Swami Chidanand Saraswati Maharaj

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Fast Facts
Swamiji Chicago.JPG
Other Names and Nicknames: 
Pujya Swamiji, Muniji, H.H. Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswati Maharaj
Spiritual Teacher
Hinduism, Vedanta, Yoga
Main Countries of Activity: 
Date of Birth: 
Place of Birth: 
Rishikesh, India
In His/Her Body ("alive"): 


From the age of eight, Pujya Swamiji's youth was spent 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 he 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.

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 the founder and the spiritual head of the first Hindu Jain Temple in America, as well as the founder and inspiration behind many other temples in the USA, Canada, Europe and Australia.

Pujya Swamiji is the 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 most recently the Parliament of World Religions in 1999, the Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders at the United Nations in 2000, the World Economic Forum in 2002, the World Council of Religious Leaders at the United Nations in Bangkok in 2002, the World Conference of Religions for Peace Japan in 2006, the Global Youth Peace Summit at the United Nations in October 2006, the first Hindu-Jewish Summit in Jerusalem in February 2008 and the Hindu-Christian dialogue initiated by the Vatican in Mumbai in June 2009. 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.

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.


Unity, harmony, and the belief in infinite paths to God are the foundation of Pujya Swamiji's "religion." His goal is to bring everyone closer to God, regardless of what name one uses. "If you are a Hindu, be a better Hindu. If you are a Christian, be a better Christian. If you are a Muslim, be a better Muslim. If you are a Jew, be a better Jew," he says.


Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India

Parmarth Niketan Ashram

Parmarth Niketan is a true, spiritual haven, lying on the holy banks of Mother Ganga, in the lap of the lush Himalayas. It is also the largest ashram in Rishikesh, drawing pilgrims from all corners of the earth.

The daily activities at Parmarth Niketan include morning universal prayers, daily yoga and meditation classes, daily satsang and lecture programs, kirtan, world renowned Ganga aarti at sunset, as well as Nature Cure, and Ayurvedic treatment and training.

Additionally, there are frequently special cultural and spiritual programs given by visiting revered saints, acclaimed musicians, spiritual and social leaders and others.

Additionally, there are frequent camps in which pilgrims come from across the world to partake in intensive courses on yoga, meditation, pranayama, stress management, acupressure, Reiki and other Indian, ancient sciences.

Parmarth Niketan is open to all, with no discrimination on the basis of race, nationality, religion, caste or creed.

Parmarth Niketan Ashram
P.O. Swargashram,
Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 249 304, India
(0135) 243 4301, 243 4302, 09411106604
(0135) 2440066
Attractions, activities, and more to see: 

Rishikesh - known as the "City of the Divine"- is a spiritual center to which sages, rishis, saints and pilgrims have flocked for millennia. The roads of the city are lined with bustling market places of ethnic arts and handicrafts, fresh produce markets, holy shrines and orange -robed sadhus. Then, the road narrows, the markets become more sparse and you come upon a foot bridge, suspended high over the sacred Ganga river. As you cross this bridge, the sun streaming through the sacred Himalayas to warm your being, you will feel as if you have truly come home. It is no surprise that pilgrims are drawn here from all over the world. The awe-inspiring beauty of the ashram, the clear, flowing Ganga, the majestic mountains, and the lush green forests will embrace and rejuvenate your entire being.


There are about 1,000 residential rooms that retain the simplicity of ashram living and yet are equipped with the necessary modern amenities. Many guest rooms have attached, Western style bathrooms and many have hot, running water. Linens are provided. The ashram provides a clean, pure and sacred atmosphere to thousands of pilgrims and devotees.

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