New Year, New You!
Parmarth Niketan recently hosted a special 5-day New Year’s Spiritual retreat, centered around the theme “New Year, New You.” There were participants from 13 different countries, including Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and China, to Argentina, Brazil and the United States. The program included pranayama, yoga asana, yoga nidra, spiritual question and answer sessions, meditation, Vedic mantra chanting, sound healing and much more!
Ganga is said to represent the flow of Soma, the cosmic force of immortal life that gives rejuvenation, and healing. By surrendering to the flow of Mother Ganga, and through the sacred offering of Aarti, we are able to connect to the transformative energy that enables us to open our hearts and let the inner energy channels of our soul flow again like the river.
On New Year’s Eve, there was a very special aarti and satsang led by Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, and Sadhvi Bhagavati Saraswatiji, followed by a beautiful “Swaha” Ceremony of letting go with a campfire on the holy banks of Mother Ganga, at the foothills of the Himalayas.
“The New Year Pledge is not to buy more, but to be more…. Sharing more, giving more, is being more.” Pujya Swamiji
During Satsang Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji reminded us to become full from within, to retain balance by evaluating our own lives through the daily practice of “No reaction, introspection and meditation” and to seek liberation through true service. He spoke of the need in the modern world for instant gratification, often facilitated by the advances in technology and the “on-line” world which enabled us to “keep a full shelf but still an empty self.” The trappings of wealth cannot bring happiness and regardless of how many collections we acquired, i.e. sofa set, sari set, jewelry set, life is still upset. Pujya Swamiji guided us to recognize that the “chaos is inside us not outside of us,” that if we truly surrender to the Divine with the mantra “ok honey” we will be able to taste the sweetness of divine bliss in our lives.
Sadhviji Bhagawatiji Saraswatiji offered a deeper meaning in to the theme of the retreat of letting go. Sharing Pujya Swamiji’s teaching of giving it all to Ganga and letting it go, Sadhviji shared her personal story of transformation and experience of Mother Ganga. Watch the full inspiring satsang at:
On New Year’s morning, as the sun rose on the banks of Mother Ganga, the New Year was brought in with Vedic chanting and a very beautiful Yagna (Sacred fire) Ceremony. Sadhviji led pledges for the New Year, uniting one and all.
During the New Year’s Day Aarti, Sadhviji Bhagavati Saraswatiji spoke of the Sacred fire ceremony, the havan or yagna and its essential meaning, which is a sacrifice. To listen to her divinely inspired message and to watch the aarti in full, please click below.
Sadhviji’s first satsang for 2019 began with “am I on?” She used stories to teach about the mind, finding our spiritual anchors, supporting loved ones in pain, and lessons we learn from the life of a cow. Please view it here: https://www.facebook.com/ParmarthNiketan/videos/775512429474319/
The retreat concluded with yoga off the mat program of cleaning the banks of the sacred river. It was led by the Rishikumar’s where the simple act of sweeping helped us to consciously clean from within as well as on the outside, reminding us how serenely beautiful our lives can be through
Jens Laugesen, England: “It is my 6th time at Parmath Niketan Ashram, which I see as my spiritual home. I have attended many amazing yoga and mantra chanting classes with Matajii and Indujii previously. This year I attended the New Year spiritual retreat for the second time to celebrate the passage from the old year to a new cleaner one. I find all the purifying yogic practices, mantra chanting and spiritual ceremonies like the yagna fire ceremonies extremely beautiful in symbolic meaning and spiritual implication due to the healing effect of mantra chanting.”