KURNOOL: Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted people of Andhra Pradesh on the eve of Ugadi, which he described as a festival of the new beginning. Addressing a large number of people in Srisailam who congregated to participate in ‘Rashtriya Jagriti’, organized by Srisaila Jagadguru Peetadhipathi Sri Chenna Siddarama Panditaradhyula Swamy, on Saturday through video-conference, he said due to time constraint he could not attend the programme and interact with them directly.
Citing the description of Srisailam by Maharishi Veda Vyasa, the Prime Minister said by having darshan of Lord Mallikarjuna and Goddess Bhramaramba one gets ‘mukti’. “The place is Triveni Sangamam of a Jyotirlinga, Shaktipat, and Gurupeeth. It is also a place where saints like Allam Prabhu Deva, Akka Mahadevi, Siva Yogi attained salvation,” he said.Pointing out that thousands of devotees from Karnataka trekk to Srisailam every year for Ugadi, he said the festival heralds a new era, new hope, new aspirations and a new beginning. “I greet all people celebrating the festival by different names across the country on the occasion,” he said.
Describing ‘Devu Bella Prasad’ which is known in Telugu as Ugadi Pachadi, he said it is a combination of bitter and sweet. “Our ancestors through such simple philosophy explained the profound secrets of life. Just like Ugadi Pachadi, life too is a combination of good and bad, up and down, victory and defeat.” “Those people who are not aware of Indian culture and heritage cannot understand the profoundness and depth of these things.  He said saints and learned people are the ones who safeguarded the spiritual and cultural legacy of the country during the dark phase of the history when it was enslaved by foreigners. “After independence, one expected the deep wounds to the culture and history to be treated, but unfortunately, politicians of that time made no efforts to change the projected image of the country as a place of snake charmers and acrobats,” he said.
He said efforts were also made to see that cultural and spiritual inheritance of the country did not pass down to the next generation. “But because of the saints and learned men of the country those nefarious intentions were thwarted. The country is indebted to you,” he said and added Sadhu Sant has not only protected the spiritual and cultural legacy of the country but also strengthened the social organizations and promoted service motto.
On the occasion, he compared Rashtriya Jagriti’ with Kumbhu Melta that comes once every 12 years. He said Maha Kumbh is a time when the new direction of the country and society is decided.  Recalling the philosophy of Basaveshwara, he said his government has incorporated the salient features of that philosophy.
“Our schemes are introduced with specific goals in a time-bound manner. In last four years, 31 crore Jan Dhan accounts were opened. With Rs 1 per month premium insurance cover was provided to 18 crore people, Under Ujjwala Yojana scheme 3.5 crore poor were given free gas connection in a record time. Under Sukanya Samriddhi scheme bank accounts for 2.5 crores were opened. Under Mission Indra Dhanush three crore children and 80 lakh pregnant women were vaccinated,” he said.

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