Kolkata: With Bharatiya Janata Party`s Narendra Modi poised to become India`s next prime minister, monks of Ramakrishna Mission feel the ardent devotee of Swami Vivekananda could bring his teachings of religious harmony to the masses and harness youth power to power growth.
According to sources at the Belur Math, the global headquarters of the Swami Vivekananda founded Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission (RKM) in West Bengal`s Howrah district, Modi in his youth had approached the authorities at Belur, wanting to be inducted into the order.
"We heard that he was turned away, probably twice. But he never lost touch with the beliefs and principles of Swamiji," a top monk of the RKM told a news agency, noting that the 63-year-old leader`s zeal to channel the youth for development is in sync with Vivekananda`s vision.
Thereafter, he kept in touch with the RKM in Gujarat`s Rajkot and in 2013 he visited the Belur Math, first time as a chief minister. In fact, in a rare exception, the Belur Math authorities threw open Vivekananda`s room for Modi to meditate in.
"He was there for almost 20 minutes," a source confirmed, refusing to comment on Modi`s political affiliations and ambitions.
For Swami Superananda, a RKM monk, Modi`s faith in Swamiji`s vision of religious harmony and unity is "commendable". "Since he is internationally renowned, he can further the ideals," he told a news agency.
It was after a visit to the Ramakrishna Mission Ashram at Belur Math, that Modi went to the Himalayas, says "Narendra Modi: The Game Changer" (Vitasta), a biography on Modi, authored by journalist Sudesh K Verma.
"Nothing much is known about what he did and whom he met during those wandering days."
The book also informs that a swami at the Ramakrishna Mission at Rajkot advised him to keep a beard - something that has stayed with him ever since.