Photographed by Michael O'Neill
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This project would not be possible without the blessing of Pujya Swamiji and his constant encouragement to serve others.

H.H. Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji's motto in life is, "In the Service of God and humanity." He left his home at 8 years old, under the guidance of his spiritual master, in order to live a life devoted to God and to the service of humanity. Pujya Swamiji spent his youth in meditation, yoga, seclusion and silence in the Himalayas, bringing his body, mind and soul into union with the Divine. Today, he is world-renowned as a spiritual leader, visionary and divine guide.

Pujya Swamiji has been President of Parmarth Niketan Ashram since 1986. Under his divine inspiration and guidance, Parmarth Niketan has blossomed into a sanctuary known across the globe as one filled with divine grace, beauty, serenity and bliss.

He is also founder/chairman of India Heritage Research Foundation (IHRF), an international, non-profit, humanitarian foundation. Under Pujya Swamiji's divine inspiration and guidance, IHRF is compiling the first Encyclopedia of Hinduism in history. Additionally, under Pujya Swamiji's leadership, IHRF runs and sponsors over 100 schools, a hospital, an orphanage/gurukul, an ambulance/mobile medical services van, frequent free medical health camps, "Clean, Green and Serene" programs, and innumerable other humanitarian projects.

Pujya Swamiji's religion is unity, and he has been a leader in numerous international, inter-faith conferences and parliaments, including the Parliament of World Religions in Chicago in 1993: the 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: and the World Council of Religious Leaders at the United Nations in Bangkok in 2002. He was also invited as a special Guest Spiritual Leader at the 2002 World Economic Forum in New York, to bring spiritual understanding and broader vision to the gathering of top business, social and political leaders. He is also a leader of frequent Dharma Yatras across America, Canada and Europe on behalf of Youth, Unity and Education.

Pujya Swamiji is the recipient of innumerable awards, including the Mahatma Gandhi Humanitarian award, Hindu of the Year Award, Devarishi Award, Bhaskar Award, Prominent Personality Award, by Lions' Club, Best Citizens of India Award, and the Diwaliben Mohanlal Mehta Trust Award for Progress in Religion.
But, if you ask Him to describe Himself, He will simply say, "I am a devotee of God. I am a child of the Mother Goddess." His humility and simplicity, combined with His profound wisdom, deep understanding and boundless love for all of humanity make him one of those rare saints who touches, uplifts and inspires audiences all across the globe.