PM Modi begins ‘dhyan’ at Kanniyakumari Vivekananda Rock Memorial

Modi worshipped at the Bhagavathi Amman temple, reached the rock memorial by a ferry service and started meditation.

ByPTI

Published May 31, 2024 | 9:02 AMUpdatedMay 31, 2024 | 9:26 AM

Modi praying in Kanniyakumari. (X)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi began his 45-hour-long meditation at the famed Vivekananda Rock Memorial in Kanniyakumari on Thursday, 30 May, evening, following the completion of his two-month-long high-pitch poll campaign across the country.

After arriving from nearby Thiruvananthapuram by helicopter, Modi worshipped at the Bhagavathi Amman temple, reached the rock memorial by a ferry service and started meditation that is scheduled to go on till 1 June.

Clad in a dhoti and a white shawl, Modi prayed at the temple and circumambulated the ‘garbhagriha’. Priests performed a special ‘arthi’ and he was given temple ‘prasad’ that included a shawl and a framed photograph of the presiding deity of the temple.

Later, he reached the rock memorial by a ferry service operated by the state government-run shipping corporation and began his meditation at the ‘dhyan mandapam.’ Before he embarked on the dhyan exercise, for a while, Modi stood on the stairs leading to the mandapam that offers breathtaking views of the sea that surrounds the memorial from all sides.

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Showered flowers

The prime minister showered flowers on the portraits of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, mother Sri Sarada Devi and also paid floral tributes to Swami Vivekananda, whose life-size statue on a high pedestal adores the mandapam. Modi later commenced the sadhana (spiritual practice) in the mandapam.

Speaking to reporters at Sivaganga, Tamil Nadu BJP president K Annamalai termed PM Modi’s visit to the memorial as an out-and-out ‘private’ visit. “It is the Prime Minister’s personal visit,” he said, adding that was why his party leaders and cadres did not take part in the event.

Ahead of his departure on June 1, Modi is likely to visit the Thiruvalluvar statue, next to the memorial. Both the memorial and 133-ft statue were built on tiny islets, that are separate and mound-like rocky formations in the sea.

While outfits including Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam staged a black flag demonstration in Madurai opposing Modi, social media platform ‘X’ also witnessed a flood of #GoBackModi posts, amid political opposition to the broadcast of his meditation in view of the final (seventh) phase of voting for the Lok Sabha elections on 1 June.

All arrangements, including heavy security, are in place for Modi’s 45-hour stay at the famed memorial named after the revered Hindu saint. This is the first time the prime minister will be staying at the memorial, a monument built in tribute to Swami Vivekananda, who meditated over the rocks inside the sea towards the end of 1892.

While the prime minister chose Kedarnath cave to reflect and meditate following the end of the campaign in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, now he has chosen a spiritually significant place in the southernmost tip of the mainland of the country.

Following the culmination of the hectic Lok Sabha election campaign in which he presided and addressed a multitude of political events such as roadshows and rallies, Modi will be meditating in an ambience of quietude, where probably only the sound of breaking waves could be heard.

While security personnel teemed the memorial premises, security has been beefed up in the entire Kanyakumari district and about 2,000 police personnel have been deployed, besides heightened vigil by the Tamil Nadu police’s Coastal Security Group, Coast Guard and the Navy.

Modi’s meditation from the evening of Thursday to the evening of 1 June at Dhyan mandapam is the place where Vivekananda — a spiritual icon admired by the prime minister — is believed to have had a divine vision about ‘Bharat Mata’.

(Disclaimer: The headline, subheads, and intro of this report along with the photos may have been reworked by South First. The rest of the content is from a syndicated feed, and has been edited for style.)