Remarks by Ambassador Amit Narang on Book Release - Atmasiddhi Shastra

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Embassy of India

‘Sewa Utsav’

Book Release-Atmasiddhi Shastra
16 April 2022

Remarks by Ambassador

Sheikh Anil bhai Khimji,
Shri Kiran bhai Asher,
Shri Bakul bhai Mehta,
Disciples and volunteers of Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur,
Other distinguished guests,

It gives me great pleasure to welcome all of you to today’s very special function at the Embassy.

Today we are remembering saint Shrimad Rajchandraji, who had a major influence on Mahatma Gandhi; we are launching a book that contains a simple and easy to understand rendition of the Six Spiritual Truths of this spiritual master; and we are also marking the conclusion of the ‘Sewa Utsav – Celebration through Service’ an initiative that brought together the Indian community in unprecedented numbers.

We have just seen the video depicting the close association of Mahatma Gandhi with Shrimad Rajchandraji.
Gandhiji noted his impression of Shrimad Rajchandra in his autobiography, ‘The Story of My Experiments with Truth’, calling him his "guide and helper" and his "refuge in moments of spiritual crisis". His teaching directly influenced Gandhiji's philosophy of non-violence.

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has said “The profound spiritual wisdom of Shrimad Rajchandraji and these eternal principles immensely benefit the seekers and devotees, contributing towards their spiritual progress and welfare”. Other spiritual leaders have also noted that not only is the Atmasiddhi Shastra simple and understandable, it is also profoundly deep. It is a practical guide to liberation and realization of the true self.

The doctrine of universal love and compassion that Shrimad Rajchandraji taught is even more relevant today than it was a century ago. His timeless message of peace and seeking to journey within self for true realization of the Soul or Atmasiddhi can help us become better human beings and build a more just, peaceful and harmonious society.

Even though I do not speak Gujarati, many of the verses of Atmasiddhi Shastra resonated well with me when I read them.

In verse 107, Shrimad Rajchandraji says:

जातीवेश्नोभेदनही, कह्योमार्गजोहोय
साधेतेमुक्तिलहे, ईमाभेदनाकोय

On the path to liberation, there is no discrimination based on caste, gender or external attire. Anyone who pursues this path, can surely attain it.

This is a message of universal brotherhood, equality and oneness of humankind.

Similarly in verse 138, Shrimad Rajchandra ji says:

दया, शांति, समता, क्षमा, सत्य, त्याग,वैराग्य,

Compassion, tranquility, equanimity, forgiveness, truthfulness, renunciation and detachment are qualities that are constantly awake in the heart of a true aspirant of liberation.

Clearly if we imbibe these teachings in our daily lives, even if we are not truly pursuing a path to spiritual liberation, they can help us live a life of morality, truth, compassion and service.

It is also very apt and timely that this event to release the Atmasiddhi Shastra is being held as part of ‘Sewa Utsav’ and that it marks the ceremonial conclusion of this festival of service,which was inaugurated on 31 March, coinciding with the holy month of Ramadan.

Sewa Utsav was organized across Oman in multiple cities to express gratitude and affection through community service and commemorate 75 years of India’s independence.

The qualities of a spiritual person as articulated by Shrimad Rajchandraji were witnessed in the work of the Indian community during the Sewa Utsav.

Sewa Utsav commenced with a ‘Happinezz workshop’ for Children with Special Needs. The program focused on the need to pursue inclusive education to look after the interests and wellbeing of children with special needs and highlight the important work being done in this regard by the Care & Special Education (CSE), a centre run with the support of Indian schools in Oman at the Indian School Muscat.

Children of Indian schools in Oman and Indian community members enthusiastically participated in 3 activities on environment protection and awareness in different cities of Oman.

A Tree Plantation Drive was held in association with Environment Authority at Rustaq. Whilebeach cleaning, and wadi (valley) / hiking trail cleaning was held at different locations in Muscat, Sohar, Sur and Salalah.

A Free Health checkup & Consular camp was organized for blue-collar workers at Al Ansari labor camp to pay tribute to the sweat and toil of Indian workers that have contributed in building this country.

I am also very happy to announce that the Mega Blood Donation Camporganized in association with Ministry of Health in multiple cities of Oman was a great success.

The overwhelming participation of Indian community led to a donation of a record 1327 units of blood.This will hopefully be a useful contribution to the health system of Oman during the holy month of Ramadan.

I am confident that Sewa Utsav will inspire all of us to commemorate the values of truth & simplicity which became cornerstones of the freedom movement in India and in doing so celebrate India’s independence under Amrit Mahotsav.

The activities under Sewa Utsav were also an opportunity to showcase the abiding contribution of the Indian community to the growth and development of Oman and a platform for them to give back the love and affection they have received from their Omani brothers and sisters.

In closing, let me convey my appreciation to PujyaGurudev Rakesh ji for making Shrimadji’s thoughts accessible to everyone through this excellent translation.

I am sure that the timeless legacy of Shrimad Rajchandrajiand Gandhiji will continue to offer timeless paradigms for global peace and human progress. As India celebrates 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav'- 75 years glorious of Indian Independence, it is important that all of us keep these principles alive in our hearts.

Thank you.