PM Narendra Modi pays tribute to Swami Ramakrishna Paramhamsa in Belur Math (Photo Credit: ANI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is in West Bengal for his two-day visit, on Sunday paid tribute to Swami Vivekananda on his birth anniversary at the Belur Math in Howrah, the headquarters of Ramakrishna Mission. He is the first prime minister to stay overnight at the Math in neighbouring. He woke up early on Sunday and visited the temple of Swami Vivekananda to pay respect to the spiritual leader, Mission officials said.
Swami Vivekananda’s birth anniversary is also observed as the National Youth Day. The prime minister then visited the main temple building and paid tribute to Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa, they said.
"My best wishes to you all on Swami Vivekananda's birth anniversary... I'm grateful to the Math's president and the seers for letting me stay with them last night. Belur Math is no less than a pilgrimage, but for me it is always like a homecoming," PM Modi said.
PM Modi also took part in the morning prayer meeting around 9.30 am at the Math premises, officials said.
The prime minister was received by senior monks of the order after he reached Belur Math on Saturday evening, taking the river route from Kolkata. This is prime minister’s second visit to the Math after becoming prime minister.
“The last time I came here, I had taken the blessings of Swami Atmasthanandaji. Today he is not physically present with us. But his work, his path, will always guide us in the form of Ramakrishna Mission,” PM Modi said while addressing youth.
On May 10, 2015, a "deeply emotional" Modi had spent a few morning hours at the Math, praying and meditation.
Later in the day, PM Modi will also participate in the sesquicentenary celebrations of the Kolkata Port Trust.
The prime minister and the chief minister will share dais at the programme at Netaji Indoor Stadium on Sunday. West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar will also be present.