The two-day Ashtalakshmi Sant Vichar Sammelan began on Friday in Tripura with an aim to awaken spiritual thoughts in the northeastern states of the nation.
Signifying the gathering as “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” Tripura chief minister Dr Manik Saha inaugurated the Sammelan in presence of Deputy chief minister Jishnu Dev Varma, Chitta Maharaj, Chairman Haribhakta Parayan Justice Dr Madan Maharaj Gosavi and other important dignitaries.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony here on Friday at the Rabindra Satavarshiki Bhavan chief minister Dr Manik Saha said, “India is a land of sages and saints who have played important roles in establishing world peace since time immemorial”.
“We all should be proud that such conference is being held in Tripura, the holy land of Mata Tripureshwari”, he added.
The chief minister added, “The conference will strengthen the ties between all the eight northeastern states and help in overall development”.
Speaking on spiritual context Saha said, “We all believe that there is a supreme lord up somewhere and we all are his disciples. Good work and good deeds can help us reach that Supreme lord”.
Deputy chief minister Jishnu Dev Varma while addressing the program said, “The heartbeat of India lies in the spirituality of India”.
“India is not just a geo-political entity, therefore, to know the nation, we have to know spirituality”, he added.
“North-eastern states like other parts of our country have produced many saints and writers. This Ashtalakshmi Sant Vichar Sammelan in Tripura, will enlighten all about the literature and knowledge of the saints in the North-east”, said Dev Varma.
He further said “Despite many invasions on India before independence, the rich cultural traditions and heritage of our India have survived. Also, the purpose of this conference is to inform people from other parts of India that there are many temples and places of worship in the North Eastern states”.
Deputy Chief Minister further added that Atheism, monotheism, and polytheism are simplistic interpretations of the West. Animist is also not applicable to Bharat. Tripura has got 185 kings and all of them are from. Sanatan traditions. We believe in Omnitheism. That supreme spirit is everywhere and everything. Abrahamic religions, including Marxists, cannot understand the spiritual and physical unity of Bharat. They believe everything is in conflict, we see everything in harmony.
“Bhakti, Gyan, Raj etc all are Yogas and therefore not emotions. They are different ways to reach the same truth. Not excluding each other. They are non-translatable. Bhakti is the highest path that connects us with the supreme without any other means. Sant/ Saintly Bhakti literature carried this same thought. They never thought of us as mainland and periphery. Northeast is equally mainland of Bharat culturally, we cannot be the periphery of Sanatan Dharma and Spirituality. That is mainly because of the Bhakti, further added the Deputy Chief Minister of Tripura.
The format of the conference is a seminar on saint thoughts, a seminar on spirituality by foreign intellectuals and a presentation of folk arts of North-Eastern states. The meeting is presided over by Swami Chittaranjan Maharaj of Tripura’s Shantikali Ashram in Amarpur.