H.H. Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji Maharaj (Muniji)
March - April 2005 


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(highlights: click on link to go directly to that section)

Princeton Students come to Parmarth
Hon. Governor Shri S.S. Barnalji comes to Parmarth
Smt. Renuka Choudhary, Tourism Minister,
comes to Parmarth

Continuation of Tsunami Relief work in South India
Pujya Swamiji's yatra to USA


March 1-7-- Rishikesh

From March 1 – 7 Parmarth Niketan Ashram and Uttranchal Tourism jointly organized the International Yoga Festival at Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh, India. Please see www.parmarth.com/updates/yogafestival05.html for the complete coverage

March 14-18 - Rishikesh

Students from Princeton school of New Jersey came to spend their Spring Vacation holiday at Parmarth Niketan! Led by Dave Freedholm and Rani Malhotra, the students spent 4 days at Parmarth, during which time they took yoga and meditation classes, played sports with the rishikumars, took a bath in Mother Ganga, went river rafting, enjoyed the evening Ganga Aarti and of course had the priviledge of special question-answer/satsang time with Pujya Swamiji.



Students bathe in Ganga with the Rishikumars

It was great to see how surprised the rishikumars were that these Americans knew how to play soccer (football) so well!! What began as a very orderly game of 24 participants, 12 on each team, quickly became a game of nearly 40 people, laughing and playing with great joy and love. For those who aren't soccer fans, there were also simultaneous games of volleyball and cricket! Most of the Americans had never played cricket and the rishikumars were all to eager to teach them.



Clockwise from right: Soccer/football on the grounds at Parmarth; a student learns how to hold the bat and swing in cricket;
more soccer madness!









The winning team and their captain!



Meenaben Mehta had come from London to celebrate her 50th birthday on the holy banks of Mother Ganga and with Pujya Swamiji's blessings. On her birthday, she had a special bhandara for the rishikumars, and she invited the Princeton students to come and help her serve the children.



Meenaben and the students serve lunch to the rishikumars

They also went to visit Sanskar Vidya Mandir, the school run by India Heritage Research Foundation on the premises of Parmarth Niketan, for the children of those who do seva in the ashram and also for local children. The free school has 225 children!



The children of Sanskar Vidya Mandir show their morning exercises outside the school building, and also their classrooms. They are given chocolates by the Princeton kids.




March 27 -- Rishikesh
The Honorable Governor of Tamil Nadu, Honorable Shri Surjit Singh Barnalaji came to Parmarth Niketan on the 27 March. Honorable Shri Barnalaji had previously been the Governor of Uttranchal and so he knew Pujya Swamiji and Parmarth Niketan ashram very well. In fact, as Governor of Uttranchal he had come to Parmarth Niketan for several special occasions.

Now as the Honorable Governor of Tamil Nadu he has been of great assistance and support in our tsunami relief mission (see www.projecthope-tsunami.com for details of the tsunami relief work).

It was a great joy and honor to have the Honorable Governor with us again. 









Pujya Swamiji walks with the Honorable Governor Shri Surjit Singh Barnalaji




  Honorable Shri Barnalaji and Gurudev Singh take part in divine Ganga Aarti; Pujya Swamiji presents Honorable Shri Barnalaji with a beautiful portrait of Gurunanak Devji  









Divine Ganga Aarti

During the visit of Honorable Shri Barnalaji, we also had a large group of approximately 60 seekers from across the world who had come to perform japa at Parmarth Niketan, for 19 hours a day!! Pujya Swamiji and Shri Barnalaji went to take part for a few minutes in the japa



Pujya Swamiji and Honorable Shri Barnalaji sit on stage on the left while the japa continues


March 31 -- Rishikesh
Smt. Renuka Choudhary, the Honorable Minister for Tourism, Government of India came to Parmarth Niketan for divine Ganga Aarti. She expressed her great appreciation for the divine, beautiful, serene atmosphere that Pujya Swamiji has created.

She was accompanied by Hon. Shri T.P.S. Rawatji, the Minister for Tourism, Government of Uttranchal and Shri N.N. Prasadji, Secretary Tourism for Uttranchal.




The Honorable Tourism Minister takes part in purnahuti of Ganga Yagna









Divine Ganga Aarti









 Divine Ganga Aarti



The large crowd/audience for the Ganga Aarti









Pujya Swamiji and the Hon. tourism minister place flower offerings into Ma Ganga.

April 1-3 -- South India - Tsunami Relief Work
Since December 30 we have been working with great effort for tsunami relief in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry. Please see www.projecthope-tsunami.com for complete details of the work being done by Pujya Swamiji and Vivek Oberoi and the entire Project Hope team!

On April 1 we all travelled again back down to Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry to follow up with the work in each of the places.

