By NARENDRA MODI
Today, on the occasion of Yoga Day, I salute the cultural capital of Karnataka, the land of spirituality and yoga i.e. Mysuru! The yogic energy, which has been nurtured for centuries by the spiritual centres of India like Mysuru, is today giving direction to the world's health. Today yoga is becoming a common medium for global cooperation. Today yoga is instilling the confidence of a healthy lifestyle in human beings.
Since morning we are looking at the pictures of Yoga now from every corner of the world, which till a few years ago were seen only in certain homes and spiritual centres. These pictures mark the expansion of spiritual realization. These pictures depict a spontaneous, natural and common human consciousness especially at a time when the world has faced such a terrible pandemic of the century over the last two years! Under these circumstances, this enthusiasm of Yoga Day that has spread across the country, sub-continent and the entire continent, is also a proof of our vitality.
Yoga has now become a global festival. Yoga is not individual-specific, but for the entire humanity. That is why, this time the theme of International Yoga Day is - Yoga for humanity! I heartily thank the United Nations and all the countries for taking this message of Yoga to the entire humanity through this theme. I also congratulate all the people of the world on behalf of every Indian.
About yoga, our sages, saints and teachers have said - “शांतिम् योगेन विंदति”।
It means Yoga brings peace for us. The peace from yoga is not only for individuals. Yoga brings peace to our society. Yoga brings peace to our nations and the world. And, Yoga brings peace for our universe. This might feel an extreme thought to someone, but our Indian sages have answered this with a simple mantra- “यत् पिंडे तत् ब्रह्मांडे”।
This whole universe starts from our own body and soul. The universe starts from us. And, Yoga makes us conscious of everything within us and builds a sense of awareness. It starts with self-awareness and proceeds to awareness of the world. When we become aware of ourselves and our world, we begin to spot things that need to be changed, both in ourselves and in the world.
These may be individual life-style problems or global challenges like climate change and international conflicts. Yoga makes us conscious, competent and compassionate towards these challenges. Millions of people with a common consciousness and consensus, millions of people with inner peace will create an environment of global peace. That’s how Yoga can connect people. That’s how yoga can connect the countries. And that’s how yoga can become a problem solver for all of us.
This time in India we are celebrating Yoga Day at a time when the country is celebrating its 75th year of independence i.e the Amrit Mahotsav. This massive spread of Yoga Day, this acceptance is the acceptance of that spirit of nectar of India, which had infused energy in India's freedom struggle.
To celebrate this spirit, today apart from the 75 historical places of 75 different cities of the country, people of other cities are also performing yoga at historical places. The places which witnessed the history of India, the places which hold the cultural energy are coming together today through Yoga Day.
This Mysuru Palace also has its own special place in history. The experience of collective yoga at the historical sites of India is intertwining together of India's past, India's diversity, and India's expansion. At the international level too, this time we have "Guardian Ring of Yoga". This innovative "Guardian Ring of Yoga" is being used all over the world today. The people in different countries of the world are performing and connecting with yoga with the sunrise and the position of the sun. As the sun is rising and its position changing, the people in different countries are joining together with its first ray and a ring of yoga is forming around the whole earth. This is the Guardian Ring of Yoga. These practices of yoga are such wonderful sources of inspiration for health, balance and cooperation.
For the people of the world, yoga is not just a part of life for us today. Please mind it; Yoga is not just a part of life, but also becoming a way of life now. Our day starts with yoga. What can be a better way to start a day than this? But, we must not limit yoga to a particular time and place. We have also seen that the elders of our house and our yoga practitioners perform Pranayama at different times of the day. Many people do Dandasana in their offices for a while in the middle of work and then start working again. No matter how stressful we are, a few minutes of meditation relaxes us and improves our productivity.
Therefore, we must not take yoga as an extra work. We not only have to understand yoga, but also live yoga. We also have to practice yoga, adopt yoga and develop yoga. And when we start living yoga, Yoga Day will become a medium of not just performing it, but also to celebrate our health, happiness and peace.
Today is the time to realize the infinite possibilities associated with yoga. Today our youth are coming up with new ideas in the field of yoga in large numbers. In this direction, the Ministry of AYUSH has also launched 'Start-up Yoga Challenge' in our country. There is also an Innovative Digital Exhibition at the Dussehra Ground in Mysuru to explore Yoga's past, the journey of Yoga and possibilities related to Yoga.
I call upon all the youth of the country, and the world, to be a part of such efforts. I heartily congratulate all the winners of the 'Prime Minister's Awards for outstanding contribution for Promotion and Development of Yoga' for the year 2021. I believe that this perpetual journey of yoga will continue in the direction of an eternal future like this.
We will also accelerate a healthy and peaceful world through yoga with the spirit of 'Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah, Sarve Santu Niramayah'. With the same spirit, once again wishing you all a very Happy Yoga Day. (Adapted from English rendering of the PM's speech in Hindi