Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh

Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh

Parmarth Niketan is located near Swargashram. It's president is Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji Maharaj. Ganga Aarti performed here every evening is worth watching & calms down ones senses & mind. There is also a Gurukul (a school) run by ashram for teaching Yoga, Meditation & other Hindu sacred ceremonies. 'International Yoga Festival' is organized by ashram every year in the month of February, in which people from all over the world participate.

Ganga Aarti at

Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh

Aarti at Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh (or Hrishikesh) is the beautiful ceremony in which deepas (the oil lamps) are offered to God. Aarti can be done to a deity in the temple, it can be done on the banks of the Ganges to Mother Ganga, or it can be done to a saint. It is performed to God, in any manifestation, any form, by any name. The essence of the aarti ceremony is that all day long God offers us light - the light of the sun, the light of life, the light of His (Her) blessings. Aarti is a time when we say "thank you," and we offer back the light of our thanks, the light of our love and the light of our devotion.

We realize that the small deepa is nothing compared to the divine light which shines on us all day. So, aarti is a ceremony of humility, a time in which we acknowledge that "God, you are everything. I am nothing. All day you shine upon the world. All Ashrams in Rishikesh I can offer you is this small deepa, a flame which will be blown out by the passing wind. But, I offer it with devotion and with love. Please accept my offering." One of the meanings of Aarti literally is "remover of pain." This is beautiful, because there is nothing inherent in the name of the ceremony that says which form or name of God it should be performed to. It should be performed to the Divine Remover of Pain in our life.

Facilities at Parmarth Niketan Ashram,

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

Guidelines of Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh

Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh is open for the stay of only those pilgrims who are here to devote themselves to sadhna, meditation, seva and satsang. People who come to Rishikesh for picnics, recreation, business, etc. are not allowed to stay in this ashram.

1. The pilgrims staying in this ashram are required to observe and adhere to truth, non-violence, self-discipline, and polite etiquette.

2. All pilgrims are expected to join in Ganga Aarti (the light ceremony with devotional songs List of Ashrams in Rishikesh India at sunset).

3. All pilgrims are required to dress modestly and soberly, in a way that shows respect for the tradition of ashram life. We request that no shorts, sleeveless shirts, or other revealing clothing are worn.

4. A pilgrim is allowed to stay in the ashram for a maximum of 15 days on the first visit. This period can be extended only with permission from the authorities. In the case of extended stays, the accommodation may be shifted.

5. In the event that the administration asks the pilgrim to leave (even prior to the conclusion of the first 15 days) the pilgrim must vacate the premises immediately.

6. No strangers or persons who are not mentioned on the admission form are allowed to be invited or entertained in the rooms.

7. If the pilgrim has to leave for two or three days, he or she will have to inform the Directory of Ashrams in Rishikesh India manager and will have to leave the keys to the room in the ashram office. If he or she has to leave for more than three days, he or she will have to vacate the room. Locking the room without providing information to the management is prohibited. If necessary, the management will open the room by breaking the lock.

8. It is the pilgrim's responsibility to keep his/her room clean and tidy. Rooms should always remain in the same condition as when they were assigned.

9. Please refrain from picking flowers and littering.

10. If you are eating your meals at the ashram. Please be punctual. Meals will only be served during the posted times.

11. It is prohibited to use playing cards, radios, or TVs

12. No pets are allowed

13. The following are strictly prohibited: smoking, drinking intoxicants, Directory of Ashrams in India eating egg or other non-vegetarian foods, playing cards, watching television, playing radios/cassette players loudly. We also recommend that you refrain from eating onions and garlic.

14. No one will have the rights and license of tenancy.

15. Each pilgrim will have to vacate the accommodation on the stipulated day, even before the management asks him/her to do so.

16. Please insist on a receipt for your donation. Specify the cause to Ashrams in Rishikesh to stay which you want to donate (e.g. food for the poor, schools, images/orphanage, hospital, aarti, yagna, gaushala, accommodation, images/meditation section, Veda Vidyayala, etc.)

17. Please do not oblige anyone by directly providing money, clothes or tips of any kind. This affects the discipline and management of the ashram as well as negatively influences the divine, devoted feeling amongst the individuals here. Whatever help you want to give, please donate it to the office, and it will be distributed where it is most needed.

How to reach Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh?

Directions to Parmarth Niketan from Delhi: -

1. Coming by Car -

Come to Haridwar

Pass Haridwar

Go 15-16 Km.

You will see the Hanumanji Temple (Baba Neem Karoli Temple) on your left.

Just past the temple is the IDPL Gate on your right. Turn right at this gate.

Keep going straight.

