Kolkata, Jan 18 (IBNS) President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission's celebration of the 150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda at the spiritual leader's birthplace in Kolkata on Friday.
Speaking on the occasion, the President said Swami Vivekananda's messages and teachings were relevant then, they are relevant now and they will continue to be relevant as long as human civilization exits.
He described Swamiji a great son of Bengal and a great visionary.
He said famous historian AL Basham described Vivekananda as someone who appears only once in centuries.
Mukherjee said it was amazing within a short span of life he could transform society which has lost self confidence.
"His philosophy shook up every one vigorously and brought back confidence in a shaken nation. At a time when the self-esteem of our people was low and many Indians looked to the West for ideals and role models, Swami Vivekananda infused self confidence and pride in them," Mukherjee said.
The President quoted first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, and said: "Rooted in the past and full of pride in India's prestige, Vivekananda was yet modern in his approach to life's problems, and was a kind of bridge between the past of India and her present."