Parmarth Niketan is dedicated to cultivating an awareness of environmental sanctity as well as restoring Mother Earth’s natural balance.
The ashram organizes:
• Mass sankalps (pledges) to protect the environment and care for our environment
• Environmental clean-up programs & events
• Tree plantations & the promotion of planting trees
• Organic farming programs
• Tirth (holy sites) conservation and development programs
• Cow care projects
Mass Sankalps for the Environment
Ganga is not only a river. She is a Divine Mother, giving freely to all with no discrimination, hesitation or expectation. She irrigates not only our farms, but also our hearts, minds and souls. Yet, the Ganga is also one of the most polluted rivers and endangered rivers in the world. Understanding that people won’t pollute the same place that they worship, Pujya Swamiji began a mission to initiate Ganga Aarti ceremonies (lighting ceremonies) up and down the banks of Ganga.
During the daily evening Ganga Aarti ceremony, Pujya Swamiji leads mass pledges with the people gathered – sometimes hundreds of people, sometimes thousands! – to protect the environment, stop the use of single-use plastic, to plant trees, to care for our communities, and to inspire everyone to reach out to all the people they know to spread this message further.
To celebrate every holiday and event, Parmarth organizes massive clean-ups of the Rishikesh area, collecting trash throughout the city and along the banks of Mother Ganga. In addition, the Parmarth Rishikumars conduct daily clean-ups of Parmarth’s surrounding area, serving as shining examples of environmentally-conscious youth and future.
Tree Plantations & Inspiration
Parmarth Niketan organizes tree plantations throughout the greater Rishikesh area periodically throughout the year. In addition, instead of traditional souvenirs, flowers, and sweets, at every major event and for special guests who visit the ashram, Pujya Swamiji presents sacred Rudraksh saplings as a blessing.
In Indian culture the cow is revered as holy and sacred. Mother Cow is seen as one who gives nourishment and nurturing not only to her own offspring but to all. Cows’ milk feeds not only baby calves but also provides humanity with milk, cheese, yogurt, ghee and other nourishing substances. However, tragically, today one sees stray cows wandering aimlessly on the streets and in the marketplaces, eating garbage.
Therefore, under Pujya Swamiji’ s guidance and inspiration and in cooperation with the Divine Shakti Foundation and Ganga Action Parivar, Parmarth in actively engaged in cow welfare programs. This includes the gaushala (cow home) at Parmarth, in which approximately 75 cows are kept with love and care. Further, Pujya Swamiji has undertaken a large scale program to remove the wandering cows from the roads and marketplaces – between Haridwar all the way up to Lakshman Jhula – and give them a safe, comfortable place to live. This project is currently in the planning phases and is expected to come to fruition shortly.