Bengaluru: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday urged the youth of the country to read the Bhagwad Gita as he launched an e-book version of Swami Chidbhavananda's commentaries on the ancient Hindu scripture, which is a part of the epic Mahabharata.

"The Gita makes one think. It inspires us to question. It encourages debate and keeps our minds open. Anybody who is inspired by Gita will always be compassionate by nature and democratic in temperament," Prime Minister Modi said while speaking at the virtual launch of the Kindle version of Swami Chidbhavananda's Bhagavad Gita.

"The beauty of the Bhagavad Gita is in its depth, diversity and flexibility. Acharya Vinoba Bhave described the Gita as a Mother who would take him in her lap if he stumbled. Greats like Mahatma Gandhi, Lokmanya Tilak, Mahakavi Subramania Bharathi were inspired by the Gita," he added.

“In the middle of the fast-paced life, the Gita will provide an oasis. It is a practical guide for several dimensions of life,” PM Modi said.

Asserting that a self-reliant India is good for the world, PM Modi said that at the core of Atmanirbhar Bharat is to create wealth and values "not only for ourselves but for the larger humanity."

"In the long term, only a self-reliant India is in everyone's interest. At the core of Atmanirbhar Bharat is to create wealth and values not only for ourselves but for the larger humanity. We believe that an Atmanirbhar Bharat is good for the world," he said.

The Kindle version was launched to commemorate the sale of more than 500,000 copies of the Swami Chidbhavananda’s Bhagavad Gita.

Swami Chidbhavanandaji, the founder of Sri Ramakrishna Tapovanam Ashram, has written 186 books in all genres of literary composition. However, his scholarly work on the Gita is one of the most celebrated ones. The Tamil version of the Gita with his commentaries was published in 1951, followed by the English in 1965. Its translations into Telugu, Oriya, German and Japanese were undertaken by devotees.

The Prime Minister also paid homage to Swami Chidbhavananda and said, “I would like to pay homage to Swami Chidbhavananda Ji. Mind, body, heart and soul- his was a life devoted to India's regeneration.”

Speaking at the occasion, the Prime Minister also said that India is humbled that 'Made in India' Covid-19 vaccines are going around the world and helping people, just like the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita.

"In the recent past when the world needed medicines, India did whatever it could to provide them. India is humbled that Made in India vaccines are going around the world. We want to heal as well as help humanity. This is exactly what Gita teaches us," PM Modi said.