My greetings to revered Guruji Shree Gyanjivandas Ji Swami, Gujarat State President of Bharatiya Janata Party and my colleague in Parliament Shri C.R. Patil, Ministers in Gujarat Government Manishaben and Vinubhai, MP Ranjanben, Mayor of Vadodara Keyurbhai, all the dignitaries, revered saints, devotees, ladies and gentlemen, and the young generation sitting in front of me in large numbers. Jai Swaminarayan!
I am glad that today I got the opportunity to associate myself with this event of ‘Sanskar Abhyudaya Shivir’. It is an occasion of satisfaction and happiness in itself. The presence of saints will further enhance the blueprint, objectives and impact of this ‘Shivir’ (camp).
Our saints and scriptures have taught us that any society is formed by continuous character building in every generation of the society. Its civilization, tradition, ethics and behavior results from the richness of our cultural heritage. And it is our ethos which is the root behind the creation of our culture. And therefore, this ‘Sanskar Abhyudaya Shivir’ is a virtuous campaign for the rise of our youth as well as society.
This is an endeavor for the rise of our identity and pride. This is an endeavor for the rise of our nation. I am sure my young comrades will experience new energy, clarity and consciousness after attending the camp. I wish you all the very best for this new beginning and new resolution.
The 'Sanskar Abhyudaya Shivir' is being held at a time when the country is celebrating the Amrit Mahotsav of its independence. Today we are making collective resolutions and efforts to build a new India. A new India, whose identity is new, modern, forward looking, and its traditions are rooted to a strong foundation of ancient times! A new India, which carries forward with both a new approach and age-old culture and which gives direction to the entire human race.
Wherever there are challenges in any field, India is present with hope, wherever there are problems, India comes out with solutions. India is the new beacon of hope for the world today from delivering vaccines and medicines to the world amid the Corona crisis to the hope of a self-reliant India amidst disrupted supply chains to the role of a capable nation for peace in the midst of global unrest and conflicts. India is leading with its centuries-old experiences of sustainable life in view of the dangers posed due to climate change. We are showing the path of Yoga to the entire humanity and introducing them to the power of Ayurveda. We are emerging as a nation to a new future, from software to space.
India’s success today is the biggest testimony of the potential of our youth. Today, the working style of the government has changed in the country, the thinking of the society has changed, and importantly, public participation has increased. The world is watching how India is faring well in the areas which were considered impossible for it. India's growing stature in the start-up world is also an example of this. Today India is the third largest startup ecosystem in the world and our youth are leading it.
There is a belief in India that pure intellect and human values lead to the welfare of others as well as self. If the intellect is pure, then nothing is impossible. Therefore, the saints of Swaminarayan sect are running such a solemn ritual of self-creation and character building through ‘Sanskar Abhyudaya’ programs. ‘Sanskar’ means education, service and sensitivity to us. It means dedication, determination and potential. We should progress, but our progress should also be a means for the welfare of others. We should reach the pinnacle of success, but our success should also be a means of service to all. This is the essence of the teachings of Lord Swaminarayan, and this is also the intrinsic character of India.
It would have been better if I could meet you who along with a large number of young boys and girls have come from every corner of Gujarat. But it is not possible due to many problems and time constraints. Our Jeetubhai is smiling. I have had the opportunity to spend considerable time in the past in Vadodara. And it is a matter of pride for me that both Vadodara and Kashi made me MP. The Bharatiya Janata Party gave me a ticket to become MP, but Vadodara and Kashi gave me the ticket to become the PM. You can imagine how my relationship with Vadodara has been and when it comes to Vadodara, I remember many stalwarts, Keshubhai Thakkar, Jamnadas, Krishnakantbhai Shah, my companions Nalinbhai Bhatt, Babubhai Ojha, Rameshbhai Gupta etc. I can see many faces in front of me and along with them the young team with whom I got the opportunity to work for many years. They are also in very high positions today and serving Gujarat. Vadodara has always been known as ‘Sanskar Nagari’. The identity of Vadodara is its culture. And it is natural if there is a ‘Sanskar Utsav’ in this ‘Sanskar Nagari’. You will recall that I gave a speech in Vadodara several years ago. I mentioned the Statue of Unity in that public meeting. At that time, the Statue of Unity was in the preparatory stage. At that time I had said that this Statue of Unity will become the center of attraction for the world and Vadodara will become its foundation. I said many years ago that Vadodara will become the base for the Statue of Unity. Today, Vadodara is becoming the focal point for the entire ecosystem of tourism in central Gujarat. The way the reconstruction of Pavagadh is going on with the blessings of Mahakali, I wish that I will definitely come to bow my head at the feet of Mahakali in the near future. Be it Pavagadh or the Statue of Unity, these are becoming a new