New Delhi : The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi participated in the inaugural ceremony of year-long joint celebrations of 90th anniversary of Sivagiri Pilgrimage and Golden Jubilee of Brahma Vidhyalaya today at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg. He also launched the logo for year- long joint celebrations. Both Sivagiri Pilgrimage and Brahma Vidhyalaya were started with the blessing and guidance of great social reformer Shri Narayana Guru. Apart from the spiritual leaders of Sivagiri Mutt and devotees, Union Ministers, Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar and Shri V. Muraleedharan were among those present on the occasion.
The Prime Minister expressed his happiness on receiving saints in his house. He recalled meeting Sivagiri Mutt saints and devotees over the years and how he always felt energized by the interaction. He recalled the time of Uttrakhand-Kedarnath tragedy when despite having Congress government at the centre and a Defence Minister from Kerala, he, as Chief Minister of Gujarat was asked to help Sivagiri Mutt saints by the Mutt. The Prime Minister said that he will never forget this privilege.
The Prime Minister commented that celebrations of 90th anniversary of Sivagiri Pilgrimage and Golden Jubilee of Brahma Vidhyalaya is not confined to the journey of these institutions but “this is also the immortal journey of that idea of India, which keeps moving forward through different mediums in different periods.” He continued “be it the city of Shiva in Varanasi or Shivagiri in Varkala, every center of India’s energy holds a special place in the lives of all of us Indians. These places are not mere pilgrimages, they are not just centers of faith, they are awakened establishments of the spirit of ‘Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat’.”
The Prime Minister pointed out that while many countries and civilizations strayed from their Dhrama and materialism took place of spiritualism, in India, said the Prime Minister, our sages and Gurus always refined our thoughts and enhanced our behaviour. The Prime Minister said that Shri Narayan Guru talked of modernity but he also enriched Indian culture and values. He talked of education and science but never shied away from raising the glory of the dhrama, faith and thousand years old tradition of India. Shri Narayan Guru campaigned against stereotypes and evils and made India aware of its reality. He fought a logical and practical fight against the discrimination going on in the name of casteism. “Today, with the same inspiration of Narayan Guru ji, the country is serving the poor, downtrodden, backward, giving them their rights”, the Prime Minister said, adding that the country is moving with the mantra of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas and Sabka Prayas.
Calling Shri Narayan Guru a radical thinker and a practical reformer, the Prime Minister said that the Guru ji always followed the decorum of discussion and always tried to understand the view point of the other and tried to convey his view point in a collaborative way by working with the other person. He used to create an environment in the society that the society itself used to get in the direction of self-improvement with the right rationale. The Prime Minister elaborated that when we walk on this path of reforming the society, then a power of self-improvement is also awakened in the society. He gave the example of social adoption of the campaign of Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao in the recent times where situation improved with speed as the government was able to create the right environment.
The Prime Minister further said, as Indian, we have only one caste i.e. Indianness. We have only one religion – dhrama of service and duty. We have only one god – Mother India. Shri Narayan Guru’s exhortation of ‘One Caste, One Religion, One God’ gives a spiritual dimension to our patriotism, he added. “We all know that no goal of the world is impossible for the united Indians”, he said.
In the backdrop of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, the Prime Minister once again put forward his analysis of the freedom struggle which according to him always had a spiritual foundation. The Prime Minister said, “our freedom struggle was never confined to expression of protest and political strategies. While it was a fight to break the chains of slavery, it was informed by the vision of how we will be as an independent country as, only what we are opposed to is not important, it what we stand for is more important.”
Prime Minister recalled the epoch-making meetings of titans of freedom struggle with Shri Narayan Guru. Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, Gandhi Ji and Swami Vivekananda and many other dignitaries had met Shri Narayan Guru on different occasions and in these meetings, the Prime Minster 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.
Sivagiri Pilgrimage is held every year for three days from December 30 to January 1 at Sivagiri, Thiruvananthapuram. According to the Shri Narayana Guru, the aim of pilgrimage should be the creation of comprehensive knowledge among the people and the pilgrimage should help in their overall development and prosperity. The pilgrimage, therefore, focuses on eight subjects viz education, cleanliness, piety, handicrafts, trade and commerce, agriculture, science & technology and organised endeavour.
The pilgrimage started with a handful of devotees in 1933 but now has become one of the major events in South India. Every year, lakhs of devotees from all over the world irrespective of caste, creed, religion and language visit Sivagiri to participate in the pilgrimage.
Shri Narayan Guru had also envisioned a place to teach the principles of all religions with equanimity and equal respect. The Brahma Vidhyalaya of Sivagiri was set up to realise this vision. Brahma Vidhyalaya offers a course of 7-years on Indian Philosophy including the works of Shri Narayan Guru and scriptures of all-important religions of the world.