Highlights in the Life of 
H.H. Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji Maharaj (Muniji)

July-August  Update

June  Update

May Update

April Update
March Update  


August 17-21-- Trinidad, South America:

World Hindu Conference. This glorious conference in the tropical Caribbean was inaugurated on the evening of August 17, by the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobego. The country is 42% Hindu and is like a small, lush, Caribbean India. At the inaugural function, Pujya Swamiji and H.H. Sri Shankaracharya Divyanand Teerth Maharaj tied a Rakhi on the wrist of Shri Basdeo Pandey, the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobego. 

Pujya Swamiji ties Rakhi on the wrist of Shri Basdeo Pandeyji, Prime Minister of Trinidad.
 Looking on is Smt. Uma Jagdev, wife of the President of Guyana

From left: Dr. B.K. Modi, Smt. Veena Modi, Smt. Uma Pandey (wife of Prime Minister),
 H.H. Sri Sankaracharyaji Maharaj, Shri Basdeo Pandey (PM), Smt. Uma Jagdev, Mananiya Shri Ashok Singhal, 
Shri Brahmadev Upadhyayaji, Pujya Swamiji, Shri M.L. Mittal

Over the course of the next four days, Pujya Swamiji delivered 3 keynote lectures to the Hindu audience which had traveled from as far as Africa, India, Europe and the Americas. 

Other prominent speakers included:
H.H. Sri Shankaracharyaji Divyanand Teerth Maharaj, Mananiya Shri Ashok Singhal, Shri Narendra Mody, and Dr. B.K. Modi

The conference concluded on August 21 with a huge, public function at Diwali Nagar, which was attended by several thousand people. On this occasion, they celebrated the upcoming 75th birthday of Mananiya Shri Ashok Singhal (president of VHP) and Pujya Swamiji delivered a special speech honoring Shri Ashokji. 

Pujya Swamiji discusses the work of IHRF with the Prime Minister

August 22-25-- Louisville, Kentucky:

Over the three days here, Pujya Swamiji gave two special programs. The first was on the sacred night of Janmashtami during which He led the community in one-hour of truly sublime chanting. "I couldn't stop chanting the Lord's name," Pujya Swamiji said afterwards. The bhajan which usually lasts for 5-10 minutes preceding His pravachan, went on timelessly, carrying us all to the holy feet of Lord Krishna� "Hari Bol�Hari Bol�Hari Bol�Hari Bol�Krishna�Krishna�Krishna�Krishna�" He chanted until the sacred hour of midnight when the vedic prayers and aarti began. 

Then, on the second evening He gave another pravachan program at the temple, this time focused on "stress management" and the "therapy of the soul."

Pujya Swamiji delivers divine pravachan in front of Radha Krishna At the sacred hour of midnight, Pujya Swamiji performs Lord Krishna's aarti


August 26-31- New York
Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders. 

From August 28-31, New York City became the City of Hope, the City of Faith and the City of the Future. For during these four days, many of the world's most enlightened souls, most revered spiritual leaders, most brilliant thinkers and most dedicated social activists came together in a concerted effort to bring peace to our planet. 

The Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders opened at the United Nations on August 28th. Over 2000 people from over 100 countries, representing all the world's major religions came to listen, to speak, to share and to understand. 

The Summit was focused on four major issues: Conflict Resolution, Forgiveness & Reconciliation, Alleviation of Poverty and the Protection of the Environment. For the first two days, major leaders gave short, inspirational lectures in the main assembly of the United Nations, while the second two days also included smaller working groups with interaction and dialogue. 

The Indian Delegation included: 

HDH Pramukh Swamiji Maharaj

H.H. Dada J.P. Vaswani
H.H. Mata Amritananda Mayi (Ammachi) H.H. Sri Shankaracharayji Divyanand Teerth Maharaj
H.H. Pujya Swami Satyamitranandji Maharaj H.H. Pujya Swami Dayanandji Maharaj
H.H. Pujya Swami Chidanandji Maharaj (Muniji)  H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji Maharaj
H.H. Pujya Swami Veda Bharatiji Maharaj H.H. Pujya Swami Chinmayanandji Maharaj
H.H. Shri Manjit Singh Sahib 
(Jathedar Anandpur Sahib)
H.H. Amrendra Muniji
H.H. Acharya Indira Betiji (Jiji) H.H. Dadi Jankiji  
(head of the Brahma Kumaris), 
and more than one hundred other spiritual leaders representing the myriad branches 
of the tree of Sanatan Dharma.


Pujya Swamiji delivered a beautiful prayer on the opening day. 

Om sahanaa Vavatu, sahanau bhunaktu, saha veeryam, karavaavahai, 
tejasvina vadhitamastu, maa vidvishaa vahai.

Asato ma sadagamaya, tamasoma jyotirgamaya, mrityor ma amritam gamaya

Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.

Distinguished Spiritual leaders, my sisters and brothers of all the faiths of the world.

Hinduism says, 
Samgachhadhvam, samgavadaddhavam sam vo manaansi Jantaam.

