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  4. PM Modi's 30-year-old pic from Vivekananda rock memorial resurfaces ahead of two-day meditation retreat

PM Modi's 30-year-old pic from Vivekananda rock memorial resurfaces ahead of two-day meditation retreat

As the Lok Sabha Elections 2024 draw to a close, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's two-day meditation retreat at the Vivekananda Rock Memorial in Kanyakumari sparks curiosity and revisits his long-standing connection with Swami Vivekananda and the iconic site.

Edited By: Vaidehi Jahagirdar Kanyakumari (TN) Updated on: May 30, 2024 18:59 IST
Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi, PM Modi circumambulated the statue
Image Source : X/ @MODIARCHIVE Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi, PM Modi circumambulated the statue of Swami Vivekananda to pay their respects

Mere days ahead of the conclusion of the Lok Sabha Elections 2024, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's decision to visit Kanyakumari for a two-day meditation retreat has raised curiosity among the masses. While his visit to the Vivekananda Rock Memorial is being assumed as a continuation of his ‘meditation tradition,’ similar to his actions before the final phases of the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections, it is important to note that this isn't PM Modi's first visit to Kanyakumari.

PM Modi, who considers Swami Vivekananda one of his role models, had earlier visited the rock memorial site about thirty years ago in his capacity as a 'BJP Karyakarta.' A social media handle named Modi Archives shared an image detailing this visit, mentioning that PM Modi (then a BJP worker), along with senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi, visited the iconic Vivekananda Rock Memorial in Kanyakumari during the nationwide commencement of the Ekta Yatra.

Notably, launched in December 1991 and culminating on January 26, 1992, the Ekta Yatra was led by veteran BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi, while Narendra Modi, then a BJP worker, served as a key organizer. This march set a strong tone to the world that India would stand firm and united against the forces of terror.

Meanwhile, now ahead of PM Modi's two day visit, several assumptions are being raised over the selection of the place for the meditation retreat. For the unversed, it is important to note that the Vivekananda Rock Memorial holds great significance among followers of Swami Vivekananda, who believe that in 1892, Swami Vivekananda swam to the rocky islet to meditate. It was after three days of meditation here that Vivekananda attained enlightenment.

Furthermore, it is also pertinent to note PM Modi's long-standing admiration for Swami Vivekananda’s thoughts and ideas could be one of the reason over his visit to Kanyakumari. According to the leader himself, Swami Vivekananda has had a profound influence on his life.

According to the information available PM Modi first encountered the Ramakrishna Mission, a spiritual and philanthropic organization founded by Swami Vivekananda, during his youth. It is reported that in 1966, a young Modi decided to take up sanyas at the Ramakrishna Mission Ashram in Rajkot, Gujarat, similar to Swami Vivekananda. However, Swami Atmasthananda—the then head of the Ramakrishna Mission—advised Modi that his place was in society, not in taking sanyas. He told him to give up the idea of sanyas and instead serve among the people, and contribute to society, rather than live his life as a monk.

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