Prime Minister Narendra Modi performed Yoga along with thousands of participants at a mass demonstration in the backdrop of the iconic Mysuru Palace on Tuesday and said the physical fitness regime was forming a basis for cooperation among countries, and that it can become a problem-solver.
Leading the main event of the International Day of Yoga in Mysuru, Modi said Yoga brings peace to our universe and gave the hope of a healthy life to humanity.
"Yoga brings peace for us, the peace from Yoga is not only for individuals, Yoga brings peace to our society, nation, the world and the universe," Modi said, quoting rishis, maharshis and acharyas.
Speaking after inaugurating the grand event here, he said, "this might feel like an extreme thought to someone, but our sages have answered this in a simple mantra- that 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."
Stating that things start with self-awareness and proceed to awareness of the world, he said, "when we become aware of ourselves and our world, we begin to spot the things that need to be changed both in ourselves and in the world. They may be individual problems or global problems like climate change and international conflicts."
Noting that spiritual centres like Mysuru have nurtured the energy of Yoga for centuries, Modi said, today that energy was giving direction for world health.
Yoga today is not just a part of life, but is becoming the way of life, and it should not be limited to any particular time or place, Modi stated.
Pointing out that pictures of Yoga until a few years ago were limited to houses and spiritual centres, the Prime Minister said, today they were coming from every corner of the world, and at a time when the world faced the pandemic over the last two years, thus depicting the excitement towards Yoga Day, leaving behind the barriers of country, subcontinent and continent. This proves our vitality, he said.
"Yoga has today become an international festival. Yoga is not limited to any individual, but it is for the whole of humanity. So this year's International Yoga Day's theme is Yoga for Humanity," he said, as he thanked the United Nations and all the countries for taking the message of Yoga to the entire humanity.
Highlighting that Yoga makes us conscious, competent and compassionate towards challenges, Modi said, millions of people with a common consciousness and consensus, millions of those with inner peace will create an environment of global peace, and that's how Yoga can connect the people, countries and it can become a problem solver for all of us.
Noting that the Yoga Day is being celebrated as the country is observing 75 years of Independence, he said the broadness and acceptance for Yoga Day is an acceptance of India's feelings, which also gave energy for the nation's freedom struggle.
"The mass Yoga at iconic places will bind together India's past, vastness and diversity," Modi said.
Speaking about the 'startup Yoga challenge', the PM called upon the youth to participate in new ideas and possibilities in the field of Yoga.
The event was attended by, among others, Karnataka Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, Union AYUSH Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Mysuru royal scion Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar and "Rajmata" Pramoda Devi.
Since 2015, the International Day of Yoga has been celebrated worldwide on June 21 every year.
In his address, Sonowal said that "it is after two tumultuous years of the (covid) pandemic, that we are now celebrating IDY in offline mode".
Integrating the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav with celebrations of 8th IDY, mass Yoga demonstrations will be organised at 75 iconic locations across the country under the leadership of as many Union Ministers, along with the PM's event at Mysuru, officials had said earlier.
The Prime Minister's event in Mysuru was also part of the novel programme 'Guardian Yoga Ring' which is a collaborative exercise between 79 countries and United Nations organisations along with Indian Missions abroad to illustrate Yoga's unifying power that surpasses national boundaries.
"As the sun apparently moves from the east to the west across the world, the mass Yoga demonstrations in the participating countries, if seen from any one point on Earth, will seem to be happening one after the other, almost in tandem, thus underlining the concept of One Sun, One earth", officials said.