Clad in traditional attire, Congress president Rahul Gandhi today visited the iconic Sringeri Sharada Peetham, one of the four seats established by Adi Shankaracharya in eighth century AD.
Sporting white colour silk dhoti and wrapped in 'Angavastram' (traditional cloth wrapped around a man's shoulders) with golden border, Gandhi, accompanied by Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, paid obeisance to the presiding deity of the Peetham, Goddess Sharadamba.
Walking barefoot around the temple, Gandhi, who was given a traditional welcome, called on the 36th pontiff of the Peetham, Sri Bharati Teertham Mahaswamiji and sought his blessings.
The Sharada Peetham at Sringeri, located amidst the Sahyadri hills in Chikkamagaluru district, was the first seat established by Adi Shankaracharya, founder of the Advaita philosophy.
Four mathas were set up by Adi Shankaracharya in north (Jyothirmath), south (Sringeri), east (Puri) and west (Dwaraka) to propagate the philosophy of Advaita Vedanta.
Gandhi also met students of the Rajiv Gandhi Sanskrit University at Sringeri Mutt, who are learning Vedas and other holy scriptures.
Later at a public meeting, Gandhi spoke about his interaction with students of Rajiv Gandhi Sanskrit University and chided Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he does not know the true meaning of Dharma, by citing a 14-year-old boy's reply to his query.
"Replying to my question on the foundation of Dharma, a 14-year-old child told me Dharma means truth, Satyameva Jayate. The same was repeated by all the children there.
During the interaction I felt it is a strange world... a 14-year-old child can understand the meaning of Dharma, but the Prime Minister does not understand Dharma," he said.
Last night, Gandhi visited Rosario Cathedral, Kudroli Gokarnanatha temple and later Ullal Dargah during his visit to Dakshina Kannada district.
The Congress president offered prayers at theCathedral along with the Christian community.
He also visited Gokarnanatha temple at Kudroli, wherehe was welcomed by veteran Congress leader and the temple managing trustee Janardhan Poojary.
Gandhi was on a two-day visit to the districts of Udupi, Dakshina Kannada, Chikkamagaluru and Hassan districts in the poll-bound Karnataka.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)