Bhopal : Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has said that the project of setting up a 108-feet multi-metal statue of Acharya Shankar, museum and International Vedanta Sansthan in Omkareshwar will work to connect Madhya Pradesh with the whole world. In fact, this is not the work of a state, it is an ambitious project to be completed with the blessings of the country's leading acharyas and saints outside the boundaries of Madhya Pradesh.
The idea behind the construction of the Statue of Oneness is that by eliminating the sense of difference of opinion, animosity and ill will, it will make people aware of the importance of Advaita Vedanta. This place will emerge as an important site for the purpose of making one aware of the entire philosophy of life of Acharya Shankar, the expressions of his Advaita Vedanta, character building of the coming generation, environmental protection, Mathamnaya tradition, socio-cultural change, world-welfare and development of the spirit of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (the world is one family). Chief Minister said that "Victory of Dharma, destruction of unrighteousness, harmony among living beings, welfare of the world" is our main objective. Continuous review of the works related to this project will also be done.
Chief Minister Chouhan was addressing the second meeting of the Board of Trustees of Acharya Shankar Sanskritik Ekta Nyas at Mantralaya today. Prominent saints and trust members Swami Avedhashanand Giri Ji Maharaj, Swami Paramatmanand Saraswati Ji Maharaj, Swami Chidanandpuri Ji, Swami Haribrahmendrananda Ji Maharaj, Mukul Kanitkar Ji, Swami Mitranand Ji, Padmashree V.R. Gaurishankar ji and Swami Vedtatwanandji were present. Swami Swaroopanandji, Chinmaya Mission, Australia and Nivedita Didi Vivekananda Kendra Kanyakumari virtually participated.
Chief Minister said that the installation of the statue of Shankaracharya in Omkareshwar is not only the work of installation of the statue, but it is a project of how to bring practical Vedanta in life. Let this world become one family, there is also this feeling behind it. The Madhya Pradesh government will seriously implement the suggestions given by the members of the trust. According to the suggestions received, work will be done expeditiously to finalize the entire action plan.
Life is changing with the activities of Anand Department
Chouhan informed the members of the trust that in Madhya Pradesh, the programme Alpviram of Ananda Department, opening of Anandak Kendras, selection of government and non-government servants who volunteer Anandak's services, organising Anand Utsav and creation of Anand calendar have led to change in the lives of many people. The activities of the Anand Department inspire one to reflect on the importance of solitude and for some time introverted self-analysis and whole life. Establishment of the Statue of Oneness at Omkareshwar, Shankar Sangrahalaya, Acharya Shankar International Advaita Vedanta Sansthan aims at motivating one to think positively and act in this economic and material age.
An important activity in the functions of the Anand Department is to express gratitude to the people who have been supportive in life. Events like handing over the unused items for other people's use and Grandparents and Grandmothers Run to bring zeal and enthusiasm in the lives of elderly people have proved to be worthwhile.
Culture Minister Sushri Usha Thakur informed about the manifestation of enthusiasm among the citizens regarding this project. She said that after the completion of this project, the importance of Omkareshwar would increase even more.
Views of invited saints and trustees
Swami Avdheshanand ji and the members of the trust who came from different states gave their views. Mahamandaleshwar Swami Avdheshanand ji said that the initiation land of Shankaracharya ji and the step of construction of Statue of Oneness in Madhya Pradesh are inspiring and incredible. It will become a worldwide centre. Swamiji said that during the Corona period, everyone's attention was drawn towards Ayurveda and Yoga. It also gave strength to the human mind. Spiritual acceptance has also arisen in this period. The idea of unity prevailed. With the establishment of the statue of Shankaracharya in Omkareshwar and the completion of other works of the project, it will be possible to connect all the sects and Acharyas. Sant Samaj is eager that this project should be completed soon. Swamiji said that Chief Minister Chouhan is a wonderful worshipper and ruler-administrator. Omkareshwar's project will also break the caste-bond. It will spread the idea of spirituality all over the world. The principles of unity have emerged from the philosophy of Shankaracharya.
