KOLKATA: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit Ramakrishna Math and call on Ramakrishna Mission's president Swami Atmasthananda during his trip to West Bengal on May 9, a spokesman at the order's global headquarters in Belur Math said.
The 97-year-old Swami Atmasthananda is undergoing treatment for age-related health complications at the Ramakrishna Mission Seva Prathishthan in Kolkata since February 21.
In his youth, Modi had wanted to be a monk of the order founded by Ramakrishna Paramhamsa but was turned away thrice. During those days, Modi used to regularly meet Athmasthanandaji Maharaj, then deputed to the mission's Rajkot centre, but the monk told him that his calling lay elsewhere.
In 2013, the then Gujarat chief minister Modi visited Belur Math (located in Howrah district) and sought blessings from Athmasthananda. He also spent some time meditating privately in Swami Vivekananda's room.
"Modiji holds the president Maharaj in high esteem. He wishes to meet the president Maharaj at the hospital as he is very old and infirm," said a Belur Math spokesperson.
Modi is also slated to visit Belur Math during his day-long tour to the state on May 9. "He came here in 2013. He is likely to come here to pray in the temples and pay homage to Swami Vivekanand," the spokesperson said.
After Modi became prime minister, Atmasthananda congratulated him and invited him to Belur Math. Modi's main programme in the city is the launch of three flagship social security schemes -- Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana and the Atal Pension Yojana.