During his address at the 51 Shaktipeeths’ Pran Pratishtha Mahotsav at Ambaji, on the afternoon of 13th February, Shri Narendra Modi spoke about India’s cultural diversity and spiritual affinity, even as he laid due emphasis on need to mobilize resources and tap the tourism potential of India’s spiritual abodes.
The Pran Pratishtha Mahotsav of the 51 Shaktipeeths at Ambaji was a three-day cultural festival, which began on 11th February. The 51 Shaktipeeths in Ambaji, a first-of-its-kind initiative built under the vision of Shri Narendra Modi, gives every devout a unique opportunity to visit all the sacred 51 Shaktipeeths of the Indian subcontinent at Goddess Bhagwati’s abode at Gabbar Hill. Out of the 51 Shaktipeeths, 47 are Shaktipeeth temples and the remaining 3 are Shaktipeeth temples in caves. “Maa Amba is the Shaktistrot, and her people should be Shakti-sampanna and Samruddha. This should be our focus,” said Shri Modi.
Beginning his address, Shri Modi said, “We are the glorious culture where women are worshipped as Goddesses, and this is reflective of how deep our ancestors thought.” He further highlighted the fervent spiritual inclination towards Maa Amba, prevalent not only amongst the people of Gujarat but also outside the state. “The Yatra of these Shaktipeeths manifest the unity of Bharat Mata,” said Shri Modi.
Sharing his thought of developing the tourism prospects in all spiritual locales of India, Shri Modi said, “Tourism enhances the economic livelihood of the poor.”
Shri Modi spoke of the need to take initiatives that will boost the tourism industry in Ambaji, and shared his thought of how this spiritual abode should not remain limited to being only a divine place but should also emerge as a place for business too. “By serving Maa Amba, we have got to serve our Adivasi sisters and brothers. They will get work opportunities. When you develop those areas, the poor are helped. May Maa's blessings remain with us, bless the poor, this is what we pray,” said Shri Modi.
Shri Modi spoke of how one should make the most of latest technology and innovation to cash in on the growth prospects of every spiritual destination, while emphasizing that most such places lacked proper economic growth owing to their unfavourable geographical location. He said, “We need to make our Tirth Sthans with modern facilities and infrastructure. We need to create such facilities that people are drawn to staying here for a few days. This will help the poor too.”
Shri Modi also spoke of how there were no facilities in Mecca nearly 40 years ago, but with the passage of time it started getting developed slowly and now a set-up is in place.
Appreciating the arrangements made at Ambaji, Shri Modi said, “The arrangements made here are very good. Technology has also been used so that people can learn about Shaktipeeth's history.”
Shri Modi also shared the idea of using technology and adapting the concept of modern kitchens to provide healthy food to the children availing the mid-day meal programme at schools in Ambaji.
Stating the reverence attached to the Yatra of 51 Shaktipeeths in India, Shri Modi spoke of how the idea to have all 51 Shaktipeeths at one place was born. “The Yatra of 51 Shaktipeeths is not easy, even for the most devout Bhakts. At the most, people can visit 5-7 of the Shaktipeeths during their lifetime. We thought, why not have all the 51 Shaktipeeths here so that whoever comes to worship Maa Amba can also worship the 51 Shaktipeeths,” said Shri Modi. He further said that in the initial stages, due research was done and emphasis was given to ensure that the rituals followed in each of the Shaktipeeths across India, would precisely and faithfully be replicated here too.
Minister for Health, Finance and Transport Shri Nitinbhai Patel, Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, and Sports Shri Ramanlal Vora, Minister for Welfare of Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Shri Liladhar Vaghela, Ministers of State Pradeepsinh Jadeja and Parbatbhai Patel and MLA- Shankar Chaudhary were present on the occasion.