"I am serving the people without any selfishness"

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Wednesday said Swami Vivekananda’s teachings had inspired her to enter politics.

Inaugurating the year-long State-wide celebrations to mark the 150th year of Swami Vivekananda organised by Sri Ramakrishna Math here, Ms. Jayalalithaa said she had great regards for the preachings of Swami Vivekananda and his guru Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.

“The teachings of Swami Vivekananda are relevant at all times...he propagated the pride of Hindu religion across the world and exhorted the youth to take up selfless service. As far as I am concerned, I am able to overcome the obstacles and challenges by following the principles of Swami Vivekananda,” she said.

Claiming that Swami Vivekananda lived for others, the Chief Minister said she was serving the people without any selfishness. “I don't need anything. I don't have anybody...the people of Tamil Nadu mean everything to me...”

Ms. Jayalalithaa announced that the Vivekananda House on the Kamarajar Salai in Chennai and the vacant plot adjacent to it would be given to Sri Ramakrishna Math on a 99-year lease on nominal rent.

Laying the foundation stone for the cultural centre of Sri Ramakrishna Mission, she announced Rs. 2 crore aid for it on behalf of the State government.

Swami Gautamananda, president, Ramakrishna Math, Chennai, and Swami Asutoshananda, manager, were among those who spoke.

Ms. Jayalalithaa paid tributes to the portraits of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Swami Vivekananda and distributed prizes to students who participated in literary events.