New Delhi [India], June 26 (ANI): Emphasising the role of the Yatras in Indian culture, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his monthly radio broadcast Mann Ki Baat on Sunday said the pilgrimages in the country do not just offer spiritual vibes but also create opportunities to serve the poor.
In the 90th episode of his monthly radio programme 'Mann Ki Baat', Prime Minister Modi said, "Upanishads mention a life mantra-'Charaiveti-Charaiveti-Charaiveti'. It means keep going, keep going. This mantra is so popular in our country because it is part of our nature to keep moving and be dynamic. As a nation, we have come this far through a journey of development spanning thousands of years."
Prime Minister said the country has always moved ahead by accepting new ideas and new changes.
"Our cultural mobility and travels have contributed a lot to this. That is why our sages and saints had entrusted us with spiritual responsibilities like pilgrimage. All of us go on varied pilgrimages," he said.
PM Modi said a large number of devotees participated in the Chardham Yatra this year.
Referring to Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra, Prime Minister said, "In our country, different Dev-yatras also take place time to time. In Dev Yatras, not only the devotees but also our Gods go on a journey. In just a few days from now on July 1, the famous journey of Lord Jagannath is going to commence. All of us are familiar with the Puri yatra in Odisha. People make efforts to ensure that on this occasion they get the good fortune of going to Puri."
In other states too, he said Jagannath Yatras are taken out with great gaiety and fervour. Lord Jagannath Yatra begins on Dwitiya, the second day of the month of Ashadha in the Hindu calendar.
He said, "In our texts 'Ashadhasya Dwitiya divase... Rath Yatra', this is how the description is found in Sanskrit shlokas. In Ahmedabad, Gujrat too, every year Rath Yatra begins from Ashadh Dwitiya. I was in Gujarat, so I also used to get the privilege of serving in this Yatra every year."
Ashadha Dwitiya, also known as Ashadhi Bij, marks the beginning of the new year of Kutch on this day.
"For me this day is also very special - I remember, a day before Ashadha Dwitiya, that is, on the first Tithi of Ashadha, we started a Sanskrit festival in Gujarat, which comprises songs, music and cultural programmes in Sanskrit language. The name of this event is - 'Ashadhasya Pratham Diwase'.
PM Modi said the yatra of Lord Jagannath be it Ahmedabad or Puri, gives many deep human messages.
"Bhagwan Jagannath is the lord of the world, but the poor and downtrodden have a special participation in his journey. God also walks along with every section and person of the society. Similarly, in all the journeys that take place in our country, there is no such distinction between poor and rich, high and low. Rising above all discrimination, the journey itself is paramount," he said.
Prime Minister further mentioned Pandharpur Yatra in Maharashtra and Amarnath Yatra in Jammu and Kashmir.
"In the Pandharpur Yatra, one is neither big nor small. Everyone is a Varkari, a servant of Bhagwan Vitthal. Devotees from all over the country reach Jammu Kashmir for the Amarnath Yatra. The local people of Jammu Kashmir take the responsibility of this Yatra with equal reverence, and cooperate with the pilgrims," he said.
Prime Minister said the Sabarimala Yatra has the same importance in the South. This pilgrimage to seek Darshan of Bhagwan Ayyappa on the hills of Sabarimala has been going on since the times when this path was completely surrounded by forests.
"Even today, when people go on these yatras, so many opportunities are created for the poor. From religious rituals to lodging arrangements, these yatras directly give us an opportunity to serve the poor and are equally beneficial to them. The country, too, is now making many efforts to increase the facilities for the devotees in their spiritual journeys," he said
'Mann ki Baat' is a radio programme, broadcast by All India Radio on the last Sunday of every month. The first episode of Mann Ki Baat was broadcast on October 3, 2014. (ANI)