Modi begins 45-hr dhyan at Kanyakumari

BJP leaders in the State were asked not to go to welcome the Prime Minister

Kanyakumari: Prime Minister Narendra Modi started his 48-hour meditation in solitude at the Vivekananda rock memorial at land’s end, off Kanyakumari, on Thursday, after completing his hectic over three-month long campaign for the Lok Sabha elections in Punjab.

Arriving at Thiruvananthapuram by a special flight, he boarded a Mi-17 Air Force helicopter at around 3.55 pm to reach Kanyakumari, where he took rest for some time at the Travellers Bungalow and then visited the Bhagavathi Amman Temple, dressed in a white dhoti, shirt and shawl.

Priests at the temple, where a special pooja was performed for the Prime Minister, offered him ‘prasadam’ and a framed picture of Goddess Bhagvathi Amman, the presiding deity of the temple. Then he took a special boat, owned by the Poompuhar Shipping Corporation and christened ML Vivekananda, along with a core team of security officers.

Though the rest of the security personnel sailed by five other small boats to the Vivekananda rock along with the Prime Minister, no BJP leader was allowed to meet him or greet him. Even digital banners or BJP flags were not put up to welcome the Prime Minister as the visit to sit on a thapas is not a political event.

BJP leaders in the State were asked not to go to welcome the Prime Minister and the rooms booked for leaders like Union Minister of State, L.Murugan in hotels on the sea shore were cancelled. Former union minister and BJP candidate in Kanyakumari Lok Sabha constituency, Pon Radhakrishnan, however, attempted to enter the path to the boat jetty but was turned away by security personnel.

Modi, who landed on the Vivekananda rock memorial at around 6.20 pm, is reported to have offered prayers at the ‘Sreepatha Mandapam’, built on the spot where Kumari Amman, believed to be the embodiment of Goddess Parvathy, had done a tapas on one leg.

Later, Modi offered floral tribute to the bronze statue of Swami Vivekananda on the memorial when a 33-year-old old photograph of him standing below the same statue along with BJP leader Murali Manohar Joshi surfaced on social media and went viral in no time.

In December 1991, Modi was a key organiser of the Ekta Yatra that Joshi had undertaken from Kanyakumari to Kashmir and that photograph of the participants of the yatra was unearthed by someone and put up on the public domain.

During the 48 hours on the rock memorial, Modi will be fasting and meditating by following a simple liquid diet of fruit juice, tender coconut water and milk All arrangements for his stay has been made at the rock memorial, where he will be sleeping on the floor of the hall, according to an administrator of the Vivekananda Kendra that oversees the administration of the Vivekananda memorial rock.

Modi will meditate before the life size statue of Swami Vivekananda for more than ten hours from 1 pm on May 31 till 12 midnight. Relaxing for a brief time of about three hours, he will resume the meditation from 4 am till 1 pm on June 1.

According to the tentative travel schedule of the Prime Minister, he will leave the rock memorial by boat at 3 pm on Saturday and reach the rock jetty on the mainland at 3,10 pm, from where he will drive down to the helipad and leaving Kanyakumari at 3.25 pm by the Mi-17 helicopter he will reach Thiruvananthapuram airport.

It was on the same rock, earlier known as the ‘last bit of Indian rock’ that Swami Vivekananda sat in meditation from Dec. 25 to 27 in 1892. Vivekananda is said to have swum across the ocean to reach the rock located 500 metres off the coast after reaching Kanyakumari on Dec. 24, 1892 when, as a ‘wandering monk’ he was going around the country.

The Vivekananda Rock Memorial was constructed in memory of the historic event by the Kanyakumari Committee formed in 1962 after overcoming a series of hurdles and was inaugurated in 1970.

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