H.H. Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji Maharaj (Muniji)
January - February 2007


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January  -- Allahabad - Prayag Raj
January - February 2007 was the auspicious time of the Ardha Kumbha Mela (the half-Kumbha Mela). In January - February 2001 was the Maha Kumbha Mela at which Parmarth had put up a huge camp for 6 weeks. See www.parmarth.org/updates/jan2001/index.htm and www.parmarth.org/updates/feb2001/index.htm for details of those times.

Kumbha Darshan - bathing at the Sangam and a camp of sadhus


The Ardha Kumbha is a very sacred and auspicious time to have a bath in the holy sangam of the Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati rivers at the site of Prayag Raj (Allahabad). Pujya Swamiji traveled to Prayag twice during the course of the Kumbha Mela and took part in a wide variety of divine activities, including the following:

1. Katha by Pujya Sant Shri Rameshbhai Oza -- at the camp set up by Pujya Swami Hans Dasji Maharaj, Pujya Bhaishri gave a beautiful katha.

Pujya Swamiji with Pujya Bhaishri


2. Katha by Pujya Sant Shri Morari Bapu - at the camp set up by Pujya Swami Gurusharananandji Maharaj, Pujya Bapu gave a beautiful katha.

Pujya Swamiji on the state with Pujya Swami Gurusharananandji, Pujya Sant Shri Morari Bapu, Pujya Sant Shri Rameshbhai Oza, Pujya Swami Govind Giriji and many other revered saints.



Pujya Swamiji gives his words of wisdom



3. Yoga camp by Pujya Swami Ramdevji - at the camp set up by Pujya Swami Hans Dasji, Pujya Swami Ramdevji gave daily yoga/pranayama camps.

Pujya Swamiji, Pujya Swami Ramdevji and Pujya Swami Hans Dasji go together to visit the jail in Allahabad and to give inspiration to the prisoners to change their lives and to dedicate every moment to loving God and serving humanity.



4. Special yagna and sant sammellan given by Pujya Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji at Pujya Swami Hans Dasji's camp.

Pujya Swamiji lights the inaugural lamp with Pujya Swami Avdeshanandji, Pujya Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji, Pujya Swami Hans Dasji, Pujya Swami Divyanand Teerthji and many others.



Pujya Swamiji gives blessings and words of inspiration on the meaning of yagna and also sings the beautiful song He wrote "Mein to kab se teri sharan mein hun" at the beautiful yagna organized by Pujya Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji.



Pujya Swami Hans Dasji also organized a large Sant Sammelan in which the most revered saints at the Mela came together to share inspiring, enlightening and uplifting messages as well as to discuss the importance of finding a solution to the tragedy facing young, unwanted girls in India.


During the sacred time of Kumbha Mela, the saints also gather together to share their experiences and to sit together in a spirit of divine oneness. Pujya Swamiji, Pujya Swami Hans Dasji, Pujya Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji, Pujya Swami Nityanandji and other saints sat together with Pujya Swami Gurusharananandji at his Karshini camp, enjoying each other's divine presence.




At the Parmarth camp, we had a huge samasti bhandara for thousands of Mahamandaleshwars and other saints and Swamijis, hosted by Mahamandaleshwar Swami Asanganandji.

Thousands of saints eat at the Parmarth camp


Pujya Swamiji walks through the bhandara, ensuring that everything is taken care of for the saints.


After making sure all the other saints were fed, Pujya Swamiji sat for His own prasad


Devotees and sevaks offer tilak and dakshina to the saints.

Pujya Swamiji also met with numerous other saints and took part in numerous other sant sammelans and satsangs, including those at the camp of Pujya Swami Gurusharananandji, Pujya Swami Avdeshanandji and Pujya Swami Shanta Baba.


Pujya Swamiji visits Pujya Shanta Babaji's ashram and Pujya Shanta Babaji


Pujya Swamiji with Pujya Swami Avdeshanandji and Pujya Swami Parmanandji



January 7 -- Rishikesh
Jayshreeben Amin came to Parmarth from Louisville, KY, with her daughter and her parents. Jayshreeben and her husband Dr. Rajanbhai are great supporters of IHRF as well as sponsors for rooms in Parmarth's ashram in Mansarovar and Dirapuk (Mt. Kailash).



January 24-26 -- Porbandar
Pujya Swamiji traveled to Porbandar, Gujarat, to Sandipani Vidya Niketan to be with Pujya Sant Rameshbhai Oza, for the anniversary of the opening of the Hari Mandir. In February, 2006 he had spent 2 weeks in Porbandar for the official inauguration of the Mandir at the huge Sammelan.


