Jai Gurudev! Governor of Madhya Pradesh Shri Mangubhai Patel, Chief Minister Bhai Shivraj ji, all the members of Sadguru Seva Sangh Trust, ladies and gentlemen!
Today I have got the opportunity to visit this sacred place of Chitrakoot again. This is the same supernatural place, about which our sages used to say – चित्रकूट सब दिन बसत, प्रभु सिय लखन समेत!! That is, Lord Shri Ram resides with Mother Sita and Lakshman ji in Chitrakoot perpetually. Before coming here, I had the privilege of visiting Shri Raghubir Temple and Shri Ram Janaki Temple and also gave my salutations to Kamadgiri mountain from the helicopter. I had gone to offer floral tributes at the memorial of respected Ranchoddas ji and Arvind Bhai. It is difficult to express in words the experience I had of the darshan of Lord Shri Ram and Janaki, the guidance of sages, and the wonderful chanting of Veda mantras by the students of Sanskrit College.
Today, on behalf of all the poor, the exploited and tribals, I express my gratitude to Shri Sadguru Seva Sangh for making me a part of the great penance of human service. I am confident that the new wing of Janki Kund Hospital which has been inaugurated today will give new life to lakhs of patients. In the times to come, this ritual of serving the poor will be further expanded at Sadguru Medicity. Today, on this occasion, the Government of India has also released a special stamp in the memory of Arvind Bhai. This moment in itself is a moment of great pride for all of us; a moment of deep satisfaction. I congratulate all of you for the same.
The good work that any person does in his lifetime is always appreciated. Contemporaries also appreciate it but when the work is extraordinary, it continues to expand even after his life. I am glad that Arvind Bhai's family is continuously enriching his charitable endowment. I particularly congratulate Bhai ‘Vishad’ and sister ‘Rupal’ and all the other family members for further spreading Arvind Bhai's services with a fresh energy. Arvind Bhai was an industrialist. Be it Mumbai or Gujarat, he had his influence in the industrial and corporate world everywhere. His immense talent was well known everywhere. So Vishad could have organized the birth centenary programme in Mumbai. It could have been organized with a great pomp and show, but look at his dedication towards Sadguru. Arvind Bhai had breathed his last in this place, and therefore this place was chosen for the centenary. This kind of action requires values, thinking and dedication too. That's when such a thing can manifest. Revered sages have come here in large numbers to bless us. Many family members are also present here. It has been said about Chitrakoot – कामद भे गिरि राम प्रसादा। अवलोकत अपहरत विषादा॥ That is, Kamadgiri, the mountain of Chitrakoot, is going to vanquish all the troubles and problems with the blessings of Lord Rama. This glory of Chitrakoot remains intact only because of the sages here. And, revered Shri Ranchoddas ji was such a great sage. His selfless Karmayoga has always inspired Lakhs of people like me. And as everyone mentioned, his motto in very simple words was - food to the hungry, clothes to the unclothed, sight to the blind. With this Mantra, Pujya Gurudev came to Chitrakoot for the first time in 1945, and in 1950 he had organized the first Eye Camp here. Hundreds of patients had undergone surgery in that camp and they got their eyesight back.
Today, this may seem pretty normal to us. But, seven decades ago, this place was almost completely a forest area. There were no road facilities, no electricity, no necessary resources here. At that time, it would have needed massive courage, self-confidence and a high spirit of service to make such major resolutions in this forest area. Only then it would have been possible. But when it comes to a sage like the revered Ranchhod Das ji, the resolutions are taken solely for accomplishment. Today, all these major projects of serving people that we are seeing on this sacred land are the result of the determination of that sage. He had established Shriram Sanskrit Vidyalaya here. After a few years, Shri Sadguru Seva Sangh Trust was formed. Whenever a calamity occurred, revered Gurudev used to face it like a shield. Be it earthquake, flood or drought, many poor people got a new lease of life due to his efforts and blessings. This is the specialty of our country, which gives birth to such great personalities who rise above self-interest and remain dedicated to the community.
My family members,
The nature of sages is such that whoever gets their company and guidance, becomes a sage himself. The entire life of Arvind Bhai is the biggest example of the same. Arvind ji, due to his attire and appearance looked like a very ordinary person and appeared to have lived a very normal life. But from within he was a devout sage. Pujya Ranchoddas ji had met Arvind Bhai during the severe famine in Bihar. The power of the sages' resolve and service, the height of accomplishment through this kind of collaboration, is in front of us today.
Today, when we are celebrating the birth centenary of Arvind Bhai, it is important that we imbibe his inspirations. Every responsibility that he had taken, he completed it with 100 percent dedication. He built such a massive industrial empire and gave a new height to Mafatlal Group. It was Arvind Bhai who established the country's first petrochemical complex. Today, many companies that play an important role in the country's economy and in the lives of ordinary people have his vision, his thinking and hard work as their foundation. Even in the field of agriculture, his work is highly appreciated. People still remember his work as the President of the Indian Agro-Industries Foundation. He also played a major role in bringing back the glory of Bharat's traditional industry like textile. He also provided leadership to major banks and institutions of the country. His work, his hard work and talent have left an indelible mark on the industrial world as well as society. Arvind Bhai received several important awards and honours from the country and the world. The Lions Humanitarian Award, Citizen of Bombay Award, Sir Jahangir Gandhi Gold Medal for Industrial Peace, many such honours are symbols of Arvind Bhai's contribution to the country.
