Many of us already know that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was engaged to his wife Jashodaben at the age of 13 and was married at the age of 18. But he had no interest in married life. Thus, his marriage with Jashodaben was never consummated. It was his personal pilgrimage and he travelled all the way to Belur math in Kolkata, the headquarters of Vivekananda’s Ramakrishna Mission. He reached Belur Math on 6th of June 1968 and met Swami Madhabanandaji Maharaj. Young Modi was disappointed to know that it was a post graduation institution and that he had to finish his college education to be able to stay at Belur Math.
After staying at Belur math for a few days, Modi travelled to the remote areas of Bengal and then further east to Assam.
In Guwahati, he met a Monk and became his friend. He stayed with the Monk for one month, helping the Monk in his garden and discussing on spiritual subjects. Modi then made a long journey westward to Almora, where he again tried to enter into a monastic life in Advaita Ashram, built by Swami Vivekananda, but was refused due to his education qualifications. Throughout the journey Modi never tried to retrace his movement but always looked forward to visiting new places. His travel took him from Gujarat to the North East and from the plains of Bihar and Bengal to the Mountains of Himachal.
In Himachal he travelled far and wide into the forests living like a monk for months. While travelling through Deotsidh forest, he met a monk who taught him few yogic and meditation techniques which will help help throughout his life. The monk shared his knowledge with young Narendra. He told modi that he was born to serve this nation and one day he will be the most powerful person. The monk asked Modi to return to homeland.
He finally made his way to Gujarat and went to the Ramakrishna mission in Rajkot.
It was here that, on requesting to join the mission as a young monk, Modi was replied by Swami Atmasthanandaji Maharaj that he was not made for a monastic life but, that his real duties lie somewhere else. Perhaps he saw the destiny that awaited the ragged, weather beaten and bearded wanderer.
Narendra Modi had left from his home with a little sum of money and a few pair of clothes.
The journey took him two years and as the money was barely enough for few weeks, the majority of time he travelled penniless. Thus from a very young age he had taught himself not to be dependent on money. It’s impossible to imagine how he travelled such a vast country on such low resources.