Junagadh, Jan 13 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday paid tributes to Charan community's spiritual leader Aai Shree Sonal Maa on her birth centenary celebrations being held at Madhda Dham in Junagadh district of Gujarat.
Addressing the three-day long birth centenary celebrations programme via video message, Modi also urged people to light 'Shri Ram Jyoti' on January 22 to mark the consecration of Ram temple in Ayodhya.
"Madhda Dham is the centre of reverence, power, rituals and traditions for the Charan community and Shree Sonal Mata's spiritual energy and humanitarian teachings created a wonderful divine charm in her personality that can be felt even today...I bow before the feet of Shree Aai and pay my obeisance," he said.
Gujarat and Saurashtra have especially been the land of great saints and personalities, PM Modi said, adding that many saints and great souls have spread their light for the entire humanity in this region.
Girnar has been the place of Lord Dattatreya and countless saints, he said.
"In this eternal saint tradition of Saurashtra, Shree Sonal Mata was like a beacon of light for the modern era. Her spiritual energy, humanitarian teachings and penance created a wonderful divine charm in her personality that can be felt even today in Sonal Dham of Junagadh and Madhda," he said.
"Sonal Maa's entire life was dedicated to public welfare, service to the country and religion where she worked with great people like Bhagat Bapu, Vinoba Bhave, Ravi Shankar Maharaj, Kanbhai Laheri, Kalyan Sheth," he said.
She used to have a special place among the scholars of the Charan community and also changed the lives of many youths by guiding them, PM Modi said.
Highlighting her contributions to society, the PM mentioned her remarkable work towards education and de-addiction.
Sonal Mata worked to save the society from evil practices, he said.
Apart from her spiritual and social work, Sonal Ma was also a strong guardian of the unity and integrity of the country, he said, adding that she stood up against the conspiracies that were going on to break Junagadh during the time of partition.
"Shree Sonal Maa is a great symbol of the contributions of the Charan community to the country," the prime minister said.
Sacred texts like Bhagwat Puran refer to the Charan community as the direct descendants of Shree Hari, the PM said.
"The vast Charan literature is still proof of this great tradition. Be it patriotic songs or spiritual sermons, Charan literature has played an important role for centuries," he added.
Although Shree Sonal Maa never received education through traditional methods, she had a strong command over languages like Sanskrit and had a deep knowledge of the scriptures, according to him.
Sonal Mata's happiness would have known no boundaries if she came to know about the Pran Pratishtha (consecration) ceremony to be held at the Ram temple in Ayodhya on January 22, he said, and urged everyone to light Shree Ram Jyoti to celebrate the occasion that day.
"The inspiration of Shree Sonal Maa gives us new energy to work towards India being a developed and self-reliant nation," he said. PTI COR PJT PD NP