Vrindavan (AU, DJ): In the first day of the three-day celebration of Swami Paramananda Giri’s 75th birthday, a wave of spiritual knowledge and renunciation swept over the town. Sadhus and sants from all over the country, attracting a flood of darshan seekers to Vatsalya Gram.
The mood was both religious and political. Most of the speakers glorified the association of saints and particularly the work of Paramananda Giri Maharaj. But as many of them are deeply concerned about the current state of affairs in India, they underlined the necessity of sadhus to play an increased role in society and the nation.
One of the most prominent guests at the Sant Sammelan, Govardhan Peeth Shankaracharya Nischalananda Saraswati, set the tone by saying that Hindus have become strangers in their own country.
“Hinduism is under attack from every direction,” he said. “The country’s politicians have lost their sense of direction. When that happens, we need a revolution to bring it back to health. The sadhus must join together on a common platform and give leadership,” he added.
Yoga guru Swami Ramdev, who recently floated the controversial idea of starting his own political party, said that all sadhus and sants should step forward to protect the nation. “The country is riddled with corruption,” he said. “It is time for all political parties to come together to put a stop to it by making and enforcing the appropriate laws.
“Nevertheless,” he lamented, “it does not look like that will happen, since most of our political leaders are themselves implicated.” He gave the example of the Commonwealth Games, where a great deal of bribery, kickbacks and graft was uncovered.
“Corruption is like a demon that is swallowing up the country’s capital. In order to stop corruption, we need to bring back to India all the money that is currently in foreign bank accounts. All the country’s leaders need to be of one mind in stopping this kind of corruption.
“Moreover, the country’s youth cannot find ways of making a living. And so terrorism and Maoist revolutionary movements are increasing.” He concluded that a political party led by sannyasis and dharma gurus was still a necessity.
Ramdev further said that through yoga the people of India can regain their sense of personal worth and pride. He says he has now visited over 650 of India’s districts. “Exemplary karma yogis like Paramananda Giri Maharaj are rare indeed,” he said.
Madhya Pradesh C.M. Shivaraj Singh Chauhan said that corruption has spread throughout this nation of sants, but that such a windstorm of protest had lifted against such practices that would result in their being completely uprooted. He prayed to all the sadhus and acharyas that they give strength to the political leaders to follow the path of righteousness and the intelligence to lead the nation according to the principles of religion.
Swami Jnanananda Maharaj said that this land of dharma is most fortunate since Swami Paramananda’s 75th birthday was being celebrated here.Yogi Adityanath (BJP, Gorakhpur, mahant Gorakhnath temple) said, “As long as the country gets direction from the saintly, no conspiracy can make any headway.”
“The intelligence of the saints is being demonstrated here today in Braj,” he added. Swami Raghavacharya Vedanti (Agrapeethadhish of Rebasha Dham, Rajasthan) said that Swami Paramananda Giri Maharaj had lit a lamp that gave spiritual light to the country.The mahant of Maluk Pith, Swami Shri Rajendra Das Ji Maharaj, said that just the sight of all these great souls erases all the miseries of material life. Patanjali Yogpeeth’s Acharya Balkrishna Maharaj said, “This is an assembly of great souls, who can give light to an unlimited number of souls and show them the path of saintliness.”
Yogiraj Surendranath concurred, “Just the touch of a great soul gives one a direct experience of the supreme joy.”Jathedar Saheb Giani Iqbal Singh from Patna said, “Such a great gathering of saints takes place only once in centuries.”
Presiding over the meeting, Sadhvi Ritambhara said that a sant is someone who gives light to the whole society.
Swami Paramananda Giri Maharaj concluded the meeting by giving his blessings to all present. He said, “If we want to put an end to terrorism and anarchy, we have to change our ways.”
Also present in the gathering were the CM of Uttara Khand, Ramesh Pokhriyal, Mahanta Phul Dol Behari Das, Mahanta Shanti Swaroop Maharaj, Maheshananda Saraswati, Shrinath Shastri, Dr. Manoj Mohan Shastri, Swami Hams Devacharya, Jagat Prasad, Mahant Narayananand and many others.
Tomorrow, a meeting of women spiritual leaders will be held. “The voice of the mother energy will be heard!” Participants will include Lok Sabha Opposition Leader Sushma Swaraj, Ananda Murti of Gannaur, TV performer and BJP leader, Smriti Irani and, of course, Sadhvi Ritambhara herself.