My family members,
It is said here - उपार्जितानां वित्तानां त्याग एव हि रक्षणम्॥
That is, our success, and the wealth earned can be most effectively protected through sacrifice. Arvind Bhai made this motto his mission and worked throughout his life following it. Today, many organizations like Shri Sadguru Seva Trust, Mafatlal Foundation, Raghubir Mandir Trust, Shri Ramdas Hanumanji Trust are working through your group. Groups and institutions like JJ Group of Hospitals, Blind People's Association, Charutar Arogya Mandal are taking the work of service forward. You see, serving food to lakhs of people in Raghubir Temple Annakshetra, arranging monthly ration kits for lakhs of sages here, education of thousands of children in Gurukul, treatment of lakhs of patients in Janki Kund hospital; these are not ordinary efforts. This in itself is an evidence of the power of Bharat, which gives us the energy of selfless work, and strives for accomplishments and success considering service to be penance. Your Trust is also providing training to rural women in rural industries. This is helping to accelerate the country's efforts for women-led development.
I feel delighted to know that Sadguru Eye Hospital has today made its place among the best eye hospitals in the country and the world. Once this hospital was started with only 12 beds. Today about 15 lakh patients are treated here every year. I am personally familiar with the work of Sadguru Eye Hospital because my Kashi has also benefitted from it. “Healthy Vision-Prosperous Kashi Campaign” being run by you in Kashi is serving many elderly people. Sadguru Eye Hospital has so far done door-to-door screening of about 6.5 lakh people in and around Banaras! More than 90 thousand patients were also referred to the camp after screening. A large number of patients have also undergone surgery. Some time ago, I also had the opportunity to meet the beneficiaries of this campaign in Kashi. On behalf of all the people of Kashi, I express my special gratitude to the Trust, Sadguru Eye Hospital and all the doctors and everyone, since I am amidst you today.
My family members,
Resources are essential for service, but dedication should be the priority. The most special quality about Arvind Bhai was that he himself used to work on the ground even in the most difficult circumstances. Be it Rajkot, or Ahmedabad, I have seen his work in every corner of Gujarat. I remember, I was very young. I did not have the privilege of seeing Sadguru ji, but I had a close contact with Arvind Bhai. I met Arvind Bhai for the first time in Bhiloda, a tribal area of Sabarkantha district of Gujarat. There was a severe famine and we had a doctor, Manikar ji, who was well acquainted with Arvind Bhai. And I used to work there to serve those tribal brothers and sisters who were victims of famine. There was severe heat in that area. Arvind Bhai came to the place, stayed there the whole day and took part in the service. He also took the responsibility of everything that was required to expand the work. I have personally seen and experienced his compassion for the poor and his determination to work. Even today, people remember the work done by him for the welfare of the tribal society in our tribal area Dahod in Gujarat. And you will be surprised because normally here in Gujarat and in other places too, the place where farming is done is called a 'Khet'. But the people of Dahod call it 'Phoolwadi'. It is because the farmers there were taught a new form of farming by the Sadguru Trust. They started cultivating flowers, and the field is known as Phoolwadi. And today the flower produced by them goes to Mumbai. Arvind Bhai's efforts have a major role in all this. I had seen that he had a different kind of passion for serving others. He never liked himself to be called a donor, nor did he let it be known that he was doing anything for anyone. Even if someone else expressed his desire to support him, he would ask him to go there in person to see the work first no matter how much of a hassle he might face to reach the place. He would insist on looking at the project first and only then let them support him, not before that. Whatever I have learned about his work and his personality, I have developed an emotional connection with his mission. Therefore, I see myself as a supporter of this campaign to serve, and in a way your companion.
My family members,
The land of Chitrakoot is also the 'Karmasthali' of our Nanaji Deshmukh. Like Arvind Bhai, his efforts in serving the tribal society are also a great inspiration for all of us. Today, following those ideals, for the first time the country is making such massive efforts for the welfare of the tribal society. The country has started the tradition of Tribal Pride Day on the birth anniversary of Bhagwan Birsa Munda. Tribal museums are also being built across the country to glorify the contribution and heritage of the tribal society. Eklavya Residential Schools are being opened so that tribal children can get good quality education and contribute to the development of the country. Policy decisions like the Forest Wealth Act have also become a medium to protect the rights of tribal society. With these efforts, and with the blessings of Lord Shri Ram, who too had embraced the tribals, we are embracing the tribal community. This blessing will guide us towards the goal of a harmonious and developed Bharat. Once again, on the auspicious occasion of his birth centenary, I pay my respects to the great efforts of Arvind Bhai. May his work, his life continue to inspire us all; may Sadguru's blessings continue to be upon us! With this spirit, thank you very much to all of you! Jai Siya Ram.