Ask for the Barrage Bridge. Follow the way to the bridge. There will also be signs for Parmarth. Follow these signs.

Cross the Barrage Bridge. You are now 8 km from Parmarth Niketan.

Immediately after crossing the bridge, turn left.

Go straight through the mountains. First you will go up, and then go back down.

There will be a fork in the road. One road goes off to the right, for Neelkanth. Don�t take this road. Take the road that goes left and down Head down until there is a left turn. There will be another sign for Parmarth; Turn left.

Go a few hundred meters to the first road (the only road). Actually it�s more like an alley in the back of the ashrams. It is directly parallel to Ganga, a few hundred feet inland).

Turn right.

Parmarth Niketan Ashram is at the end of this road.

2. By Train: -

There are several trains a day between Delhi and Haridwar, schedule is posted below. You can book tickets online at You can either hire a taxi to take you directly to the ashram Ashrams in Rishikesh for Meditation as per the directions given above, or you can take a taxi, bus, or rickshaw to the Muni-ki-reti parking lot in Rishikesh which is the parking lot near Ram Jhula (also called Shivanand Jhula). From there you can take a motor boat across Ganga (or walk across the bridge). Then, after crossing, head down Ganga - a right turn - until you see a huge, beautiful clock tower. That is Parmarth Niketan. We are a few hundred meters down river from Ram Jhula.

3. By Air: -

There are supposed to be flights starting between Delhi and Jolly Grant Airport in Rishikesh/Dehradun. The airport is only about 1/2 hour from the ashram. From there again you can take a taxi or bus to Rishikesh.

When you arrive, ask for Pujya Swamiji's reception. There you will find Bijendra, Subhash or Narendra

Phone: (0135) 2440088, 2434301 or 2434308 From Abroad, dial +91-135 instead of 0135

Swami Chidanand Saraswati ji Maharaj, Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh

SPIRITUAL AND ACADEMIC EDUCATION: Touched by the hand of God at eight years old, 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.

THE TEACHING OF UNITY: 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.

In this line, he has been a leader in numerous international, inter-faith conferences and parliaments, including the Parliament of World Religions in Chicago in 1993, the Ashrams in Rishikesh Haridwar Parliament of World Religions in Capetown, South Africa in 1999, the Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders at the United Nations in 2000, the World Economic Forum in New York in 2002, the World Council of Religious Leaders at the United Nations in Bangkok in 2002, the World Conference of Religions for Peace in Kyoto, Japan in 2006 and the Global Youth Peace Summit at the United Nations in New York in October 2006.

SPIRITUAL LEADER AND INSPIRATION: Pujya Swamiji is the president and spiritual Famous Ashrams in Rishikesh India head of Parmarth Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh, one of India's largest and most renowned spiritual institutions. Under his divine inspiration and leadership, Parmarth Niketan has become a sanctuary known across the globe as one filled with grace, beauty, serenity and true divine bliss. Pujya Swamiji has also increased several-fold the humanitarian activities undertaken by Parmarth Niketan. Now, the ashram is not only a spiritual haven for those who visit, but it also provides education, training, health care etc. to those in need.

Pujya Swamiji travels the world, speaking to audiences large and Best Ashrams in Rishikesh India small, formal and informal, spreading inspiration, upliftment and divine messages to people of all cultures, all walks of life and all ages.

He is also the founder and the spiritual head of the first Hindu Jain Temple in America. This beautiful 3-domed, masterpiece is located on the outskirts of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and has paved the way for unity between Hindus and Jains across America. Pujya Swamiji is also the founder and inspiration behind many other temples in USA, Canada, Europe and Australia

GUIDE TO YOUTH: Pujya Swamiji knows the youth are our future; he is forever changing the course of that future through his profound effect on every youngster with whom he comes in contact. Children and adolescents seem to bloom like flowers under the rays of his light. Additionally, he gives pragmatic tools to help them unite in the spirit of peace, harmony and global change. Pujya Swamiji runs youth sessions and camps in USA, Europe and throughout Asia.

