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Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswati
H.H. Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji's motto in life is, "In the Service of God and humanity." He left his home for the Himalayan jungles and forests at the tender age of 8 years, under the guidance of his spiritual master, in order to live a life devoted to God and in the service of humanity. Today, he is world renowned as a spiritual leader, visionary and divine guide.
Pujya Swamiji is President and Spiritual Head of Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh, India of the largest spiritual institutions in India. He is also Founder/chairman of India Heritage Research Foundation (IHRF), an international, non-profit, humanitarian foundation. Under Pujya Swamiji's leadership, IHRF runs and sponsors free schools, women's vocational training programs, a medical clinic, orphanages/gurukuls, frequent free medical health camps, "Clean, Green and Serene" programs, organic gardening programs, Cow-Care programs, an extensive rural development program, and innumerable other humanitarian projects including the first ever Encyclopedia of Hinduism as well as ashrams and medical clinics in the sacred land of Mansarovar and Mt. Kailash in Tibet.
Pujya Swamiji's religion is unity, and he has been a leader in numerous international, inter-faith summits and parliaments, including the Parliament of World Religions, the Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders at the United Nations, the World Economic Forum, the World Council of Religious Leaders at the United Nations, the World Conference of Religions for Peace, the Global Youth Peace Summit at the United Nations, the Hindu-Jewish Summit in Jerusalem and the Hindu-Christian dialogue initiated by the Vatican. He is also a leader of frequent world peace pilgrimages across the world.
Pujya Swamiji is the recipient of innumerable awards, including the Mahatma Gandhi Humanitarian award, Hindu of the Year Award, Prominent Personality Award, by Lions' Club, Best Citizens of India Award, the Uttaranchal Ratan (Jewel of Uttaranchal) Award and the Bharat Vikas Parishad 1st Utkrishtta Samman Award.
Pujya Swamiji is a leader in the massive Clean Ganga Movement. He has dedicated the next five years of His life to this huge, comprehensive program spanning Gangotri to Ganga Sagar. The program includes everything ranging from solid waste management to sewage treatment plans to full civic re-planning for the villages/cities on the banks of Ganga. It also includes establishment of trash collection and recycling programs as well as organic farming programs to minimize not only trash but also chemical effluents in Ganga's waters. The program also includes detailed and in-depth plans for proper treatment of chemical, commercial and toxic waste for the tanneries and other industries that lie on Ganga's banks. Uniting people from across India and across the world in the name of saving Ganga, Pujya Swamiji is giving a new direction to this crucial crisis.
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.