Modi inaugurates Adi Shankaracharya Samadhi and unveils statue of the seer
New Delhi, November 5, 2021
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inaugurated Adi Shankaracharya Samadhi and unveiled the statue of the seer besides laying the foundation stones of or dedicating to the nation various development projects at Kedarnath in Uttarakhand.
The Prime Minister also offered prayers at the Kedarnath Temple.
Prayers were offered and celebrations held at the 12 Jyotirlingas and 4 Dhams and several shrines all over the country along with the event at Kedarnath Dham.
Addressing a gathering, Modi evoked the great spiritual Rishi tradition of India. Referring to his interaction with soldiers at Nowshera on Diwali, he said he had conveyed the feelings of 130 crore Indians to the soldiers. On Govardhan Puja today, he expressed happiness at being “on the land of soldiers and in the divine presence of Baba Kedar”.
The Prime Minister quoted a verse from the Ramcharitmanas, "Abigat Akath Apar, Neti Neti Nit Nigam Kah" meaning some experiences are so supernatural, so infinite that they cannot be expressed in words. He said this is how he feels under the shelter of Baba Kedarnath.
He said that new facilities like shelters, facilitation centres would ease the lives of priests and devotees and allow them to fully immerse in the divine experience of the pilgrimage. Referring to the Kedarnath floods in 2013, the Prime Minister noted that the damage caused by the floods years ago was unimaginable. “People who used to come here used to think that will Kedar Dham stand up again? But my inner voice was saying that it will stand with more pride than ever before.”
Due to the grace of Lord Kedar and inspiration of Adi Shankaracharya and his experience of managing the aftermath of the Bhuj earthquake, he said he was able to be of help in those difficult times. On a personal note, Modi said it was a blessing that he could serve the place which nurtured him earlier in his life. He thanked all the workers, priests, Rawal families of the priests, officials and the Chief Minister for relentlessly pursuing the development works at the Dham. He said he kept monitoring the work through drones and other technologies.
“This combination of modernity with the eternal on this ancient land in development work are the result of the natural grace of Lord Shankar,” he added.
Talking about Adi Shankaracharya, Modi said the meaning of Shankar in Sanskrit is – “Sham Karoti Sa"Sankara”, that is, the one who performs welfare work is Shankar. Adi Shankaracharya proved it by leading an extraordinary life devoted to the welfare of the common man. That was a time when spirituality and religion started getting linked with stereotypes and outdated practices as opposed to the philosophy that lays stress on human welfare and looking at life in a holistic way. Adi Shankaracharya made the society aware of this truth, he added.
Modi said that, at present, India’s cultural heritage centres of faith were being viewed with deserved and valid pride. “A grand temple of Lord Shri Ram is coming up in Ayodhya which is regaining its past glory.
“Just two days ago, the whole world saw the grand celebration of Deepotsav in Ayodhya. Today we can imagine how the ancient culture of India must have been,” he said.
“Today, India sets tough goals and deadlines for itself. It is not acceptable for India to be timid about deadlines and goals,” the Prime Minister said. Talking about the contribution of the heroes of the freedom struggle, he asked the people to visit the places related to the freedom movement and places of pilgrimage to get acquainted with the spirit of India.
Modi said the third decade of the 21st century belongs to Uttarakhand. He informed that work is going on at a fast pace on the Char Dham road project, connecting with the highways. The work on a cable car to Kedarnath shrine has started. There is also the holy Hemkund Sahib nearby and work was going on to build a ropeway to facilitate the darshan at the shrine.
He noted that overcoming the geographical difficulties, the people of Uttarakhand had achieved the target of 100 % single dose COVID vaccination.
The Adi Shankaracharya Samadhi has been reconstructed after the destruction in the 2013 floods. The Prime Minister reviewed and inspected the executed and ongoing works along the Saraswati Aastha Path. Key infrastructure projects that have been completed include the Saraswati Retaining Wall Aastha Path and Ghats, Mandakini Retaining Wall Aastha Path, Tirth Purohit Houses and Garud Chatti bridge on river Mandakini. The projects have been completed at a cost of over Rs 130 crore.
He also laid the foundation stone for multiple projects worth over Rs 180 crore, including the Redevelopment of Sangam Ghat, First Aid and Tourist Facilitation Centre, Administration Office and Hospital, two Guest Houses, Police Station, Command & Control Centre, Mandakini Aastha Path Queue Management and Rain shelter and Saraswati Civic Amenity building.