CEASELESS SERVICE: "Giving is Living," is Pujya Swamiji's motto; he is always in the midst of dozens of projects, each one a noble and tenaciously dedicated effort to make the world a better place for all of humanity. He is the Founder/Chairman of India Heritage Research Foundation (IHRF), an international, non-profit, humanitarian organization dedicated to providing education, health care, youth welfare, vocational training to the needy population. Schools, hospitals, an ambulance and an orphanage/gurukul are only a few of IHRF's innumerable projects.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS: Pujya Swamiji has received dozens of awards for both his role as spiritual leader and also for his unparalleled humanitarian work. Some of the more noteworthy are as follows:

1) Mahatma Gandhi Humanitarian award, given by the Mayor of New Jersey, USA for outstanding charitable and interfaith work,

2) Hindu of the Year by the international magazine Hinduism Today

3) Devarishi Award, by Sandipani Vidya Niketan, under the guidance of Pujya Sant Rameshbhai Oza for promoting Indian culture and heritage across the world

4) Bhaskar Award, by Mystic India and Bharat Nirman for Outstanding Humanitarian Service

5) Prominent Personality Award, by Lions' Club

6) Diwaliben Mohanlal Mehta Charitable Trust Award for Progress in Religion

7) Best Citizens of India Award

8) National Integration Award,

Further, he has been given the title of Patron of the Russian Indian Heritage Research Foundation, Moscow, and he is also a Patron of the Centre for Religious Experience in Oxford, UK, the International Naturopathy Organisation, and the Bapu Nature Cure Hospital in Delhi.

He is also on the Advisory Board for Guru Dakshina Samiti, a Samiti aimed at educational programmes for empowerment of women and disabled youth.

Swami Asanganandji Maharaj

In 1945 at the age of 9, Pujya Swami Asanganandji Maharaj came to Parmarth Niketan under the guidance and as a disciple of Swami Shukdevanandji Maharaj. For the past 61 years, He has been devotedly serving the ashram.

He has obtained acharya degrees in Vedanta and Sanskrit literature, as well as a Master's degree in Sanskrit literature. Since 1961, He has tirelessly served the ashram's Sanskrit Vidyalaya. Though very learned, His simplicity and humbleness is manifested in the countless number of hours performing the simplest of tasks.

In 1977, He renounced worldly attachments and took sanyasa from Swami Shukdevanandji Maharaj.

From 1991 to 2006, he has served the Swami Shukdevanand Trust, first as Managing Trustee from 1991 -2006, and now as Chairman since 2006, gracing all of the projects with his devotion and piety.

Pujya Swami Asanganandji Maharaj has been imparting the wisdom of the ancient holy scriptures including yoga to countless number of devotees. His wisdom has brought inspiration, upliftment and deep knowledge to pilgrims who seek His guidance.

Sanskars at Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh

According to Hindu tradition, the sanskaras are essentially the "rites of passage" that a person passes through in life - from conception to death. However, any definition in English falls short of the deep significance and meaning of the Sanskaras in the lives of Hindus. A closer definition is the word "sacrament," for a sacrament implies an outward celebration or ceremony symbolic of an inward growth, change or grace. The sanskaras refer to the main religious/spiritual purificatory rites and rituals for sanctifying the body and mind, such that growth may be positive, progressive and smooth.

Each sanskara has a particular ritual and puja associated with it. The proper, pious completion of the ritual associated with each sanskara ensures that the crucial lessons of each "rite" are learned and that the next stage of life can be successfully entered.

Mundan at Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh Mundan (the first hair cut): This sanskara is performed typically during the first or third year of age when the child�s original, first hair growth is shaved, frequently leaving only the shikha on the top/in the back. According to the sages, the hair from birth is associated with undesirable traits from past lives. Thus at the time of the mundan, the child is freshly shaven to signify freedom from the past and moving into It is also said that the shaving of the hair stimulates proper growth of the brain and nerves.

The chudakarana sanskara is also said to bring long life to the recipient and it is performed as a special ceremony in most homes, particularly for young boys.

On the banks of Mother Ganga, in Rishikesh we have a special chadakarana sanskara/mundan ceremony. In this ceremony, the special Vedic mantras and prayers are chanted by trained priests, acharyas and rishikumars. The young child is shaven clean on the banks of Mother Ganga and the hair is then symbolically offered to Mother Ganga. The child and his/her family then perform a sacred yagna ceremony and the divine Ganga Aarti.

Marriage Ceremony at Parmarth Niketan Ashram Rishikesh

In Hindu tradition, marriage is not only a ceremony, but it is truly a sacrament. It is not a marriage of bodies, but a marriage of souls. It is not a marriage for only a few years or a few decades, but rather it is a marriage for at least 7 lifetimes.

A wedding marks not only a marriage of bodies. Rather it marks a marriage of souls. As the bride and the groom stand beside each other, they are not only taking each other�s hand into their own. They are also taking each other�s hearts and each other�s lives into their own.

In mathematics one plus one equals two. But in spiritual marriage, one plus one equals one! Newlyweds are not two now. They are one. One heart, one mind, one soul. They are united in God, united in love and united in light. But, one plus one can also equal eleven. Coming together does not merely double who you were when you were alone. Now, they are each more than ten times as much!

