The link between PM Modi and Ramakrishna Mission, explained
Kolkata, Jan 12: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, an ardent devotee of Swami Vivekananda, spent the night at Belur Math - global headquarters of the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission - in neighbouring Howrah district.
He has been put up in the international guest house ar Belur Math, which was turned into a fortress with SPG and state police personnel swarming over the area.
The link between the prime minister and the Ramakrishna Mission goes back to mid-60s. He has a long association with the Ramkrishna Mission order founded by Vivekananda in 1897, when a teenager Modi, inspired by the teachings of Swami Vivekananda, had arrived at the Mission's Rajkot branch in Gujarat and expressed the desire to join the order.
Swami Atmasthananda, who later went on to become the 15th president of the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission, then headed the Rajkot branch and had advised him that sanyas was not for him and that he should work among people. A few words by this monk changed the course of PM Modi's life.
During those days, Modi used to regularly meet Atmasthananda and sought his spiritual guidance.
Although Modi went back after spending some time there his the relationship with Swami Atmasthananda and the Ramkrishna Mission continued.
Whenever Modi used to visit Kolkata, even during his days as Gujarat chief minister, he would travel to the Math.
This is Modi's second visit to Belur Math after becoming prime minister.
In 2013, during his Kolkata visit, he had gone to Belur and sought the blessings from Atmasthananda.
In 2015, Modi had called on ailing Swami Atmasthananda at Ramakrishna Mission Seva Pratisthan, a hospital run by the Mission in south Kolkata and enquired about his health.
After Atmasthananda's death in 2017, Prime Minister Modi had termed it as a "personal loss".
On Sunday, the prime minister paid tributes to Swami Vivekananda on his birth anniversary, which is celebrated as the National Youth Day, and spent some time in the spiritual leader's room in quietude.