Spiritual Masters Pujya Maa Hansa Ji and Shri Gauranga Das Ji join us for Day 3 of International Yoga festival (IYF) at Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh, and Padamshri Kailash Kher Treats Participants with Unique Blend of Indian Folk and Sufi Music 

A highlight of Day 3 was a Spiritual Plenary Session on Living Yoga for Peace and Sustainability with H.H. Pujya Chidanand Saraswati Ji, Pujya Maa Hansa Yogendra Ji, Gauranga Das Ji, and Pujya Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati Ji

IYF is organised by Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh with the support of Incredible India, Ministry of Tourism, in association with Ministry of Culture and Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India and was officially inaugurated by the Hon’ble Governor of Uttarakhand Lt Gen (Retd)  and will have the visit of other Hon’ble Ministers, Diplomats and Dignitaries throughout the week (please see more below).

Third day was another beautiful day filled with Yoga Sessions from as early as 4:30 am from Kundalini Sadhana, to Asana Jaya, sessions on Ayurveda, Throat Chakra Meditations, Self-Love, Vedic Wisdom and more, with sacred yagya, evening Ganga Aarti and cultural performances til 9pm filled the participants’ day with diverse offerings. 

RISHIKESH: The 3rd day of the 36th annual International Yoga Festival at Parmarth Niketan in the serene heart of Rishikesh witnessed an extraordinary convergence of 1400 yogis from 75 countries and 65 yogacharyas from 25 countries, uniting under the banner of peace and yoga. Against the backdrop of the sacred Ganges River and the majestic Himalayas, the day unfolded with an illuminating Wisdom Talk Spiritual Plenary Session, delving into the profound theme of “Living Yoga for Peace and Sustainability.” Esteemed speakers included Pujya Maa Dr. Hansa Ji Yogendra, globally acclaimed Spiritual Yoga Guru and the Director of The Yoga Institute; Director of ISKCON’s Govardhan Ecovillage (GEV) Shri Gauranga Das Ji, who serves as UNEP’s Faith for Earth Counsellor, sits on the board of the Govardhan School of Public Leadership, which prepares students for the civil services exam, and is the administrative director of Bhaktivedanta Research Centre (BRC), which creates libraries of Vedic literatures and manuscripts; HH Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, President of Parmarth Niketan; and Pujya Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswatiji, Director of International Yoga Festival. Kia Miller, the internationally acclaimed yoga teacher, moderated the session. This remarkable gathering exemplified the festival’s commitment to fostering unity, health, and inner peace on a global scale.

“If you look outside, you will see that Ganga Ji used to flow much higher,” said H.H. Pujya Swamiji. “If the rivers cease to exist, this world will cease to exist. We have maybe 25 years. The rivers have been pleading all along. Now we have to be vocal. We cannot create water but we can preserve it. Stop single use plastics. For our birthdays, our marriages, our anniversaries, let us do green celebrations. The number of years you are celebrating, let us plant that many trees. Life itself will thrive. Nature we thrive. If you want to have a future, preserve your nature.”

“Life in all its simplicity and detail is saturated with blessings,” said Shri Gauranga Das, “The air we breathe, the space we occupy, the food we grow for our subsistence and the opportunities that life makes possible for us are manifestations of God’s love for us. By understanding our own spiritual nature, underlying our material body, we can come to realize that we exist in this world not to simply consume, defend and die, but to seek a higher purpose.”

“As Pujya Swamiji said last night, the global food, water, and land shortages are really due to a global consciousness shortage,” said Pujya Sadhiviji. “If we can raise our consciousness, and make conscious choices, if we can start from the principles of ahiṁsā, nonviolence, satya, truthfulness, asteya, non-stealing, this is enough to bring such peace and sustainability to the world. If we all remembered these practices, there would be no climate change, no human rights abuses, no poverty, women wouldn’t die in childbirth.”

“Taking just ahimsa, non-violence,” she continued. “Most of us think, I don’t walk around beating people up. I’m not violent. But how many of us have a voice in our heads that says, ‘you are useless, everyone must be judging you, who do you think you are.’ That voice violates ahimsa – it’s violent. It’s also false, so it violates satya. If you want world peace, we must start by creating peace within. This is what it will take to address the global consciousness shortage.”

“Yoga is not merely a physical practice; it is a way of life—a holistic path of balance and sustainability,” said Pujya Maa. “As early as the fifth century B.C Indian values espoused the need for sustainability and the pertinent need for us to live peacefully and with balance and harmony. These values have thus been the foundational basis of Yoga philosophy Through the practice of yoga, we are guided to cultivate inner peace, harmony, and balance, which are essential prerequisites for creating a sustainable and peaceful world. The idea is that when we find peace within ourselves, we naturally radiate that peace outward, creating a ripple effect that touches the lives of those around us and extends to the entire planet.

