The Ramakrishna Mission has sent a bouquet of good wishes to Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi ahead of his swearing in on Monday.

The message has gone from the President of the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission, Swami Atmasthananda Maharaj, with whom Mr. Modi has a special connect, assistant secretary Swami Suvirananda told The Hindu . “A letter has been sent by President-Maharaj,” he said.

Tracing the early days of his association with the Math, the Swami said that Mr. Modi’s cousin used to study at the school run by the Ramakrishna Mission at Rajkot and the young Modi used to often visit his cousin at the hostel and stay at the guest house.

Developing a deep attraction for the Order, he came in the early 1960s to the headquarters here at Belur, expressing his desire to lead a monastic life. He was advised by the then senior monks to wait and finish his studies. He then went to the Almora Ashrama and expressed the same desire but having got the same reply he went off to the Himalayas where he spent two reclusive years.

On his return to Gujarat he developed a special bond with the present President who was then the monk-in-charge at Rajkot in Gujarat.

In April 2013 Mr Modi visited Belur and spent long hours in meditation at the room where Swami Vivekananda stayed and breathed his last. He visited all the shrines at Belur, before going to Swami Atmasthananda’s quarters, where he sat at his feet.

Mr. Modi came again in November when he received the Swami’s blessings. He was advised to dedicate his life for the country.