Kolkata, April 10: The Ramakrishna Mission and the Mission headquarters here made an exception on Tuesday when it opened the room of Swami Vivekananda's room for the visiting Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, to meditate of almost 25 minutes, according to a report published in The Telegraph on Wednesday.
The room is situated to the southeast of the old Ramakrishna temple at Belur Math where the seer, born Narendra Nath Datta, lived and died in 1902.
The room houses several personal belongings of the Swami and visitors are usually not allowed to enter it, leave aside meditating. But the Gujarat chief minister was treated as an exception and he spent some time meditating in the room. Modi invokes Swamiji's name often while promoting his political thoughts and ideology.
A monk at the mission headquarters confirmed that when Modi sought a permission to meditate inside Swamiji's room, they threw it open and he sat alone in the room for almost 25 minutes. After that, the Gujarat CM spent a few minutes watching the Ganga from the balcony.
Modi, as per the report, had visited Belur Math awhen he was 17 and aspirted to live a m9onk;s life. Veterans at the math said it was the then president of the Mission, Swami Madhavananda Maharaj, who had convinced a young Modi not to take the step then and complete his studies before he became a monk. According to sources, Modi tried to join the order again in the future but was dissuaded to do so.
He met Swami Atmasthananda in Rajkot in the early Seventies and told the latter that he was keen to become a monk. Swami Atmasthananda is currently the president of the Math and Mission. Modi had a light conversation with the president in Gujarati and later said that the latter had an influence on his life.
Modi said before his departure that the atmosphere at Belur had touched his heart and his latest visit was all the more special since it coincided with Swami Vivekananda's 150th birth anniversary. He had also offered puja in the nearby Dakhsineswar temple before arriving at Belur.