Who is Morari Bapu, whose ‘Ram Katha’ was attended by Rishi Sunak in UK?

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Britain Prime Minister Rishi Sunak attended a ‘Ram Katha’ event conducted by spiritual leader Morari Bapu at Jesus College, University of Cambridge, on Tuesday. Sunak, who began addressing the event by saying “Jai Siya Ram”, expressed his delight that it coincided with Indian Independence Day.

“Bapu, I am here today not as a Prime Minister, but as a Hindu,” Sunak said in his address.

“For me, faith is very personal. It guides me in every aspect of my life. Being prime minister is a great honour, but it is not an easy job. There are difficult decisions to make, hard choices to confront and our faith gives me courage, strength, and resilience to do the best that I can for our country,” he further said.

As the first British PM of Indian origin, Sunak recalled a special moment from 2020 when he lit Diwali diyas outside No. 11 Downing Street, while he was serving as the first British Indian Chancellor.

During the gathering, Morari Bapu presented Sunak with a ‘consecrated Shivlinga’ from the Somnath temple, symbolising a sacred offering from the Jyotirlinga Ram Katha Yatra.

Who is Morari Bapu?

-Morari Bapu, an Indian spiritual preacher and a renowned exponent of the “Ramayana”, has conducted Ram Kathas worldwide for over 60 years. Born in 1946 in Gujarat’s Bhavnagar, he resides there with his family.

-According to Morari Bapu’s official website, he memorised the entire Ramcharitmanas at when he was 12 and began reciting Ram Katha at 14. The Ramayana is an ancient epic first composed in Sanskrit by sage Valmiki. Based on this, Goswami Tulsidas later wrote “Ramcharitamanas” in 16th century Avadhi Hindi, which Morari Bapu uses in his kathas.

-Starting his journey before a small village audience, he has now reached global audiences in major cities, pilgrimage sites in India, and countries like the US, UK, and Australia.

-Morari Bapu has also been conducting Ram Kathas for marginalised groups such as sex workers and transgenders. He has been providing assistance to disaster-hit regions, both in India and abroad, such as war-torn Ukraine.

-His nine-day Ram Katha at Cambridge University began last Saturday with a reception of Sonita Alleyne, the 41st Master and the first female leader of Jesus College since its founding in 1496. The event will continue until this weekend.