Clockwise from top: Pujya Swamiji with Pujya Bhaishri and other saints on the stage; Pujya Bhaishri's new book is released; Pujya Swamiji and Pujya Bhaishri perform the sacred yagna ceremony with devotees.



January 26 -- Rishikesh
On the special occasion of Republic Day, the rishikumars at the Parmarth Gurukul, Veerpur put on a special performance. The children at our gurukuls/orphanages receive not only a full academic education and Vedic training but also the priceless gifts of hope, faith and joy in life. Classes 3rd - 8th are kept at the Parmarth Gurukul/orphanage in Rishikesh and 9th - 11th are at Parmarth Gurukul/orphanage in Veerpur. See www.parmarth.org/gurukul.htm for more details on this divine "Dust to Diamonds" project.

Each major holiday here at Parmarth is celebrated with a performance by the beautiful Rishikumars.

For Republic Day, the older boys at Veerpur put on a performance of a series of acts, including songs, dances and drama.

A small stage is set up in the Veerpur garden

At Janmasthami the younger children had put on a heart-stopping rendition of "Meera". One could not believe that the grace, beauty and femininity of Meera (both as a young girl as well as a married woman) was played by young boys between the ages of 10-14!!!



Young Puneet as Meera dances



The divine young rishikumars act out every role in the drama of Meera - all the roles for ladies and men!!  It was unbelievable that these young boys acted out every part with such grace and finesse.






January  -- Rishikesh
Shri Madanlal Dewan, a great came to Rishikesh, as he comes frequently as part of his "Rejuvenation and Greening of the Himalayas" program. Pujya Swamiji blessed him at the aarti for his indefatigable commitment to the Himalayas


Madanlal Dewan after receiving his special shawl from Pujya Swamiji stands in front of Shiva with  Dr. Alka Patel and Rajan Swaroop.



He is a great inspiration to us all and we all hope that at that age we will also be filled with such energy and vigor.



January 28 -- Winnipeg, Canada

Pujya Swamiji's divine books became part of the Manitoba Hindu Dharmik Sabha Library, when they were given by Tara Maniar of IHRF - Canada to Krishna Goolcharan, president of the MHDS. He received Drops of Nectar, Grace in the Home, A Year of Spiritual Celebration and the newest release, Peace.

February 1-4 -- Rishikesh
Each year, India Heritage Research Foundation sponsors several medical camps on the site of Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh. In 2006, there were 2 large acupressure camps during the summer in which hundreds of patients received treatment and training, and a large eye/cataract surgery camp in October with doctors from Australia, led by Dr. Purnima Roy.  The first camp of 2007 saw experienced doctors come from the Hinduja Hospital and Lilawati Hospitals of Bombay for a camp including dental care, eye care and general medical care.

During the course of this camp, a total of 700 patients were seen, including

125 patients who received dental care
200 eye examinations and distribution of glasses
33 cataract operations
24 urology, gastroenterology and orthopedic surgeries.

Thanks to Rupen and Lopa Desai of South Africa and other generous donors for making these camps a reality!

Pujya Mahamandaleshwarji inaugurates the camp; Dentists extract teeth from a patient.




Clockwise from top: patients wait outside in the sunshine to be seen by doctors (due to the cold temperatures in January, many patients chose to wait on chairs outside in the sun rather than inside in the waiting room); operation takes place; a village woman's eyes are checked.




Successful cataract operations - the women (left) and the men (right).


Shri Subhash Kumarji, former Commissioner Garhwal comes with his wife for Ganga Aarti and officially inaugurates the medical camp with Pujya Swamiji:



February 5-8 -- Delhi

An historic event took place in New Delhi, February 5-7, 2007, when a delegation of senior rabbis from Israel and other countries met top Hindu leaders for the first time to discuss a range of subjects including the relevance of tradition in everyday life, similarities and dissimilarities between the two religions and the promotion of education. They affirmed their shared values, condemned violence, and pledged to address the challenges of poverty and illness.

Pujya Swamiji was a participant at this Hindu-Jewish Dialogue, organized by the World Council of Religious Leaders, headed by Shri Bawa Jain and Aim for Seva, headed by Pujya Swami Dayanandaji. The Summit brought together the top leaders of Hinduism, represented by the Acharya Sabha as well as numerous heads of ashrams and institutions, with the leaders of Judaism, represented by the Chief Rabbiniate of Israel.   India Heritage Research Foundation (the international-non-profit organization founded and chaired by Pujya Swamiji) is dedicated to inter-faith harmony and Pujya Swamiji is actively involved in a wide variety of interfaith-harmony activities.



