Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said India was marching ahead in various fields, including technology and economy even as spiritual centres are reviving in the country.
In his virtual address during the inauguration of Sai Hira Global Convention Centre at Prasanthi Nilayam in Puttaparthi in Andhra Pradesh, PM Modi pointed out that 40 per cent of the total real-time online transactions took place in India and urged the devotees to transform the entire district of Puttaparthi (Sri Satya Sai district) into a digital economy.
Noting that climate change posed a big challenge to the entire world in 21st century, PM Modi said India has taken up initiatives like Mission LiFE in the global platform.
Affirming that the world trusts India’s leadership, he said India is holding the presidency of the prestigious G-20 this year, whose theme of “One Earth, One Family, One Future” is drawn from the country’s fundamental thinking He further said that India has the third largest startup ecosystem in the world and was competing with big countries in areas such as digital technology and 5G technology.
“On one hand spiritual centres are reviving in the country and simultaneously India is leading in economy and technology. Today, India is among the world’s top five economies,” he said in a video.
PM Modi also lauded the ongoing Leaders Conference of Sri Sathya Sai Global Council, terming it an effective medium to know more about India and connect with the world.
India’s attractiveness is on the rise globally, he said while referring to the International Yoga Day celebrations on June 21 at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York, which witnessed participants from the highest number of countries.
For thousands of years Indian saints have nourished the spirit of ‘Ek Bharat-Shreshtha Bharat’, PM Modi said.
Calling for support to tree plantation and make India plastic-free, the Prime Minister highlighted ‘Prem Taru’, an initiative to plant 1 crore trees in the next two years.
I have come to Puttaparthi many times, but this time I could not. I have been invited to come and give blessings, but I will come to take blessings but not give, he said.
Though he may not be with them physically, PM Modi said with the help of technology ‘I am with all of you’.
On the new convention centre, PM Modi expressed confidence that it will create an experience of spirituality and splendour of modernity and said that it comprises cultural diversity, conceptual grandeur and would become a focal point for discussions.
Heaping praises on Sri Sathya Sai Baba, the Prime Minister noted that the former has followers from all over the world and his devotees have connected with Prasanthi Nilayam irrespective of language and culture.
Quoting Sri Sathya Sai Baba in Telugu, the PM said: ‘Seva ane rendu aksharallone ananta mina shakti imidi undi (There is limitless power in the word service).
PM Modi also recollected Sathya Sai Baba’s other timeless teachings such as ‘love all serve all’, ‘help ever, hurt never’, ‘less talk more work’ and ‘every experience is a lesson – every loss is a gain’.
“These teachings have sensitivity as well as a deep philosophy of life,” he said.
PM Modi praised Sathya Sai Baba for building hospitals, schools and colleges to extend free services to people for years, especially the hi-tech heart hospital at Prasanthi Nilayam, including the Sathya Sai Central Trust partnering with the ‘Jal Jeevan Mission’ for providing free water to remote villages.
The PM also reminisced about a phone call he had received from the spiritual leader during the Gujarat earthquake in 2001, which offered him guidance and help.
Emphasising the importance of good conduct by the leaders of the society as people follow them, PM Modi said the life of Shri Sathya Sai is the live example of this.
“Today India is also moving while prioritizing its duties. Moving towards the century of Independence, we have named Amrit Kaal as ‘Kartavya Kaal’. These pledges include the guidance of our spiritual values as well as resolutions for the future. It has both Vikas (development) as well as Virasat (heritage).” PM Modi lauded the initiative of Sathya Sai Central Trust in providing food made from Ragi-Java (millets) to about 40 lakh students of Andhra Pradesh.
Underlining the health benefits of Shree Anna, the PM said the country will hugely benefit if other states connected with such initiatives.
“There is health in Shri Anna, and there are also possibilities. All our efforts will increase India’s potential at the global level, and will strengthen India’s identity” he said.
“Sathya Sai’s blessings are with all of us. With this power, we will build a developed India and fulfill our resolve to serve the whole world”, the Prime Minister said.
Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust has built Sai Hira Global Convention Centre at Prasanthi Nilayam in Puttaparthi, funded by philanthropist Ryuko Hira, demonstrating the vision of cultural exchange, spirituality and Global exchange.
The new facility will host conferences, seminars and cultural events, including encouraging dialogue and understanding between individuals from all walks of life.
It is also equipped with meditation halls, serene gardens and accommodation facilities.
Prasanthi Nilayam is the main ashram of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, located in the eponymous district of Andhra Pradesh.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)