Cambridge (UK), August 15: British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak today graced the spiritually enlightening event of renowned spiritual leader Morari Bapu’s Ram Katha, which is currently taking place on the esteemed campus of Cambridge University. This marks a significant moment as Morari Bapu conducts his 921st recital, titled ‘Manas Vishwavidyalay,’ on the grounds of Cambridge University, making it the pioneering instance of a Hindu programme held at a British university.
A practitioner of Hinduism and the first Prime Minister of Indian descent in Britain, Rishi Sunak made a floral offering to Morari Bapu’s Vyas Peeth making a salutation of “Jai Siya Ram”.
Opening his speech, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said, “It is truly an honour and pleasure to be here today at Morari Bapu’s Ram Katha at the University of Cambridge on Indian Independence Day. Bapu, I am here today not as a prime minister but as a Hindu! For me faith is very personal. It guides me in every aspect of my life. Being Prime Minister is a great honour, but it is not an easy job. There are difficult decisions to make, hard choices to confront and our faith gives me courage, strength, and resilience to do the best that I can for our country.”
“For me, it was a wonderful and special moment to light diyas for Diwali outside 11 Downing Street back when I was Chancellor. And just like Bapu has a Golden Hanuman in his background, I am proud that a Golden Ganesha sits gleefully on my desk at 10 Downing Street,” he said, commenting on Hanuman’s image behind Vyaspeetha, adding, “It is a constant reminder to me about listening and reflecting on issues before acting!”
Rishi Sunak said that he was proud to be British and proud to be Hindu. He recalled his childhood and growing up years in South Hampton where he visited his neighbourhood temple with his siblings and participated in rituals like havans, pujas, artis, and distribution of prasad with his family.
“Our values and what I see Bapu does each day of his life are the values of selfless service, devotion and keeping faith. But perhaps the greatest value is duty or seva, as we know it. These Hindu values are very much shared British values.”
“I leave here today remembering the Ramayana that Bapu speaks on, but also the Bhagavad Gita and the Hanuman Chalisa. And for me, Lord Ram will always be an inspirational figure to face life’s challenges with courage, to govern with humility and to work selflessly.”
“Bapu, with your blessings, I aspire to lead in accordance with how our scriptures have taught leaders to lead,” he said emphatically.
“Thank you Bapu for everything that you do. Your teaching of truth, love and compassion are more relevant now than they have ever been,” Rishi Sunak stated.
PM Rishi Sunak concluded by lauding Bapu’s inspiring work and limitless stamina and devotion, citing the recently concluded Jyotirlinga Ram Katha Yatra that covered over 12000 kilometres. Later, the PM participated in the Aarti on stage.
In extending a warm welcome to the British Prime Minister, Morari Bapu invoked the blessings of Lord Hanuman, seeking boundless strength to facilitate his devoted service to the people of Britain. Bapu expressed his earnest desire that every citizen of the nation may reap the benefits and rewards stemming from the Prime Minister’s visionary leadership.
In his opening remarks of the Katha, Morari Bapu had hailed Prime Minister Rishi Sunak not merely as the head of the nation, but as an individual of Indian descent. Bapu also shared that Rishi Sunak’s name is derived from the revered sage Rishi Shaunak, and this connection to an esteemed sage resonates deeply with Indians who find great joy in witnessing a leader with such roots occupy the prime ministerial role.
The spiritual luminary also commended Rishi Sunak’s gesture of offering food as prasad to 50-100 volunteers before to attending the event, highlighting its alignment with intrinsic Indian traditions. Bapu acknowledged that while Prime Minister Rishi Sunak typically refrains from accepting gifts, he chose to present a consecrated Shivlinga from Somnath as a token, a sacred offering from the Jyotirlinga Ram Katha Yatra.
In the morning before the Katha, Morari Bapu had unfurled the Indian Tricolour at Cambridge University, symbolizing 76 years of Indian Independence as part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations.
Morari Bapu’s enlightening Katha commenced on August 12 with a warm reception by Sonita Alleyne OBE, the 41st Master and the first woman to lead Jesus College since its inception in 1496, along with Lord Dolar Popat, a distinguished Conservative peer at the House of Lords, representing the organizing family.
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