was a month filled with seva, filled with significant progress on innumerable
projects, filled with laying foundation stones for future work. Although
Pujya Swamiji originally had an �India Yatra� planned for the middle
of the month, He stayed back in Rishikesh in order to devote Himself fully
to the divine projects in His hands.
Dr. Karan Singh
delivered the Keynote address; Shri BM Vohra, Commissioner, was the Chief
Guest and H.H. M.M. Pujya Swami Veda Bharatiji Maharaj of the Swami Rama
Ashram led a beautiful short meditation to officially begin the week.
began with International Yoga Festival, organized by UP Tourism and hosted
by Parmarth Niketan. More than 80 participants came to imbibe the divine
nectar of yoga; of these, 61 were from abroad. Numerous revered saints,
prominent dignitaries, established yogis and renowned scholars graced the
inauguration ceremony with their presence and their words.
course of the week, the participants had classes in asanas, meditation
and pranayama, as well as inspiring, enlightening lectures by saints. There
were also yoga demonstrations by local children (who put on a truly unbelievable
performance), music concerts and dance performances, as well as tree plantation
note: Parmarth Niketan
also has a full daily schedule of yoga and meditation classes as well as
frequent intensive camps.
travelled for the day to Ahmedabad where He gave a special lecture at the
Prana Pratishtha (deity installation ceremony) of the Jagdish Temple. Additionally,
He visited with the great saint H.H. Pujya Dada Krishna Shankar Shastriji
Maharaj and prayed for his health. Pujya Swamiji also met with the holy
Maharajji of Santram Mandir, Nandiad.
20: New Delhi
and Pujya Sant Rameshbhai Oza were the Chief Guests at the Ek Sham Govardhan
ki Nam [an evening on behalf of Govardhan] function. The Tirth Vikas Trust
(of which Pujya Swamiji is the Executive Chairman and Pujya Bhaiji is the
Chairman) is engaged in a renovation, restoration and beautification project
important events and
of February :
SHIKSHA MANDIR NEWS
Mandir has recently adopted 32 new schools in tribal regions of India.
Twenty-one of these schools are located in tribal areas of Orissa, Bihar,
Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. We have
taken 3 schools in each of the 7 states.
we have recently adopted 11 schools in the Himalayan region of Chamoli
and Rudra Prayag. In March, 1999, a disastrous 6.8 earthquake struck the
area, leaving hundreds dead and thousands more homeless and impoverished.
Since the pre-dawn
hours after the tragedy, Pujya Swamiji has been actively involved in disaster-relief.
He immediately sent Parmarth Niketan�s medical ambulance, doctors and team
of Brahmachari students from Parmarth Niketan up to the disaster-struck
India Heritage Research Foundation and Parmarth Niketan (with the generosity
of major donors such as Shri Mufatlal Mehta of Bombay and Mrs. Bina Stevenson
of Australia) have provided thousands of families with essential supplies,
such as blankets, tarpaulins, lanterns, clothes, medicine and food supplies
Now, Pujya Swamiji realized that schools are critically needed. Many which
used to operate collapsed in the earthquake, and a lack of resources kept
them from re-opening. Additionally, in the rural Himalayas there is always
a dearth of high quality, low cost schooling. So, by His grace, we have
just opened 11 new schools in this area.
EDUCATION SERVICES NEWS
shelters with food, beds and baby-sitters are not sufficient. These children
need not only to be fed and sheltered � they need to be educated and trained
so they can become productive members of society. They need to be inculcated
with values, ethics and spirituality which will, hopefully, ameliorate
the detrimental effects of life on the street.
infinite grace and vision of Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji
Maharaj, we are in the process of building an orphanage
on the premises of Parmarth Niketan.
ceremony was held in November, 1999 and
the building is progressing steadily. There are thousands
and thousands of abandoned children in India, roaming the streets
of the cities and the dirt paths of the villages.
The Ganga Maiya
Orphanage/Gurukul at Parmarth Niketan (co-sponsored by IHRF) will serve
as a place where these orphans are housed as well as educated, cultured
and filled with crucial values such as non-violence, truth, and seva. One
hundred children will come from the streets to the holy banks of Mother
Ganga, where they will be cared for, nurtured and infused with piety, spirituality
is progressing rapidly and we will have 100 children there by the middle
All help is
greatly needed and appreciated so that we can provide these children with
nourishing food on a daily basis. This year, for a loved one�s birthday
or for a special anniversary, we invite you to sponsor the food/milk for
these children. Special puja will be done for the birthday or anniversary
and your loved one will know that 100 children are eating in their honor.
Green and Serene Project of Varanasi
mere two-months old, this project is blossoming like a flower under full
sunlight. Parmarth Ganga Seva Nidhi � of which Pujya Swamiji is chairman
� have adopted all 94 ghats of this city. Adoption includes not only a
�cleanliness� program in which the ghats are cleaned each day, but it involves
something much bigger. As we all know, Pujya Swamiji will never settle
for doing a little where a lot needs to be done. So, by His infinite wisdom
and vision, He has developed a plan in which in addition to beautifying
the ghats, they become places of daily aarti and yagna. He was surprised
to find that daily Ganga puja was not being done in this holiest of cities.
So, on each of the ghats daily Ganga aarti will be performed.
is a city much like Venice, Italy in the way that boats are a major form
of transportation. Therefore, there is an entire population of boatmen
who live on their docked boats. Their children are uneducated, uncultured
and exposed only to the nomadic lives of their parents. For these children
Pujya Swamiji has planned 10 schools right on the ghats -- to impart
not only an academic education, but an education in morals, values, ethics
The ghats have
been adopted by PGSN and then devotees will sponsor these ghats. Sponsoring
of the ghat includes all the daily cleaning, plus the expenses for daily
aarti and yagna plus the expense for the schools, as well as various miscellaneous
projects (including posting signs detailing the sanctity of Ganga and why
we must work to keep Her clean).
will be returning to Varanasi on March 3-5, for Mahashivratri and will
meet with local city officials as well as hold press conferences and large
meetings to keep the work progressing rapidly.
Green and Serene Rishikesh
In the works
for almost a year now, this project � which served as the catalyst for
Pujya Swamiji�s Varanasi program � has provided the world with a �model
ghat.� Parmarth Niketan�s Ganga ghat is several hundred meters long and
is the epitome of divine cleanliness. It is made of marble and swept and
mopped regularly, providing a beautiful place to walk barefoot, chanting
the name of God or just silently contemplating. Additionally, as most of
you know, we have daily glorious yagna and aarti ceremonies � times filled
with song, with prayer and with divine communion.
the marketplace is getting cleaner each day as people become accustomed
to using the 25 trash bins we�ve placed up and down the road.
will go to Varanasi with Pujya Sant Rameshbhai Oza for Mahashivratri. Additionally,
while there, Pujya Swamiji will meet with local officials and others to
expedite the Varanasi Clean, Green and Serene Program.
NOTE: PUJYA SWAMIJI WILL BE OUT
OF RISHIKESH FROM MARCH 17-27.