Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh
The Ashram has 1000 rooms and is located across the river from where we were staying. Here we met with Sadhvi Bhagawatiji a beautiful American born woman who at 25 put her feet into the Holy Ganga and knew that she had come home. She now runs the Ashram which is known for its Arti Ceremony and work with orphaned children. She is very inspiring, graceful and totally devoted to Mother Ganga and her life at the Ashram. The devotional Arti Ceremony was incredibly powerful with the sounds of the boys chanting, and we got to participate in the puja which was really special. Afterward, we sat and had Satsung with Puyja Swamiji who along with Sadhvi Bhagawatiji were very articulate and invoked great wisdom and joy.
At the age of 8, Puyja Swamiji left home and went to the Himalayas where he spent 9 years in intense Sadhana. He returned from the forest and obtained a masters degree in both Sanskrit and Philosophy, and is fluent in many languages. As well as being the Spiritual Leader of the Ashram, Pujya Swamiji is the founder of Ganga Action Parivar, working with sustainability and the environment and is involved with many other projects. Every year as part of his mission of peace, he interacts with numerous world leaders. It was a most interesting and inspiring evening.