Bengal: Ahead of poll season, Modi chants spiritualism mantra

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Kolkata
  • Updated: Feb 22, 2016 18:23 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the centenary celebrations of the Gaudiya Math and Mission in the city on Sunday evening. (AFP photo)

India’s spiritual consciousness is the reason for its longstanding civilisational ethos. This consciousness has remained intact through the ages. This was stated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who was present during the start of the centenary celebrations of the Gaudiya Math and Mission in the city on Sunday evening.

“This consciousness has even transcended language. The bhajan, “Vaishnav Jan To Tene Re Kahiye Re”, is an example of this,” Modi said during his 25-minute-long address.

He added that the words, vaishnav jan, could easily be replaced with jan pratinidhi (public representatives) in the modern context. Spiritualism thrived even when there was a crisis. The Bhakti movement, led by Sri Chaitanya in Bengal, played an important role in the freedom movement in our country. “In Bengal, great reformers such as Raja Rammohan Roy and Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar played a crucial role in reforming society. Hinduism has saved the society whenever it faces a crisis. Therefore, Hindu reforms should be honoured,” he said to a huge gathering of the devotees of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

“Sometimes, our society passes through a crisis and this can be solved by introducing social reforms. Great men like Raja Rammohan and Vidyasagar had awakened society through their protests and were successful in advocating widow remarriage and abolishing sati,” the Prime Minister said.

Modi said that reform in Indian society has always come from within and Rammohan Roy, Vidyasagar were examples of this. He later offered prayers at the Gaudiya Math. “We have a government at the Centre that is tolerant of all religions. But it’s unfortunate for us when we are branded as communal because we worship Lord Krishna,” said Bhakti Sundar Sanyasi Maharaj, the general secretary of the Gaudiya Math and Mission.

The governors of Bengal and Tripura, Keshari Nath Tripathi and Tathagata Roy, respectively and BJP leaders Kailash Vijayvargiya, Sidharth Nath Singh and Union minister of state for urban development Babul Supriyo were present in the meeting.

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