KOLLAM:Kerala’s spiritual consciousness is beyond religious distinctions and it is a state where one community has willingly given space to another, said President Ram Nath Kovind.“This is a history that we cannot forget and must learn from. And this is an accommodation and understanding that is the essence of spiritualism,” Kovind said after launching the Mata Amritanandamayi Math’s Jivamritam project at Vallikkavu on Sunday. The Rs 100 crore project is to give filtration systems for providing clean drinking water to 5,000 villages in the country. It would benefit one crore villagers.
“Christian community in Kerala is older than anywhere in the world. The country’s first mosque was built here in the seventh century. Jews settled here after Romans drove them out of Jerusalem around 2,000 years ago. It’s remarkable to note the mutual accommodation and understanding of different faiths and religious communities in Kerala’s history,” he said.“Kerala is one of the leading spiritual homes of our country. The state’s social reformers Adi Shankara, See Narayana Guru and Ayyankali did so much to unite the country with spiritualism and social reforms,” he said.
The President opined Mata Amritanandamayi represents Kerala’s enlightened spiritual tradition. Lke Adi Shankara and Ayyankali, she sees her spiritual mission as a contribution to nation building. She recognises, as only a true spiritual can, the greatest service to the divine is service to fellow beings,” he said.The greatest service we can render to our fellow beings, especially to the less privileged, is to help them achieve their potential. This includes building their capacity in health and education, and ensuring they get equal opportunities. Amma has worked precisely in these areas, he said.
Kovind opined his vision on higher education was similar to that of Amma. Mata had earlier said along with the ranking of universities based on the amount of funding they receive and intellectual calibre, we should take into consideration how much we have been able to use their research to serve the lowest and most vulnerable strata of society.
Kovind said he highly appreciated such thinking. He lauded the Math’s programmes like the educational scholarship to 50,000 children and free treatment to 43 lakh patients. He lauded the Amrita Institute of Medical Science (AIMS) and other medical facilities provided by the Math. “I look forward to the opening of the second AIMS at Faridabad,” he said.
“Spiritualism helps raise quality of life. The projects launched today promote health and wellbeing of individuals and families. Such initiatives are reflective of the spiritualism and progressive ideals of Kerala, as embodied by Amma,” he said.