The 14th and current Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi is the second most followed leader in the world. His time in politics referred to as the ‘Modi wave’ is changing India – whether it is for the good or the bad, we leave that for the critics to judge.
Before Modi entered politics, he was a very different person. He is known to have travelled alone to unknown places in his teenage years. It is also said that he spent some time with the sadhus in the Himalayas. Soon after he was married at 17, he took off for the Himalayas.
Did you know that India’s current Prime Minister once wanted to become a monk, leaving the entire world behind him? He had wandered, preparing himself for the life of an ascetic.
Inspired by Swami Vivekananda, Narendra Modi, who was in his late teenage years, had spent some time at the Rama Krishna Mission ashram in Rajkot in 1966. Over there, he decided that it was time to embrace monkhood. He spent some time learning from Swami Atmasthananda at the ashram and told him that he wanted to take sanyas.
According to an article in the Economic Times, ‘When Modi expressed his desire to become a monk, after spending some time in the ashram, Swami Atmasthananda told him that sanyas was not for him and his work was among people and not in seclusion.’
Thereafter Swami Atmasthananda sent Modi to Belur Math, with a letter addressed to the President of Ram Krishna Mission, Swami Madhavananda, according to an article in the Times Of India. Swami Madhavananda also told him the same thing that his work was with people and an ascetic life was not for him.
Post that began Modi’s political life in Rajkot with RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh). Rest is history.
It is often said that it was Swami Atmasthananda showed direction to the PM towards politics. On May 26, 2014, when he took an oath as India’s Prime Minister, he had a flower in his jacket pocket. This flower was a prasadi from the Swami. When the Swami passed away, PM Modi tweeted about it and said that it was a personal loss for him as he had lived with Swami Atmasthanada during a very important period of his life.
What a journey!
Did you know this about India’s Prime Minister?