Clockwise from top: Pujya Swamiji with the Hindu Saints; Shri Bawa Jain, Rabbi Metzger (Chief Rabbi of Israel) and Rabbi David Rosen with Pujya Swami Dayanandaji; Pujya Swamiji with Shri Bawa Jain and Dr. Oded Wiener, Director General, Chief Rabbinate of Israel 







Pujya Swamiji had been together with the Chief Rabbi of Israel in Kyoto, Japan at the World Conference of Religions for Peace in August, 2006, where they shared love and friendship. So it was wonderful to be together again.

Seewww.parmarth.org/updates/julysept2006 for details.




The Jewish representatives included:

1. Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger, Israel, Chief Rabbi of Israel 
2. Dr. Oded Wiener, Israel Director General, Chief Rabbinate of Israel 
3. Chief Rabbi David Rosen, Israel , President, International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consutation (IJCIC); International Director of Interreligious Affairs, American Jewish Committee (AJC)
4. Rabbi Professor Daniel Sperber, Israel, Professor of Talmud and Jewish Studies at Bar Ilan University
5. Rabbi Dr. Israel Singer, USA , Chairman, International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultation (IJCIC); Chairman, Policy Council of the World Jewish Congress
Rabbi Moshe Garelik, USA , Director of the Rabbinical Centre of Europe
6. Chief Rabbi Albert Guigui, Belgium , Chief Rabbi of Belgium
7. Chief Rabbi Isak Haleve, Turkey, Chief Rabbi of Turkey

Further Mr. David Danieli the Ambassador of Israel to India attended as well.

The Hindu representatives included:

1. Swami Dayananda Saraswatiji
2. Swami Gurusharananandji
3. Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji
4. Swami Hans Dasji
5. Swami Madhav priyadasji

and many, many more.


Pujya Swamiji began His talk by chanting both the sacred mantras of Hinduism as well as the Sh'ma Y'israel, one of the most sacred chants of Judaism.


It was a beautiful time of discussions and understanding. The leaders of two ancient, non-proselytizing religions came together to better understand each other and to explore avenues in which they can work together to help bring peace and understanding within their own traditions and also amongst people of different faith traditions. A declaration was signed stating the following:

Declaration of Mutual Understanding and Cooperation
from the First Jewish-Hindu Leadership Summit

New Delhi, February 5-6, 2007

The participants affirm that:

  1. Their respective Traditions teach that there is One Supreme Being who is the Ultimate Reality, who has created this world in its blessed diversity and who has communicated Divine ways of action for humanity, for different peoples in different times and places.
  2. The religious identities of both Jewish and Hindu communities are related to components of Faith, Scripture, People-hood, Culture, Land and Language.
  3. Hindus and Jews seek to maintain their respective heritage and pass it on to the succeeding generations, while living in respectful relations with other communities.
  4. Neither seeks to proselytize, nor undermine or in any way replace the religious identities of other faith communities. They expect other communities to respect their religious identities and commitments, and condemn all activities that go against the sanctity of this mutual respect.
  5. Both the Hindu and Jewish Traditions affirm the sanctity of life and aspire for a society in which all live in peace and harmony with one another. Accordingly, they condemn all acts of violence in the name of any religion or against any religion.
  6. The Jewish and Hindu communities are committed to the ancient traditions of Judaism and Hindu dharma respectively, and have both, in their own ways, gone through the painful experiences of persecution, oppression and destruction. Therefore, they realize the need to educate the present and succeeding generations about their past, in order that they will make right efforts to promote religious harmony.
  7. The representatives of the two faith communities recognize the need for understanding one another in terms of lifestyles, philosophy, religious symbols, culture, etc. They also recognize that they have to make themselves understood by other faith communities. They hope that through their bilateral initiatives, these needs would be met.
  8. Because both traditions affirm the central importance of social responsibility for their societies and for the collective good of humanity, the participants pledged themselves to work together to help address the challenges of poverty, sickness and inequitable distribution of resources.
  9. The representatives of the two faith communities also agree to constitute a Standing Committee on Hindu-Jewish Relations.



Pujya Swamiji with Pujya Swami Dayanandaji, Pujya Swami Madhavpriyadasji & other revered Swamijis.

On the evening of the 6th February, dinner was hosted at the home of Shri L.K. Advaniji which was a wonderful time for all the delegates to come together in a casual setting and share the evening and prasad (dinner). The Chief Rabbi of Israel gave a glowing speech about the role that Shri Advaniji had played for Israel over the many years. Following the dinner, Shri Advaniji's daughter, Pratibhaji, gave a special screening of the beautiful movie she had made for Shivratri. Even though it was late at night and the movie was in Hindi and dealt with traditional Hindu themes, the Chief Rabbis sat and enjoyed many minutes of the beautiful film.


