H.H. Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji Maharaj (Muniji)
Yoga Festival 2005 


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Yoga Classes
Satsangs and Lectures by Saints
Special Activities
Divine Ganga Aarti
Concluding Session


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.

More than 250 students came from 33 countries, including Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Norway, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE,  UK, USA, Zimbabwe and many others.

There was a wide variety of yoga offerings including Kundalini Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Reiki, Pranayama, Power Yoga, Yoga Nidra, Pranic Healing, Music Therapy, Yoga Therapy, Nada yoga, Meditation and special satsangs & question-answer sessions with H.H. Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, H.H. Pujya Shankaracharya Swami Divyanand Teerthji and H.H. Pujya Swami Gurusharananandji Maharaj.

H.H. Sri Shankaracharya Swami Divyanand Teerthji H.H. Swami Gurusharanandji H.H. Swami Veda Bharatiji
  H.H. Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji  


Inauguration left to right: Rabbi Burt Siegel, Brahmachari Vishwapal Jayanti, Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa, Suresh Oberoi, N.N. Prasad, Pujya Swami Chidanandji, Hon. Governor Shri Sudarshan Agarwal, Pujya Shankaracharya Swami Divyanand Teerthji, Pujya Swami Veda Bharatiji, Pujya Swami Munishanandji, Rohini Khatri, Sadhvi Abha Saraswati, Karin O'Bannon, Sadhvi Bhagwati Saraswati

The teachers included:
1.  Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa, a world renowned Kundalini Yoga instructor from Hollywood, California, USA. Gurmukh taught Kundalini Yoga.
2. Karin O’Bannon, former senior teacher of the Iyengar Yoga Institute of Los Angeles taught Hatha Yoga and the yoga sutras of Patanjali.
3. Brahmachariji Vishwa Pal Jayanti taught Power Yoga, Pranayama
4. Rohini Khatri, reiki master from Hyderabad, taught Reiki
5. Swami Veda Bharatiji led a special meditation session.
6. Rabbi Burt Siegel gave lectures on the universal nature of yoga.
7. Sadhvi Abha Saraswati taught Yoga Nidra
8. Sadhvi Bhagwati Saraswati taught meditation
9. Suresh Oberoi engaged participants in Anubhava (sharing of experiences).
10. Parul Mehta and Kelly Wood taught yogasana classes
11. Laxmi Narain Joshi taught Pranic Healing

There were also classes offered in Vedic Astrology, Nadi yoga, kriya yoga and more.

Our special guests included:
H.H. Pujya Shankaracharya Swami Divyanand Teerthji of Bhanpura Peeth came and gave satsang, lectures and question-answer sessions in the evening with H.H. Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji.
H.H. Pujya Mahamandaleswar Swami Gurusharananandji Maharaj of Raman Reti/Mathura came and gave satsang, lectures and question-answer sessions in the evening with H.H. Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji.
H.H. Pujya Mahamandaleswar Swami Veda Bharatiji of the Swami Rama came and gave a special meditation session.

There was also a special cultural dance night arranged by Uttranchal Tourism.


The official inauguration by His Excellency the Governor of Uttranchal, Shri Sudarshan Agarwal

The official inauguration on 1 March was graced by the presence of the Honorable Governor of Uttranchal, Honorable Shri Sudarshan Agarwal, in addition to the revered saints and yogacharyas.

The inauguration concludes with Ganga Aarti


 Students received daily classes in Kundalini Yoga, Iyengar yoga, yogasanas and meditation



Students learn hatha yoga, kundalini yoga and meditation





Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa teaches Kundalini yoga


Karin O'Bannon explains intricacies of yoga asanas in the Iyengar yoga class



Reiki master Rohini Khatri teaches reiki



Sadhvi Bhagwati Saraswati guides participants through meditation and a special meditation on forgivemenss.



Further they had the divine opportunity to have the satsang
and lectures of revered saints. 

One of the highlights of the Festival was the satsang and question-answers with the revered saints. The participants asked questions about how to incorporate the principles of yoga into their own lives and how they could be in peace.

H.H. Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, the President of Parmrath Niketan gave daily evening satsang sessions and also a beautiful lecture on Yoga in Daily Life. Pujya Swamiji has a unique way to express the deepest and most profound thoughts and insights in ways that are understandable, meaningful, inspirational and transformative to people of all cultures, all backgrounds and all walks of life. All the participants were not only taught by his wisdom, but were also touched by the divine messages and boundless love that flow from his heart.

Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji

H.H. Pujya Shankaracharya Swami Divyanand Teerthji, of Bhanpura Peeth graced us with his presence from the 1 - 4 March, giving an excellent lecture on the philosophy and theory of yoga as found in the scriptures, and also conducted the evening satsang/question answer sessions with Pujya Swami Chidanandji. Pujya Shankaracharyaji's forceful and clear way of explaining universal truths leaves no room for misunderstanding or misinterpretation. He called upon all the participants -- of all backgrounds -- to abandon their illusions and self-created misery and to live examined, purposeful and dharmic lives, embracing their true divine nature.

Pujya Shankaracharya Swami Divyanand Teerthji



H.H. Mahamandaleswar Pujya Swami Gurusharananandji Maharaj of Raman Reti, Mathura graced us with his presence on the 5 and 6 March. He shared his deep wisdom and understanding of Vedic philosophy as well as the joy and laughter of his heart.

Through the use of simple, understandable metaphors, analogies and parables, Pujya Swami Gurusharananandji made profound, esoteric Vedantic wisdom accessible to even those with no background in Vedic studies.

He filled the hall with divine joy and love as he called upon all of his "children" to see the oneness of themselves and God.


Yoga means unity and this festival was truly a festival of unity – unity between people of different cultures and faiths, unity between the East and West, unity between modern and traditional, unity between the body, mind and soul.  

All in all, the participants were not only taught, but they were also touched and transformed. Eyes were filled with tears as they departed from the holy banks of Mother Ganga and everyone said they would bring all of their friends next year!



  Evening satsangs in Pujya Swamiji's garden.

Each evening the participants took part in the divine Ganga Aarti.

Even though the participants came from 33 countries and a wide variety of religious, spiritual and cultural backgrounds, the aarti was a time that was deeply moving, meaningful and inspiring for all. It is a time in which one gets closer and closer to God -- by whatever name and whatever form one chooses to worship. Aarti, and the yagna which precedes aarti,  were highlights of everyone's stay.



Clockwise from right: Purnahuti of the Ganga Yagna, Chanting before Aarti;
Joyful, blissful singing





Participants perform Ganga Aarti




Ganga Yagna and its purnahuti


Prayers on the banks of Ganga.




Divine bliss during the aarti






The participants also enjoyed a special bath in Ganga with the rishikumars:

Bathing in Ganga with the rishikumars


Concluding Ceremony:

The closing ceremony was graced by the presence of the Tourism Minister of Uttranchal, Shri T.P.S. Rawatji. It included a special yoga demonstration by the rishikumars and also participants from different countries shared the powerful, transformative effect the week had had on them. for the special occasion of the ceremony, sarees had been purchased for all the ladies and kurta/pajama and dhoties for all the men. Further we had arranged for mehendi painting on the hands and feet of the laides. So, there were over 150 ladies dressed in beautiful sarees for the fainal aarti! As Vivek Oberoi, who was a special guest, told the participants, "You all look like Miss India!".




Clockwise from top: Audience for ceremony; Pujya Swamiji and Vivek Oberoi discuss with Shri N.N. Prasad, Pujya Swamiji with the Hon'ble Minister for Tourism, Uttranchal





left to right: N.N. Prasad, Vivek Oberoi, Pujya Swamiji, Hon'ble Tourism Minister, Uttranchal Shri T.P.S. Rawat




  Vivek Oberoi speaks at the concluding ceremony; all the participants sit in Indian clothes.


Sadhvi Bhagwati introduces the participants from various countries to share their experiences.

All in all, it was a divine, uplifting, inspiring and life-changing week
for all who participated.

The general feeling of all participants can be summed up in the following photo:


Mark your calendars for International Yoga Festival March 1-7, 2006



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:
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Bathing in Ganga at Parmarth

Itinerary for Pujya Swamiji 
for June - August 2005
June July August
1-30 Rishikesh 1-14 Rishikesh 1-5 Pittsburgh
    17 Sacramento,
6-14 New Jersey
    20-24 Louisville, KY 15-18 Europe
    25 Dallas, TX 19-22 UK
    27-29 Pittsburgh 23-24 Scotland
    30-31 Chicago 25-28 UK
        30 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.

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