Let us walk together hand in hand.
Let us talk together with love and compassion.
Let our minds understand each other well.
Let us live together in peace through mutual sharing and acceptance. 

May we, the leaders, adopt the motto, "forgive and forward" and may we carry this message home to our congregations, leading them toward a brighter, peaceful future. 

Let us not only work to eliminate the material, financial poverty affecting our external world, but let us also strive to alleviate the spiritual, emotional poverty afflicting our internal world. 

Let us not only work to protect our external environment, reforesting Mother Earth with lush green trees, but let us also protect our internal environment, reforesting our souls with the seeds of love and peace.

Let us not only work to resolve the conflicts between and amongst us, but let us also strive to resolve the conflicts within ourselves, for it is frequently this internal strife that is the greatest impediment to peace. 

May this summit serve not as an end unto itself, but rather let it serve as the means to a divine end. Let is serve as the catalyst for positive change in every corner of the Earth. 

Our scriptures say: Bolo jivan kaisa hai? Jaisa banalo vaisa hai. It means, "what is life? Life is what we make it."

The choice is ours:
Do we want to be pieces or in peace? Do we want to be bitter or better?

Let us not only pray for peace, but let us work for peace. Let us live for peace. Every moment of every day, in every way we can. 

May all be fed. May all be healed. May all be loved. 

Purnamadah purnamidam purnaat, purnamudachyate, 
purnasya purnamaadaaya, purnamevaa vasishyate. 

Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.

May God bless you all. 

Other top leaders included: Chief Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, His Excellency Dr. Mustafa Ceric (Grand Mufti of Bosnia), Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, Reverend Konrad Raiser (Secretary-General of the World Council of Churches), His Eminence Sheik Ahmad Kuftaro (Grand Mufti of the Syrian Arab Republic), His Grace Njongonkulu Ndungane (Archbishop of Cape Town), His Holiness Karekin II (Patriarch of the Armenian Church). 

On August 29, the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Kofi Annan gave an inspirational speech about the importance of bringing peace to the world through spirituality. Additionally, Mr. Ted Turner of CNN and Time Magazine gave a beautiful speech about how all religions MUST work together. "We have no choice," he exclaimed. 

After the speeches, Mr. Kofi Annan hosted a special lunch for the top dignitaries and most revered spiritual leaders. 

Pujya Swamiji delivered the blessings before 
the meal on behalf of the entire gathering

One of the sensitive issues for the Indian delegation was regarding the active conversion efforts on the part of the Catholic Church in India. Members of the Indian Delegation expressed their disapproval of the Catholic Church's method of using free health care and education as means to convert poor and/or sick Indians to Christianity. However, the Catholics expressed the vehemence of their belief in the "freedom to preach." So, through the grace of such a Summit, the top Indian leaders met privately with the heads of the Catholic faith and signed an informal agreement which includes the following five points:

1. We agree that the free and generous preaching of the Christian Gospel is welcome in India.
2. We condemn proselytism; we particularly reject the exploitation of the issue of poverty in religious outreach and missionary work. 
3. We agree that the giving of aid to those in need is a primary commandment of all our religious and spiritual traditions; we are resolved that this act of justice should never be tied to compulsory conversion.
4. We commit ourselves to a continuing dialogue in the spirit of interreligious harmony, mutual respect and the cooperative common effort to build a better world. 
5. In this way, we will discover trust in one another that any altruistic work will not be a means for conversion.

Signed by: 
Swami Dayananda Saraswati
Swami Chidanand Saraswati (Muniji)
Rabbi Abraham Soetendorp (Summit International Advisory Board)
Dr. Hans Ucko, World Council of Churches
Fr. Albert Nambiaparambil, India
Fr. Maximillian Mizzi, Assisi
Dr. B.K. Modi, India
Fr. John Pawlikowski, Catholic Theological Union, Chicago
Jim Kenny, Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions.

By the grace of God and through the dedication of these spiritual/religious leaders, hopefully much of the conflict over conversion in India will be abated. Everyone felt that this agreement - which was proclaimed in the General Assembly during the final session - is a great, historical achievement. 

Additionally, a general Declaration for Peace was signed by almost all of the participants, stating a commitment to peace, resolution of conflict, alleviation of poverty, protection and preservation of the environment and the use of education to bring about better mutual understanding between faiths. 

Pujya Swamiji with Pujya Sant Dada J.P. Vaswani Pujya Swamiji with Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji  and Pujya Dadaji
Pujya Swamiji with Pujya Dadaji, Mananiya Shri Ashok Singhal and Dr. B.K. Modi


The Summit was run beautifully by
Mr. Bawa Jain, who miraculously managed to attend to not only the large details of planning and executing such a momentous conference, but also to the minute details in order to make everyone feel that his/her voice was heard. 

Generous sponsors and partners for the conference included the
Hinduja Foundation and Modi Foundation. 

Mr. Bawa Jain emphasized that such a Summit must take place regularly, so that the decisions and commitments of the previous Summit have a chance to be tried and implemented. If such a gathering happens every five or ten years our world will surely be brought - through the grace of God - to peace and harmony. 


