H.H. Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji Maharaj (Muniji)



Parmarth Niketan
International Program for Youth Diaspora

What was your overall impression of Parmarth Niketan?

"Mecca is the one place that every Muslim should visit in their life. Rishikesh is the one place that every human should visit!"

"I enjoyed every moment of my stay and will cherish the experience for the rest of my life";
"an excellent atmosphere that is really conducive to finding a part of yourself"; location of the ashram on the banks of Mother Ganga just adds to the atmosphere

"I really enjoyed my stay; it was the best stop we have had on the IPDY tour. I only wish we could stay longer".

"I loved this place, it's a perfect home away form home where I can live in peace";
"though I'm not a Hindu, I love this place and its atmosphere".

"highly recommend this ashram to all my friends and family"

"a very serene atmosphere, which allowed for introspection and philosophical thought"

"Parmarth Niketan is a very unique and great place; no other place like it in India"

"glorious and spiritual place that should be treasured"

"I had always wanted to see the Taj Mahal. Fortunately, I got to see it on this trip but to be honest nothing beats sitting with Ganga River. I consider it the best place in the world"

2. What was the high point of your stay with us?

"I think Swamiji is really the highlight of the program - He is able to answer the big, vague questions with simple answers in a way that relates to the youth."

"I felt really overwhelmed that we were acknowledged so extravagantly by Swamiji; His humbleness and compassion for us is something that can only be matched by my parents or God"
"Ganga Aarti" -
"it was the best and most enjoyable time I have ever experienced";
"that particular one hour simply fascinates me as the entire atmosphere is so majestic and charismatic to pray from the heart";
"singing bhojans in the rain";
"amazing energy that emanated around us";
"it was inspiring to see rituals and ceremonies that are centuries old still being practiced today";
"waking up and seeing Holy Ganga from my window",
"dipping my legs in Holy Ganga"

3. During your stay with us, what is the most important thing you learned? What do you think will be your fondest memory with us?

"Meeting and having discourses with Pujya Swamiji"

"the most important thing I learned is to contribute our life to other people"

"I have learned that "santosh" or satisfaction for oneself is determined on your own. If one is satisfied then the world is yours".

"Forgiveness is bravery and requires courage"

"to forgive and forget" one can feel anyone but not themselves and if you learn to forget the past, life becomes so much easier and peaceful."

"God is always with us and it is really important to have a personal relationship with God"

"seeing the way you received us and took care of us reminded me of the importance of being kind and open to others"

"the honor you give your guests so gracefully."

"after being here for the weekend, now I feel the purpose of my trip to India has been fulfilled"

4. Do you think this kind of program for youth living abroad is helpful? What are some of your recommendations for these kinds of programs in the future?

"these kinds of programs play a very important role in connecting the modern youth to their culture and religion; they should happen more often and everyone should try to attend at least once in their life"

Be held more often and stay at ashram should be longer

"these kinds of programs are very important because it turns knowledge into understanding, into a living experience"

"gives us a glimpse into spiritual India"

"this program is excellent for youth living abroad and a longer period of time should be set aside for Parmarth Niketan - the spiritual growth at Parmarth is amazing"

"yes - because this program allowed me to understand the heritage of India"

"Of course! It is important for people who belong to this culture to get to know about it and experience something like this at least once in their lives."

"I recommend that you should encourage young people these days to go out of their 'world' and explore other places around the globe".

"very helpful for youth living abroad as it enables them to actually experience parts of their culture such as yoga, meditation, Aarti, etc."

"Even though I am Jewish, I learned a lot and am very fond of what I experienced here".

6. What was your impression of the evening Aarti (light) ceremony?


"best moment of my stay",

"I loved it, it is very powerful experience"

"was mesmerized by the beauty of it all",

"your soul is touched",

"exhilarating experience"

"there are no words to describe it - it was absolutely amazing"

"there is a feeling of serenity that I have not experienced before"

"the highlight of my stay - very powerful, something I will always remember"

"though I am not a Hindu, it was a time for people to come together as one and pray to God"

"even though I am Jewish, it was so very spiritual, so beautiful and so heavenly"

"was amazing and it was great to see the rituals alive today."

"it was the most beautiful Aarti I had ever performed"

"I loved the entire ceremony and I cannot express how wonderful I felt"

"it was very moving and powerful to witness so many people praying together every day"