Inspiration to many, the spiritual leader who made the world fall in love with India, Swami Vivekanada (whose real name is Narendra Nath) is considered as one of the most influential people of modern Inida. The list of his admirers doesn’t fall short of today’s well sought of names. US President Barack Obama or Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, all look up to this key figure who is credited for popularising Indian philosophies.
Modi’s life is said to have Vivekananda’s deep influence. The former heartily follows the monk’s teachings. During January 2012 to January 2013, Modi, then Chief Minister of Gujarat, daily posted Vivekananda’s quotes on social networking sites.
“Swami Vivekananda is revered as one of the most prolific thinkers and a guiding light who took India&’s message to the entire world…Let us pledge to leave no stone unturned to integrate our youth in India&’s progress & ensure youth-led development across the Nation," Modi once tweeted.
Modi also celebrated 2012 as the ‘Year of Youth Power’ in Gujarat to commemorate Vivekananda&’s 150th birth year.
From unveiling statutes of the Hindu monk in Singapore to running an ‘aggressive marketing’ in Gujarat by putting up posters, Modi has always shown commendation towards Vivekananda.
People close to Modi have often been quoted, saying that Modi has molded many aspects of his life as Vivekananda’s.
Modi has also several times quoted Swami in his speeches. In one of his public speeches, he said, "Swami Vivekananda is not the name of a person. It is about the aatma (soul) of India."
Vivekananda’s personality as a youth icon attracted the Indian youth as a magnet towards Modi during his elections.
On his visit to Belur Math last year, the headquarters of Ramakrishan Math, Modi was deeply touched. He meditated besides Vivekananda’s slippers and appeared to be devoted. Reportedly, in his youth, Modi aspired to become a Ramakrishan monk.
Vivekananda has surely been a hero in Narendra Modi’s life and till date, his teachings and philosophies have a significant influence on his life.