Dr Kadam Ibotombi Singh
The recent memorable event of G20 summit 2023 held at Imphal City Convention Center has left us with a remarkable contour of connection, integrity and sharing beyond formal gathering. The most striking moment was when the representative of Argentina, Mr. Eduardo Llaser, President, Maha Solutions, South America, unexpectedly rediscovered and reminded the potential audience about the glories of only one charismatic personality of Manipur who was so influential worldwide in the recent past. His statement in the 4.38 hours of the series of speeches given by the delegates, surprisingly began with the glorification of the contribution of His Holiness Bhaktisvarupa Damodara Swami towards establishing goodwill exchange of cultural ties between Latin America and India, particularly Manipur. Within some short lines of expression, he mentioned how Damodar Swami, the son of the soil of Manipur, relentlessly worked hard organizing numerous international seminars and conferences and providing immense humanitarian services for the better cause of humanity. After listening to his short speech and his worthy kind of rediscovering the less sung Swamiji in the contemporary discourse of his own native land, the writer here is willing to express something in this regard. The intention of writing this article is also due to the sudden arousal of prolonged and subdued mind incapable of expressing Swamiji’s narratives to the audience of local confinement. In the midst of well-deserved and esteemed delegates from all over the world and between the exchange of expertise at the business summit, the statement of Argentina representative suddenly seemed to make us connect between the relevance of socio-economic political ties with more intrinsic aspects of spirituality, peace and humanity. The article here is just an attempt to explore the alternative kind of dimension which is truly implementable in establishing goodwill international relationship in any field of cost-benefit domains. Very much relevant in this connection, Damodar Swami from Manipur, India, during his lifetime, practically showed the capability of bringing mutual understanding with highly influential intellectual circles of the world in his dealings and interactions. It is also in the context here that what the statement of the Argentina representative would really mean is to highlight the potential of a charismatic personality of Damodar Swami in enchanting, in representing, in collaborating, in tying hands with and in rediscovering the true kind of interrelationships. If we truly translate his message, one simple query comes upon how the delegate from Argentina expressed his belief and trust to establish instant socio-economic exchange of relationship only on the presumed confidence of his witnessed experiences on the activities and contributions of Damodar Swami worldwide and particularly in his native country Argentina. Here, a very interesting and possible assumption could be made that before anybody from outside India know exactly where is Manipur and how much Manipur has the cultural potential of international class standard, Damodar Swami through his missionary zeal and frequent worldwide tours already exemplified himself to his international audiences and followers as a Spiritual-cum-Cultural ambassador of Manipur. The exact piece of statement produced here from the speech of the Argentina representative in the recent G-20 summit is really the true witness of the above assumption “Honorable guests, His Excellencies, organizer of the B-20, G-20 summit. Thank you very much. I am delighted to address this gathering of distinguished leaders and representatives from the B-20, G-20 communities. Today we have come together to discuss one of the most important issues facing the global economy. …………. stressing the business cooperation between India and Latin America …………..., actually Manipur is very well known in Latin America. Yes, I remember Bhaktisvarupa Damodar ji. He brought Manipur to Peru, Brazil, ………. He actually was the organizer of one of the biggest conferences on Science and Spirituality worldwide with places like Rome, ………. hosting the conference with the Dalai Lama, ……. Nobel Prize winners came together to discuss science and spirituality. He was the founder of Bhaktivedanta Institute of Science. We are working on one of the biggest projects in India developing the TOVP (Temple of Vedic Planetarium), Vedic Planetarium based on Science, Quantum physics and many other interesting topics. This came from Manipur. We really love Manipur so much, and there are some very interesting points ………………..”.His lines of words are an inspiration to all those listeners including the article writer here and his statement may be interpreted in different contexts as Damodar Swami not only deserves to be reproduced, rediscovered and reinterpreted as discourse.
Although, G-20 summit is mainly aimed at business exchange and international relationship, mentioning Damodar Swami here by a delegate may be taken as very significant for the Manipuris because Swamiji’s life and his contribution to humanity as a peace lover, and particularly as a Manipuri Vaishnava Cultural pioneer in the international front is increasingly recognized and appreciated all over the world. Seemingly though less known to the state officials and less recognized and less celebrated compared to his deserved international fame as “Spiritual Guru” and “Scientist”, though less, many believers and well-wishers from inside and outside India are coming every year, visiting his birthplace and trying to explore more about his life. His vision of establishing a university based on Bhagavata Culture and his concept of this institution is appreciated by those who are inspired by his exemplary life. Actually, University of Bhagavata Culture is a dream project of Swamiji which was instructed to him by his spiritual master A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada, the founder Acharya of ISKCON. Swamiji’s strong desire for this unfulfilled project in his life time but is going to be materialized through the recent initiatives of his beloved disciples all over the world, is to make it one and only one kind of university in the whole world for the learning of spiritual science based on Vaishnava Bhagavata Culture and the epicenter of such wave would be only and only Manipur because Swamiji realized the potential of the unique aesthetic beatitude of Manipuri Vaishnavism. His contribution on Science and Spirituality, Inter-religious Dialogue, Manipur Vaishnavism, his writings, his teachings, his established institutions worldwide, etc. are all deserved for different discourses and ultimately his unique legacy in these domains are unparalleled. My point here is that G-20 summit 2023, Imphal, relevantly reminds us of his legacy and it seems to highlight again the beautiful vision of Damodar Swamiji about his beloved cultural land of Manipur and his loving emotional attachment to its people which he showed in his lifetime. Reintroducing Swamiji will surely inspire thousands of Manipuri youths and it would serve as a new and better foundation for the bright and challenging future of Manipur.