Belur (WB), May 10: Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the Ramakrishna Math and Mission headquarters at Belurmath and got emotional as this was the place where PM Modi was told that he should concentrate on his studies rather than becoming a monk.
Modi looked visibly emotional after reaching the room where Vivekananda's relics are kept.
Modi also stood amongst monks of the monastic order and got himself photographed with them amidst chanting of Vedic 'shanti mantras'.
Before leaving the math where he was there for about an hour, he offered prayers at the temple of Brahmananda, Ma Sarada and Swami Vivekananda. He was gifted 'dhoti' and shawl by the authorities who also gave him 'prasad' made of Payesh (Bengali sweet dish) and fruits.
The monks gave the Prime Minister memorabilia related to Belurmath and books like Bible, Gospels of Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda. He thanked the authorities for inviting him to visit the math premises.
PM Modi gets emotional
As a young boy, Modi was deeply influenced by the ideals of Swami Vivekananda and had decided to join the order as a monk. It was during this time that he had first visited Belurmath.
"But our then president had advised him to concentrate more on his education. He was also below the minimum age required to join the Order," Swami Subirananda, assistant secretary of the Math, said.
Later Modi went to the RKM centre in Almora, where his request was turned down again, he said.
"Modi then went to the Himalayas for two years and after that he came back to his village and subsequently started visiting our Rajkot centre where he got the holy company of Swami Atmasthanand, now RKM president.
Modi used to get spiritual instructions from him," the monk said. After Modi expressed his desire once again to be a monk, he was discouraged by the Swami and told that his calling lay elsewhere.
"When Modi visited Belurmath in 2013 when he was the Gujarat Chief Minister, he told the Swami, 'Aapne mujhe bhaga diya tha us samay isiliye main aaj mukhyamantri hu' (You had told me to go away that time and that is why I am the chief minister now)," the monks recall.
Last evening he had gone to meet Swami Atmasthananda, president of the order, who is recovering at a Kolkata hospital.
When both of them were in Rajkot, Modi used to visit him often to seek spiritual guidance.
If years ago Swami Atmasthananda would not turned away Narendra Modi, then he would have been a monk today instead of being the Prime Minsiter of India.
In his youth, Modi had wanted to be a monk of the order founded by Ramakrishna Paramhamsa but was turned away thrice.
(With inputs from agencies)