125-year-old Swami Sivananda kneels before PM while receiving Padma Shri
Swami Sivananda, a 125-year-old yoga practitioner, bowed down before Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then before the President before receiving the Padma Shri award at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Monday.
The yoga guru, dressed in white kurta and dhoti, walked bare feet in the palatial Darbar Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan to receive the award. Before this, he knelt down before PM Modi, drawing a round of applause from the guest at the civil investiture ceremony.
Seeing Sivananda’s gesture, PM Modi promptly bowed with folded hands and touched the ground.
He knelt again while moving towards the dais. The President stepped out and helped him rise to his feet, after which he handed over the award and the citation to him.
After conferring the award, the President was seen talking to Sivananda after which the two posed for pictures with the Darbar hall echoing with the applause.
Swami Sivananda has dedicated his life for the welfare of human beings. He has been serving leprosy-affected people at Puri for the past 50 years.
The yoga guru was born on 8 August 1896 in Sylhet district (now in Bangladesh) of undivided India. At the age of six, he lost both his mother and father.
After this, he was brought to his Guruji's Ashram at Nabadwip in West Bengal. Brought up under Guru Omkarananda Goswami brought him up, the Swami received all practical and spiritual education including Yoga without school education from him.
He has been a positive thinker throughout his life. 'The world is my home, its people are my fathers and mothers, to love and serve them is my religion'-- this has been his belief.
He is chasing that mission till today to serve the underprivileged in different parts of the country, including North East India, Varanasi, Puri, Haridwar, Nabadwip and so on, according to the Rashtrapati Bhavan document on Padma awardees.