Clockwise from top: Shri Advaniji greets Pujya Swamiji; Pujya Swamiji with David Danieli, the Ambassador of Israel to India; Pujya Swamiji with Rabbi Metzger the Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi David Rosen and Mrs. Sharon Rosen



The head table at the dinner, pictured left to right: Rabbi David Rosen, Chief Rabbi Metzger, Shri Advaniji, Mrs. Metzger, Shri Bawa Jain, Pujya Swamiji




Pujya Swamiji with one of the rabbis; Pujya Swamiji with Shri Tarun Vijay, editor of Panchjanya and Jayant Advani, Shri Advaniji's son


On February 7th, Dr. Bhupendra Kumar Modiji hosted a gathering of Buddhists, Hindus and Jews, followed by an all-faith gathering.



Pujya Swamiji sits with Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudevaji of the Isha Foundation





Pujya Swamiji with Dr. Oden Weiner, Israel Director General, Chief Rabbinate of Israel 
respected Buddhist Leader Ven. Sumedha Thero



After the meeting there was a special prayer, in which a representative from each religion chanted a sacred mantra of that religion, to pray together for peace. Pujya Swamiji chanted the concluding, final blessings of
Purnamadah Purnamidam Purnatpurnamudachyate.
Purnasya Purnamadaya Purnamevavashisyate




(left) Pujya Swamiji receives a flower garland welcoming Him to the Summit;
(right): Pujya Swamiji shares love with Maulanna Wahiduddin Khan Sahib and Shri Ramesh Bhandari

On the afternoon of the 7th a small delegation consisting of a few main representatives of the Jewish and Hindu traditions including The Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi David Rosen, the Honorable Ambassador of Israel to India and several other Chief Rabbis from other parts of the world, Pujya Swamiji, Pujya Swami Dayanandji, Pujya Swami Madhavpriyadasji and others had a beautiful meeting with the Honorable President of India.  It was a wonderful, fruitful and inspiration-filled meeting in which the Honorable President was apprised of all that took place and he also offered his support, his thoughts and his learned suggestions of how to move forward.

Later in the afternoon of the 7th March, back at the Oberoi Hotel, there was a formal discussion between Hindus and Muslims  in which great strides were made in terms of sharing of views, understanding, respect and love and mutual condemnation of violence.



February 9-12 -- Rishikesh
Following the Hindu-Jewish Summit, Rabbi David Rosen, the President of the International Jewish Committee came to Parmarth with his wife Sharon to spend a few days of quiet reflection on the banks of the Ganges with Pujya Swamiji. Pujya Swamiji and Rabbi Rosen have been together at so many international, interfaith gatherings, including at the United Nations, the World Economic Forum and the World Conference of Religions for Peace. Pujya Swamiji has always invited Rabbi Rosen to come "home" to Rishikesh and it was wonderful to have him and Sharon with us for a few days.

February 9 was a friday, the holy day of the Sabbath according to Jewish tradition. Pujya Swamiji invited Rabbi Rosen to lead a special Jewish Sabbath prayer after the divine Ganga Aarti on the banks of the Ganges.

Dena Merriam, the Convenor of the Global Peace Initiative for Women (and one of the organizers for the youth summit at the United Nations) also came to Rishikesh during these days and spent time together with Pujya Swamiji and Rabbi Rosen.



It was probably the first time ever that the sacred Sabbath prayers were chanted by a respected Rabbi on the holy banks of the Ganges






Rabbi Rosen, Sharon Rosen, Dena Merriam and Bijon Das Gupta (the well known set/stage designer and architect) sit together at the Ganga Aarti



After Ganga Aarti, Pujya Swamiji blesses (clockwise from top): Rabbi Rosen and Sharon Rosen; Bijondas Gupta; Dena Merriam



February 11 -- Delhi
Pujya Swamiji traveled to Delhi for the special Sarva Dharma Sammelan (Interfaith harmony summit) held at the ashram of late Pujya Shri Sushil Muniji Maharaj, who was a great torchbearer of non-violence, peace and harmony. 

February 16 -- Mahashivratri
February 16 was the holy night of Mahashivratri (click here for Pujya Swamiji's message on this divine, sacred and auspicious holiday).  To celebrate, we had a beautiful shiv puja/abhishek conducted by the Rishikumars at the Parmarth Gurukul/orphanage. Pujya Swamiji performed the puja and then all the devotees and visitors were able to come up and each could offer milk to the holy Shiv Linga.



Pujya Swamiji performs Shiv Abhishek with the rishikumars, ashram residents, devotees and visitors.



