Prime Minister Narendra Modi released a special commemorative coin of 125 rupees on the occasion of the 125th Birth Anniversary of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada on Wednesday through video conferencing.
Addressing the gathering, Mr. Modi said, Swami Prabhupada was not only a great devotee of Krishna, but was also a great devotee of Bharat. He said, Srila Prabhupada took part in the freedom struggle and he had refused to take his diploma from Scottish College in support of the non-cooperation movement. The Prime Minister said, whenever we go to any other country and when people meet saying Hare Krishna, we feel so much of belongingness and pride. He said, imagine how we would feel when we get this affinity for Make in India products.
Prime Minister said, the knowledge of yoga spread all over the world and sustainable lifestyle of India, science like Ayurveda are spread all over the world. He said, it is our resolve that the whole world should benefit from it. Mr Modi said, in the times of slavery, Bhakti kept the spirit of India alive. He said today scholars assess that if there was no social revolution of the Bhakti period, it would have been difficult to imagine the status and form of India. He added that Bhakti connected the creature with God by removing the dicrimination of faith, social hierarchies and privileges.
Mr Modi said, but in those difficult times, saints like Chaitanya Mahaprabhu tied the society with the spirit of devotion and gave the mantra of Faith to Confidence. The Prime Minister said, at one time, sage like Swami Vivekananda came and took Veda and Vedanta to the west. He said, when the responsibility came to give Bhakti Yoga to the world, Srila Prabhupada and ISKCON took up this great task.
Mr Modi said, he worked to connect Bhakti Vedanta with the consciousness of the world. He said, today there are hundreds of ISKCON temples in different countries of the world and many Gurukuls are keeping Indian culture alive. Mr Modi said, ISKCON has told the world that for India, faith means zeal, enthusiasm, and gaiety and faith in humanity. He highlighted the service work of ISKCON during earthquake in Kutch, Uttarakhand tragedy, cyclones in Odisha and Bengal. The Prime Minister also praised the efforts of ISKCON during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Prime Minister mentioned the happy coincidence of Janmashtami day before and the 125th birth anniversary of Srila Prabhupada. He said, it is like achieving happiness and contentment of sadhana together. Mr Modi also noted that the occasion is taking place amidst the celebration of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.
Culture Minister G Kishan Reddy said, Srila Prabhupada brought a cultural revolution and his life says the story of dedication, devotion, determination and courage.
Head of ISKCON Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaj also spoke on the occasion. Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada founded the International Society for Krishna Consciousness ISKCON commonly known as the Hare Krishna movement. ISKCON has translated Shrimad Bhagvad Geeta and other Vedic literature in 89 languages, playing a stellar role in dissemination of Vedic literature across the world. Swami ji also established over a hundred temples and wrote several books, teaching the path of Bhakti Yoga to the world.