1. Inauguration of Computer Center and Vocational Training Center in Patancheri Village, Karaikkal District, Pondicherry:

On the 2 April, a team of 20 Rotarians from USA and UK, led by Rotary Governor Elias Thomas III joined us in Karaikkal (as they had come to do hands on labor for the orphanage construction in Cuddalore). They were so touched by the plight of the people and also so impressed by the design of the new model village, that they have offered to sponsor at least 32 homes from their side! They will aim to build over 100.

We officially inaugurated a new computer center and women's vocational training center.









Rotary Governor Elias Thomas III of Maine, USA and his entire team are welcomed Pujya Swamiji and Vivek Oberoi and the Project Hope team









New sewing machines are presented to the ladies for the vocational training center

2. Groundlaying for new orphanage and ladies center
Project Hope has adopted a dilapidated and run-down service center in which 200 impoverished girls/ladies live. They have no proper dining facilities (they sleep, eat and study in the same hall) and all other facilities are sparse or worse. 

On the adjacent land we will build a new orphanage for children orphaned by the tsunami. We will also renovate and repair the women’s service center, build a full dining hall, a computer center and other facilities, and create a place where both the children and also the girls/women will benefit greatly.

The foundation laying ceremony for this project took place on the 16 February by the hands of the Honorable Governor of Tamil Nadu with the Honorable Governor of Uttranchal and the Honorable Lt. Governor of Pondicherry and other dignitaries

On April 3, the construction work officially began. Twenty Rotarians, led by  Rotary Governor Elias Thomas III, from USA and UK came for a week to personally assist in the hands-on labor! For 1 week they are working to help lay bricks, dig trenches and do whatever else is required in the physical construction of the orphanage.









Cuddalore District Collector Shri Gagandeep Singh Bedi offers effusive words of appreciation for Project Hope's work in Devanampattinam and in Cuddalore





Ombhai Vyas, Project Hope's architect, explains the drawings to Pujya Swamiji, the Hon. Lt. Governor of Pondicherry and the District Collector of Cuddalore on the site of the orphanage/women's social service center










The first brick in the new orphanage is laid by the youngest orphan girl,  Pujya Swamiji, and Rotary Governor Elias Thomas of Maine, USA.




Clockwise from right: The work moves at great speed! Pujya Swami surveys the construction with Ombhai Vyas, the architect, Honorable Governor of Pondicherry, Lt. Gen. M.M. Lakhera and District Collector of Cuddalore Gagandeep Singh Bedi lay bricks in the new orphanage




At the official function on April 3, balloons and chocolates were distributed to the orphan children and sarees were given out to the ladies. Bags of relief supplies were also distributed to the laborers.


Balloons and chocolates are given to the orphan children









Volunteers from Rotary International do hands-on labor including laying bricks, applying mud and cement and carrying the bricks and mud.











3. Distribution of nets and pushing of repaired boats back into the sea

We have – with the great assistance of Ashok Leyland, CII and the army – repaired more than 100 boats which are ready to return to sea (most of them already have!) The first boats were pushed out ceremonially on the 14 and 15 January (Pongal Day - New Year's) and on the 2 April, we had the official ceremony of pushing the repaired boats back into the sea.

Further we have purchased 15 brand new boats for the villagers with the assistance of the Rotary International.

We also purchased over 400 new fishing nets for the fishermen. These were distributed on the 2 April, 2005.


Distribution of nets and puja for the new boats










Pujya Swamiji and the rishikumars on the first repaired boat






It was a beautiful scene to see all the fishermen come out to the ocean on the 2 April as Pujya Swamiji and Vivek had the puja for pushing boats back in the sea. We had already repaired many boats previously but this was the official day on which all the remaining 90 boats were repaired.


Pujya Swamiji and Vivek Oberoi perform the puja for the new boats


April 13- May 14 -- Yatra to UK and USA
Pujya Swamiji departed from India on the 13 April, and spent one day in London on His way to USA.

April 15-16 -- Tampa, Florida
Pujya Swamiji arrived from London late in the evening of the 15th. There were beautiful satsang, pravachan and question-answer programs at the homes of Bellaben and Yogeshbhai Patel and Jayendra and Shilpa Chokski on Saturday the 16th.  Further, in addition to Pujya Swamiji's darshan and wisdom, everyone enjoyed the special Ganga Aarti which we showed at Bellaben and Yogeshbhai's home. It transported everyone to the holy banks of Mother Ganga.

On April 17, on the way to the airport, He was requested to stop at both the Sanatan Mandir and also the Swaminarayan Mandir in order to offer His blessings on the holy day of Ram Naumi, the birthday of Bhagwan Shri Rama.

April 17-18 -- Columbus, Ohio
A beautiful Ram Naumi program was organized by Dr. Kamala and Chander Saxena. The program began with kirtan and chanting of the Hanuman Chalisa, and was followed by Pujya Swamiji's enlightening discourse on the life and message of Bhagwan Rama. Pujya Swamiji emphasized how to bring God closer to us, how to give birth to Rama in our own hearts.

