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Campaigning ends, PM Modi begins 45-hour 'dhyan' at Kanyakumari Vivekananda Rock Memorial

PM Modi began a 45-hour meditation session at the renowned Vivekananda Rock Memorial in Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu, on Thursday evening, following a two-month-long, intensive election campaign across the country.

Campaigning ends, PM Modi begins 45-hour 'dhyan' at Kanyakumari Vivekananda Rock Memorial snt
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First Published May 30, 2024, 9:13 PM IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi began a 45-hour meditation session at the renowned Vivekananda Rock Memorial in Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu, on Thursday evening, following a two-month-long, intensive election campaign across the country.

Modi arrived from nearby Thiruvananthapuram by helicopter, worshipped at the Bhagavathi Amman temple, and then traveled to the rock memorial by ferry to commence his meditation, which is set to continue until June 1.

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Dressed in a dhoti and a white shawl, Modi offered prayers at the temple and performed a circumambulation of the 'garbhagriha'. Priests conducted a special 'arthi' ceremony, and he received temple 'prasad', which included a shawl and a framed photograph of the temple's presiding deity.

Later, Modi reached the rock memorial via a ferry operated by the state government-run shipping corporation and began his meditation at the 'dhyan mandapam.' Before starting his dhyan exercise, Modi stood for a while on the stairs leading to the mandapam, which offers breathtaking views of the sea surrounding the memorial.

The Prime Minister showered flowers on the portraits of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Sri Sarada Devi, and paid floral tributes to Swami Vivekananda, whose life-size statue stands on a high pedestal in the mandapam. Modi then commenced his sadhana (spiritual practice) in the mandapam.

Speaking to reporters in Sivaganga, Tamil Nadu BJP president K Annamalai described PM Modi's visit to the memorial as entirely 'private.' "It is the Prime Minister's personal visit," he said, explaining why party leaders and cadres did not participate in the event.

Ahead of his departure on June 1, Modi is expected to visit the Thiruvalluvar statue next to the memorial. Both the memorial and the 133-foot statue are situated on tiny islets, separate rocky formations in the sea.

While groups like the Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam staged a black flag demonstration in Madurai opposing Modi, social media platform 'X' saw a flood of #GoBackModi posts amid political opposition to the broadcast of his meditation, given the final phase of voting for the Lok Sabha elections on June 1.

All arrangements, including heavy security, are in place for Modi's 45-hour stay at the famed memorial dedicated to the revered Hindu saint. This marks the first time the Prime Minister will be staying at the memorial, a monument built in tribute to Swami Vivekananda, who meditated on these rocks in late 1892.

After the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Modi chose Kedarnath cave for reflection and meditation. Now, he has selected a spiritually significant place at the southernmost tip of the mainland for his meditation.

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Following an intense Lok Sabha election campaign, during which he presided over and addressed numerous political events like roadshows and rallies, Modi will meditate in the tranquil setting of the memorial, likely accompanied only by the sound of the waves.

Security personnel are stationed throughout the memorial premises, with heightened security across Kanyakumari district. About 2,000 police personnel have been deployed, along with increased vigilance by the Tamil Nadu police's Coastal Security Group, Coast Guard, and Navy.

Modi's meditation, from Thursday evening to the evening of June 1 at the dhyan mandapam, takes place at the location where Vivekananda, a spiritual icon admired by the Prime Minister, is believed to have had a divine vision of 'Bharat Mata.'

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