It was those hot and humid months of the year when on June 2015, a close associate of mine handed me his phone and requested me to talk with someone who had been wanting to speak with me.It was a sweet voice saying Pranam Vivek ji as I picked up his phone. While hearing this voice for the first time, I immediately realised I was speaking to someone I would have a long-term connection with. We exchanged pleasantries and chatted for a few minutes. It was none other than Shri Ramnath Kovind ji. In the month of August the same year he was nominated as the governor of Bihar within. The phone rang once more, and I congratulated Shri Ramnath Kovind ji on his new appointment as Governor of Bihar.
Shri Ramnath Kovind insisted that I attend the swearing in ceremony in Bihar, despite the fact that I often avoid attending such events.
In August, the day before his swearing-at ceremony, I had the pleasure of meeting Shri Ramnath Kovind in Rajbhavan, Bihar. My conversation with him revealed that he was not simply a politician, but also a man with a soul that was intimately connected to spirituality and other aspects of life.
Since then, I've frequently gotten calls from Bihar Rajbhavan, where a scared voice would ask for my name. Once the call was confirmed, they'd give it to their "Mahamahim," who'd answer it with a friendly voice "Greetings, Vivek ji!"
In our conversations, we'd talk about everything from philosophy to the current events of the world to the experiences of life. When I looked at him, I found the soul of someone who hasn't lost touch with humanity. However, I frequently marvel how Shri Ramnath Kovind manages to call and talk philosophical conformity in such a busy schedule.
Because he knew I wished to see Bodhgaya, the site where Lord Buddha sat, Shri Ramnath Kovind persuaded me to return to Bihar. Bihar is one of the states I've visited the least. I had to postpone my travel to Bihar for months, but Shri Ramnath Kovind insisted, thus I finally went.
In June of 2016, I arrived pretty late at the Raj Bhavan Patna due to the fact that my flight had been significantly delayed. Even before I had settled into my room at Rajbhavan, the staff rushed in to tell me that "Mahamahim wants to see you." I politely requested that they wait for me for a few minutes before taking me to meet with "Mahamahim."
When the staff told me "Please be here Mahamahim is coming here momentarily I come to inform you," I was perplexed. Shri Ramnath Kovind arrived in the room in a matter of minutes, with a heartfelt Namskaar! We sat and talked for a long time about my journey and other topics of mutual interest. The honorable governor smiled and then gave instructions to his staff to take care of me because it was possible that I would have several food reservations. His humility, tenderness, and simplicity struck me.
The following morning, after breakfast, a staff member ran in with word that "Mahamahim" was arriving, and the governor of Bihar shortly entered my room. Life, philosophy, consciousness, and meditation were among the topics we explored. We would converse while he made us laugh.
As long as I was in Bihar, I felt his kindness, tranquilly, and knowledge of not just his constitutional responsibility but also his humanistic nature and inclinations to understand the world beyond human intellect.
In June of 2017, Governor Shri Ramnath Kovind was nominated for President of India and was elected as the 14th President of the Republic of India.
It was my first visit to the Rashtrapati Bhavan and other off-limits locations after being asked to meet the Honorable President of India after he assumed office. In addition to the typical protocol, when I entered the room where President Kovind was seated, I encountered the same man I had known for years. We discussed the current state of the world, the contemporary philosophy, and where and what kind of scientific study is taking place. On my way out of the meeting, I told one of my colleagues that the President of the country is not just the head of state, but also a naturally inquisitive individual who is always looking for new ways to integrate his learning.
All throughout President Kovind's presidency I brought books for him to read on each of my visits. To answer a question from a staff member of the Rashtrapati Bhavan— where books are checked for the content—I explained that the current President of India is an enquiring person who focuses his thoughts on a wide range of subjects, from global science movements to deep spirituality.
I've known a lot of public figures, and while most of them aren't able to pass on their best traits to their staff, Rashtrapati Bhavan with President Kovind was an exception. While visiting Rashtrapati bhavan, I was struck by how President Kovind's humility and openness to life's experiences permeated the space.
I once went to see the president of India and we spent a long time talking about the old treatise of Mansara and how the Rashtrapati Bhavan exemplifies these traits. During the meeting,President Kovind's secretary was invited to join us, and President Kovind asked me to share what I had mentioned him. This is how I knew President Kovind, a wise man who shared his knowledge and depth with everyone and who not only carried out his constitutional duty but also shared his cultural space with everyone.
When I visited President Kovind in Rashtrapati Bhavan after his surgery, we talked about destiny and the legacy of life, rather than the legacy of a specific man. Presidency Kovind said, "Don't you think life is cooperation, an inbuilt commitment to justice, and not forgetting the responsibility we all have for one other. This is India's gift to the world of this specific knowledge, which will be shared by all who consider themselves to be global citizens. I remarked - Exactly !
In my view, President Kovind has always been a person who has engaged with the world around him through the prism of his humble roots. However, he stayed true to his constitutional responsibilities, while ensuring that his feelings, his human obligation, and his natural work to be a better human being filled the area in which he resided, worked, and interacted.
When President Kovind leaves office, he leaves a legacy in Rashtrapati Bhavan for the next generation of leaders and the country as a whole to follow, just as he did.