NEW DELHI: Sree Narayana Guru was a spiritual leader and a thinker who exhorted the society to develop through education while upholding the culture and traditional values of the country, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi here on Tuesday.
Inaugurating the year-long celebrations to mark the 90th year of Sivagiri pilgrimage and the 50th anniversary of Sivagiri Brahma Vidyalaya at his residence, Modi said Narayana Guru taught the society to empower through scientific education but never shied away from upholding the cultural values.
“He fought a logical and practical fight against the discrimination in the name of casteism. Today, we have drawn inspiration from Sree Narayana Guru to serve the poor, downtrodden and backward, while protecting their rights,” he said.
The Prime Minister said Sree Narayana Guru’s principle of One Caste, One Religion and One God gives a spiritual dimension to patriotism. No goal in the world is impossible if Indians follow his teachings and stand united.
Recalling his long association with Sivagiri Mutt, Modi said he has felt spiritually empowered while visiting the centre. He recalled how the seers at Sivagiri gave him an opportunity to trace and rescue a team of saints who were trapped at Kedarnath during the Uttarakhand floods in 2013.
“Though a Congress government was in power at Centre and the Defence Minister was a Keralite, Sivagiri Mutt gave me the task to rescue the saints though I was only Chief Minister of Gujarat. I will never forget this privilege,” he said.
The Prime Minister pointed out that the visits of Swami Vivekananda, Gandhiji and Rabindra Nath Tagore to Kerala and their interactions with Sree Narayana Guru on different occasions had sown the seeds of India’s reformation, results of which are evident in the country’s 75 years of development.
He recalled the epoch-making meetings of titans of the freedom struggle with Sree Narayana Guru. Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, Gandhi Ji and Swami Vivekananda and many other dignitaries had met Sree Narayana Guru on different occasions and in these meetings, the Prime Minister said, seeds of reconstruction of India were sowed, results of which are visible in today’s India and 75-year journey of the nation.
Noting the fact that in 10 years Sivagiri Pilgrimage and in 25 years India’s freedom will celebrate their centenary. On this occasion our achievement and vision should be global in dimension, he said.
Modi said the city of Siva in Varanasi and Sivagiri in Kerala holds a special place in the lives of Indians as they are not mere pilgrimage centres, but centres of faith that awaken the spirit of Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat.
Sree Narayana Dharma Sangham Trust president Swami Satchidananda presided over the function. Trust general secretary Swami Rhithambharananda felicitated the Prime Minister.
Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan, Minister of State for Skill Development Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Sivagiri Trust treasurer Swami Saradananda, Navati celebration committee secretary Swami Guruprasad, Brahma Vidyalaya golden jubilee celebrations committee secretary Swami Visalananda and SNDP Yogam vice-president Thushar Vellappally were present on the occasion.