The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi addressed the gathering on the occasion of the 150th birth anniversary of Shri Vijay Vallabh Surishwar Ji via video message today.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister bowed before bearers of the saint tradition in India, and all the believers of the Jain faith across the world. Shri Modi expressed delight upon getting the opportunity to be in the company of numerous saints and seek their blessings. The Prime Minister remembered the time in Gujarat when he had the opportunity to listen to Santvani in Vadodara and Chhota Udaipur’s Kanwat village.
Recalling the beginning of celebrations of the 150th birth anniversary of Acharya Shri Vijay Vallabh Surishwar Ji, the Prime Minister informed about the privilege he had of unveiling the statue of Acharya Ji Maharaj. “Today once again I am amongst you saints with the help of technology”, the Prime Minister remarked. He underlined that a commemorative postage stamp and coin dedicated to Acharya Shri Vijay Vallabh Surishwar Ji has been released today with the objective of connecting the masses to spiritual consciousness, the life philosophy of Acharya Shri Vijay Vallabh Surishwar Maharaj Sahib. The Prime Minister further added that the two-year-long celebrations are now coming to an end and the campaign launched to increase faith, spirituality, patriotism and national power is commendable.
Remarking on the present geopolitical scenario in the world, the Prime Minister said, “Today the world is experiencing the crisis of war, terror and violence, and looking for inspiration and encouragement to break out of this vicious circle.” Shri Modi highlighted that in such a situation, it is the ancient traditions and philosophy coupled with the power of today’s India that is turning out to be a big hope for the world. He further added that the path shown by Acharya Shri Vijay Vallabh Surishwar and the teachings of Jain gurus is the solution to these global crises. “Acharya Ji lived a life of non-violence, solitude and renunciation, and made constant efforts to spread faith in people towards these ideas is inspirational to all of us”, Shri Modi said. He highlighted that Acharya Ji’s insistence on peace and harmony was clearly visible even during the horrors of partition. Due to this, Acharya Shri had to break the fast of Chaturmas. The Prime Minister drew the similarity with Mahatma Gandhi who, in the freedom movement, adopted the path of ‘aparigraha’ as laid down by the Acharyas. He said, “Aparigraha is not only renunciation but also controlling all kinds of attachment.”
The Prime Minister pointed out, as mentioned by Gachadhipati Jainacharya Shri Vijay Nityanand Surishwar Ji, that Gujarat has given two Vallabhs to the country. He said, “It is a coincidence that today the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Acharya Ji are being completed, and after a few days we are going to celebrate Sardar Patel’s birth anniversary, National Unity Day.” The Prime Minister highlighted that the ‘Statue of Peace’ is one of the largest statues of saints and the ‘Statue of Unity’ is the tallest statue in the world. Shri Modi said, “These are not just tall statues, but they are also the greatest symbol of Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat.” Throwing light on the contributions of the two Vallabhs, the Prime Minister highlighted that Sardar Sahib had united the India which was divided into princely states while Acharya Ji travelled to different parts of the country and strengthened the unity, integrity and culture of India.
Highlighting how religious tradition and indigenous products can be promoted simultaneously, the Prime Minister quoted Acharya Ji and said “The prosperity of a country is dependent on its economic prosperity, and by adopting indigenous products, one can keep the art, culture and civilization of India alive.” He further added that Acharya Ji’s clothes used to be white and always made of Khadi. The Prime Minister underlined that the message of Swadeshi and self-reliance is extremely relevant in the Azadi ka Amritkaal. He said, “This is the mantra of progress for self-reliant India. Therefore, from Acharya Vijay Vallabh Surishwar Ji to the present Gachhadhipati Acharya Shri Nityanand Surishwar Ji, this path has been reinforced, we have to strengthen it further.”
The Prime Minister highlighted that the rich tradition of social welfare, human service, education and public consciousness that the Acharyas have developed in the past should continue to expand. “In the Azadi Ka Amritkaal, we are moving towards the making of a developed India.”, Shri Modi continued, “For this, the country has taken five pledges and the role of saints is leading the way in accomplishing the ‘Paanch Pran’.” The Prime Minister underlined that the guidance of saints is always important in empowering civic duties. He stressed the role of Acharyas in campaigning for ‘Vocal For Local’ and remarked that it will be a great service to the nation from their end. “Most of your followers are related to business,” the Prime Minister said as he urged them to take a vow to trade in goods that are made in India only, and said that it will be a huge tribute to Maharaj Sahib. “Acharya Shree has shown us this path of progress and may we continue to pave it for the future”, the Prime Minister concluded.