Hindu Press International
England's Royal Couple Take Part In Traditional Hindu Fire Ritual On Banks Of Ganges
UNITED KINGDOM, November 6, 2013 (Daily Mail): Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall tonight took part in a solemn ceremony of thanks with Hindus on the banks of the River Ganges. In the holy Hindu city of Rishikesh, the prince led his wife by the hand to the banks of the sacred river where they joined Hindu worshippers conducting the aarti ceremony.
The couple were welcomed by the Hindu guru Swami Chidanand and his leading disciple Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, both dressed in orange robes, who draped a garland of marigold blooms around their necks and strings of beads.
With the foothills of the Himalayans looming in the distance, Charles told gathered trainee priests and their leaders: "It's a particular joy to join you here on the banks of the Ganges this evening because it is, above all else, my first visit to the Ganges and so from that point of view it is a very special occasion for both myself and my wife. But we also wanted just to stress how deeply we felt for all those people who suffered so dreadfully as a result of the awful floods in June -- our thoughts and prayers were so much with those families who have had to suffer the appalling catastrophe."
Swami Chidanand has been involved in a project to help eradicate pollution in the Ganges, gathering together scientists, engineers and activists to help clean the waters and riverbanks. Charles went on to praise the Swami for his "deep understanding of working in harmony with nature."
The heir to the throne added: "It seems to me the key to our future is to rediscover our connections with nature, for too long we seem to have ignored the services that nature provides us."
The prince told how the birth of his grandson Prince George, in July, had given him a reason to redouble his efforts on working to help preserve the planet. "And now that I've just recently become a grandfather, I think it means even more when you have a grandchild to think of their future and all the futures of other grandchildren around the world, we owe them I think something a great deal better for their futures as well."
The royal couple were given small aarti lamps and joined other participants in circling them clockwise in a ritual performed by devotees each sunset designed to worship the Ganga River.
Much more of the Royal Couple's nine-day tour of India including photos and video at 'source' above.
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