06/05/17 0 Comment
Biography Swami Abhedananda (2 October 1866 – 8 September 1939), born Kaliprasad Chandra was a direct disciple of the 19th century mystic Ramakrishna Paramahansa and…
H.H. Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji’s motto in life is, “In the Service of God and humanity.” Selflessly dedicated to the welfare of all, He leads, directs and inspires numerous, wide-scale service initiatives. Touched by the hand of God at the tender age of eight, Pujya Swamiji left His home to live a life devoted to God and humanity, spending His youth in silence, meditation and austerities high in the Himalayas. At the age of seventeen, after nine years of unbroken, intense sadhana, He returned from the forest—under the orders of His guru—and obtained an academic education to parallel His spiritual one. Pujya Swamiji has master’s degrees in Sanskrit and Philosophy as well as fluency in many languages.
Pujya Swamiji is President and Spiritual Head of Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh, India, one of the largest interfaith, spiritual institutions in India. Under His divine inspiration and leadership, Parmarth Niketan has become a sanctuary known across the globe as one filled with grace, beauty, serenity and true divine bliss. Pujya Swamiji has also increased several-fold the humanitarian activities undertaken by Parmarth Niketan (www.parmarth.org). Now, the ashram is not only a spiritual haven for those who visit, but it also provides education, training, and health care to those in need.
He is the Co-Founder of Global Interfaith WASH Alliance (GIWA), the world’s first-ever international interfaith initiative which brings together the world’s faiths as allies in ensuring every child around the world has access to safe, life-giving Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH). (www.washalliance.org; facebook.com/Global.Interfaith.WASH.Alliance)
Pujya Swamiji is also the Board of Trustees of the India Development Foundation of Overseas Indians (IDF-OI). IDF-OI was set up by the Government of India in 2008 as a not-for-profit Trust to facilitate Overseas Indian philanthropy into social and development projects in India.
He is the Advisory Board of KAICIID (King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue), which is an intergovernmental organization whose mandate is to promote globally the use of dialogue to prevent and resolve conflict and to enhance understanding and cooperation among different cultures and religions.
Pujya Swamiji’s religion is unity, and he has been a leader in numerous international, inter-faith summits and parliaments, including at the United Nations, the World Bank, the World Economic Forum and the Parliament of Religions as well as with Religions for Peace, KAICIID, the Hindu-Jewish Summit in Jerusalem, the Hindu-Christian dialogue by the Vatican and so many others. He is also a leader of frequent world peace pilgrimages across the world.
Pujya Swamiji is the recipient of innumerable awards, including the World Peace Ambassador Award, Mahatma Gandhi Humanitarian award, Hindu of the Year Award, Prominent Personality Award, by Lions’ Club, Best Citizens of India Award, the Uttaranchal Ratan Award and many more.
However, Pujya Swamiji seems unaffected by this incredible list of accomplishments and remains a pious child of God, owning nothing, draped in saffron robes, living a life of true renunciation. His days in Rishikesh are spent offering service to those around him. Thousands travel from across the globe simply to sit in his presence, to receive his “darshan.” He travels the world, bringing the light of wisdom, inspiration, upliftment and the divine touch to thousands across the world.
Unity, harmony, and the belief in infinite paths to God are the foundation of Pujya Swamiji’s “religion.” His goal is to bring everyone closer to God, regardless of what name one uses. “If you are a Hindu, be a better Hindu. If you are a Christian, be a better Christian. If you are a Muslim, be a better Muslim. If you are a Jew, be a better Jew,” he says.
In this line, he has been a leader in numerous international, inter-faith conferences and parliaments, including the Parliament of World Religions in Chicago in 1993, the Parliament of World Religions in Capetown, South Africa in 1999, the Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders at the United Nations in 2000, the World Economic Forum in New York in 2002, the World Council of Religious Leaders at the United Nations in Bangkok in 2002, the World Conference of Religions for Peace in Kyoto, Japan in 2006 and the Global Youth Peace Summit at the United Nations in New York in October 2006.
Pujya Swamiji is the president and spiritual head of Parmarth Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh, one of India’s largest and most renowned spiritual institutions. Under his divine inspiration and leadership, Parmarth Niketan has become a sanctuary known across the globe as one filled with grace, beauty, serenity and true divine bliss. Pujya Swamiji has also increased several-fold the humanitarian activities undertaken by Parmarth Niketan. Now, the ashram is not only a spiritual haven for those who visit, but it also provides education, training, health care etc. to those in need.
Pujya Swamiji travels the world, speaking to audiences large and small, formal and informal, spreading inspiration, upliftment and divine messages to people of all cultures, all walks of life and all ages.
He is also the founder and the spiritual head of the first Hindu Jain Temple in America. This beautiful 3-domed, masterpiece is located on the outskirts of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and has paved the way for unity between Hindus and Jains across America. Pujya Swamiji is also the founder and inspiration behind many other temples in USA, Canada, Europe and Australia.
Pujya Swamiji knows the youth are our future; he is forever changing the course of that future through his profound effect on every youngster with whom he comes in contact. Children and adolescents seem to bloom like flowers under the rays of his light. Additionally, he gives pragmatic tools to help them unite in the spirit of peace, harmony and global change. Pujya Swamiji runs youth sessions and camps in USA, Europe and throughout Asia.
Pujya Swamiji has received dozens of awards for both his role as spiritual leader and also for his unparalleled humanitarian work. Some of the more noteworthy are as follows:
1) Mahatma Gandhi Humanitarian award, given by the Mayor of New Jersey, USA for outstanding charitable and interfaith work,
2) Hindu of the Year by the international magazine Hinduism Today
3) Devarishi Award, by Sandipani Vidya Niketan, under the guidance of Pujya Sant Rameshbhai Oza for promoting Indian culture and heritage across the world
4) Bhaskar Award, by Mystic India and Bharat Nirman for Outstanding Humanitarian Service
5) Prominent Personality Award, by Lions’ Club
6) Diwaliben Mohanlal Mehta Charitable Trust Award for Progress in Religion
7) Best Citizens of India Award
8) National Integration Award,
Further, he has been given the title of Patron of the Russian Indian Heritage Research Foundation, Moscow, and he is also a Patron of the Centre for Religious Experience in Oxford, UK, the International Naturopathy Organisation, and the Bapu Nature Cure Hospital in Delhi.
Parmarth Niketan is a true spiritual haven, lying on the holy banks of Mother Ganga in the lap of the lush Himalayas. It is the largest ashram in Rishikesh, providing its thousands of pilgrims who come from all corners of the Earth with a clean, pure and sacred atmosphere as well as abundant, beautiful gardens. With over 1,000 rooms, the facilities are a perfect blend of modern amenities and traditional, spiritual simplicity.Parmarth Niketan is located in Swargashram, on the main road, just on the banks of the sacred Ganges River.
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