By: Pramod Thomas
The 69th birthday of HH Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji was celebrated at Parmarth Niketan Ashram at Rishikesh in India on Thursday (3) by conducting a galaxy of events.
It also marked the beginning of a yearlong celebration leading up to Pujya Swamiji’s 70th birthday in June 2022.
Sacred Yagya for world health, healing and environmental preservation: The celebrations started with prayers and morning yagya for World Health & Healing and a special pledge to protect Mother Earth and Mother Nature. It was live-streamed online on Parmarth Niketan’s Social Media sites for people all across the world to join in heart and in spirit.
Gow puja, tree plantation and Ganga snan: Following the yagya, Pujya Swamiji took part in a special gow puja (cow worship) at Parmarth’s Gaushala and undertook a special tree plantation as a symbol of His commitment to service of all creations and to protect the environment.
He also watered a “Sacred Tree” which is a combination of three trees- ‘Peepal’, ‘Pakad’ and ‘Bargad’.
Later, he took a sacred Ganga Snan (dip in Ganga river) and pledged to continue to inspire people all across the world to protect the national river Ganga and its tributaries and to conserve water and its resources all across the world.
Bhandara, free meals and bhakti for all: Pujya Swamiji personally served fresh and hot meal to all Rishikumars, sadhus, saints, pilgrims and devotees inside the Ashram premises and on the Parmarth Ganga Ghat. In the evening, devotional music, chanting and bhakti gave another layer to the celebrations in the Ashram.
A special high level birthday interfaith webinar was also conducted as part of the celebrations. The prominent personalities and leaders attended the webinar include Om Birla (Speaker of Lok Sabha), Bhagat Singh Koshyari (Maharashtra Governor), Baby Rani Maurya (Uttrakhand Governor), Indian minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Uttrakhand chief minister Tirath Singh Rawat, singer Kailash Kher, actors Shilpa Shetty Kundra and Vivek Oberoi, Sivamani , Runa Rizvi, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Morari Bapu, Pujya Acharya Mahamandeleshwar Swami Avdheshanand Giri ji and Pujya Ramesh Bhai Oza ji.
As part of the event, a sacred pledge for the environment and renewed commitment to protect, preserve and serve Mother Earth and Mother Nature was also taken.
HH Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji is the president of Parmarth Niketan Ashram, one of the largest interfaith, spiritual institutions in the country. He is the co-founder of Global Interfaith WASH Alliance (GIWA), the world’s first-ever international interfaith initiative which brings together the world’s faiths as allies in ensuring every child around the world has access to safe, life-giving Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).
Pujya Swamiji leads, directs, guides and inspires numerous other initiatives dedicated to the preservation and protection of the environment, rivers and committed to the welfare of all.