Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswati | World Bank Live

This page in

Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswati

Co-Founder, Interfaith WASH Alliance

H.H. Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji’s motto in life is, “In the Service of God and humanity.” Dedicated to the welfare of all, He leads, directs and inspires numerous, wide-scale service initiatives. At the age of eight, Pujya Swamiji left his home to live a life devoted to God and humanity, spending his youth 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 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.

Pujya Swamiji is President and Spiritual Head of Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh, India, one of the largest interfaith, spiritual institutions in India. 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, and health care to those in need. He is the Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of Global Interfaith WASH Alliance (GIWA), the world’s first-ever international interfaith initiative which brings together the world's faiths as allies in ensuring every child around the world has access to safe, life-giving Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH). He is the Founder of Ganga Action Parivar (GAP), a global family dedicated to the preservation of the River Ganga and her tributaries in their free-flowing and pristine state. GAP work includes everything ranging from solid waste management to wastewater management as well as awareness and educational outreach to make this vision of a clean and free-flowing River Ganga a reality for all.

He is also the Founder of Divine Shakti Foundation (DSF), which is dedicated to the holistic well-being of women, their children, and orphaned/abandoned children, and to all of Mother Nature. DSF runs and sponsors free schools, women’s vocational training programs, orphanages/gurukuls, frequent free medical camps, animal care programs, a rural development program, and innumerable other humanitarian projects. He is also Founder/Chairman of India Heritage Research Foundation (IHRF), an international, non-profit, humanitarian foundation which just say the launching the first-ever International Edition of the 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, the Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders at the United Nations, the World Economic Forum, the World Council of Religious Leaders at the United Nations, the World Conference of Religions for Peace, the Global Youth Peace Summit at the United Nations, the first Hindu-Jewish Summit in Jerusalem, and the Hindu-Christian dialogue initiated by the Vatican. He is also a leader of frequent world peace pilgrimages across the world. Pujya Swamiji is the recipient of innumerable awards, including the UPF’s World Peace Ambassador Award, Mahatma Gandhi Humanitarian award, Hindu of the Year Award, Prominent Personality Award, by Lions’ Club, Best Citizens of India Award, the Uttaranchal Ratan Award and many more.