New Delhi, June 24 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday invoked Sant Kabir and Guru Nanak Dev to emphasise the message of social harmony and integrity they preached.
Pointing out that 2019 would mark the 550th Prakash Parv (birth anniversary) of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism, Modi urged his followers to think about ways in which this historic occasion should be celebrated.
“Guru Nanak Dev wanted to end caste discrimination in society and to embrace entire mankind as one. He used to say that to serve the poor and the needy was to serve God.
“He started several initiatives for the welfare of the people such as the community kitchen or ‘langar’ where any person of any religion, caste or creed could come and eat with others,” Modi said.
Saluting the 15th century saint Kabir, Modi said hia thoughts and ideals emphasised social harmony.
He said Kabir tried to break social taboos like in his choosing of Maghar, a small town in now eastern Uttar Pradesh, as the place to die, instead of Kashi (Varanasi).
It was believed that one who died in Maghar would not go to heaven but if one breathed his last in Kashi, he would surely reach heaven. Kabir tried to end this practice by deliberately choosing Maghar as his final resting place, Modi said.
“In his compositions, Kabir stressed on social equality, peace and brotherhood. These were his ideals and we see them in his compositions. He is as inspiring today as he was then,” Modi said, adding that the mystic poet of the Bhakti Movement preached social harmony.
“Jaati na poocho sadhu ki, pooch lijiye gyan (Don’t ask a preacher his social standing, instead get the knowledge/wisdom he has),” Modi quoted Kabir as saying.