Vice President calls for a ‘spiritual renaissance’ to promote Indian civilisational values of unity, peace, and social harmony

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The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu releasing the book Sing, Dance and Pray – the inspirational story of Srila Prabhupada” at Upa-Rashtrapati Nivas, in New Delhi on July 24, 2022.
The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu releasing the book Sing, Dance and Pray – the inspirational story of Srila Prabhupada” at Upa-Rashtrapati Nivas, in New Delhi on July 24, 2022.
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Vice President calls for a ‘spiritual renaissance’ to promote Indian civilisational values of unity, peace, and social harmony

Spirituality is our greatest strength; it is the soul of our nation–Vice President

The Bhagavad Gita provides insightful solutions to all the problems of human existence–Shri Naidu

VP releases the biography of ISKCON founder — ‘Sing, Dance and Pray–the inspirational story of Srila Prabhupada’

Vice President calls Srila Prabhupada one of the greatest ambassadors of India’s cultural heritage and spirituality

Compulsory community service in schools helps inculcate the spirit of service and ‘share & care’ among students: Shri Naidu

By PIB Delhi

The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu today said that Indian civilisation stands for the universal values of unity, peace, and social harmony, and called for a ‘spiritual renaissance’ to preserve and propagate these age-old values.

Addressing a gathering after releasing the book, “Sing, Dance and Pray–the inspirational story of Srila Prabhupada” at Upa-Rashtrapati Nivas today, the Vice President asked youngsters to take inspiration from great saints and spiritual masters like Swami Prabhupada and imbibe qualities of discipline, hard work, patience, and empathy to become better human beings. “You must always rise above narrow considerations of caste, gender, religion, and region and work to bring unity, harmony, and peace in society,” he added. The book authored by Dr. Hindol Sengupta is the biography of Srila Prabhupada, founder of ISKCON.

Crediting Srila Prabhupada with the popularisation of The Bhagavad Gita’s message across the world, the Vice President called him as one of the greatest ambassadors of India’s cultural heritage in the modern era. Terming spirituality our greatest strength, he said that spirituality has been the soul of our nation and the foundation of our civilisation since ancient times. Praising our ancient scriptures for their transcendental spiritual value, Shri Naidu said that for millennia, they have been manuals directing people to lead an ideal life based on ethics and values. “Our scripture The Bhagavad Gita provides insightful solutions to all the problems of human existence, ranging from approaches to liberation from suffering, to self-realisation and attaining moksha or salvation, to the nature and significance of dharma to the overriding importance of action, devotion, and a wide array of other philosophical questions,” he added.

Calling India as the land of devotion, Shri Naidu said that bhakti runs through the veins of Indians and is the lifeline of India’s collective civilizational consciousness. Shri Naidu pointed out that many rishis, munis, and acharyas in India had uplifted the masses through the non-sectarian, universal method of worship, and lauded Srila Prabhupada for preaching the message of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”.

Describing Srila Prabhupada as a torchbearer of egalitarian thought, the Vice President said that he embraced those discarded by society and brought joy and fulfillment to their lives. Admiring Srila Prabhupada’s untiring efforts toward universal peace and harmony through the propagation of Vedic knowledge and culture, Shri Naidu said, “the only criterion he stressed was bhakti, or love of God.” The Vice President also appreciated the efforts of Sri Madhu Pandit Das, President of ISKCON, Bangalore in carrying forward his Guru’s mission.

Recalling Swami Prabhupada’s wish that no one within a ten-mile radius of a Krishna temple should go hungry, the Vice President praised ISKCON for its wonderful spirit of service. Referring to this spirit of service and ‘share & care’ as the core of the Indian value system, Shri Naidu wanted the youth to inculcate these values and, towards this end, suggested making community service compulsory in schools and colleges. The Vice President also commended the ISKCON-led Akshaya Patra Foundation — the world’s largest NGO-run school lunch programme – for rendering invaluable service to underprivileged children and communities.

Congratulating the author Dr. Hindol Sengupta and ISKCON Bangalore for publishing the book – Sing, Dance, and Pray, the Vice President termed it a fitting tribute to Srila Prabhupada on his 125th birth anniversary. He expressed the hope that the biography will inspire its readers to apply this principle in their daily lives. He also encouraged the author and the publishers to get the book translated into various Indian languages.

President of ISKCON Bangalore and Chairman of Akshaya Patra Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa, Vice Chairman Sri Chanchalapathi Dasa, author of the book and historian, Dr. Hindol Sengupta, devotees from ISKCON, and others were present during the book launch ceremony.

Following is the full text of the speech:

“Sisters and brothers,

I take great pleasure in releasing the book, “Sing, Dance and Pray–the inspirational story of Srila Prabhupada” at this august event.

As all of you know, India is one of the world’s most ancient cradles of spiritual culture. Spirituality has been the soul of our nation and the foundation of our civilisation since ancient times. Vedas, Upanishads, epics like The Ramayana, The Mahabharata, and other Puranas have a transcendental spiritual value. For millennia, there have been manuals directing people to lead an ideal life based on ethics and values. Our scripture The Bhagavad Gita provides insightful solutions to all the problems of human existence, ranging from approaches to liberation from suffering, to self-realisation and attaining moksha or salvation, to the nature and significance of dharma to the overriding importance of action, devotion, and a wide array of other philosophical questions. The father of our nation, Mahatma Gandhi, expressed his deep reverence for the Gita. He said, “I find solace in the Bhagavad Gita…. When disappointment stares me in the face, and all along, I see not one ray of light. I go back to the Bhagavad Gita. I find a verse here and a verse there, and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming tragedies–and my life has been full of external tragedies–and if they have left no visible, no indelible scar on me, I owe it all to the teachings of Bhagavad Gita.”