She continued, “Living yoga for peace and sustainability means embodying the principles of ahimsa (non-violence), satya (truthfulness), asteya (non-stealing), brahmacharya (moderation), and aparigraha (non-possessiveness) in every aspect of our lives. It means treating every living being with respect and dignity, and honouring the delicate balance of nature. When we live in alignment with these principles, we naturally become guardians of the Earth, caring for and nurturing it with all our heart.

“Let us remember that each one of us has the power to make a difference,” Pujya Maa continued. “By integrating the teachings of yoga into our daily lives, by living with mindfulness, compassion, and reverence for all life, we can co-create a world that is not only peaceful and sustainable but also filled with love, joy, and abundance.”

DAY 3 SCHEDULE Highlights: 

At the break of dawn, participants geared up for day 3 of the International Yoga Festival with a packed schedule of meditation, yoga and divine music. The morning classes included Ira Trivedi, celebrated author and Yoga Acharya who is the founder of Yog Love and Namami Yoga, led students to Solute the Sun at dawn on the famous Parmarth Yoga Ghat; world renowned Yoga Teacher Kia Miller, originally from England and now based in Los Angeles, led her students in connecting with Kundalini Shakti; and Gurnimit Singh, 3rd generation lineage holder Kirtan singer from Vancouver Canada, taught students how to open their throat chakra.

After a light and nutritious brunch, Dr. Smita Naram, Co-Founder of Ayushakti, one of the leading and most trusted ayurvedic health centres around the world, showed students powerful methods for detoxing the body in order to renew the mind, body, and spirit. Vaidya Dr. Ramkumar, a lifelong student of Ayurveda and other traditional Indian knowledge systems, conducted a masterclass on how the Spiritual Foundations of Ayurveda. On the mat, Tommy Rosen, Founder of Recovery 2.0, led an asana on Nervous System Attunement, and internationally celebrated yoga teacher Seane Corn led an asana class with the theme of Mystics on the Mat: Magick, Alchemy, and Ritual as a Pathway Towards Liberation.

Before sunset, H.H. Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswati ji and Pujya Sadhvi Bhagawati led a traditional sacred Ganga Aarti and kirtan celebration, what they lovingly call “Our Spiritual Happy Hour,” where you have fun but don’t wake up with a hangover.

“This is our thank you and I love you ceremony,” Pujya Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati Ji. “Every night, 365 days a year, people from every corner of the globe, every race, religion, race, skin color, gender, culture, country, ability to celebrate for this beautiful time to go within. This time to connect with the supreme reality. Beyond all forms and names, in all forms, in all names. Most of us think I’ll get what I want and then I’ll be happy. But actually, spiritual science and psychological science teach the opposite. It is in the act of being grateful that we become happy. All that you want appears. This isn’t because you suddenly start getting more things. Instead, suddenly that which you have is what you are grateful for. In that bliss happiness arieses. If you want to be happy, start by saying thank you.”

MC YOGI played his famous “Give Love,” to an ecstatic crowd who formed heart shapes with their hands and sang along. He followed with a short sing along of the beloved Beattle’s song, “All You Need is Love.”

Padmashri Kailash Kher celebrated the launch of his newest song “Jay Jay Kendara,” which he released two days ago on Maha Shivratri.

Pujya Swamiji honored Padmashri Kailash Kher’s remarkable journey from a rishikumar at Parmarth Niketan’s Gurukul to a world famous musician. Pujya Swamiji said, “Let us be the song. We should launch our souls with this song.”

Thus ended the beautiful end of Day 3 of the International Yoga festival.


Internationally acclaimed recording artist MC YOGI shared, “I’m going to start using what Pujya Swamiji said last night, we must all be dancy-dancy. If we are dancy-dancy, the world will change.”

Kia Miller, internationally celebrated yoga teacher and founder of Radiant Body Yoga, said “The process of integration of the mind, body, and spirit is more important than ever right now. Otherwise, we lose ourselves to outside forces. The thing to do at this time is yoga. Practice enables us to find the personal sovereignty and attune to where we are enlightened with Truth. The great yogic seers of the past are no different from what we can do today. They had the discipline and fortitude to do what was necessary to go within.”

Krishnapriya, not only a famed sacred singer herself, is also the organizing force behind IYF’s remarkable Sacred Sound Stage, which has brought huge names in spiritual music from MC YOGI to Kailash Kher, Sivamani to Daphne Tse. All of which she has done in sacred, selfless service (seva). She shares: “I’m very excited to embark on this uplifting journey that will connect us deeply into the sacred power of sound.”