Narendra Modi became the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the Digambar Jain temple in Bhopal during which he had a brief interaction with Jain monk Acharya Vidyasagar and sought his blessings.
The visit began with a traditional welcome of the Prime Minister with a Sriphal (coconut) by Pramod Jain, the president of Digambar Jain community in Bhopal.
Sources in the Jain temple said Modi also followed the ritual of ‘pad pralakshan’, as per which he washed the Acharya’s feet and sought his blessings. Before Modi, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan also performed the ritual.
The sources said the monk told Modi to play a proactive role in promoting Indian handloom and the language Hindi across the world.
Among other things, the Jain sect leader suggested Modi that the country should be called only ‘Bharat’ instead of having the alternative official name of India.
Jain Digamber community’s local spokesman Ravindra Jain said, “No country has two names and so should be in the case of our nation, he told the Prime Minister.” The Acharya talked about the role of women in the society and how they should be empowered. They also discussed how education was important for development of the country, sources said.
Modi released the Gujarati version of Mook Maati, a religious book written by Acharya Vidyasagar.
The PM was reportedly happy to receive the first copy of the book and is said to have taken it for his onward journey to Goa. The Jain monk also gifted a hand-made cotton sari to the Prime Minister for his mother.
Only five other monks, Chouhan, and Pramode Jain were present inside the temple with Modi and the Acharya.
Governor OP Kohli, finance minister Jayant Malaiya and MoS Sharad Jain were seen waiting outside. Devotees of Digambar Jain community shouted slogans ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and ‘Vande Mataram’.
PM Modi is a superman: CM
During the ex-servicemen meeting at Lal Parade ground, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan termed Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a superman. Chouhan said the PM had not taken rest even for a single day during two and half years in his office. “He is not a man but a superman,” he said.
(With PTI inputs)