September 4-8- Dharma Yatra

As so many revered spiritual leaders had traveled from India for the United Nations Summit, the organizers decided it would be wonderful for the entire community of America to benefit from their darshan and words of wisdom. So, the saints traveled, in groups of 3-4 to approximately 20 states of America, giving a week's worth of inspiring and uplifting discourses. 

One group included
Pujya Swamiji, H.H. Sri Shankaracharyaji Divyanand Teerth Maharaj, Mananiya Shri Ashok Singhal, Shri K.L. Chugh and several other saints at various locations. This group traveled to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (the home of the first Hindu-Jain temple, of which Pujya Swamiji is the founder and spiritual head), then to Hartford, Connecticut, then to Boston. The yatra was on behalf of unity, harmony, spirituality and for the benefit of the Ekal Vidyalaya project (tribal education). 


On Dharma Yatra in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Pujya Swamiji with H.H. Sri Shankaracharyaji Maharaj in the beautiful gardens of the 
Hare Krishna Mandir in West Virginia

September 9- Staten Island, New Jersey

A large function was organized by the India American Community of America and Vishwa Hindu Parishad. All the saints who had traveled to USA for the World Peace Summit returned to New York in order to give their darshan and inspiring words of wisdom to an audience of over 5000 people. 

The Chief Guest at the event was the
Honorable Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Prime Minister of India. Shri Vajpayee came and bowed humbly in front of the gathered saints, before taking his seat of honor on stage. He later delivered a 40 minute beautiful, impassioned address in Hindi, in which he told the mainly NRI audience that although they must never forget that Bharat is their Matrabhoomi, they still must work to make the land in which they live prosperous. Yes, their hearts are in India, and that is wonderful. But, he urged that they should concentrate their efforts not only on India, but also on bringing prosperity - material and spiritual - to this great land of America which has embraced them. 

More than 10 top saints from India gave their blessings, and local, Indian youth groups performed divine musical accompaniment. The saints who spoke included:

H.H. Ramanandacharya Rambhadracharya Maharaj H.H. Sri Shankaracharayji Divyanand Teerth 
H.H. Dada J.P. Vaswani H.H. Pujya Swami Satyamitranandji Maharaj
H.H. Pujya Swami Dayanandji Maharaj H.H. Pujya Swami Chinmayanandji Maharaj 
H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar H.H. Swami Murgananandji Maharaj


Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji (Muniji) was the Master of Ceremonies, and He handled the entire event expertly and beautifully. Before He even took the microphone, He was given a warm standing ovation from the audience and from all the saints, on behalf of His great achievements in the areas of humanitarianism, unity and peace. In His opening address He said that 108 years ago, one saint came from India. Swami Vivekananda verily changed the course of history through his great impact on the Western world. Pujya Swamiji then continued that today, 108 years later, 108 saints came from India. He said, "if one saint could have that much of a positive, divine impact, imagine the effect that 108 saints can have!" 

Pujya Swamiji with Smt. Anjlee Pandya, Shri M.L. Mittal, Shri Bawa Jain (chairman of the Millennium World Peace Summit), 
Mananiya Shri Ashokji (President, Vishwa Hindu Parishad), Dr. B.K. Modi, and Smt. Reshma Jain


September 14- Charlotte, North Carolina

Pujya Swamiji visited the multicultural day-care center run by Smt. Veena and Shri Kishan Khandelwal



A new junior school/high school is being built in the rural, isolated villages outside of Lucknow, UP. Due to the great dedication of Shri Shiv Balak Misra and Smt. Nirmala Misra, this will be the only junior school/ high school for a 25 km radius. A primary school already exists on the premises; however, in order to give the graduating children a place to go for further education, a junior/high school needed to be built. Smt. Bina Stevenson of Australia graciously came forward immediately and said she would finance the new building in memory of her divine, beloved father, Shri Chhotubhai Doshi. . Thus, building has already begun. It was expected to be completed already; however the unusually heavy monsoons made construction impossible during much of July and August.


However, in spite of the rains, the building has made significant progress in a few short months.

Top: Village people come together to help build their new junior/high school in an impoverished, 
rural area outside of Lucknow

Bottom: the new school building is nearing completion

Pujya Swamiji's Itinerary
(August-October, 2000)












Dharma Yatra

  1 Sydney








New York

  2 Singapore









  3-4 Kuala Lumpur









  7 Delhi









  8-31 Rishikesh
  16-21:   Trinidad   15:   Louisville      
  22-25:   Louisville   16:   Florida      
  26-31:   United Nations,
New York
  17-25:   Pittsburgh      
    28: Auckland, New Zealand      
    29: Brisbane      
    30: Sydney      
  • Please note that due to numerous international, humanitarian projects,  Pujya Swamiji’s schedule is always subject to change. Please contact Him by phone, fax or e-mail prior to your trip to Rishikesh in order to ensure that He is there.
  • Also, please note that Pujya Swamiji now observes silence (mauna) from 10 p.m. until 10 a.m. and from 2:30-4:30 p.m. He is unavailable in person or by phone during these times.



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