India’s unity based on civilizational values: President

Vrindavan, Nov 18 (IANS) India’s unity is based on cultural and civilizational values inherited over centuries and nurtured carefully, President Pranab Mukherjee said here on Wednesday.

Addressing an event to mark the 500th year of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s advent in Vrindavan, the president said the saint preached and spread loving devotional service and congregational chanting.

He said living with diversity and finding unity in diversity had been practised in India over centuries.

“Many people wonder how it is possible for India to accommodate so much diversity within one system of administration, one constitution and one legal jurisprudence,” an official statement quoted him as saying.

The president said the answer lay in India’s civilizational values.

India’s unity had been possible “because of our cultural and civilizational values. We have inherited these over the centuries and have nurtured it. It is now a part of our life”.

Mukherjee said Chaitanya Mahaprabhu preached love, equality, humanity and harmony.

“We must adopt this message of the great saint and recharge our society. We must retransform ourself with the message of love.

“Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s teachings continue to have great relevance in the contemporary world,” he added.

The president said Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was one of the greatest saints of the Bhakti movement.

He was responsible for the popularity of Vaishnavism in Bengal through his ‘kirtans’, which were unparalleled in lyricism and beauty.

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu preached and spread loving devotional service and congregational chanting through personal demonstration. He propagated the cult of devotion by personally practicing it.

The president visited the Radha Raman temple and participated in a special darshan at the Gaurang Mahaprabhu temple.

He was received by Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and local MP Hema Malini at the helipad.

Governor Naik said Chaitnya Mahaprabhu was above caste and sectarian beliefs.

Hema Malini added: “Chaitnya Mahaprabhu was truly a revolutionary saint who represented both Radha and Sri Krishna.

“He came from Bengal to Braj and gave a new identity to Vrindavan, discovering the ‘leela-sthals’ of Sri Krishna and Radha.

“The original Vrindavan had been lost. It was Chaitnya Mahaprabhu who discovered all the shrines and taught the language of love through ‘Hari Nam Sankeertan’.”

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