Comparing the pure Shabri and the demoness Shurpanakha, He explained, "God does not like frills. God is not interested in make-up or fancy clothes. God loves purity. Look - Shurpanakha was Miss Universe and she came to offer herself to Lord Rama, but He knew her heart was not pure and He would not even pay attention to her. But Shabri who was simple, homely and even said to be ugly by the villagers, was so pure, so devoted that Lord Rama Himself went to  her. Shurpanakha came to Rama and He rejected her. But Rama Himself went to Shabri! So, if you want to have God in your life, don't worry about frills, don't worry about makeup and beauty parlors. Worry only about the beauty and purity of your own heart."

April 19-20 -- Detroit, Michigan
There was a beautiful program at the Bharatiya Temple organized by Arvindbhai Desai, Dr. Ram and Mini Garg and Madhvi Doshi.

April 21 -- Columbia, South Carolina
Pujya Swamiji spent a day in Columbia, the USA headquarters of the Encyclopedia of Hinduism project to discuss the progress and status of this monumental task. The 18-volume momentous work is progressing very well and -- by the grace of God -- will be completed very shortly!

April 22 -- Chattanooga, Tennessee
Organized by Jayantbhai and Ilaben Naik there was a beautiful program at the Sanatan Mandir.

April 23-24 -- Louisville, KY
April 23 was Hanuman Jayanti and Pujya Swamiji graced a beautiful Hanuman Chalisa recitation  at the home of Jayshree and Dr. Rajan Amin. He spoke on the meaning of the Hanuman Chalisa, and he also related it to the characteristics of Hanumanji. He emphasized also Hanumanji's humility: "Look, everyone around the world is singing his chalisa, and yet he is so humble, so pious, so pure." He also shared the beautiful story of when Sita Mata gave Hanumanji a pearl necklace as a "thank you" gift for rescuing her and winning the war. However, Hanumanji, proceeded to carefully examine and then break each of the precious pearls. When Sita Mata asked him, "What are you doing?" he explained, "I am looking for Rama! You said they are precious and priceless, so Rama must be here somewhere. Otherwise, if He is not in here then the pearls are useless."

Then on the morning of April 24 He gave a beautiful satsang and pravachan program at the home of Rekha and Atul Mashruwala. The pravachan was followed by a long and thought-provoking question-answer in which Pujya Swamiji explained various aspects of Sadhana.

April 30 -- Harrisburg Pennsylvania
The bi-annual meeting of the Board of Trustees of India Heritage Research Foundation took place in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  See www.ihrf.com for details of the huge extent of IHRF's humanitarian and charitable endeavors. The meeting focused on tsunami relief, projects in Mansarovar/Mt. Kailash and of course the historic project of the Encyclopedia of Hinduism.









Meeting of the IHRF USA Board of Trustees



On April 17, 2004 at the Arclight Theater in Hollywood, USA a film on the life and teachings of Pujya Swamiji premiered to a sold out audience. The film, titled, "A Day in the Light" is produced and directed by Christopher Miglino. 

The film has already been shown to delighted and inspired audiences at the Sedona Film Festival, the Indian Film Festival in Los Angeles and several other film festivals in USA and Europe. 

See www.adayinthelight.com  to order your own copy of the beautiful film. Or, you can go directly to www.amazon.com and order it from there

For more information, email Christopher directly at chris@yogamates.com

Click on the links below for previews:
Windows Media files
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Real Player Files.
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Bathing in Ganga at Parmarth

Itinerary for Pujya Swamiji 
for June - August 2005
June July August
1-27 Rishikesh 1-15 Rishikesh 1-2 Winnipeg
28 Mumbai 17 Sacramento 3-4 Toronto
30 Rishikesh 21-24 Louisville, KY 6-13 New Jersey
    26 Dallas, TX 15-18 Europe
    27-29 Pittsburgh 20-21 Leicester
    30-31 Chicago 23 Edinburgh, Scotland
        24-28 UK
        31 Rishikesh

Email contact for program information: parmarth@aol.com

*Note: Pujya Swamiji's schedule is always subject to change at the last minute. Please be sure to call or email prior to coming to Rishikesh, just to confirm that He is there.

Special 50th Jayanti
of Pujya Swamiji
October-November  2004
Mansarovar Special - July 2003 January - February  2005
June - July  2004 Tsunami Relief Special

August - September  2004

International Yoga Festival  2005

Please click on www.parmarth.com/updates.htm for links to all previous updates and Divine Messages


Contact Information:
Phone: (0135)  2440088, 2434301 Fax: (0135)) 2440066
From abroad, dial: + (91-135) instead of (0135)