Modi’s spiritual guru gets Padma Bhushan

New Delh, Jan 25 (IANS) Swami Dayanand Sarawasati, the spiritual guru of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, would be posthumously awarded the Padma Bhushan, it was announced on Monday.

The spiritual leader passed away last September. Modi went to meet his ailing guru at his Rishikesh ashram a couple of weeks before his death.

Swami Dayanand Sarawasati was a monk of the Hindu monastic order and a renowned traditional teacher of Advaita Vedanta, and founder of the Arsha Vidya Gurukulam (institutions for Vedic teaching).

Its two main centres are located at Saylorsburg in Pennsylvania and Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, with a sister institution Arsha Vidya Ashram located in Rishikesh apart from over 60 other centres in India and abroad.

Another institution, Arsha Vidnyana Gurukul, is located in Nagpur. Arsha Vidya’ or ‘Arsha Vidnyana’ means ‘Knowledge of the Rishis’.

These centres/institutions conduct long-term courses, 1-2-week camps, weekend study programmes and family camps throughout the year. The subjects taught at these institutions include the Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, several secondary texts of Vedanta and the Brahma Sutras.

Saraswati was born as ‘Natarajan’ in Manjakudi in Thiruvarur district of Tamil Nadu on August 15, 1930. He became interested in Vedanta after listening to the public talks of Swami Chinmayananda during 1952-53.

He became actively involved with the then newly formed Chinmaya Mission in various roles and he was made its secretary within the first year of its inception. He also authored a number of books on vedic knowledge.

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