Saturday, May 12, 2007


1. Pujya Swami Chidananda Saraswati Parmarth Niketan Interview

RISHIKESH, INDIA, May 7, 2007: The Hindu Voice, UK, recently interviewed Pujya Swami Chidananda Saraswati. What follows is an excerpt. To read the complete interview, go to source. Some excerpts follow:

What led you towards becoming a Swami?

"It was God's plan. I was too young to have made any sort of a rational decision. I was touched by the Divine Hand at the age of eight and that is when I knew that this was the path for me. I have never looked back."

What was your family's reaction?

"They were very supportive and they felt very blessed. My nickname at home when I was a young child was "Sant," meaning Saint. They all knew that something was different about me from the beginning, so no one was surprised."

What, in your opinion is the most important teaching of Hinduism?

"To love all and respect all. To heal all and hurt none. To give and give and give. The ten commandments of Hinduism are the ten yamas and niyamas of Patanjali's yoga sutras. The first is ahimsa. Ahimsa is the foundation upon which our entire spiritual practice - from asana to Samadhi - is based."

With the current dangers of global warming and other dangers to the environment, would you say that Hinduism may have the solutions to how man and his environment can live in harmony?

"Hinduism has, not only the solution, but also the prevention! If Hindu tenets were followed, the current environmental situation would not exist. Our scriptures speak about the sacredness of the rivers, the mountains, the plants, the oceans. We bow to the tulsi plant before plucking her leaves. We perform worship ceremonies on the banks of rivers. If these sanctions were truly taken to heart by Hindus and others, we would not have reached the dire situation we now find ourselves in. However, in terms of solutions, yes we also have solutions. Protection of the environment is called for in our scriptures. We pray, 'May there be peace to the heavens, peace to the atmosphere, peace to the Earth, peace to the plants, peace to the animals, to the water, peace to all beings.' Also, if we look again at our number one commandment - ahimsa - that, in and of itself could save our environment. If we truly become non-violent in our actions and our habits (both those we directly perform and those which we support others performing through our consumer choices) the environment could be preserved. Being a vegetarian (the epitome of non-violence) is actually the greatest thing any person who cares about the environment can do. The amount of carbon dioxide your car releases into the atmosphere in nearly a month of driving is the same amount released by the production of one hamburger! The amount of water you use in two months of bathing is the same amount that goes into the production of one serving of chicken! The fish farming industry is literally destroying our oceans. I could go on and on, but the bottom line is that if we take even one aspect of Hinduism - ahimsa - and implement it truly and thoroughly, we will make a huge, positive impact.

Have you got any special message for Hindu youth who may be reading this interview?
"Never give up. You CAN d o it all. You CAN be successful and also spiritual, professional and also pious, courageous and also compassionate. You do not have to forsake your rich, beautiful, ancient tradition in order to succeed and thrive in the West. In fact, it is your anchor to your Indian and Hindu roots which will provide you with the deep, inner happiness and meaning in your life to parallel your external success and prosperity. You have a great amount to share with the world. Let yourself be strongly rooted in your divine spiritual and cultural tradition, and you will prosper, thrive and succeed in every area of life. May God bless you all."

Daily Inspiration

If one wants to abide in the thought-free state, a struggle is inevitable. One must fight one's way through before regaining one's original primal state. If one succeeds in the fight and reaches the goal, the enemy, namely the thoughts, will all subside in the Self and disappear entirely. Ramana Maharishi

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