President Ram Nath Kovind Sunday asserted that humanity and truth are supreme and cannot be divided on the basis of caste, gender or religion, as serving the needy has always been accorded top priority in Indian culture.
He also said though various religious traditions and practises are prevalent in different parts of India, there is only one belief and that is to work for the welfare of all, considering the entire humanity as one family.
“Serving the needy has been given top priority in our culture. Humanity and truth are supreme, which cannot be divided. The ultimate goal is welfare of the society,” the president said here, while inaugurating the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Srimad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Prabhupad, the founder of the Gaudiya Math and Mission.
Hailing doctors, nurses and health workers. Kovind said they displayed this spirit of service during the Covid-19 pandemic, despite many of them contracting the virus.
“Many of our Covid warriors sacrificed their lives, but the dedication of their co-workers remained unwavering. The whole country would always be indebted to such warriors,” the president said, praying for a world free of Covid-19.
Invoking the 16th century Bhakti saint Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Kovind said the tradition of worshipping the Almighty with ‘Bhakti Bhav’ (devotion) has been significant in India.
“The word ‘Mahaprabhu’ was added to Sri Chaitanty’s name because of his great teaching to the society,” the president said, adding, inspired by his extraordinary devotion, a large number of people chose the path of Bhakti.
Quoting the revered saint, he said “one must be more tolerant than a tree, devoid of any sense of ego and must give respect to others”.
He said saints of the ‘Bhakti Marg’ were above the prevailing discrimination in that period based on religion, caste, gender and rituals, and sought to strengthen the unity of India’s cultural diversity.
“The saints of the Bhakti community did not contradict each other, but were often inspired by each other’s writings,” Kovind said.
Kovind also expressed confidence that the Gaudiya Mission would be successful in its resolve of spreading the message of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to the world, keeping its objective of human welfare as paramount.