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Translation of Prime Minister’s speech during inauguration of Pashupatinath Dharamshala in Nepal (August 31, 2018)

September 01, 2018

Respected Prime Minister Oli Ji,
Minister of Culture and Tourism, Ravindra Prasad Adhikari Ji,
Member of Pashupati Area Development Trust, Dr. Pradeep Dhakal Ji,
And other dignitaries present here,

Devotees of Bhole Baba that have come here from faraway places and my brothers and sisters of Nepal, Today a son from Baba Vishwanath’s land Kashi honorably greets you with folded hands in this courtyard of Pashupatinath Ji. As Prime Minister Oli Ji just said that it is very easy to understand Nepali language and the people of Gujarat.

India-Nepal friendship, when Atal Ji passed away, we know that during the time of tragedy when someone close reaches out to you, it feels very peaceful.

Within hours of Atal Ji's death, Oli Ji called me and offered his condolences in this hour of tragedy. It was not a mere formality, it was a natural manifestation of one's kinship, and the respect and empathy with which the foreign minister himself came to the funeral of Atal Ji, and the decision of Nepal to translate poems of Atal Ji in Nepalese.

According to me the greatest tribute to any great personality is how do we preserve his memories and messages, how do we deliver his preaching and knowledge to the future generations and how much are we able to imbibe them in our lives.

And the way Nepal has resolved to provide this capsule of knowledge of Atal Ji’s thinking, his approach of looking at contemporary things which he has put forward in the form of his poems, for this great tribute I express my gratitude to respected Oli Ji, to the government and people of Nepal.

We have cultural relations, our relations are centuries old but it is a fact that relations of a country with any country of the world do not become stronger or long lasting unless people to people ties become stronger.

If only Kathmandu and Delhi come together, or the governments in Kathmandu and Delhi come together, this would not suffice. Till the time every Nepalese and every Indian meet and greet each other, our relationship will not have that power.

And today an excellent way of promoting the power of people to people ties, a symbol of Nepal-India friendship, this Dharamshala is being inaugurated here.

My dear brothers and sisters,

Whenever I come to Kathmandu, my heart feels the love and affection of people of Nepal for me. And this love and affection is not for me only but the same is also seen in Nepal’s affinity towards India. About four years ago, I got an opportunity to worship at the feet of Pashupatinath Ji on the last Monday of the month of Shravan.

Few months ago, when I came here, I had the privilege of visiting all three major pilgrimages i.e. Pashupatinath, Muktinath and Janaki Dham. Today I am overwhelmed with devotion as I got the opportunity to visit and offer my prayers at the feet of Baba Pashupatinath once again.

These are not my feelings only, crores of devotees of Lord Shiva all over India and world, who have accepted the spiritual life and religious rituals, those who are always engrossed in God’s devotion, they have this desire to visit Pashupatinath Ji once in their life time.

This bond of devotion to Lord Shiva and devotees of Lord Shiva between India and Nepal is so strong that it has neither been affected by the distance nor by time or rough terrain.

Kathmandu and Kanyakumari are thousands of kilometers away from each other but tales of Pashupatinath Ji have been echoing there for more than 1500 years. Theveram of Shaiv Kuruvar has an important place for Lord Pashupatinath Ji.

And for hundreds of years and from generation to generation, Baba Pashupatinath has given its countless devotees of remote South India, like Ganesh and Kartik, a place in this temple of his.

And therefore today, together with my best friend Prime Minister Oli Ji, there is no limit to my happiness while dedicating this Nepal-India Friendship Pashupatinath Dharamshala to the devotees of the world, to the devotees of Lord Shiva and to the tourists. I have had the privilege of giving a small offering for the convenience of devotees visiting from all over the world at the feet of Pashupatinath Ji on behalf of 1.25 billion Indians.

Friends,

Pashupatinath, Muktinath and Janaki Dham, they all unite Nepal’s diversity in unity and at the same time every moment they provide a new strength to Nepal’s relations with India. Baba Vishwanath and Pashupatinath connect Kashi and Kathmandu and I am from the land of Somnath. Somnath to Vishwanath, Vishwanath to Pashupatinath, similarly the relation of Mother Sita and Lord Shri Ram connects Janakpur with Ayodhya and Lord Jagannath and Muktinath Mastang together with Puri. Lord Pashupatinath presiding in the beautiful Bagmati valley, where on one side there is Dhaulagiri and Annapurna and Sagarmatha and Kanchan Janga on the other side. It gives a beautiful and wonderful experience to the devotees of Lord Shiva and tourists from around the world.

