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; www.facebook.com/washalliance)
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Pujya Swamiji is the recipient of innumerable awards, including recently the Parliament of World’s Religions Ahimsa Award for His exceptional contributions that enhance and strengthen the interfaith community through non-violence, his unparalleled service to humanity, his great example of peace and compassion in action. He has also been awarded the World Peace Ambassador Award, Mahatma Gandhi Humanitarian Award, World Toilet Organisation’s Hall of Fame Honour for his exceptional contributions to the field of water, sanitation and hygiene, Hindu of the Year Award, Prominent Personality Award, by Lions’ Club, Best Citizens of India Award, the Uttaranchal Ratan Award and many more.
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.
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.
HH Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswati (Pujya Swamiji) is the President of Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh, one of the largest interfaith spiritual institutions in India, located on the banks of the National River Ganga, in the lap of the Himalayas. He is co-founder/co-chairman of the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance (GIWA), which was launched at UNICEF headquarters as the world’s first initiative to bring together the leaders of all the world’s faiths to enable a water-secure future where all may access safe and healthy water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). Pujya Swamiji is also Founder of Ganga Action Parivar, which is leading the way towards saving the Ganges River–one of the world’s most threatened rivers– which is depended on by over 500 million people. In addition, he is Founder of Divine Shakti Foundation and Interfaith Humanitarian Network, which are international, non-profit institutions dedicated to education, women’s upliftment, health care, rural development, relief services and other humanitarian projects. Pujya Swamiji’s religion is unity, and he is a leader in numerous international, interfaith summits and parliaments as well as guides and directs multifaceted and innovative solutions to address some of our world’s greatest challenges and threats to the environment. www.washalliance.