Saint Shiromani Acharya Shri Vidyasagar Ji Maharaj has a prominent place in the great tradition of saints and social reform.

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In life we ​​meet very few such people, whose mind and brain gets filled with positive energy as soon as we approach them. The affection and blessings of such people are a great asset for us. Sant Shiromani Acharya Shri 108 Vidyasagar Ji Maharaj was like that for me. There was communication of supernatural spiritual energy near him. Seeing saints like Acharya Vidyasagar ji, one could experience how spirituality in India flows continuously like an immortal and immortal stream of water, doing good to the society.

Today, I am remembering my meetings with him, my conversations with him, everything again and again. It was a great privilege for me to visit Chandragiri Jain temple of Dongargarh in Chhattisgarh in November last year. At that time I had no idea that this would be my last meeting with Acharya ji. That moment has become unforgettable for me. During this time he talked to me for a long time. He took care of me in a fatherly manner and also blessed me for my efforts in serving the country. He also expressed happiness over the development of the country and the respect India is getting on the world stage. He was very excited while discussing his work. During this time, his gentle gaze and divine smile were inspiring. His blessings were full of joy, making us feel his divine presence in our inner being as well as in the entire environment. His passing is like losing a wonderful guide who has continuously paved the way for me and countless others.

It has been the specialty of India that this holy land has continuously given birth to such great personalities, who along with showing direction to the people, have also made an important contribution in improving the society. In this great tradition of saints and social reform, Saint Shiromani Acharya Shri Vidyasagar Ji Maharaj has a prominent place. He has shown a new path for the present as well as the future. His entire life was full of spiritual inspiration. Every chapter of his life is adorned with amazing wisdom, immense compassion and unwavering commitment for the upliftment of humanity.

Saint Shiromani Acharya Vidyasagar Ji Maharaj Ji was the trinity of right knowledge, right philosophy and right character. The most special thing about his personality was that as much as his Samyak Darshan was for self-realization, his public awareness was equally strong. As much as his knowledge was about religion, he also had equal concern for folk science.

Acharya ji’s life, full of compassion, service and penance, was a symbol of the ideals of Lord Mahavir, his life was the biggest example of the basic spirit of Jainism. He preserved these principles throughout his life through his work and his initiation. His love for every person shows the importance of ‘life’ in Jainism. He taught with integrity throughout his life how great is the purity of thoughts, words and deeds. He always emphasized on simplicity of life. It is because of personalities like Acharya ji, today the whole world gets inspiration to connect with Jainism and the life of Lord Mahavir.

He was a great source of inspiration for the Jain community as well as various other communities. People from different sects, traditions and regions found him in his company, and he worked tirelessly for spiritual awakening, especially among the youth.

The field of education has been very close to his heart. His journey from being a common Vidyadhar in his childhood to becoming Acharya Vidyasagar ji shows his deep commitment to acquiring knowledge and enlightening the entire society with that knowledge. He strongly believed that education was the basis of a just and enlightened society. He described knowledge as paramount to empower people and achieve goals in life. He had special emphasis on the importance of self-study and self-awareness as the path to true knowledge. Along with this, he also urged his followers to make continuous efforts for continuous learning and spiritual development.

Saint Shiromani Acharya Vidyasagar Ji Maharaj wished that our youth should get such education which is based on our cultural values. He often used to say that because we have moved away from the knowledge of our past, we are currently facing many big challenges. He saw solutions to many of today’s challenges in the knowledge of the past. For example, regarding the water crisis, he used to suggest many solutions from the ancient knowledge of India. He also believed that education should be one that focuses on skill development and innovation.

Acharya ji also did a lot of work for the welfare of prisoners in various jails. Many prisoners took training in handloom with the help of Acharya ji. He was so respected among the prisoners that after their release, many prisoners used to go to meet Acharya Vidyasagar ji even before their families.

Saint Shiromani Acharya ji was very proud of the linguistic diversity of India. That’s why he always encouraged the youth to learn local languages. He himself has composed many works in Sanskrit, Prakrit and Hindi. As a saint, the way he remained connected to the ground even after reaching the pinnacle, is clearly visible in his great work ‘Mook Maati’. Not only this, he also became the voice of the deprived through his works.

With the contribution of Saint Shiromani Acharya Vidyasagar Ji Maharaj, major changes have taken place in the field of health care. He made special efforts in those areas where he saw greater deficiencies. His view on health was very broad. He stressed on linking physical health with spiritual consciousness, so that people can remain healthy both physically and mentally.

I would especially urge the coming generations to study extensively about the commitment of Sant Shiromani Acharya Shri Vidyasagar Ji Maharaj towards nation building. He always urged people to rise above any partisan considerations and focus on the national interest. He was one of the strongest supporters of voting and believed it to be the most powerful expression of participation in the democratic process. He always advocated healthy and clean politics. He said – ‘Public policy is not a collection of greed, but a collection of people’, hence policies should not be made for personal interest, but for the welfare of the people.

Acharya ji had a deep belief that a strong nation is built on the foundation of its citizens’ sense of duty as well as deep commitment towards their family, their society and the country. He always encouraged people to develop qualities like honesty, integrity and self-reliance. These qualities are essential for a just, compassionate and prosperous society. Today, when we are continuously working towards building a developed India, the sense of duty becomes more important.

In such a period when many kinds of environmental crises are looming around the world, the guidance of Saint Shiromani Acharya Ji is going to be very useful for us. He called for adopting a lifestyle that helps in reducing the damage caused to nature. This is the ‘Mission Life’ that India has called for today on the global stage. Similarly, he gave supreme importance to agriculture in our economy. He also stressed on adopting modern technology in agriculture. I am sure he would have been very happy with the success of the NaMo Drone Didi campaign.

Sant Shiromani Acharya Shri 108 Vidyasagar Ji Maharaj ji will always be alive in the hearts and minds of the countrymen. Acharya ji’s messages will always inspire and enlighten him. We are committed to embodying his values ​​while honoring his unforgettable memory. This will not only be a humble tribute to him, but will also pave the way for nation building and national welfare by following the path shown by him.

-Narendra Modi

(The author is the Prime Minister of India)

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