PM’s address at 125th Anniversary celebrations of Shri Ramakrishna Math in Mylapore, today (08.04.2023)
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi participated in the 125th Anniversary celebrations of Sri Ramakrishna Math at Vivekananda House in Chennai, Tamil Nadu today. Upon arriving at the venue, the Prime Minister paid floral tributes and performed puja and meditation in Swami Vivekanand’s room. The Prime Minister also released a book on Holy Trio on the occasion. Started in Chennai in 1897 by Swami Ramakrishnananda, the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission are spiritual organizations engaged in various forms of humanitarian and social service activities. Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister expressed happiness to be present on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of Ramakrishna Math’s service in Chennai and said that he deeply respects Ramakrishna Math in his life. Here is the full script of his wonderful speech...
My pranam to Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Mata Sri Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda, Governor of Tamil Nadu, Shri R N Ravi Ji, Saints of the Chennai Ramakrishna Math, and my dear people of Tamil Nadu, My greetings to all of you.
I am happy to be with you all. Ramakrishna Math is an institution I deeply respect. It has played an important role in my life. This institution is celebrating the 125th anniversary of its service in Chennai. This brings me to another reason for my happiness. I am among the Tamil people, for whom I have great affection. I love the Tamil language, Tamil culture and the vibe of Chennai. Today, I got the opportunity to visit the Vivekananda House. Swami Vivekananda had stayed here after he returned from his famous trip to the West. Meditating here was a special experience. I feel inspired and energetic. I am also happy to see that ancient ideas are reaching the younger generation through modern technology here.
Saint Thiruvalluvar says in one of his verses:
புத்தே ளுலகத்தும் ஈண்டும் பெறலரிதே ஒப்புரவின் நல்ல பிற (திருக்குறள்- 213) பொருள்: வானுலகத்திலும் சரி, இவ்வுலகத்திலும் சரி இயலாதவர்களுக்கு உதவி செய்வதை தவிர சிறந்ததும் நன்மையானதும் வேறொன்றும் இல்லை அதைப் போன்ற அரிய வாய்ப்பும் வேறு இல்லை.
It means: In both this world and the world of the Gods, there is nothing like kindness. Ramakrishna Math is serving Tamil Nadu in many different areas like: Education, libraries and book banks, leprosy awareness and rehabilitation, healthcare and nursing, and rural development.
I just spoke of the impact of the Ramakrishna Math on Tamil Nadu. But this came later. What came first was the impact that Tamil Nadu had on Swami Vivekananda. In Kanyakumari, at the famous rock, Swami Ji discovered the purpose of his life. This transformed him and the impact was felt in Chicago. Later, when Swami Ji returned from the West, he first set foot on the holy soil of Tamil Nadu. The Raja of Ramnaad received him with great respect. When Swami Ji came to Chennai, it was very special. Romain Rolland, the great French writer who won the Nobel Prize, describes it. He says that seventeen victory arches were erected. For over a week, Chennai’s public life came to a complete stop. It was like a festival.
Swami Vivekananda was from Bengal. He was welcomed like a hero in Tamil Nadu. This happened long before India became independent. People across the country had a clear concept of India as a nation for thousands of years. This is the spirit of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat. It is the same spirit that Ramakrishna Math works with. Across India, they have many institutions that serve people selflessly. Speaking of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat, we all saw the success of Kashi Tamil Sangamam. Now, I heard that Saurashtra Tamil Sangamam is happening. I wish great success to all such efforts to further India’s unity.
Our governance philosophy is also inspired by Swami Vivekananda. He said that whenever privilege is broken and equality is ensured, society progresses. Today, you can see the same vision in all our flagship programmes. Earlier, even basic facilities were treated like privileges. Many people were denied the fruits of progress. Only a select few people or small groups were allowed to access it. But now, the doors of development have been opened to everyone.
One of our most successful schemes, MUDRA Yojana, is celebrating its 8th anniversary today. Tamil Nadu’s small entrepreneurs have made the state a leader in MUDRA Yojana. Nearly 38 crore collateral-free loans have been given to small entrepreneurs. A huge number of these people are women and people from marginalised sections of society. Getting a bank loan for business was a privilege, but now, it is reaching everyone. Similarly, basic things like a house, electricity, LPG connections, toilets and more are reaching every family.
Swami Vivekananda had a grand vision for India. Today, I am sure he is proudly watching India working to fulfil his vision. His most central message was about faith in ourselves and our country. Today, many experts are saying this will be India’s century. More importantly, every Indian feels it is our time now. We engage with the world from a position of confidence and mutual respect. Swami Ji used to say that we are nobody to help women. When they have the right platform, they will lead society and solve problems themselves. Today’s India believes in women-led development. Whether it is startups or sports, armed forces or higher education, women are breaking barriers and making records!
Swami Ji believed sports and fitness to be crucial for character development. Today, society has begun to see sports as a professional choice, rather than just as an extra activity. Yoga and Fit India have become mass movements. Swami Ji believed that education empowers. He also wanted technical and scientific education. Today, the National Education Policy has brought in reforms that bring global best practices to India. Skill development has received unprecedented support. We also have one of the world’s most vibrant tech and scientific ecosystems.
It was in Tamil Nadu that Swami Vivekananda said something significant for the India of today. He said that even assimilating five ideas and living them fully was very powerful. We just celebrated 75 years of independence. The nation has set its sights on making the next 25 years as Amrit Kaal. This Amrit Kaal can be used to achieve great things by assimilating five ideas– the Panch Praan. These are: Goal of a developed India, Removing any traces of colonial mindset,Celebrating our heritage, Strengthening unity and Focusing on our duties. Can we all, collectively and individually, resolve to follow these five principles? If 140 crore people make such a resolve, then we can build a developed, self-reliant and inclusive India by 2047. I am sure that in this mission we have Swami Vivekananda’s blessings.
Thank you. Vanakkam.
- Courtesy: PMINDIA Website.
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