Evening Ganga Aarti
Just as the sun's rising is marked by prayer, so is its setting. Each evening as the sun's last rays reflect off the boundless waters of Mother Ganga, we gather for the Ganga Aarti. This divine light ceremony is filled with devotional song, prayer, ritual and a palpable sense of the divinity of Mother Ganga. The aarti, an ornate oil lamp, lined with dozens of flames burning in pure ghee - is offered to God. We give thanks for the blessings bestowed upon us that day, as well as symbolically offer light back to God. Ganga aarti is a time when we break free from the normal stresses and strains of everyday life, and gather together in joy, reverence and peace.
As the bright yellow sun dips into the water, and the reflection of its rays bring tears to our eyes, we are filled anew with a deep sense of bliss, reverence and spiritual connection.
While every day is a celebration of God at Parmarth Niketan, there are several special events occurring on daily, weekly, monthly or annual bases. From the 15th of Asadhsukla to the 5th of Shravana (in July), the ashram observes Guru Purnima and Nirvana Mahotsava of His Holiness, the late Shri Swami Shukdevanandji Maharaj with much gaiety and religious fervor. During these five days, uninterrupted Ramayana Patha is sung by several hundred devotees, accompanied by musical melodies. Guru Puja and a tribute ceremony take place on the final day, followed by a community lunch. Nirvana Mahotsava is also celebrated, with traditional festivities, for:
His Holiness, the late Swami Dharmanandji Maharaj on February 25th
His Holiness, the late Swami Sadanandji Maharaj on May 15th.
His Holiness, the late Swami Bhajananandaji Maharaj on the 13th of Kartika Shukla
(October - November)
Sadhana Week: This is organized every year from the 9th of Kartika Sukla to the full moon day of Kartika (in October). During this special session, yoga, pranayama and meditation are taught by several qualified experts, under the patronage of M.M. H.H. Swami Asanganand Saraswatiji and H.H. Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji (Muniji).
There are also frequent special, spiritual and cultural activities including special pujas and Kathas.