The beautiful 7 steps of a traditional Indian wedding represent 7 sacred vows. They are vows of dedication, vows of loyalty, vows of devotion and vows of love. However, these steps are not taken only one time. These vows are not taken only on one�s wedding day. Rather, the bride and groom must walk these 7 steps � in their minds and hearts � every day. They must re-pledge themselves, their love and their lives to God and to each other every moment of every day.

On the holy banks of Mother Ganga, at Parmarth Niketan we perform sacred weddings. Different arrangements can be made depending on the couple, their family, their tradition, etc. Weddings are sometimes elaborate and large, sometimes intimate and small, sometimes complex and deeply religious, sometimes simple. But each marriage is sanctified by the power and the presence of the holy Mother Goddess Ganga and the sacred Himalayas, as well as the divine energies of the saints, sages and rishis who have performed their meditation and sadhana in this holy land.

Sacred Thread Ceremony (Janeo Sanskar) at Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh

Upanayana or yagno pavit (sacred thread ceremony). This is essentially an initiation ritual. The child is initiated into the study of the sacred Vedas. It marks the transition from the infantile stage of play to the serious stage of study and sadhana. The upanayana sanskara typically takes place around the 8th year of a child's life; however, some receive it as early as 5 and some as late as 12. To many, it is regarded as one of the most important sanskaras of childhood. Further, it is considered such an essential sanskara that most traditions concede that, however late it may be, the sanskara should still be performed.

It is said that the sacred thread ceremony marks a new life. The child, traditionally, leaves the family home at this young age to go and live with the Guru on the Guru's ashram or in a gurukul.

Upa means "near to" and Nayan means "to take (him) to", so upanayana is the sanskara of taking the child near to the teacher.

At the sacred thread ceremony, the child enters the brahmacharya stage of his life - a time of celibacy and complete immersion in his studies and spiritual growth.

The three strings of the janoi denote the three gunas - sattva (reality), rajas (passion), and tamas (darkness). Their significance is that the wearer must be above the three gunas, must transcend the bondage of the three qualities of life. They also remind the wearer that he has three debts in life: to the seers, saints & rishis, to his ancestors and to God. The three strings are tied in a knot which is called the brahmagranthi and it symbolizes the united trinity of Brahma (the Creator), Vishnu (the Sustainer) and Shiva (the Destroyer).

The sacred thread ceremony is performed here at Parmarth Niketan quite frequently, and people come from all over the world to have this important sanskara performed on the holy banks of Mother Ganga. The ceremony is conducted and overseen by trained priests, acharyas and rishikumars, and the final, sacred Gayatri mantra is whispered into the child�s ear by Pujya Swamiji.

Janeo Sanskar ceremony of Rishikumars

A young girl, Indu, who had been adopted at Parmarth many years ago was given away as a bride today. It was the first "dharma-kanya" to leave from the ashram into married life. She was given in marriage to a young man named Somesh who had come and worked as a teacher at the boys' gurukul. Together they will continue to serve the ashram and the dharma.

Yoga Courses at Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh

Beginner Foundation Yoga Course

Yogacharyas: Sadhvi Abha Saraswati (Mataji) and Indu

This 10-day foundation Yoga program includes prayers, pranayama, traditional yoga asana, Yoga in the Bhagavad Gita / Vedic Philosophy, Vedic Chanting, Meditation and Yoga Nidra. Each day will conclude with Ganga Puja, Havan, Arti at sunset and meditation/Yoga Nidra after dinner. Please note that there will be no classes on Guru Purnima and Independence Day.

Intensive Yoga Course - Monday, January 4 - Saturday, January 30, 2010 Monday, September 6 - Saturday, October 2, 2010 Yogacharyas: Sadhvi Abha Saraswati (Mataji) and Indu

This 4-week (150 hours) Intensive yoga course includes, prayers, Pranayama, Traditional General and Advanced Hatha Yoga Asana, Yoga in the Bhagavad Gita / Patanjali Yoga Sutras, Vedic Chanting, Yoga Nidra and other meditation techniques. Each day concludes with Ganga Havan and Aarti at sunset, and meditation/Yoga Nidra after dinner.

Yoga Teacher Training with Ayurveda: Monday, 4 January - Saturday, 6 February 2010 Monday, September 6-Saturday, October 9, 2010

Yogacharyas: Sadhvi Abha Saraswati (Mataji) and Indu

This 5-week Parmarth Yoga Program with Ayurveda is designed for yoga teachers in-training and yoga teachers. It is a 200-hour program which includes prayers, Pranayama, traditional general and advanced Hatha Yoga, Yoga in the Bhagavad Gita / Patanjali Yoga Sutras, Ayurved body types, Ayurveda principles, vedic chanting, Yoga Nidra and other meditation techniques. Each day concludes with Ganga Havan and Aarti at sunset and meditation/Yoga Nidra after dinner. There is a 2-week practicum which prospective yoga instructors are expected to complete. This course is only for those who are already teaching yoga, and want to improve, perfect themselves and broaden their perspective as Yoga Teachers.

