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Dr. Karan Singh’s Speech on the occasion of the release of the book,
Swami Ashokanandaji- His Divine Message

Compiled from his letters

Manmohan Dhar 

27thAugust, 2002 at India International Centre.

.....I must say we are greatful to Pt. Manmohan Dhar for having produced a really very interesting book, a beautiful little book with photographs of Swami Ashokananda and with a photograph of his Ashram in Nagadandi.

Dr. Karan Singh

Press Release

Sri Ramakrishna Mahasamelan Trust organized a function on 27 August 2002 at India International Center, New Delhi, to release a book titled "Swami Ashokanandaji  Maharaj, His Divine Message" compiled by Mr Manmohan Dhar from the letters written to him by Swamiji.The book was released by Dr Karan Singh amidst an emotional gathering of Swamiji's devotees.The whole atmosphere was disciplined and serene with shrine-like ambience, inspite of a much larger gathering than expected. Many eminent people who  had close association with Swamiji  were present to commemorate the occasion because anybody who had come in contact with Swamiji  directly or indirectly was influenced forever by his quiet but powerful and spiritual personality.

Swami  Ashokanandji was born in East Bengal, left his home at the age of eight and took shelter in the  Ashram  of  Swami Satchitananda  ji, who was a disciple of holy Mother, Ma Sharda Devi, wife of  Sri  Ramakrishna Paramhans. He was sent to Kashmir at the age of 22 where he lived at Nagdandi Ashram till he passed away at the age of 60.He was highly enlightened in the highest tradition of the order of sanyasins but his love and commitment for Kashmir reflected the vision of Swami Vivekananda when he said "We want to lead mankind to the place where there is neither the Vedas, nor the Bible nor the Koran? On the banner of every religion will soon be written" help and not fight" "assimilation and not destruction" "harmony and peace and not dissention?" This Kashmir is a veritable heaven on the earth? I am trying my best in starting a center here.So much to do here and the material so hopeful."

Mr  Manmohan  Dhar welcomed  the  guests after which Dr Karan Singh lit the lamp  and  paid his tribute with reverence to the images of Sri Ramkrishna Paramhans, Ma Sharda, Swami Vivekananda and Swami  Ashokanandaji.Thereafter, Mr Rajinder Kachroo and Mrs Shevanti Sanyal enthralled the audience with  a few devotional songs.

The occasion had a special significance as Dr Karan Singh and his wife used to visit the Nagadandi Ashram and knew Swamiji, which made his remarks more pertinent.Dr  Singh,  in  his  inimitable  style  spoke eloquently about Kashmir, its current crisis, reminiscing the cultural, spiritual and secular history of Kashmir, about  great saints like Swami Lakshmanju, Pandit  Gopi  Krishna and Swami Ashokanandaji, who influenced him greatly.

He hoped that the vision of such great saints would soon ensure human dignity irrespective of religion, caste, creed and rank. He also wished the Ramakrishna Mahasamelan Trust all success to achieve its objectives to promote harmony between all religions.

After  Swamiji's  passing  away,  The  Nagdandi  Ashram  was handed over to Vivekananda  Kendra  and has been well managed by Sri Vivek Roy for the last 13 tumultuous years .This place has developed into an epicenter of religious amity, love and catholicity in the vale of Kashmir and  world  at large. A film was shown before conclusion of the programme.The film shows the proceedings of a function on the 21st and 22nd of April, which was attended by Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs. Shree Faroukh Abdullah attended the function and emphasised the need for religious amity so badly needed in this troubled world today. He laid a foundation stone of a gate to be built
which will be named "Parahansa Dwar" and dedicated a sarovar to the nation and named it Swami Ashokananda Sarovar.

The book titled ”Swami Ashokanandaji Maharaj His Divine Message" and another book titled "Life,  Love  &  Joy"  - a collection of poems by Mr Manmohan Dhar were distributed at the function.

The Meeting ended with a vote of thanks by Shri Makhan Lalji Raina a saint and an enlightened disciple of Swami Ashokanandji Maharaj and now a successful businessman. 

Published by
New Delhi