By S. Sivathasan –
I share some rare photos of Modi a friend of mine sent me. As of now they have scarcity value. Soon they will be commonplace. The images of his saffron clad early years illustrate his search then after truth and reality. His mature image has now captured the minds of all India. From the present transit point he will perhaps go where destiny takes him.
Modi is one among a few noteworthy personages who have left a mark in history. When I look at his early journey I am reminded of the life of Subhas Chandra Bose as recounted in his autobiography. He was from a wealthy family and he was endowed well intellectually. At age 18 came the inevitable curiosity to know reality. He left his home and went ‘guru hunting’ in the Himalayas in caves and jungles. None of the sannyasins satisfied him. Then he returned, read many books avidly and he says gobbled up The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda.
Therein he came across a line “Service to humanity and salvation unto you”. He made it his credo in life and set out to live by it. The course to it lay through involvement in politics and the target was India’s independence. Parents sensing danger sent him to Cambridge to do well academically and to secure a place in the ICS. He was successful but refused to sign the pledge to serve the British. He says that he couldn’t give that pledge and yet fight for India’s independence.
The similarity one sees is in the search for a noble ideal. Faith lured them both to Mother India. As with Bose, in Modi too there was no turning back. This may explain his austere discipline in food and drink and yoga for relentless work. To see a higher purpose and to realize it, one needs a mentor with a halo. Both Bose and Modi had an exemplar in Swami Vivekananda. “Arise, awake and stop not till the goal is reached” and “Him I call a Mahatma whose heart bleeds for the poor” were words to stir the youth and to keep them in the grip of idealism.
They responded with their passionate and selfless work. The first we saw in Bose and the next we see in Modi at its full flush. Coincidentally names too are similar. Vivekananda was Narendranath. Modi’s first name is Narendra and a bronze statue is prominently by his side ever to energise and to enthuse.
“The following are some rare pictures of Prime Minister Narendra Modi living as a sadhu in himalayas in his younger age. According to Lord Krishna, the spiritual knowledge of Bhagavad Gita was originally meant for the raja-rishis, the saintly kings, who would help guide society with that divine knowledge.
evam parampara praptam
imam rajarshayo viduh
– Bhagavad Gita 4.2
“Through the spiritual chain of parampara the saintly kings understood this spiritual knowledge of yoga, union with the divine.”
Let us pray that for the first time modern India will be guided by a raja-rishi, and society will again be governed by dharma.” – So says the sender of the photos.
The concept of ‘Raja – Rishi’ connotes the same one as Plato’s ‘Philosopher King’. When expectations run high among Indians on grounds that are substantive, is it proper to say “His record shows, that he could be a dangerous person”?