Ugadi - the Telugu and Kannada New Year ceremony - is the festival of the beginning of everything, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday.
Addressing a programme to mark Ugadi in Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh via video conferencing said, "Ugadi means the beginning of an era. Ugadi is the festival of the beginning of human life. It is the festival of the starting of creation of the world.
"This is the festival of new hopes and aspirations. This is the festival of nature and environment. This is the festival of new initiation in life," Prime Minister Modi added.
Talking about the importance of Srisailam, he further said, "Maharshi Ved Vyas said people who visit here get rid of all kinds of bondage."
He also praised saints by saying that they kept India going despite numerous attempts were made to destroy country's culture and traditions.
"There were numerous attempts to hurt our prestigious culture and traditions when India was chained to slavery. It tolerated everything and kept going ahead. What was it that kept it going? Saints like you," the Prime Minister said.
Prime Minister Modi also exhorted saints to sensitise people about racism, black money and corruption.
"The country is passing through a very important period today. Not only racism, black money and corruption are harming the country. Your contribution in awakening people towards them is very important," Prime Minister Modi said.
He also sought saints' support in building the nation.
"There is a need to make people aware of the efforts being made to divide the society. The central government is doing its best to build the nation but your blessings in this regard will increase our energy," the Prime Minister said.
He also outlined the government's initiatives like Ayushman Bharat and 'Sabka Saath-Sabka Vikas' (all together, development for all) for the benefit of common man....