Yoga Definition, Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh

Yoga is a Sanskrit word derived from the Sanskrit root "yuj" which means to connect, join or balance.

The most important thing, however, is that Yoga - with its entire applications and implications - is a powerful means to an end. The ultimate end of all human pursuits is "Moksha." Moksha is freedom from all bondage; freedom from insecurities; freedom from the clutches of desires; freedom from the sense of limitations and inadequacy; freedom from all that thwarts us on our divine journey in life. In other words, the end of all human pursuits is everlasting peace, happiness and a sense of fulfillment. This is possible with steady and prolonged sincere practice of Yoga. It activates a process of cleansing and purification of mind, which in turn, prepares us for the dawning of Self-knowledge. Yoga means this connection; this knowledge that removes the impurities and the veil of ignorance that keeps us strangers to ourselves.

Yoga should never be mistaken for any other mode of exercise, which is operational only on a physical level.

Yoga is a way of life; it is not removed from it. We do not need to feel disappointed or frustrated considering our limitations with regard to physical health; shape and size of the body; lack of time; lack of space or unavailability of a teacher. Yoga, in fact, is the means to overcome all these problems. Yoga includes every aspect of life. Yoga touches everything in life. All healing methods and meditations are part and parcel of Yoga. Yoga is like the sun itself, which brightens everything that comes into contact with it.

Definition: Yoga is usually defined as union: union between the limited self and the Divine Self. The aim of Yoga is not really to unite us with anything for we are already united. It is to help us realize our identity with the Divine Self, to make us know and tune into our intrinsic nature.

There are many definitions of Yoga, which apply to all levels of existence and awareness. At the physical level, we need to harmonize the functions of different organs, muscles and nerves so that they do not hamper or oppose each other. Disharmony in various body parts and systems brings about inefficiency and lethargy or clumsiness. Moreover, it manifests in diseases in the body.

In this context we can define Yoga as physical harmony & health and mental balance & peace.

The Bhagwad Gita, a very widely known classical text on Yoga, gives various definitions of Yoga.

1. Yoga is equanimity of mind in success and failure.

2. Yoga is discretion in work.

3. Yoga is the remover of misery and destroyer of pain.

4. Yoga is the supreme secret of life.

5. Yoga is serenity.

6. Yoga is the giver of infinite happiness. Pata�jali, the author of the classical Yoga text, The Yoga Sutras, defines Yoga as, "complete control over patterns or modifications of the mind."

The Structure of Yoga:

The various branches of Yoga could be, for practical purposes, classified into five basic groups:

1. Jnana Yoga: the Yoga committed to inquiry.

2. Karma Yoga: the Yoga committed to selfless service and Dharma.

3. Bhakti Yoga: the Yoga devoted to love and devotion to God.

4. Raja Yoga: the Yoga committed to introspection and contemplation.

5. Hatha Yoga: the Yoga devoted to the discipline of the body and the balance of the mental, physical and subtle forces of the body through the practice of asana and pranayama.

Iyengar Yoga is the name given to the Yoga of those who follow the practice and teachings of Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar, the world's greatest living master of Hatha Yoga. It is Ashtanga Yoga, a practice which embraces the 8 limbs of Yoga (yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi).

The emphasis is on the integrity of practice in asana and pranayama through concentration on alignment, creation of strength and flexibility and availability of the asana and/or pranayama to the practitioner by demonstration, verbal instruction and use of props.

There is an inherent therapeutic aspect as well as a body-mind-breath component in the practice due to this emphasis.

For more information about Parmarth Niketan's Yoga and Meditation, please contact:

Sadhvi Abha Saraswati (Mataji) & Karin O'Bannon

Yoga and Meditation Section, Parmarth Niketan P.O. Swargashram, Rishikesh (Himalayas) 249304, India

Phone: (0135) 2440088, 2440077, 2434301

[from abroad dial +91-135 instead of 0135];

Fax: (0135) 2440066

E-mail: [email protected] (write in subject line: - Enquiry on Yoga and Meditation)

Contact Details of Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh

Parmarth Niketan Ashram
P.O. Swargashram
Rishikesh (Himalayas); Uttarakhand-- 249304

Ph: (0135) 243 4301, 243 4302, 09411106604

Fax: (0135) 2440066
Email: [email protected]