Swami Paramatmanand said that everyone would like to be associated with this project. This is an important leadership initiative of Chief Minister Shri Chouhan. Swami Haribrahmendrananda said that this is the work for the salvation of the common man. This centre will be worth visiting, it will connect masses. Swami Mitranand said that surely this wonderful work is being done. Mukul Kanitkar said that we are all blessed with the implementation of Omkareshwar project.
Shri V.R. Gaurishankar said that every person who comes to Omkareshwar will get the experience of the entire Jyotirlinga. Swami Vedtatwanand said that after the visit of Omkareshwar, it would be helpful to make the darshan of Shankaracharya available from door to door. Virtually participating from Australia, Swami Swaroopanand said that this project has an important role in national integration. There is a wave of happiness in the heart knowing the progress of the works.
Didi Nivedita from Kanyakumari centre also participated virtually. She said that through this project a wonderful work is being done to connect the people with Advaita Vedanta. The whole world will be aware of the philosophy of integral life. Coming here, everyone will have a special experience, for which our sages and acharyas have insisted. Didi Nivedita said that this excellent work is being done in Madhya Pradesh under the leadership of Chief Minister Shri Chouhan.
Principal Secretary Culture Shri Sheoshekhar Shukla told in the presentation that an architectural consultant has been appointed to prepare a detailed project report for the installation of a 108 feet multi-metal statue of Acharya Shankar on the Narmada bank in Omkareshwar and other works. 58.30 hectare land has been made available for Omkareshwar project. Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation has been appointed as the Management and Construction Agency. Models are being prepared for the temporary display of the proposed statue of Acharya Shankar.
The major works that will be done in the implementation of the project in Omkareshwar include the creation of International Advaita Vedanta Institute, seven centers in the institute which will function as schools. The Advaita Vedanta Institute will act as an international research centre and coordination centre. The main gate of the centre will represent the gate of the Jagannath Puri temple. Construction work will be completed in artistic style. It was told in the presentation that the image of Temple Town would be developed as a result of the work done in Omkareshwar. There will be many places of interest in the complex. Tourists and devotees visiting here will also be able to take part in various activities. The entire area will be covered with greenery. A Gurukul will also be formed.
Important milestones in the journey of the project
A short film was also shown in the meeting, in which the important milestones in this project were given so far. Chief Minister Shri Chouhan had announced the installation of the statue of Acharya Shankar on February 9, 2017 during Narmada Seva Yatra. Prakatya Panchami festival was celebrated on May 1, 2017 after Chief Minister Chouhan announced the establishment of a grand and huge statue of Shankaracharya in Omkareshwar and starting a museum. After this, the Ekatma Yatra and metal collection campaign was conducted from December 19, 2017 to January 22, 2018. Ekatma festival was also celebrated. After this, Acharya Shankar Sanskritik Ekta Nyas was formed on January 27, 2018. It was told in the presentation that the people’s thinking is also connected with the spirit of the project to establish the statue of Shankaracharya. The trust also organised Shankar lecture series, inspiration dialogue, Shankar painting workshop and exhibition, Shankar Sangeet, drama and Advaita festival, Shankar Fellowship, Advaita Jagran camp and seminar at Sagar Central University, in which about three hundred research papers were presented.
The upcoming activities of the trust include selection of excellent sculptures made by eminent sculptors of the country, paintings by eminent painters of the country in different styles on the life philosophy of Acharya Shankar, documenting the journey of the Making of Memorial Omkareshwar Prakalpa, digitization and publication of various works of Acharya Shankar in various languages, Living Tradition of Shankar—documenting the memories of Acharya Shankar in present-day India and film-making on Acharya Shankar's philosophy of life.
Chief Minister welcomed Mahamandaleshwar Swami Shri Avadheshanand Giri Swami of Juna Akhara and other trust members and saints who had come to participate in the meeting of Acharya Shankar Sanskritik Ekta Nyas. Chouhan also received blessings from Swami Avdheshanand ji and invited saints. Mantras were also chanted collectively at the beginning and end of the meeting.
Chief Secretary Iqbal Singh Bains, Additional Chief Secretary Narmada Valley Development CP Keshari, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Manish Rastogi, Principal Secretary and Commissioner Public Relations Raghvendra Kumar Singh, Director Public Relations Ashutosh Pratap Singh and other officers were present.