People from 101 Nations, Dharma Gurus, Kailash Kher, Sivamani, Other Dignitaries, Rally in Support of a Swachh Bharat and Swachh World
Foreign Participants from 101 Nations, Inspired by Hon’ble Narendra Modiji’s Address at Parmarth Niketan’s International Yoga Festival, Take Vow to Take India’s Swachh Message to their Home Nations
RISHIKESH- Parmarth Niketan Ashram was awash today in a sea of colour and a flood of languages as people from 101 countries united for a Swachhta Sankalp with revered Dharma Gurus and entertainers, including HH Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, Kailash Kher and Sivamani, in support of a Swachh Bharat and a Swachh World.
The event was in the making since Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modiji, addressed Parmarth Niketan’s International Yoga Festival last week, motivating participants to share their voices and support for his widely-acclaimed Swachh Bharat Mission. Organized under the guidance and inspiration of HH Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, President, Parmarth Niketan and Founder, Ganga Action Parivar, the annual, world-famous, International Yoga Festival is being attended by well-over a thousand people, who are coming from across the world to take part in inspiring lectures and courses by over 70 revered saints, yogacharyas, presenters and experts who are teaching 150 offerings throughout the week.
As participants from around the world gathered on the banks of the River Ganga, they were ecstatic at the appearance of renowned Bollywood drummer, Sivamani and famed Sufi vocalist, Kailash Kher, alongside revered Dharma Gurus and a visiting delegation from the World Wildlife Foundation.
Afterwards, 1000 people raised their hands to Kailash Kheer’s rousing Swachh Bharat Anthem and pledged together to take India’s Swachh Inspiration to their home nations, in support of a Swachh World.
Said International Yoga Festival Participants, Kasey Luber and Marissa Ingrasci of California, USA, “Last week, India’s Prime Minister really inspired us with the speech he delivered for the International Yoga Festival. Today, we are all here together from around the world to thank him for his amazing leadership for a clean and healthy India.”
Said HH Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, President of Parmarth Niketan and Founder, Global Interfaith WASH Alliance, “Today, the world is united here on the banks of Mother Ganga for a great and common cause. Tomorrow, people from over 100 countries will be returning to their homes to carry India’s Swachh Message from hearts to homes to hamlets, nation to nation. From such actions, great change can manifest.”
Said Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, Director of the International Yoga Festival and Secretary General of the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance, “Shri Narendra Modiji has inspired not only India, but the world through his leadership for a clean India. Today, the world has in turn joined hands in a beautiful way here at the International Yoga Festival. The word, “yoga”, means “union”, and truly, today’s global vow is taking Yoga off the Mat for a world united with a vision for healthy and sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene for all.”
After the event, participants joined hands for a Global Interfaith WASH Alliance Water Blessing Ceremony, during which water from the world’s rivers was poured onto a globe with prayers that everyone, everywhere may have access to clean and free-flowing water and healthy sanitation
Many Other Activities Held Throughout Day Six of the International Yoga Festival
On the 6th day of the 29th annual world famous International Yoga Festival, the day began with a 4:00 am Kundalini Sadhana class, led by Sukhmandir Singh Khalsa of California, USA. Gloria Latham of Canada taught a class entitled, “The Voice of the Soul.” Bhavini Kalan of South Africa led a class called “I FLOW – Chandra Namaskaram Flow and Brain Coordination”. Nandini Tripathi of Parmarth Niketan led a class, “Yoga for All: Sukshma Vyayama”. Erica Kaufman of Pennsylvania, USA taught “Lila Yoga” and Padmashri Bharat Bhushan led “Bharat Yog.”
As the run rose over the banks of the River Ganga, participants were enchanted by soothing, melodious mantra chanting by Anandra George of Hawaii, USA.
After a light breakfast in the garden, Jules Febre taught Jivamukti Yoga on the Yoga Ghat. Jules travels the world teaching Jivamukti Yoga, Hip Hop Asana, as well as immersion programs and retreats. He leads 300-Hour Jivamukti Yoga Teacher Training Programs in addition to providing mentoring support for an 800-Hour Jivamukti Apprenticeship Program.
During the morning intense asana classes, Deepika Mehta of India taught Ashtanga Yoga, and Kristin Olson of California taught a Hatha-based class entitled “Wrap up the Sacred.”
Other classes included an Iyengar Yoga class by HS Arun of India, “Somatic Yoga Flow” by Brian Siddhartha Ingle of Ireland, and “Kundalini Yoga” taught by Kia Miller of California, USA. Kia has travelled all over the world experiencing and studying with world-renowned teachers in India, Europe and the US. She is certified in the Ashtanga / Vinyasa Flow tradition, as well as Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan.
The morning yoga classes were followed by a beautiful divine satsang with Pujya Sri Mooji.
Afternoon classes included a talk on the “Science of Creating Heaven on Earth” by Bruce Lipton. Mohan Bhandari, a yogacharya from Rishikesh who is now living and teaching in China, taught a public yoga class entitled, “Yogi Yoga for back pain”. Concurrently, “Yuvaa Yoga” was led by Yuva Dayalan and T.A. Krishnan, Mark Robberds of Australia led a guided “Ashtanga Yoga class with modifications for all”. Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswatiji lead a beautiful “Ganga Flow Meditation on Letting Go, Expanding and Connecting.”
The evening concluded with a memorable open concert on the banks of the Ganga by Kailash Kher, Sivamani and other renowned performers. Kailash Kher, who is now known throughout the world for his soulful voice and inspiring songs, is a former Parmarth Niketan Rishikumar (student).
Said HH Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, “We are so proud of our divine singer, Padmashri Kailash Kher, who is opening the hearts of the world through his beautiful and serene voice. It is wonderful to welcome him back home.”
Quotations from Presenters and Participants:
“This year’s Intl. Yoga Festival has demonstrated once again that love and connection are the two greatest healers on our planet." — Tommy Rosen, California, USA Yoga Teacher, Presenter
“Let us collectively become lovers of prayer emboldened by our sangha in the ganga!” Kristin Olson, Presenter, California, USA
Michelle, Belize : “Arriving at Parmarth Niketan for IYF always feels like coming home to reconnect with family. This year is extra special because I brought a group from Belize and my mom was part of this group. It’s an incredible week to connect physically, mentally and spiritually through the myriad of Asana and meditation classes, scientific and spiritual classes and Satsang. It’s a blessing to be here and I am always grateful for the experience. Thank you and much love to all the organizers!”
Erin, US: “I Loved coming last year to the International Yoga Festival, finding full minded people. I made friends for a lifetime. That’s why I came back.”
Galia, Israel: “I have a spiritual connection with Parmarth Niketan, with Sadhviji, that’s why I came to the IYF 2017.”