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Kalam, Manmohan condole Ranganathananda's death

Special Correspondent

"The world has lost a truesanyasi; A great spiritual leader"

NEW DELHI: The Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, has said that in the passing away of Swami Ranganathananda, president of the Ramakrishna Mission, the world has lost a true sanyasi. He said in a condolence message:

"It is with deep sadness and a profound sense of loss that I join millions of our countrymen in expressing my sincere and heartfelt condolences at the passing away of one of the greatest teachers of our times, Swami Ranganathananda.

"Swamiji was a teacher, a scholar, a sage, a companion of the needy, and above all a deeply religious person and a true humanist in the best traditions of our ancient culture and civilization. He was also a builder, having created and built new centers of learning and meditation for the Ramakrishna Mission at home and abroad. Generations of Indians have sat at his feet and imbibed the teachings of some of our greatest texts and epics. He was, without doubt, the most poetic and philosophical interpreter of the Gita in living memory.

"Swamiji lived a full life and lived it in every corner of our vast sub-continent. He taught the values of love, sacrifice, learning and piety and the importance of knowledge and learning to disciples across the world and in all corners of South Asia. He was regarded by the disciples of the Ramakrishna Mission as the "Second Swami Vivekananda", and rightly so. His interpretation of our ancient and religious texts was laced with modernism, humanism and liberalism, the values that Swami Vivekananda held so dear in his teaching of Hinduism."

"Swami Ranganathananda was a great scholar and teacher. Along with the writings of Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Swamiji's scholarly essays helped millions of young people to imbibe the true values of all the great religions of this ancient land. Be it in Kerala or in Kolkata, in Hyderabad or in New Delhi, wherever Swamiji lived he left behind several generations of enlightened youth who have dedicated their lives to the service of man and the welfare of our people.

"His lectures attracted audiences of all ages, from teenagers to senior citizens. Some came for knowledge, others for inspiration, but all came for comfort and peace. His mellifluous voice, his handsome personality, his humane visage, in addition to his deep scholarship, attracted large audiences. He was a great communicator.

"In the passing away of Swami Ranganathananda, the world has lost a true sanyasi, in every sense of that term. We are all the poorer today. I join all his disciples across the world in sharing this very personal loss."

In his condolence message, the President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, called him "a swamiji of indomitable spirit and a great spiritual leader." Mr. Kalam further added that "Swami Ranganathanandaji was a noble soul who immersed himself into the mission of spreading the message of the Vedanta to humanity spread throughout this planet. I fondly remember my meeting with him during my visit to the Belur Math in October last year."

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