The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressed the concluding ceremony of the year-long celebrations of S N Goenka’s 100th birth anniversary via video message today.
Recalling the beginning of the birth centenary celebrations of the Vipassanā meditation teacher, Acharya Shri S N Goenka a year ago, the Prime Minister underlined that the nation celebrated ‘Amrit Mahotsav’ and also remembering the ideals of Kalyan Mitra Goenka at the same time. He reaffirmed that when these celebrations are coming to an end today, the country is moving rapidly towards fulfilling the resolutions of a Viksit Bharat. Quoting Lord Buddha’s mantra which was often used by Guruji, Prime Minister Modi explained the meaning and said “Meditating together gives effective results. This feeling of solidarity and power of unity is a major basis of Viksit Bharat.” He extended his warm wishes to all for propagating the same mantra throughout the year.
The Prime Minister recalled his connections with Shri Goenka and said that they met multiple times in Gujarat after the first meeting at the World Religion Conference at the United Nations. Shri Modi called himself fortunate for seeing him during his final stages and having the privilege of knowing and understanding the Acharya closely. The Prime Minister spoke highly about Shri Goenka absorbing Vipassana deeply along with his calm and serious personality which created an atmosphere of virtuousness wherever he went. “A perfect example of ‘One Life, One Mission’, Shri Goenka had only one mission – Vipassana! He imparted the knowledge of Vipassana to everyone”, the Prime Minister said as he hailed the huge contribution to humanity and the world.
The Prime Minister pointed out that even though Vipassana is a wonderful gift of the ancient Indian way of life to the whole world, this heritage was lost for a long period in the country and the art of teaching and learning Vipassana seemed to have come to an end. However, the Prime Minister informed that after 14 years of penance in Myanmar, Shri Goenka acquired the knowledge and returned to the homeland with Bharat’s ancient glory of Vipassana. Highlighting the importance of Vipassana, the Prime Minister said, “It is the path of self-transformation through self-observation.” While it held great relevance when it was introduced thousands of years ago, the Prime Minister reaffirmed the belief that it has become even more relevant in today’s life as it has the power to resolve the current challenges of the world. He said that because of Guruji’s efforts, more than 80 countries of the world have understood the importance of meditation and adopted it. “Acharya Shri Goenka once again gave a global identity to Vipassana. Today India is giving new expansion to that resolution with full strength”, the Prime Minister said as he recalled the support of more than 190 countries to India’s proposal of celebrating International Yoga Day in the United Nations, thereby making it a part of life globally by getting.
Even though it was India’s ancestors who researched the processes of Vipassana yoga, the Prime Minister pointed out the irony where the next generations forgot its importance. “Vipassana, Meditation, Dharana, are often considered only as matters of renunciation and people but its role was forgotten”, he added and praised eminent personalities like Acharya Shri SN Goenka for their leadership. Quoting Guru ji the Prime Minister remarked, “A healthy life is a big responsibility of all of us towards ourselves”. Highlighting the benefits of Vipassana, he said that practicing Vipassana has become even more important in today’s challenging times when the youth have become victims of stress due to work life balance, prevailing lifestyle and other issues. He emphasized it is a solution not just for them but also for the members of micro and nuclear families where elderly parents remain under a lot of stress. He also urged everyone to connect elderly people with such initiatives.
The Prime Minister further applauded Acharya Goenka’s efforts to make everyone’s life peaceful, happy and harmonious through his campaigns. He also wanted the future generations to avail the benefits of these campaigns and that is why he expanded his knowledge. He did not stop there but also created skilled teachers. The Prime Minister once again explained about Vipassana, saying that it is a journey into the soul and a way to dive deep within yourself. However, it is not just a genre but a science. He said as we are familiar with the results of this science, we now need to present its evidence to the world according to the standards of modern science. “While a lot is already being done all over the world in this direction, Bharat needs to take the lead in making it more acceptable using new research for bringing greater welfare to the world”, he added.
Concluding his address, the Prime Minister called this year of the birth centenary celebrations of Acharya SN Goenka an inspiring time for all and expressed confidence that his efforts be carried forward for human service.