New Delhi: Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi, whose visit to the Vindhyavasini Devi Temple near Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh was marred by pro-Modi slogans raised by BJP supporters, believes in spiritual self-discovery and has practiced meditation.
Gandhi, on a boat ride on the Ganga from Pryagraj to Varanasi, has been visiting well-known temples and has assailed the Modi government in her interactions with people. But she has largely steered away from politics in her tweets.
Gandhi had taken a Vipasana meditation course and has been practicing meditation. She has also pursued a Masters degree in Buddhist studies.
“I was so troubled by the fact that I didn’t know my mind, so I just disappeared and went for 10 days of meditation,” she had said in an interview years ago.
According to dhamma.org, ‘Vipassana’ means to see things as they really are and is one of India’s most ancient techniques of meditation. It was rediscovered by Buddha more than 2,500 years ago and was taught by him as a universal remedy for all ills.
Gandhi’s boat journey is marked by religious and political symbolism to counter the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Hindutva thrust ahead of Lok Sabha elections.
Gandhi sprang a surprise when she decided to undertake a journey in the boat from Prayagraj to Varanasi to shore up the Congress prospects in the Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh where the party is fighting most of 80 seats on its own.
The choice of the two destinations is significant both politically and religiously.
Both the cities, located along the Ganga, are regarded sacred by Hindus.
Gandhi began her Ganga Yatra on Monday on a specially-prepared boat from the Sangam in Prayagraj after offering prayers. She went to have ‘darshan’ of Akshaywat and worshipped at the Bade Hanuman temple.
On Tuesday, she visited Vindhyavasini Devi Temple, eight kilometers from Mirzapur. That is when hundreds of BJP workers started shouting slogans hailing Prime Minister Narendra Modi.