extension of the culture city of Vadodara. Look at the industrial reputation of Vadodara; the metro coaches made in Vadodara are running all over the world. This is the strength of Vadodara, the strength of India. All this has happened in this decade itself. We are moving ahead in new areas at a fast pace. Today, revered Swami ji has said a very important thing. He said that if it is not possible to meet, it is fine, but never ever put aside the works related to the country. It is not a small thing coming from a saint, friends. When he says not to forget, it does not mean that he has asked us to stop meeting. In fact, he has told us to work for the country. Now that we are celebrating the Amrit Mahotsav of Independence, we know that we were not fortunate to die for the country, but we have got the good fortune to live for the country. So one should live for the country and do something for the country. You can do even smaller things while doing something for the country. Suppose that I request all of you to do one thing and all the saints should enquire and remind all the people of Gujarat and the country every week. All those who have come for this ‘Sanskar Abhyudaya’ and their families and friends should decide not to use cash by August 15, 2023, during this Amrit Mahotsav of Independence. They will make digital payments and use only digital currency. They will receive and make payments only through their mobile phones. Can you imagine that you can bring such a big revolution? When you tell the vegetable seller that you will make digital payment only then he will also learn how to make digital transactions. He will open a bank account and he will start spending money on a good cause. A small effort can make a fundamental difference in the lives of so many people. Will you do it friends? Raise your hands so that I can see it. There is another task. In this Amrit Mahotsav of Independence, one should devote 75 hours a year and I am not asking for more, for the service of the motherland and run a campaign for cleanliness, or preventing children from malnutrition, or getting rid of plastic waste, or against the single-use plastics. Can you take up any campaign and devote 75 hours? When I am talking about cleanliness in Vadodara, there would naturally be a mention of Kashi as I have a similar association with Vadodara and Kashi. When I was running the cleanliness drive, a girl from Nagaland named Temsutula Imsong started cleaning the Ghats of Kashi and Chitralekha has written a very beautiful article on her. This girl had come to study in Kashi. She started enjoying her stay in Kashi and she lived there for a long time. She was from the Christian sect of Nagaland. But when it came to the cleanliness campaign, she started cleaning the Ghats of Kashi all alone. Slowly, many youths started joining her. And when people saw the educated sons and daughters wearing jeans working so hard, the entire Kashi joined them. Imagine a great effect on the inner mind when a girl from Nagaland cleans the Ghats of Kashi. Revered Gyanjeevan Swami just said that we should lead for cleanliness and we should take the responsibility. These are all works for the country. If I save water, there is patriotism in that too. If I save electricity, there is patriotism in that too. In this Amrit Mahotsav of Independence, the devotees should ensure that there is not a single house where LED bulbs are not being used. If you use LED bulbs, you get proper light and it costs less and saves electricity as well. You must have seen that there are Jan Aushadhi Kendras at many places in Gujarat. The family of any diabetic patient spends between 1000-1500 rupees every month on the medicines. How can it afford to spend that much amount every month? The same medicines are available for 100-150 rupees in Jan Aushadhi Kendras. My young friends, Modi has done this, the government has done this, but many middle and poor class people are not aware of these Jan Aushadhi Kendras. Tell them about these Jan Aushadhi Kendras and ensure affordable medicines. They will bless you. What can be a greater ritual than this? These are some of the things that we can easily do. The welfare of society, country and the neighbourhood should be part of our normal life. Just imagine, if our poor children become free from malnutrition, they will become healthy and as a result our state, our country will be healthy. We should think on those lines. It is a matter of happiness that a campaign for natural farming is going on in Gujarat. When we hail Bharat Mata, then Bharat Mata is our Mother Earth. Do we worry about it? We are harming Mother Earth by pouring chemicals, fertilizers and urea into it. We are feeding Mother Earth with so many chemicals. Its solution is natural farming. There is a campaign for natural farming in Gujarat. Therefore, all the young people associated with agriculture in villages should resolve that being the followers of Swaminarayan they will not use any chemical in their farms and will only do natural farming. This is also the service towards Mother Earth. This is, in fact, the service towards Mother India.
I expect that this spirit should be associated with our day-to-day life. It is not enough in our speech. This spirit should become our resolution. The spirit should become the medium for accomplishment. I am sure that you will carry many wonderful thoughts from today's camp with the best wishes of Mother India to the crores of countrymen during this Amrit Mahotsav of Independence.
I got an opportunity to talk to all of you. Best wishes to all of you!
My greetings to the revered saints, Jai Swaminarayanay!