News - Banking on the Ganges
by Satish Purohit
Not without truth that one. However, in Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati's case that would be painting the truth a shade too dark. The sadhvi, a westerner with a degree from Stanford, is extremely vocal about her faith in India, its spiritual worth and its wonderful teachers. It is the energy with which she puts across her views that makes her sound her like an innocent. She laughs while admitting that her enthusiasm could strike one as naïve but reminds her listeners that her views were formed over the years. She has lived in India for 14 years.
The sadhvi was in Mumbai recently to speak on 'The Spirit of India– Why India must rediscover its true self' at the Observer Research Foundation's office in Fort, Mumbai.
She is a disciple of Swami Chidananda Saraswati of Pramartha Niketan in Rishikesh, whose aartis on the banks of the Ganga attract both ardent devotees and curious tourists in their 100s every day. “I am surprised that Indians visiting me on the banks of the Ganga should ask me if I could help them reach the US. What a tragedy! They want to give up all India has to offer!” she said.
The sadhvi observed that while western psychology attempted to understand the darkness that leads people to sickness, it had few answers to offer on how one could come to the light. “It is to the spiritual traditions of the East that one has to turn towards to come to the light,” she said.
In response to a question, the sadhvi emphasised that being spiritual did not mean being irresponsible. “My gurudev is a sanayasi but I don’t know anyone who does as much as he for the welfare of all. There may be political, social and economic upheavals in the world, but to deal with these challenges it is important that one is calm and centred. Spirituality helps you do that,” she said.
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