February 18-21 -- Patiala, Punjab
IHRF was the co-sponsor for a three day international seminar on the theme "Towards building a peaceful society: Role of Religion" organized at Punjabi University by Dr. Dharam Singh, in collaboration with the International Interfaith Centre, Oxford, UK.

Scholars from India and abroad came together for this seminar. Seminarians presented research papers on cultural hermeneutics, global peace through global values, interfaith themes in the life and writings of Swami Vivekanand and Buddhism towards social harmony.  The seminar was co-sponsored by IHRF.

February 18-19 -- Delhi
Pujya Swamiji traveled to Delhi for the final ceremony in the 100th anniversary year of Shri Guruji Golwalkarji of the RSS. Vice President Shri Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, former Prime Minister Shri Atal Behari Vajpayeeji, leader of the opposition Shri LK Advaniji, Gujarat Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modiji, Pujya Swami Avadheshnandaji, Pujya Swami Satyamitranandji, Pujya Dr Pranav Pandyaji, Pujya Sadhvi Ritambharaji, RSS chief Shri Sudarshanji and many other saints, political heads and dignitaries graced the occasion with their presence. 

Pujya Swamij and Pujya Swami Dayanandaji released the 6-volumes of "Shri Guruji Samagra" in Sanskrit

February 18-- Rishikesh
A large group of yoga students had come from China to do their teacher's training program for 3 weeks at Parmarth. During their stay fell the auspicious time of the Chinese New Year. To celebrate, they all performed yagna and aarti and then sang traditional Chinese songs after the aarti.


The Chinese group performs Ganga yagna and aarti and then sings Chinese songs on the special occasion of Chinese New Year



February 20-23 -- Rishikesh
Famous Bollywood actor and devotee of Pujya Swamiji's, Vivek Oberoi came home to Parmarth with his father Sureshji (also a very famous Bollywood actor), mother Yashodharaji and sister Meghna. As Vivek has been very busy lately with shooting so many movies, it had been awhile since he'd come home to Parmarth and the whole Parmarth family (particularly the rishikumars) were so happy to see him.




Whenever he comes, he comes just to spend a few quiet days on the banks of Mother Ganga, in the presence of his Guru, and with his divine young brothers the rishikumars. He frequently goes also to visit local holy places such as Chandi Devi temple to have the darshan of Chandi Devi and also Anjana Ma at the Hanuman mandir.

Pujya Swamiji blesses Vivek.


Vivek and his family perform yagna with Pujya Swamiji








February 22-23 -- Rishikesh
A group of 25 devotees from Durban, South Africa came on a yatra organized by Pushpaben and Bachhubhai Patel of the Ekta Mandir in Durban. Pujya Swamiji had been in Durban for a special function last May and invited everyone to come home to Rishikesh. Inspired, Pushpaben and Bachhubhai organized the Indian yatra for their community members. It was wonderful to have everyone at home.

Devotees from the Ekta Mandir perform Ganga Aarti


February 28 -- Rishikesh
Pujya Swami Hariprasad Swamiji, of the Swaminarayan tradition came to Parmarth Niketan with a large group of Swamijis and devotees. They came to perform the divine Ganga Aarti and to meet with Pujya Swamiji.

Pujya Swami Hariprasad Swamiji performs Ganga Aarti

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February 28 -- Winnipeg, Canada and other places
International Prayer for "Interfaith Harmony and Universal Peace." This event, organized by Tara Maniar, project coordinator of IHRF Canada was co-sponsored by IHRF. There were representatives of Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Catholocism, Baha'i, Wicca and Aboriginal. The main event was held in Winnipeg, but simultaneous events were held by congregations/groups in Calgary, Florida, Delhi and Guyana as well as by numerous individuals around the world.

Peace prayer and Interfaith harmony gathering



Special Sevaks


Suzanne Pinckney and Effieter Beckford came to Parmarth in January, each planning to stay a short time. However, they both were so touched and inspired by the divine atmosphere that they stayed a few months and engaged themselves fully and actively in seva. From morning to evening both of them worked -- computer tasks, guest relations, organizational administration and much more.

Pujya Swamiji with Suzanne and EB

They were also great, indispensable assets for the International Yoga Festival which took place from the 1-7 March (update will be out shortly). EB unfortunately had to leave to go back to Jamaica last week, but Suzanne is still here serving with great joy and dedication each day! She is now joined by her good friend Jake Plfaum who is also serving with wonderful commitment.

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Contact Information

Phone: (0135) 2440088, 2440077, 2434301
Fax: (0135) 2440066

From abroad, dial: + (91-135) instead of (0135)

Email:   parmarth@parmarth.com

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