's sacred rivers and natural environment.

The conference served as a beautiful bridge between science and spirituality. Science will teach us how to fix the already-created devastation, but only spirituality will teach us how to prevent any future pollution and destruction.

Pujya Swamiji inaugurates the conference along with (left to right) Shri Uday Sahay, IPS, His Holiness Pujya Swami Chinmayanandji Maharaj, Dr. Veerabadra Mishraji (Mahantji), and Dr. M.C. Mehta

Final day group photo with Parmarth's rishikumars

January 28:

Pujya Sant Shri Rameshbhai Oza (Bhaishri) came to Parmarth's camp upon his arrival into the sacred city. Here, without even taking a meal or rest, he and Pujya Swamiji immediately performed special puja for the victims of the tragic earthquake in Gujarat.

We had a special Shiv Abhishek and Atma Shanti yagna for the disaster victims. This Atma Shanti yagna will continue burning until Magh Purnima, on February 8.

Pujya Bhaiji and Pujya Swamiji with Parmarth's Rishikumars/orphans

January 29:
Basant Panchami

The day began with a beautiful bath and sankalpa (spiritual vow) in the holy waters. Later in the day, His Holiness Sri Shankaracharyaji Nishchalanandji Maharaj, from Puri Shankaracharya math, graced the camp with his presence and his words.

Holy Bath followed by joyous cries, followed by solemn sankalpa

Pujya Swamiji garlands H.H. Sri Shankaracharyaji

January 31
The Divine Sangam Aarti was not only beautiful and sublime. It was also a historic, extraordinary occasion.

On this special day, the beautiful ceremony was preceded by a special yagna and puja on behalf of the victims of the tragic earthquake in Gujarat.

The saints offer prayers for the earthquake victims. (left to right): Acharya Shri Shrikant Vyasji, Pujya Sant Shri Rameshbhai Oza, Pujya Brahmachari Brahmaswarupji, Prof. Prema Pandurag, Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji (Muniji) and Kumbha Mela Commissioner, Shri Sadakant Shuklaji

The revered saints offering special flowers and puja

On the holy banks of the Triveni Sangam - the confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati -- we had a special yagna, pinddaan and tarpan (special vedic rituals) and aarti on behalf of the departed souls. This beautiful ceremony was graced by the holy presence of
H.H. Pujya Shri Shankaracharyaji Vasudevanandji Maharaj from Jyotirmath, H.H. Mahamandaleshwar Pujya Swami Gurusharananandji Maharaj, H.H. Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji (Muniji), H.H. Pujya Sant Shri Rameshbhai Oza (Bhaishri), H.H. Pujya Brahmachari Brahmaswarupji, Professor Prema Pandurang and many other great saints and distinguished guests.

The saints offered their yagna, their aarti, their puja and their prayers for those whose lives, whose health, whose homes and whose loved ones were taken by this tragic earthquake.
They prayed that the departed souls attain peace, that the lost are found, that the injured are healed and that the devastation is repaired.

Special puja offered into the waters of the Sangam by H.H. Sri Shankaracharyaji Vasudevanandji Maharaj, Jyotirmath and the other revered saints.

His Holiness Mahamandaleshwar Pujya Swami Gurusharananandji Maharaj and His Holiness Mahamandaleshwar Acharya Avadeshanandji Maharaj join for the special flower offering (pushpanjali)

However, it is not only prayers which are being offered. Financial assistance, medical assistance and assistance with meeting all of life's basic necessities are also being provided.

Ten rishikumars from Parmarth's gurukul are going with their acharya immediately (leaving the Kumbha Mela early) to perform selfless seva in the disaster-struck region.

Further, the revered saints have taken a pledge to seeing that no child, who was rendered an orphan by the tragedy, is left homeless, destitute and alone.

