Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswatiji is Secretary of the India Heritage Research Foundation, a non-profit, charitable organization dedicated to humanitarian and cultural projects.
Founded in 1987, IHRF is committed to preserving the timeless wisdom and ageless grandeur of Indian culture. By weaving together ancient tradition, cultural history, a wide range of non-discriminatory charitable services, and inspiring youth programs, IHRF has created a tapestry of true, universal beauty.
IHRF is dedicated to youth, education, spirituality, culture, interfaith harmony, health care and ecology. To this end, it sponsors gurukuls/orphanages, large-scale spiritual and cultural events, rural development programs, conferences geared toward interfaith harmony, and the world’s first Encyclopedia of Hinduism.
Following are examples of only a few of the numerous ways that IHRF’s arms embrace humanity:
Encyclopedia of Hinduism
IHRF has completed the revolutionary project of compiling the first Encyclopedia of Hinduism in history, for which Sadhvi Bhagawatiji served as Managing Editor. The Encyclopedia marks the first time that the urgent need was met for an authentic, objective and insightful well of information, capturing both the staples and the spices of Indian tradition and culture. The first volumes of this eleven volume work were previewed and blessed by the hands of the Dalai Lama and many other revered saints at a large function during the Maha Kumbha Mela in Haridwar in 2010. The International Edition, published by Mandala Earth Publications, California, was launched at the University of South Carolina in August 2013, presented to His Excellency the President of India in June 2014 and launched in the UK by the Prime Minister of Great Britain at the House of Commons in July 2014.
The Encyclopedia of Hinduism is a significant landmark, encompassing the entire spectrum of the land called Bharat.
To learn more about the Encyclopedia, or to order your own copy, please visit the Encyclopedia of Hinduism website.
Mansarovar Ashrams & Clinics
Under the guidance, inspiration and vision of Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, IHRF has built three ashrams and a medical clinic in the holy land of Lake Mansarovar and Mt. Kailash in Tibet.
Prior to this project, there were no indoor lodging facilities nor medical facilities for hundreds of kilometers. People frequently suffered from basic, treatable ailments due to lack of medical attention. Therefore, after undertaking a yatra to the sacred land in 1998, Pujya Swamiji took a vow that – by the grace of God – He would do something for the local people (who don’t even have running water) and for all the pilgrims who travel there.
The ashram (tourist rest house) and clinic on the banks of Lake Mansarovar were officially inaugurated in July 2003. We have also built two halls there where satsang, meditation and many other divine activities can take place.
Additionally, we have built an ashram in Paryang, Tibet, on the way to Mansarovar, the place where every yatri stays one day prior to reaching Mansarovar. This ashram was inaugurated in June 2006.
A third ashram has been built in Dirapuk, on the sacred Mt. Kailash Parikrama route, at the unprecedented altitude of 17,000 feet, and was inaugurated in September 2009. Dirapuk is the place where all pilgrims spend the first night of the two-night, fifty-two kilometer, treacherous parikrama. At this location, the darshan of Mt. Kailash is the clearest, closest, and most spectacular.
Additionally, we have pledged our support and assistance to the local villagers of Mansarovar.
The project is truly the grace of God and is a divine gift to this holy land, to all Tibetans who live there, and to all the pious pilgrims who cross oceans and continents in order to have a glimpse of the abode of Lord Shiva.
Rural Development Program
We are running a rural development program in a town called Veerpur, on the banks of the Ganges, three kilometers south of Rishikesh.
The following are components of the rural development program:
- Water facilities – Although the town lies on the banks of the Ganga River, most people had no running water or water for their farms. We dug a boring well and have brought running water to this village.
- Tree plantation program
- Construction of a proper road in the village
- Organic Gardening program – We have started a special organic farming program as well. We have brought in trained organic farmers and scientists to teach the local farmers alternative, chemical-free methods of farming. Further, we will have a special “buy back” program with them where we will buy back from them all of their crops. In addition, the ashram at Veerpur has its own organic farm.
- Sewage Control and Sanitation programs – We have laid sewage lines in the village and constructed toilets for the villagers so that no pollution goes into Ganga.
- Spirituality and Culture – We have started an evening devotional ceremony there on the banks of the Ganges, called Aarti. It is a way for the villagers to come together in a spirit of peace, culture & piety.
- Gurukul/orphanage – The second of the three gurukuls/orphanages is here in Veerpur, and we have plans to open an orphanage for girls here as well.
IHRF is dedicated to bringing food to the hungry, medicine to the sick, and peace to the troubled.
IHRF does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, caste, gender or nationality.
All of its services are open to all & free to all.