Highlights in the Life of 
H.H. Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji Maharaj (Muniji)
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February Update
Jai Gange!

February 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. 

February 2-8, Rishikesh :

The month 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. 
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.
During the 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 and campfires.

*please note: Parmarth Niketan also has a full daily schedule of yoga and meditation classes as well as frequent intensive camps. 

February 16: Ahmedabad :

Pujya Swamiji 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. 

February 20: New Delhi :

Pujya Swamiji 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 in Govardhan/Vrindavan. 

Other important events and
milestones of February :


Parmarth Shiksha 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.

Additionally, 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 region. 

Since then, 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.

By  the  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.

The  groundbreaking  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.

Orphanage Building Under Construction
However, simple 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.

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 and patriotism.

The construction is progressing rapidly and we will have 100 children there by the middle of March.

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.

Clean, Green and Serene Project of Varanasi

Although a 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.

Further, Varanasi 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 and sanskaras.

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).

Pujya Swamiji 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. 

Clean, 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. 

Additionally, 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.

Upcoming Events

March 3-5, Varanasi :

Pujya Swamiji 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. 



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