PM Modi Arrives In Kanyakumari For 2-Day Meditation Exercise At Vivekananda Rock

PM Modi Arrives In Kanyakumari For 2-Day Meditation Exercise At Vivekananda Rock

PM Modi Arrives In Kanyakumari For 2-Day Meditation Exercise At Vivekananda Rock

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Meditation is a millennia-old practice involving mental and physical techniques to focus or clear the mind. It can serve various purposes, such as relaxation, stress reduction and even health improvement.

30 May 2024

By Sukhmani Kooner 

Setting a tradition, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, following the culmination of the Lok Sabha polls campaign, is set to undertake a near two-day meditation exercise, ahead of the seventh and final phase of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections on 1st June. He performed a similar exercise at Kedarnath following the 2019 Lok Sabha campaign. PM Modi will be meditating at the famous Vivekananda Rock Memorial in Kanyakumari.

Why Did Modi Choose To Meditate At Vivekananda Rock ? 

The Rock Where Swami Vivekananda Attained Enlightenment

The Vivekananda Rock is a small rocky islet situated about 500 meters from Kanyakumari’s Vavathurai beach, the southernmost tip of mainland India, where the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea, and the Bay of Bengal meet. Today, visitors can reach the rock via a 15-minute ferry ride from Vavathurai.

Historic Significance
In 1892, Swami Vivekananda, the revered Hindu philosopher-saint, swam from the shores of Kanyakumari to this rocky islet to meditate. His disciples believe that he meditated there for three days and three nights, attaining enlightenment. This period marked the culmination of Vivekananda’s four-year journey across India, during which he formulated his philosophical ideas.

Swami Vivekananda’s Realization
In a letter to Swami Ramkrishnananda in 1894, Vivekananda reflected on his experience at Kanyakumari: “At Cape Comorin, sitting in Mother Kumari’s temple, on the last bit of Indian rock, I devised a plan. We Sannyasins have been teaching metaphysics, but it is all madness. Our Gurudeva used to say, ‘An empty stomach is no good for religion.’ The suffering of the poor is due to ignorance. We have been exploiting them for ages” (as quoted in S P Agarwal’s The Social Role of Gita, 1993).

Establishing the Memorial
On the eve of Swami Vivekananda’s birth centenary in 1963, the Vivekananda Rock Memorial Committee, led by RSS activist Eknath Ranade, worked to commemorate the site of his enlightenment. The memorial on the rock was formally inaugurated by President V V Giri in 1970, preserving the legacy of Swami Vivekananda’s profound spiritual experience.

On this note, let’s look into the benefits of meditation.

Meditation is a millennia-old practice involving mental and physical techniques to focus or clear the mind. It can serve various purposes, such as relaxation, stress reduction and even health improvement, including aiding in quitting habits like smoking. While diverse forms of meditation exist worldwide, modern science has recently delved into its study, aided by advanced technologies like EEG and fMRI scans. Despite its outward simplicity, meditation has profound effects on brain function and mental well-being.

Meditation encompasses a broad spectrum of practices aimed at focusing or clearing the mind through mental and physical techniques. While it has ancient roots in various philosophies and religions, it’s not exclusively tied to any particular faith. Rather, it’s a versatile tool for relaxation, stress reduction and overall well-being.

Meditation methods vary widely, from Buddhist and Christian contemplation to secular guided sessions and dynamic practices like Osho meditation. Whether it’s focusing on the breath, repeating mantras or engaging in mindful movement, meditation offers diverse approaches to cultivate inner peace and awareness.

There isn’t a single “correct” way to meditate, as techniques range from body-centred and emotion-focused practices to mindfulness and visualisation. Ultimately, meditation is a personal journey that individuals can tailor to their needs and preferences, allowing for a flexible and accessible path to mental clarity and tranquillity.

Overall, individuals who practise meditation often experience a range of benefits:

·        Reduced symptoms of anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

·        Enhanced cognitive functions such as thinking, concentration and problem-solving.

·        Improved resilience and coping mechanisms for emotional challenges.

·        Meditation reduces stress through deep relaxation, activating the body’s relaxation response. Mindfulness cultivates present-moment awareness, helping individuals disengage from stressful thoughts. It enhances emotional regulation, fostering resilience and calmness. Regular practice induces brain changes, improving stress regulation and emotional processing. Additionally, meditation boosts self-awareness, aiding in identifying and managing stressors effectively. These mechanisms collectively make meditation a potent tool for reducing stress and anxiety.

·        Meditation aids in managing high blood pressure through stress reduction, improving cardiovascular function and regulating the sympathetic nervous system. By promoting relaxation, it lowers stress levels linked to increased blood pressure. Additionally, regular practice enhances cardiovascular health, reduces inflammation and regulates heart rate variability. Mindfulness and deep breathing techniques help calm the sympathetic nervous system, further lowering blood pressure. 

Meditation also fosters emotional resilience, preventing spikes in blood pressure associated with emotional arousal. Moreover, it often leads to adopting healthier lifestyle habits like diet and exercise, which contribute to lower blood pressure levels.

·        Pain Management: By promoting relaxation and reducing stress, meditation can alleviate both physical and psychological components of pain. Mindfulness techniques help individuals develop a non-reactive awareness of pain sensations, diminishing their perceived intensity and distress.

·      Insomnia and Sleep Quality: Meditation induces a state of relaxation conducive to sleep, helping individuals fall asleep faster and experience deeper, more restorative rest. Mindfulness practices enhance awareness of sleep patterns and promote a calm mental state conducive to quality sleep.

·      Weight Control: Meditation fosters mindful eating, promoting awareness of hunger cues, satiety and emotional triggers for overeating. By cultivating a non-judgemental attitude towards food and eating habits, individuals can develop healthier relationships with food and make more conscious choices.

·      Eating Behaviour: Mindful eating practices encourage slow, deliberate eating, allowing individuals to savour and fully experience each bite. By bringing attention to the sensory aspects of eating, meditation reduces mindless eating and emotional eating patterns, leading to improved dietary habits and weight management.

Given the interconnectedness of mental and physical health, these improvements in mental well-being often correlate with better sleep quality, lower blood pressure, improved heart function and other physiological benefits.

Why Did Modi Choose To Meditate At Vivekananda Rock ?