KOLLAM: Modern-day India must delve deep into its vast spiritual and traditional values for development and enlightenment, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi said Thursday.
Addressing a function here on the occasion of the 60th birthday celebrations of spiritual leader Mata Amritanandamayi, he said the spiritual strength of the country can be of real use only if its population practices the principles highlighted in the ancient texts and scriptures of India.
"The current situation in the country is making many people feel unhappy. But not me. I have full faith in India becoming a world leader in the near future, given our strong base in spiritual and traditional values," Modi said.
The three-day celebrations of the 60th birthday of the spiritual leader known as the "hugging saint" Thursday saw the inauguration of the Centre for Spiritual and Indic Studies under the Amrita University of the Mata Amritanandamayi Math (MAM).
"This birthday is not just the celebration of a humanitarian leader, it symbolises the laying the foundation of a new India," said Modi, the prime ministerial candidate of the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party.
Referring to recent terrorist attacks across the world, including bombings in Nairobi, Kenya, and Peshawar in neighbouring Pakistan, besides the killing of soldiers by guerrillas Thursday in Jammu and Kashmir, Modi said: "While on one side, the river of blood is flowing, on the other side, we have a river of love -- of Ganga. While on one side, there are efforts to save the lives of the people through technological innovations of MAM's Amrita University, on the other, there are brutal killings of innocents."
Showering praise on Mata Amritanandamayi, Modi said: "Through her simple teachings and messages, she spreads the message that love is the centre of every relationship. There are several ways of worshiping God. Amma has shown us that serving the poor is the best way to serve God," Modi said.