Our ancient land is also the land of devotion. Many rishis, munis, and acharyas have appeared on this punyabhumi to uplift the masses through the non-sectarian, universal method of worship. I can say that bhakti runs through the veins of Indians. It is the lifeline of India’s collective civilizational consciousness.

The 15th-century Vaishnava saint, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, is said to have predicted that the holy names of Lord Krishna would be chanted in every town and village. It is widely accepted that Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder-Acharya of ISKCON, fulfilled this prophecy. Srila Prabhupada founded the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in New York in 1966 with the help of a few young followers and in a short span of 12 years, established more than a hundred ISKCON temples across six continents. Significantly, he also set up Gurukalas, farm communities, and a publishing house for bhakti literature. He travelled around the globe multiple times, preaching the message of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” stressing that humanity is one family.

It must be said to Srila Prabhupada’s credit that he popularised The Bhagavad Gita’s message across the world. Millions of copies of his devotional commentary on the Bhagavad Gita have been distributed in over seventy languages.

It was Swami Prabhupada’s wish that no one within a ten-mile radius of a Krishna temple should go hungry, and he directed his followers to ensure this. Even Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple company, used to walk seven miles to get a good meal at an ISKCON temple during his struggling days. This spirit of service and ‘share & care’ lie at the core of the Indian value system. The youth of the country should strive to inculcate these values and therefore, I would suggest making community service compulsory in schools and colleges so that our children and youth can develop an attitude of sharing and caring in their interaction with others.

There is no doubt that Srila Prabhupada came to be seen as one of the greatest ambassadors of India’s culture and heritage in the modern era. He was also a torchbearer of egalitarian thought. He embraced those discarded by society and brought joy and fulfillment to their lives. The only criterion he stressed was bhakti, or love of God. He truly brought about a spiritual revolution through the simple yet sublime act of singing, dancing, and praying. I deeply admire Srila Prabhupada’s untiring efforts toward universal peace and harmony through the propagation of Vedic knowledge and culture.

I would like to appreciate the efforts of Sri Madhu Pandit Das Ji in carrying forward his Guru’s mission to build a house where the whole world can live happily. I also wish him success with the upcoming Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir project at Vrindavan, dedicated to Lord Krishna. May this cultural heritage project become a spiritual landmark and attract thinkers, leaders, and inquisitive minds.

Dear friends,

Spirituality is our greatest strength and Indian culture stands for the universal values of unity, peace, and social harmony. Each one of us must strive to preserve and propagate these values. Our youngsters must take inspiration from great saints of this ancient nation and spiritual masters like Swami Prabhupada. They must imbibe from them qualities of discipline, hard work, patience, and empathy to become better human beings. They must always rise above narrow considerations of caste, gender, religion & region and work to bring unity, harmony, and peace to society.

I understand that Dr. Hindol Sengupta has captured all the aspects of Srila Prabhupada’s life and work in the book ‘Sing, Dance and Pray’. This biography will be a fitting tribute to Srila Prabhupada on his 125th birth anniversary. I am confident that ‘Sing, Dance, and Pray’ will inspire its readers to apply this principle in their daily lives.

ISKCON Bangalore’s wonderful spirit of service or seva-bhavais is yet another key dimension of its functioning. It is this seva-bhava that led to the birth of The Akshaya Patra Foundation—the world’s largest NGO-run school lunch programme. The service rendered by Akshaya Patra to underprivileged children and communities is truly commendable. Annadana is considered being the highest of all charities, and Akshaya Patra, true to its name, has been supplying unlimited fresh food to the needy every day, realising Srila Prabhupada’s ideal of compassion in action. During the pandemic, their feeding operations have benefitted lakhs of people across the country, and I wish to commend them for this selfless service.

Once again, I congratulate Dr. Hindol Sengupta and ISKCON Bangalore for publishing the book – Sing, Dance, and Pray. I encourage all of you to read this biography of Srila Prabhupada and take inspiration from his life and philosophy.

Hare Krishna!

Jai Hind!”

About Post Author

Suman Munshi

Founder Editor of IBG NEWS (15/Mar/2012- 09/Aug/2018). Recipient of Udar Akash Rokeya Shakhawat Hossain Award 2018. National Geographic & Canon Wild Clicks 2011 jury and public poll winner. Studied Post Graduate Advance Dip in Computer Sc., MBA IT,LIMS (USA & Australia), GxP(USA & UK),BA (Sociology) Dip in Journalism (Ireland), Diploma in Vedic Astrology, Numerology, Palmistry, Vastu Shastra & Feng Sui 25 years in the digital & IT industry with Global MNCs' worked & traveled in USA, UK, Europe, Singapore, Australia, Bangladesh & many other countries. Education and Training advance management and R&D Technology from India, USA, UK, Australia. Over 30 Certification from Global leaders in R&D and Education. Computer Science Teacher, IT & LIMS expert with a wide fan following in his community. General Secretary West Bengal State Committee of All Indian Reporter’s Association
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