For every orphan with nowhere to turn, Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji (Muniji) said that provisions will be made to bring them to the holy banks of Mother Ganga, to Parmarth Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh. We are already running a gurukul/orphanage where 100 young rishikumars are learning not only the ancient science of the Vedas, but where their lives are also being infused with essential sanskaras, values and ethics.

By Pujya Swamiji's grace, these children - orphaned by the tragedy -- will be taken in to Parmarth's orphanage where they will receive not only shelter and nourishment, but they will also receive the priceless gifts of hope, faith, tenderness and care.

Pujya Swamiji said Mother Ganga will be their mother and the Himalayas will be their father. Parmarth Niketan will be their home and 100 rishikumars will be their brothers and sisters.

Upcoming Events

February 15-21, 2001: Rishikesh 
International Yoga Festival

Parmarth Niketan is honored to be the host of this world-renowned celebration of the ancient science of yoga. The dates are February 15-21, 2001. Delegates, students, teachers, yogis and philosophers will gather together to learn, to teach, to discuss and to drink of the divine nectar of this sacred wisdom.

Yoga means "union;" it is a union of breath to the body, of the mind to the muscles, and most importantly of the self to the divine. What better place to become "united" than on the sacred banks of Mother Ganga, in a land to which rishis and sages have flocked for millennia? 

While all aspects of yoga will be discussed, the focus will be on yogasanas, pranayama, and meditation. Using the body as a medium, the breath becomes still, the mind attains peace and the soul moves closer to liberation. 

The program will include demonstrations by international yoga experts, classes in asanas, prayanama, and meditation, lectures by renowned yogis and masters, discussions, and much more.
However, there will be even more. The entire atmosphere will be charged with divine energy, due to so many people participating in sacred yoga. 

To register, please CLICK HERE

March 12-18, 2001: Rishikesh 
Shrimad Bhagwat Katha

It is our great honour to invite you all to Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh (Himalayas), India for a divine and sacred experience.

From March 12-18, 2001, His Holiness Sri Shankaracharya Divyanand Teerth Maharaj will be delivering inspiring and uplifting Bhagwat Katha.

This is one of the rare occasions in which the divine word of the Bhagwat is recited by a Shankaracharyaji. The Bhagwat is holy, sacred and timeless. However, to have it rendered and explained by someone of the highest post in Hinduism is a true chance of a life-time.

The katha will be held on the beautiful, divine premises of Parmarth Niketan, in the holy presence of H.H. Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji (Muniji). Additionally, this glorious occasion will be graced by the presence of so many other revered saints. 

However, there will be more than Katha. It will be a week full of spirituality, of devotion and of prayer. There will be special programs each day, in addition to the Katha, including yagna, puja, aarti, bhajan, kirtan and satsang. 

There will also be daily meditation and yoga classes as well as special bhajan programs. 
We invite you all to attend this beautiful occasion. So, come, drink of the divine nectar of Mother Ganga; rest in the lap of the sacred Himalayas, have the darshan and satsang of so many pujya saints and imbibe the rich, transformative wisdom of the Bhagavat Katha.

To register, please CLICK HERE:


Pujya Swamiji's Itinerary
February - April 2001

February   March   April
1-10 Allahabad   1-19 Rishikesh   1 Detroit
11 Calcutta   20 Manipuri   2 Los Angeles
12-28 Rishikesh   21 Delhi   5-8 New Zealand
      22-23 London   9-10 Australia
      24-28 Pittsburgh   11-12 Singapore
      29 Columbia   13-25 South Africa
      30-31 Louisville   26-30 Africa Yatra

Contact information:

Phone: + (91-135) 434300; Fax: + (91-135) 434399

From January 8-February 9, you can reach Pujya Swamiji in Allahabad at
(0532) 509199 or 509190 or 9838055522
From abroad dial + (91-532) 509199, 509190 or + (91) 9838055522

  • Also, please note that Pujya Swamiji now observes silence (mauna) from 9 p.m. until 10 a.m. and from 2:30-4:30 p.m. He is unavailable in person or by phone during these times.