This holy land of Kathmandu is just like a confluence of both Hinduism and Buddhism. How both of these faiths are inclusive of each other, and there is amity between the followers of both faiths which can be experienced by anybody who passes through the alleys and paths of Kathmandu. Everyone experiences it. This temple of Lord Pashupatinath Ji too is surrounded by centers of many faiths, like it is intertwined with the fleck of Buddhist monks. Right now Pradeep Ji was saying – one could not make out when does the chants of Om Namah: Shivay and Om Mani Padme Me - become unified.

This tradition is also an important link between the relationship of Nepal and India. If Lumbini of Nepal gave Gautam Ji to the world, then Bodh Gaya in India gave Lord Buddha to the world. The path shown by Gautam Buddha is an inspiration to solve many problems of today’s world like the problems of extremism and terrorism.

Friends,

India and Nepal have had historical partnership of faith, soul and kinship. This is our unbreakable power, precious treasure and heritage. Our glorious history of thousands of years, our shared allegiance to Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam is the value that separates both the countries from many civilizations of the world.

Just now Oli Ji was saying –
सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः। सर्वे सन्तु निरामयाः।

Wishing for the welfare of everyone, not just the loved ones, but everyone out in the world.

This is the basic philosophy of both the countries. And the self-confidence derived from this prosperity will ensure our place in the world. The future of both countries will be determined by this belief. Whatever we are able to achieve today, it will be meaningful only when everyone will develop, especially the ones who are deprived, who suffers and are exploited.

Today India is scaling new heights of economic development. Moving on the path of Reform, Perform and Transform, today it is shining on the sky of development like the Pole star. The philosophy of ‘Together with everyone, development for everyone' with which we are moving ahead, it also has similar place for our Nepalese brothers and sisters. When we talk about 'Together with everyone, development for everyone,' then it is for everyone. It has been a part of our tradition to help neighbors and contribute in their prosperity, in accordance with that and with the blessings of Baba Pashupatinath, the relationship between both the countries is also moving forward.

Friends,

Every Indian is happy to see that there is political stability in Nepal today. As a result, today Nepal has increased its speed on the path of development. I would like to assure the Prime Minister and the people of Nepal present here today that for the welfare of Nepal and its people, India’s good wishes and cooperation will always, always, always be available for you. This is my prayer that Baba Pashupatinath always bless this land and patronize India-Nepal friendship.

This uninterrupted movement of faith, civilization and culture has been enriching the lives of millions of people of India and Nepal. With this desire, India-Nepal Friendship Dharamshala, and I do not believe that it is a mere building where some tourist will come and stay, it is not just a place to stay, every moment the feelings of India-Nepal friendship will be reverberating in their minds. When they will return, they will return with a feeling of eternal friendship of India and Nepal.

These are symbols in themselves, the arrangements may be good, but they provide power to life and this Dharamshala is that symbol which gives us power. This arrangement is not just a facility for a traveler to stay overnight. It strengthens tourism of Nepal. These arrangements provide an additional place for the tourists coming to Nepal. A person with a normal income can also benefit from such arrangement, then this building is not just a building, not just a place of retiring or sleeping, but this unit provides a new energy to the economic activity related to the tourism of Nepal. It gives a new strength, a new power to it. And tourism is such a sector which with its relatively small capital investment is likely to give employment to maximum people and when such arrangements are available to the general public, tourists also want to visit, they also want to stay here and when a tourist stays, then he definitely gives something.

I believe that this Nepal-India Friendship Pashupatinath Dharamshala, it is not just a building or a place to stay or retire, but it is a pillar of friendship, it will become an energy center which fuels such an economic system, with this faith once again I express my heartfelt gratitude towards the Prime Minister of Nepal.

Since BIMSTEC was such an important event which has sent a very good message to the whole world from Kathmandu. When the BIMSTEC summit representing 22 percent of world’s population is held at Nepal, at the feet of Lord Pashupatinath, then the resolutions taken here cannot remain unfulfilled. And therefore I believe that the resolutions taken under the able leadership of Prime Minister Oli Ji here at Kathmandu, in the lap of Himalayas, will play a very big and decisive role in establishing peace and security in this region. This task has been accomplished by Hon’ble Oli Ji for which he deserves acclamation and compliments and therefore I congratulate him.

Once again I would like to express that you made time for this occasion and it is our good fortune that together we both were able to offer this gift. People in India will be happy with this arrangement so as the people of Nepal and this arrangement will also provide a new opportunity for economic progress. With this feeling I once again bow my head at the feet of Lord Pashupatinath and give rest to my voice.

Many many thanks.

Disclaimer: PM’s Speech was delivered in Hindi. This is an approximate translation of Speech.

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